- Appendix A - Terms and Definitions
- Appendix B - Demographic Data (Data Set#1)
- Appendix C - Student Performance Data (Data Set #2)
- Appendix D - Statements to Include in an Equity Audit
- Appendix E - Perceptual Data Summary (Data Set #3)
- Appendix F - Program Data (Data Set #4)
- Appendix G - Emerging Goals Worksheet
- Appendix H - Policy Example
- Appendix I - Vision and Mission Statement Example
- Appendix J - High School Strategies Example
- Appendix K - Researching School Improvement Strategies
- Appendix L - Action Plan Worksheet
The following resources are provided for the interest of schools and districts and are not endorsed by the Nebraska Department of Education. Resources appear under headings to make them easy to locate. Headings include the following:
- Curriculum and Instruction
- Professional Development
- Research, Theory, and Practice
- Videos and Films
- Organizations Providing Assistance and Materials
- State Rules and Guidance
Each heading is followed by one or more numbers designating the Continuous Improvement Process phase(s) most relevant to that category. Phases and their numbers are as follows:
Phase 1: Creating the Profile
Phase 2: Setting your Goals
Phase 3: Planning to Improve
Phase 4: Implementing the Plan
The Goals of Educational Equity and School Reform
This book offers a tool for assessing improvement toward achieving goals of educational equity. The assessment provides four ratings for each of multiple questions that point to criteria for achieving specific improvement goals. Assessment results allow the school to make adjustments in program implementation. Scott, B. (2002). The goals of educational equity and school reform. San Antonio, TX: IDRA.
Making the Grade: A Racial Justice Report Card
This computer program, developed by the Applied Research Center, can be used to assess the degree to which your school produces equitable outcomes for students of different ethnic, cultural, and gender groups.
Preventing Disproportionality by Strengthening District Policies and Procedures – An Assessment and Strategic Planning Process
This process is designed to help state education agencies and local school districts address issues that may negatively affect students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The book contains a tool for teams to use in examining district policies, procedures, and practices in both general and special education. Four areas are prioritized: core functions, instructional services, individualized education, and accountability. Kozleski, E. B., & Zion, S. (2006). Preventing disproportionality by strengthening district policies and procedures – An assessment and strategic planning process. National Institute for Urban School Improvement.
Scientific research has demonstrated that we all have biases, whether consciously or unconsciously held. The Implicit Association Test allows individuals to see their own unconscious biases. Separate tests allow for the test-taker to examine his/her biases about race, age, disability, gender and more.
Tools for Assessing School and District Practices
The National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational systems offers three tools that assist schools and districts in assessing practices related to equity and diversity:
- The Mississippi Cultural Responsivity Matrix: A Teachers’ Self-study Guide for Culturally Responsive Practices in Grades K-6: Reading and Mathematics. This assessment helps educators determine whether mathematics and reading curriculum guides and strategies are inclusive of the cultural and background experiences of their students.
- Equity in Special Education Placement: A School Self-Assessment Guide for Culturally Responsive Practice
- A rubric designed to examine district practices that may be contributing to disproportionate special education referral, identification and placement of students who are culturally and linguistically diverse.
Using Data to Close the Achievement Gap: How to Measure Equity in Our Schools
Research reveals gaps in academic achievement among students of different income levels and races. This book provides questionnaires, surveys, forms, and models that can assist educators in identifying school practices that can contribute to inequitable results. Johnson, R. S. (2002). Using data to close the achievement gap: How to measure equity in our schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
The Cultural Proficiency Index in Cultural Proficiency: A Manual for School Leaders (under Leadership category below)
The equity assessment offered by the Pacific Education Group (under Organizations)
Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children
Authored by L. D. Sparks, this curriculum was developed to help teachers avoid exposing young children to societal biases. http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_
Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to K-12 Antiracist, Multicultural Education and Staff Development
This book offers classroom lesson plans, staff development activities, reflections on teaching, and an extensive resource guide for any educators who want to more comprehensively address multicultural education. Lee, E., Menkart, D., & Okazawa-Rey, M. (Eds.). (1988). Beyond heroes and holidays: A practical guide to K-12 antiracist, multicultural education and staff development. Washington, DC: Network of Educators on the Americas. http://www.teachingforchange.org
Biography-driven Culturally Responsive Teaching
In this book, the author uses what she terms “biography-driven instruction” to increase student engagement and motivation to learn by drawing on their culture, backgrounds, and personal histories. Herrera, S. (2010). Biography-driven culturally responsive teaching. New York: Teachers College Press.
Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement
Mid-Continent Research for Education and learning (McREL) describes nine research-based instructional strategies for increasing the achievement of all K-12 students. Strategies range from the basic approach of reinforcing student effort and providing recognition to methods of helping students generate and test hypotheses. Dean, C. B., Hubbell, E. R., Pitler, H., & Stone, B. (2012). Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. 2nd ed. Denver, CO: McREL.
Closing the Poverty and Culture Gap: Strategies to Reach Every Student
In this book, the authors examine the effects of poverty on children. They say, “there is a vast difference between the effects of poverty on children living in a volatile inner-city neighborhood riddled with daily violence and a child living in poverty in rural America” (p. xiv). The authors’ stated goal is to “provide a framework for teaching that includes the instructional practices that make the most difference in student learning modified for culture and poverty, not just for poverty” (p. xv). Tileston, D. W., & Darling, S. K. (2009). Closing the poverty and culture gap: Strategies to reach every student. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Building Global Bridges (Grades 6 & 7)
This book offers lessons and activities teachers can use to develop student diversity leadership skills. The first unit, “Cultural Identity,” focuses on students exploring their own personal cultures as well as those of others. The second unit, “Building Global Bridges,” provides information on how to teach students about the three inter-connected societies in which we all live: (1) a multiethnic society, (2) a multicultural society, and (3) a global society. http://www.reachctr.org/catalog.html
Ethnic Perspective series
This series of books, designed for both middle and high-school level students, examines Hispanic/Latino, African American, American Indian, Asian American, and European American perspectives on U.S. history. http://www.reachctr.org/catalog.html
Appropriate for students in grades K-6, this book provides a model for integrating multicultural/global perspectives into lessons and activities. Included is a multi-disciplinary unit at each grade level that focuses on helping students build self-esteem and human relations skills and develop multicultural awareness and skills. http://www.reachctr.org/catalog.html
Appropriate for students in middle and high school, this book provides a model and sample lessons that integrate multicultural concepts into a variety of subject areas. The manual includes a self-assessment instrument that enables educators to examine the “hidden curriculum” and an annotated bibliography. http://www.reachctr.org/catalog.html
Teacher Guide (Middle/Junior High School)
This guide offers lessons and activities that provide students with both information and attitudes by involving them in activities in the following areas: Cultural Self-Awareness, Communication Skills, Cross-Cultural Experience, and Multicultural Knowledge. http://www.reachctr.org/catalog.html
Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Teaching about Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word
This book offers essays, lesson plans, and a collection of student writing in the area of teaching language arts in the context of social justice. Christensen, L. (2000). Reading, writing, and rising up: Teaching about social justice and the power of the written word. Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools.
Rethinking Our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Social Justice
– Vol. 1
This volume includes teaching ideas, narratives, and practical examples for teachers as they integrate values of community, justice, and equality into academic curriculum. Bigelow, B., Karp, S., & Au, W. (Eds.). (2007). Rethinking our classrooms: Teaching for equity and social justice – Vol. 1. Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools. http://www.rethinkingschools.org
Rethinking Our Classrooms: Teaching for Equity and Social Justice
– Vol. 2
As a companion volume to Vol. 1, this book includes articles about teaching, ideas for lesson plans, and suggested classroom resources for teachers. Bigelow, B. (Ed.). (2001). Rethinking our classrooms: Teaching for equity and social justice – Vol. 2. Milwaukee, WI: Rethinking Schools. http://www.rethinkingschools.org
Turning on Learning: Five Approaches for Multicultural Teaching Plans for Race, Class, Gender and Disability
This book provides numerous lesson plans in various subject areas and for grade levels 1-12. Included are action research activities teachers can use to investigate their own instruction. Each lesson plan offers a version of the lesson as it is usually taught, followed by a version showing how the lesson can be improved. Grant, C. A., & Sleeter, C. E. (2009). Turning on learning: Five approaches for multicultural teaching plans for race, class, gender and disability (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Zinn Education Project
Free, downloadable lessons and articles geared toward middle and high school students are provided on this website. Materials are organized by theme, time period, and reading level. The Zinn Project focuses on resources that emphasize the historical roles of working people, women, people of color, and social movements. The project is coordinated by Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change. http://zinnedproject.org/about
