National Organization Calls for Equity Along With Excellence

on Jun 19, 2010 in Blog by

West Wind helped to write an education workforce white paper for the Council of Chief State School Officers, the national organization representing the public officials who head state departments of elementary and secondary education.  While there was some internal debate, the organization did agree to take a public stand in favor of equity in their Vision for a High-Quality Educator Development System.  The white paper states:

“As we strive for excellence…, we also recognize that quest does not necessarily guarantee equity, which is the other critical goal underlying our work.  Just as our efforts at reform are trained toward high standards, we intend for the system to help each and every child achieve the same high standards.  Yet, our system has persistently generated inequitable outcomes for entire groups of students over time.  Because we have not yet overcome patterns of disparity system-wide, our expanding expectations for student learning in a global context put us at risk of exacerbating inequities rather than disrupting them.  To hold both equity and excellence as our goals, we must be willing to recognize and address the underlying forces at play that contribute to all of the patterns we strive to disrupt.  We must stop framing systemic outcomes as the result of deficits of the student, the student’s family, or the student’s community.  And we must facilitate learning so that each and every student has multiple opportunities to achieve to high standards.”

The white paper will be released to the public in the next couple of weeks.  While the above vision statement is included in the paper, there is still much work to do to ensure that the Common Core State Standards for students, the revised standards for school leadership, and the soon to be revised core teaching standards are implemented in ways that promote equity.

We’ll be on that job…we hope you can join us!