Jul 18, 2022

The National Center Presents: Assessing and Addressing Equitable Opportunities to Learn

Clarissa McKithen
CCNetwork Liason
NCP Logo for equity

National Comprehensive Center (NCC) hosted The National Center Presents: Assessing and Addressing Equitable Opportunities to Learn, part of a webinar series to build awareness and knowledge among states and districts around high-leverage challenges, common needs, and evidence-based strategies and solutions.

The webinar featured Don Barfield, equity advisor to the NCC, and partners from the Education Commission of the States, Sarah Glover and Adrienne Fischer, who introduced an upcoming 50-state equity policy scan. NCC and ECS have partnered to complete the scan, which is framed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Monitoring Educational Equity report. The report outlines 16 indicators (within 7 domains) for measuring and monitoring equity in educational outcomes and opportunities. The scan is slated for release in fall 2022.

Also featured were Chris Dwyer, a co-lead for the NCC’s Equity and School Improvement Community of Practice (CoP), and Nancy Hines, superintendent of the Penn Hills School District and member of the CoP. Ms. Dwyer described how the CoP also makes use of the NAS report and indicators, and some of the equity-focused work that’s underway among CoP members. Dr. Hines discussed Penn Hill’s journey toward equity, the challenges it has encountered, and the work the district continues to undertake within the CoP and with the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Following a robust Q&A segment, Donna Harris-Aikens J.D., Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Secretary at U.S. Department of Education, closed the session by highlighting the Department’s efforts, as of January 2021, to establish an equity agenda and action plan. She also underlined the importance of “digging into the data”, having conversations regarding equity and opportunities for students early on, and gathering feedback from students, families and other stakeholders to strengthen educational systems.

Please refer to the session highlights and resources shared below to learn more about the NAS equity indicators, the 50-state equity policy scan, and other equity-centered work coming out of the NCC. 

Resources: 

Session Summary

Video 1 - The Foundational Document: Monitoring Educational Equity

Video 2 - The US Department of Education’s Equity Agenda

Video 3 - Monitoring Educational Equity: Policy Scan

Video 4 - Monitoring Educational Equity: Inspirations for School Improvement