Equity in Education: Are we at the tipping point of an education transformation?
Providing a safe place for students to learn with the challenges of COVID-19, in addition to the recent civil unrest, has fueled an examination of equitable policies, curriculum, and considerations for how we can ensure all students have an equal opportunity to succeed. In this podcast, we had a chance to explore this issue with two highly respected equity leaders who share how they are pursuing real and lasting equitable transformation within their districts. Shomari Jones, the director of equity and strategic engagement, for the Bellevue School District in Bellevue, Washington, shared his vast insight and experience. Bellevue School District is a large, multicultural district on the outskirts of Seattle with a highly diverse student population. Shomari is charged with researching, analyzing, developing initiatives, and coordinating strategies to ensure each and every student has an opportunity to succeed at Bellevue School District. He was recently recognized as a Leader to Learn From by Education Week. Diana Marshall, the director of equity and student achievement, for San Juan Unified School District in Carmichael, California, provided her passionate and unique perspective. San Juan Unified School District is a large, diverse district sprawling throughout 75-square miles in northern California. She oversees several projects and initiatives throughout her district to mentor specific populations of students, establish cultural proficiency training for employees, increase student voice and advocacy, and to create positive school climate for all students. She also leads the Equity Task Force and facilitates the Equity Community Collaborative. This episode is chock-full of applicable strategies that education leaders can apply within their districts to embrace equity transformation to impact lasting change.