Courageous Conversations about Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools
This book addresses issues that are important for educators who want to know how to narrow the racial achievement gap among students. The authors offer reflections, activities, exercises, and cases for administrators and teachers to use as they practice anti-racist leadership. Singleton, G. E., & Linton, C. (2006). Courageous conversations about race: A field guide for achieving equity in schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
Cultural Proficiency: A Manual for School Leaders
This book provides information and tools to help school leaders become aware of unintentional cultural or ethnic biases, understand how differences and distrust among races and cultures affect human interaction, and use student and teacher diversity as resources in schools. Lindsey, R. B., Robins, K. N., & Terrell, R. D. (2009). Cultural proficiency: A manual for school leaders (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
Equity Toolkit for Administrators
This resource is intended to help educators and community members create a plan and action steps for building a school culture that prevents prejudice and harassment based on race, ethnicity, culture, lifestyle, language, socioeconomics, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and ability. Resources are provided to support school staff as they develop intervention plans and, if necessary, work through a school crisis. Colorado Department of Education. (2010). Equity toolkit for administrators. Denver, CO: Author.
Leadership for Equity and Excellence: Creating High-Achievement Classrooms, Schools, and Districts
These authors discuss how biases prevent educators from ensuring that students reach their potential. They encourage educators to develop strategies for advancing the success of all students by using tools such as accountability and equity audits. Scheurich, J. J., & Skrla, L. E. (2003). Leadership for equity and excellence: Creating high-achievement classrooms, schools, and districts. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
Leading for Diversity: How School Leaders Promote Positive Interethnic Relations
This book contains leadership models for developing schools characterized by positive relationships across ethnic differences. The authors provide suggestions for infusing diversity awareness into the practice of educational leadership. Henze, R. C., Norte, E., Sather, S. E., Walker, E., & Katz, A. (2002). Leading for diversity: How school leaders promote positive interethnic relations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
Racial Equity Policy
This policy is an example of how a school board can provide a framework for developing and reviewing policies on race relations and equity. The policy includes a preamble or vision, and a statement of principles or mission statements, followed by policies, guidelines, and procedures (objectives). Nova Scotia Department of Education. (2002). Racial equity policy. Crown: Author.
2011 C.A.R.E. Guide: Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gaps
The C.A.R.E Guide offers concrete ways to examine and change curriculum and classroom practices. The guide includes student activities, educator reflection opportunities, and video clips of experts sharing tips from research and practice for educating students from culturally diverse backgrounds and/or low-income families.
Culturally Proficient Instruction: A Guide for People Who Teach
The authors suggest that this book and its activities are to enable teachers to examine some of their basic assumptions about teaching and commit themselves to using culturally proficient instructional practices. The audience for the book includes the full range of instructors, from PK-12 teachers to university professors to professional development facilitators. Nuri-Robins, K. J., Lindsey, D. B., Lindsey, R., B., & Terrell, R. D. (2012). Culturally proficient instruction: A guide for people who teach. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Culturally Proficient Learning Communities: Confronting Inequities Through Collaborative Curiosity
This book brings together the ideas of culturally proficient practices and professional learning communities. The authors assert that members of culturally proficient learning communities seek to become better educators by exploring and building knowledge about the diversity of their own communities and recognizing the effects of cultural assumptions on their communities. Lindsey, D. B., Jungwirth, L. D., Pahl, J. V. N. C., & Lindsey, R. B. (2009). Culturally proficient learning communities: Confronting inequities through collaborative curiosity. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
A Framework for Understanding Poverty
This workshop, developed by Ruby Payne, is intended to educate people about the differences that separate economic classes and then teach strategies to bridge those gulfs. The author discusses the social cues or “hidden rules” that govern what we think and how we interact and the significance of those rules in a classroom. http://www.ahaprocess.com/store/Family_Framework.html
Generating Expectations for Student Achievement (GESA): Teacher K-12 program
GESA is a staff development program designed to aid teachers in identifying and removing classroom biases. GESA peer coaching has resulted in teachers reporting positive effects on student attitudes and achievement. The website also offers trainings designed specifically for parents and for administrators.
