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Equity Lens Activities

 As a team, our perspective on equity is situated in our lived experiences. Edstar Analytics’ president, Dr. Lee V. Stiff  attended segregated schools in rural North Carolina. His father had a third-grade education, yet access to quality education led to him eventually earning a doctorate in mathematics education, teaching in Ghana as a Fulbright scholar, serving as President of the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics, and becoming a national expert in equity in education. Dr. Bernice Campbell grew up in poverty in rural North Carolina, and then became the first Black teacher in an upper-income school in an urban area. Some of the math teachers did not want to be on a team with a Black teacher, so the principal split the math department into two teams to accommodate them. Additionally, some parents insisted that their children be moved out of her class into a White teacher’s class, and the school counselor accommodated them.  Dr. Campbell stuck out the entire year, then went to graduate school to earn her doctorate. Dr. Johnson grew up in rural Midwest, in a lower-income family. Although a high-achieving, successful student, her school counselor told her college was not for her and did not allow her to enroll in the college preparation track courses, although she requested them. Several years after high school graduation, a mentor helped her apply to college. When teaching middle school in a magnet school with low-income minorities and high-income white students, Dr. Johnson recognized the talent of many of the low-income minority students and moved them into the advanced math track. Having experienced lack of equity in access herself, she advocated and insisted these students have access to the most rigorous curriculum when the administrators explained that the upper-income white parents had to be satisfied.   As a White well-educated professional, other education and community leaders who claim to support equity often feel free to tell her about exercising privilege to monopolize high-quality resources.

We understand that no authority can tell us what the right equity lens is, and that people with different experiences may have radically different equity lens. When we evaluate a program, we determine what the equity lens of the program staff is, so we can understand how they view their program. These two short videos explain equity lens in the context of education, and explain how to use these exercises to learn to recognize different equity lens. Although we cannot claim one lens is more correct than the other, we do see which leads to which outcomes.

What is an education equity lens?

Access and OpportunityImproved AchievementSTEM
STEM ScholarsImproved AchievementSTEM
Reading InterventionUnable to tellLiteracy
Support For StudentsUnable to tellAt-Risk Students
Dropout Prevention.Decreased AchievementDropout Prevention
Dropout Prevention.MixedDropout Prevention
Data Driven Plan Based on Poverty TrainingtDecreased AchievementAt-Risk
A grant-writer’s questionGot the $10 million grantData Skills
Data HandlingEducation NeededFERPA
Implementing Read to AchieveDecreased AchievementLiteracy
Long-Term Suspended StudentsDecreased Dropout RateLong-Term Suspensions
Data SystemsDidn't get the grantData Skills
School Improvement PlanningIncreased AchievementAt-Risk
Supplemental Education ServicesDecreased AchievementAt Risk
Raising Achievement and Closing GapsIncreased AchievementSTEM
Dropout PreventionMixedDropout Prevention