Ensuring Equity in California TranscriptTranscript of the video presented by the California Department of Education.
The following is a text transcript of the Equity video, as presented by the Improvement and Accountability Division of the California Department of Education.
Welcome to the Quality Schooling Framework‑also called the QSF. The California Department of Education developed the QSF to assist educators as they work to ensure that the students in their schools learn, and thrive.
This video will identify and address equity issues to prepare all students to meet this century’s challenges.
Schooling should help all students achieve their highest potential. To accomplish this, students need to be provided equitable access to all areas of the curricula; appropriate high-quality instruction that advances their skills and knowledge; up-to-date resources; settings that are safe, respectful, and intellectually stimulating.
To ensure that America regains its status as the best-educated, most competitive workforce in the world with the highest proportion of college graduates of any country, we must close the pervasive achievement and attainment gaps that exist throughout the nation. Yet, far too often, the quality of a child’s education and learning environment, and opportunities to succeed are determined by his or her race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language, socioeconomic status, and/or ZIP code.
Brown v. Board ruled more than 60 years ago that ‘separate is not equal.' Our challenge, is working to improve the current education system to give all traditionally underserved students a chance to succeed.
Ensuring that all students benefit fully from public education has been one of our nation’s most challenging civil rights issues. The U.S. Department of Education describes the achievement gap as “the difference in academic performance between different ethnic groups.” If we are going to be successful at reducing and ultimately eliminating the achievement gap, school leaders will need to ensure equity for each and every student.
Decision-makers at all levels of the educational enterprise should, at a minimum, examine their systems, policies, procedures, and practices to create systems that are fair and equitable.
The U.S. Department of Education, under Title IV of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, formed the Regional Equity Assistance Centers. They identified and endorsed six goals of educational equity.
The first goal is for all students to achieve high academic standards and achieve high positive outcomes on all other indicators of achievement. All student populations at any district, school, or classroom should perform at equally high levels, as evidenced by test scores, graduation rates, attendance, and local measures.
The second goal is to provide equitable access to education services and inclusion in educational programs. There is strong evidence that disproportionality along color lines continues to be a major problem. There is overrepresentation in special education and underrepresentation in gifted and talented programs. Improving equity requires removing barriers to high-level courses as well as providing extra instructional time in English language arts and math for struggling students.
Authors of Understanding Language, Kenji Hakuta and Maria Santos, from Stanford University, noted that English language learners have a right to an appropriate education that is grounded in sound theory and implemented in ways that address their needs through coordinated instructional systems of support. The education community must consider how to best address the equitable access for underrepresented student populations.
The third goal is to ensure equitable treatment for all students. Equitable treatment refers to patterns of interaction between all individuals within the school environment that is characterized by acceptance, respect, support, and safety. The disproportionate use of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions contributes to higher absentee rates for African American and Latino student populations. High absenteeism is a key contributor to academic failure and to students’ decisions to drop out. Acknowledging and valuing students’ cultural and ethnic origins and providing relevant examples in the curriculum increases student engagement. In particular, schools can empower the parents and families of students who have been traditionally underserved and underrepresented by creating a place for their voice and engagement in all aspects of their children’s education experience.
The fourth goal is to ensure equitable resource distribution. Essential education resources include a rigorous curriculum, high-quality instructional materials, personalized attention for students, enrichment opportunities, and most importantly, expert teachers. Districts, local school boards, administrators, and unions should work together to ensure that the students most in need have access to high-quality teachers, administrators, and support staff.
Districts must offer access to high-quality technology. Many communities have limited or no access to computers to provide advanced instructional methods. Schools with high concentrations of students living in poverty tend to have inadequate libraries and laboratories, outdated instructional materials, fewer supplies, insufficient equipment, and fewer enrichment opportunities for students.
The fifth goal is to ensure equitable opportunities to learn for all students. Aside from resources for all students, schools must also ensure that all students have adequacy, quality and equity in the opportunities for students to learn. Systems, policies, procedures and practices ensure rigorous content is provided, enables all students to learn at high levels and considers the multiple ways in which students learn. The best in classroom practice and research is supported with ongoing professional development so that schools have the capacity to meet the diverse needs of their students.
The sixth goal is to ensure equitable shared accountability. Equitable shared accountability refers to shared responsibility and accountability across all stakeholders for guaranteeing that appropriate and sufficient resources, qualified teachers, challenging curricula, opportunities to learn, and sufficient supports are available for every student. School boards, educators at every level, and parents—must take responsibility to ensure equally positive outcomes for all students.
Thank you for viewing this video. We encourage you to explore the Quality Schooling Framework element for Equity, which provides a variety of resources to respond to the diverse needs of students. Also look for resources associated with this video, including a discussion guide that provides ideas for using this resource, as you work with your school and district community to ensure that all your students learn and thrive.