System Strategies to Advance Educational Equity: Lessons from a District Learning Cohort
How can school districts create more equitable opportunities and dismantle systemic barriers facing many students, families, and educators? During the 2019-20 school year, 10 districts from across the United States joined a learning cohort, convened by the Center for Global Education at Asia Society and Digital Promise, to explore this question. Leaders shared strategies and learned from a study tour to visit the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), where leadership has explicitly centered and invested in equity.
The report, System Strategies to Advance Educational Equity, by the Center for Global Education at Asia Society and Policy Studies Associates, describes the actions and strategies that TDSB and the learning-cohort districts are taking systemwide to translate equity commitments to action, organized around six themes:
- Set a clear and explicit vision for equity
- Ensure that equity is owned at all levels
- Translate equity plans into actions
- Build equity capacity among school staff and leaders
- Ensure equitable access to quality instruction
- Enable students and families to thrive
The report documents the reflections of system leaders in the learning cohort and emerging strategies for articulating the commitment to equity and for operationalizing this commitment in these districts. Based on researchers’ participation in the webinars, Toronto visit, and interviews with district leaders, this report summarizes those reflections and provides concrete examples of the ways in which districts are taking steps toward designing more equitable school systems.