School Improvement Network
The School Improvement Network website offers DVD programs and written resources for teachers and administrators to use in developing their knowledge and skills in the areas of diversity and equity. The Network provides professional development resources said to be “practical, scalable, and measurable.”
SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity)
This equity project for educators provides teacher-led faculty development seminars in public and private schools throughout the U.S. and in English-speaking international schools. A week-long SEED summer New Leaders’ Workshop prepares teachers to hold year-long reading groups with other teachers to discuss making school climates and curricula more gender-fair and multi-culturally equitable.
A World of Difference
Developed by the Anti-Defamation League, this training program offers teachers and community groups free workshops in such areas as designing extracurricular activities for youth, teaching conflict resolution techniques, and involving immigrant parents in their children’s activities.
Addressing Diversity in Schools
The authors define culturally responsive pedagogy and explain how it might be used effectively to address the instructional needs of a diverse student population. They address the institutional, personal, and instructional dimensions of cultural responsiveness. The book offers specific activities for becoming a culturally responsive teacher and using culturally responsive instructional strategies. Richards, R. V., Brown, A. F., & Forde, T. B. (2006). Addressing diversity in schools: Culturally responsive pedagogy. A Practitioner Brief. Phoenix, AZ: NCCRESt, Arizona State University. http://www.niusileadscape.org/lc/Record/137?search_query
But that’s Just Good Teaching!
In this brief article, the author presents key lessons learned through six years of research with excellent teachers of African American students. After providing background information on the linkages between school and culture, she discusses the concept of culturally relevant pedagogy as teaching that is committed to student (a) experience of academic success, (b) development and/or maintenance of cultural competence, and (c) development of critical consciousness. Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). But that’s just good teaching! The case for culturally relevant pedagogy. Theory into Practice, 34(3), 159-165.
The Campaign for Educational Equity
This website offers five white papers prepared for the 2011 forum, Achievable and Affordable: Providing Comprehensive Educational Opportunity to Low-Income Students. The basic premise of the Campaign is that closing the achievement gap requires equity in education to focus both on formal school settings and on educationally relevant “out-of-school” services for students who need to overcome the impediments that poverty presents to learning. The website also offers audio podcasts of prior year forums, links to information from Annual Equity Symposia, a series of research reviews (Equity Matters), and an Education, Equity, and the Law series of publications. http://www.tc.columbia.edu/equitycampaign/article.asp?id=8219
Disproportionate Representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in Special Education
This brief provides judicial and policy background information on the overrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse children in special education programs. It discusses varying viewpoints on how to measure the problem and how to address it. Coutinho, M. J., & Oswald, D. P. (2006). Disproportionate representation of culturally and linguistically diverse students in special education: Measuring the problem. A Practitioner Brief. Phoenix, AZ: NCCRESt, Arizona State University. http://www.niusileadscape.org/lc/Record/154?search_query=
Educating citizens in a multicultural society
James Banks argues that an effective citizenship education helps students acquire the knowledge, skills, and values needed to function effectively within their communities, states, nation, regions, and the global community. It also helps students to acquire perspectives and values needed to attain equality and social justice for all people. Banks, J. (2007). Educating citizens in a multicultural society. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
A Framework for Understanding Poverty
This book examines the hidden rules of economic class and how they govern how we think and interact. It was written for teachers but is also appropriate for community members. Its purpose is to educate people about the differences that separate economic classes and then teach the strategies to bridge those gaps – particularly in the classroom. Payne, R. K. (2005). A framework for understanding poverty (4th rev. ed.). Highlands, TX: aha! Press.
This volume presents information, current trends, and research from multiple authors, each relevant to exploring and promoting intercultural understanding. Issues addressed by the authors include acculturation of refugees, perspectives of adolescents regarding culture, diversity, and intercultural sensitivity in interactions; special education and educational decision making for ELLs, and parental involvement. Dam, P., & Cowart, M. T. (Eds.). (2007). Intercultural understanding. Denton, TX: Federation of North Texas Area Universities.
