Now more than ever, there is a great need in today’s globalized society to understand and value individual uniqueness and perspectives of a growing, diverse student population with regard to culture, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, and sexual orientation. States across the nation continue to focus on complex equity and diversity issues, including equitable access to excellent educators. C3 and SC3 initiated a collaboration with federally funded Equity Assistance Centers serving the respective regions, OU’s Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies Director Dr. Kathleen Wong, and George Mason University Associate Professor of Integrative Studies Dr. Paul Gorski, a leading national expert in equity and diversity issues in education, to provide support to SEAs on these challenging issues. Below is just a sampling of the ongoing support SC3, C3, and collaborators have provided to build SEA leadership capacity to support districts and schools, with the ultimate goal of closing achievement gaps among diverse student populations and improving teaching and learning for all students. Visit C3 and SC3’s website to find more resources on C3 Equity and Diversity and SC3 Equity and Diversity.
Timeline of Highlighted Projects
C3 and SC3 Valuing Equity and Diversity Seminar: In October 2014, SEA staff members from all seven C3 and SC3 states engaged in focused discussions on national and regional educational equity and diversity issues, and how these issues relate to civil rights, parental rights and advocacy, and student motivation. After the seminar, 100% of participants reported an increased understanding of issues related to preparing all students to integrate successfully in a diverse world. "It's about the consciousness. What are we willing to stand up for to understand the root of the problem? ... If we could just commit to that, we could have so much more of an impact on creating equitable schools,” said Dr. Paul Gorski at the seminar. Click here for a video highlight from this seminar (check out more videos on C3's Equity and Diversity website).
SC3 Building Quality Schools in a Diverse School Setting: Equity and Excellence for All: In November 2014, SC3 facilitated a presentation with the South Central Collaborative for Equity to create deeper awareness of the issues related to equity for American Indian students. Key elements were examined on the sixth generation of civil rights in public schools and on equity, excellence, and achievement.
C3 and SC3 Support for State Educator Equity Plans: In July 2014, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the Excellent Educators for All Initiative to foster the recruitment and retention of quality educators in high-poverty, minority, rural, and urban school districts. In June 2015, ED emphasized a focus on equity by requiring state Educator Equity Plans. C3 and SC3 staff members used knowledge gained through this collaborative to support SEA teams across the region in building collective capacity to prepare state educator equity plans by providing one-on-one support, research-based TA, webinars, and educator equity resources.
In January 2016, C3 partnered with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders to provide support to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Office of Educator Quality in hosting an equity lab to encourage the implementation of the state's Educator Equity Plan at the district- and school-levels. District and school leaders were invited by DESE to engage in critical conversations focused on addressing educational inequities that exist across the state. C3 and SC3 continue to support SEAs in each region with implementation of state Educator Equity Plans.
C3 and SC3 Cultivating Equity and Inclusion in a Diverse Educational World RAB Meeting: In September 2015, the C3 and SC3 Regional Advisory Boards (RAB), composed of educational leaders and community stakeholders from all seven states in both regions, provided input into how C3 and SC3 can best support SEAs as they assist districts and schools in moving toward a more equitable education system for today’s diverse learners. After the meeting, 86% of the participants agreed they were more committed to addressing diversity and equity issues for each state. Click here to review equity assistance meeting notes, summaries, and comments from the participants.
SC3 New Mexico Indian Education Summit: In November 2015, SC3 supported the New Mexico Public Education Department at the New Mexico Indian Education Summit in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dr. Paul Gorski delivered a keynote presentation on diversity and equity, as well as a workshop session.
C3 Missouri Equity Leadership Conferences: DESE Office of Educator Quality partnered with C3 and Midwest Equity Assistance Center (MEAC) to deliver three equity leadership conferences. In February 2015, Missouri educators focused on the challenges and strategies of educational equity and benefits of equity plans. In March 2016, the second equity leadership conference addressed the challenges of equitable access to excellent educators in the Southeast region of Missouri. The third equity leadership conference will focus on ensuring equitable access to excellent educators and take place on June 3, 2016, in Kansas City, Missouri.