The Light in Their Eyes
The author’s premise is that student learning needs to be the primary objective of multicultural education. The stated purpose of her book is to examine practices, educator attitudes and values, and school policies and practices that can promote student learning, especially for students of color and students of poverty. Her focus is not, however, only on these students. She defines multicultural education as “an antiracist and basic education for all students … that is characterized by a commitment to social justice and critical approaches to learning” (p. 26). Throughout the book, Nieto includes journal entries, commentaries, and cases written by others to illustrate key points. Nieto, S. (2010). The light in their eyes: Creating multicultural learning communities. 10th Anniversary Edition. New York: Teachers College Press.
Linguistic diversity and teaching
This book presents four case studies that describe situations that monolingual English speaking, Euro American teachers might face in schools that serve a linguistically diverse student population. The authors end the book by discussing challenges associated with teaching students whose home language is one other than English. Commins, N. L., & Miramontes, O. B. (2005). Linguistic diversity and teaching. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Mindset. The New Psychology of Success
In this book, the author delves into the question, “What are the consequences of thinking your intelligence or personality is something you can develop, as opposed to something that is a fixed, deep-seated trait?” (p. 4). Based on 20 years of research, the author presents and discusses the concepts of fixed mindset and growth mindset, both of which have implications for teachers. Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset. The new psychology of success: How we can learn to fulfill our potential. New York: Random House Inc.
Other People’s Children
The author analyzes the power imbalances and dynamics of inequality that exist in public schools and classrooms today and their effects on children of color. Delpit, L. (2006). Other people’s children: Cultural conflict in the classroom. New York: New Press.
Promoting Academic Achievement Among English Learners
This book summarizes and discusses research on the education of English language learners. The book is based primarily on two government-funded reviews of the research: Developing Literacy in Second-Language Learners: Report of the National Literacy Panel on Language-Minority Children and Youth (August & Shanahan, 2006) and Educating English Language Learners (Genesee, Lindholm-Leary, Saunders, U Christian, 2006). Goldenberg, C., & Coleman, R. (2010). Promoting academic achievement among English learners: A guide to the research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
The Skin that We Speak
This book is divided into three sections. The first tells stories of personal struggles with language, identity, and status. In the second section, the author examines attitudes about language in classrooms, and suggests ways to address the negative consequences of those attitudes. The third section examines why and how teachers need to know the importance of language if they are to be successful with all students in their classrooms. Delpit, L., & Dowdy, J. K. (Eds.). (2008). The skin that we speak: Thoughts on language and culture in the classroom. New York: The New Press.
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
This non-fiction book presents a story based on the author’s anthropological study of an immigrant Hmong family in the U.S. and their very ill young daughter. Readers can come to better understanding of their own cultures as well as that of the Hmong people. Moreover, the story allows readers to consider how the relationship between physical and spiritual realities differs across cultures. Fadiman, A. (2001). The spirit catches you and you fall down: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
This book is based on the author’s three-year study of academic achievement and the orientation to schooling among immigrant Mexican and Mexican-American students at a high school in Houston, Texas. She concludes that divisions between these students and staff create social relationships that are not caring but rather alienated or even hostile. As a result, the majority of students experience schooling as a “subtractive process.” The author defines this as a process that often takes away from students their social and cultural resources, leaving them vulnerable to school failure. Valenzuela, Angela. (1999). Subtractive schooling: U.S.-Mexican youth and the politics of caring. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
This book is a series of essays by the author that combine critical thinking about education with autobiographical narratives. The author writes about struggles to integrate anti-racism and feminism into her practice with students preparing to be teachers. hooks, b. (2003). Teaching community: A pedagogy of hope. New York, NY: Routledge.
Teaching Diverse Learners
This website provides access to information that promotes high achievement for English Language Learners. Information is relevant to teaching all diverse learners, including such topics as culturally responsive teaching, policy development for rural schools, family and community involvement, and links to research on issues that impact culturally and linguistically diverse students.
Teaching with Poverty in Mind
The author begins this book by discussing the nature of poverty and proceeds to provide readers information and strategies for succeeding with economically disadvantaged students. He examines how poverty affects behavior and academic performance, proposes a “mind-set of change,” and then describes school-wide and classroom-level success factors. Jensen, D. (2009). Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What being poor does to kids’ brains and what schools can do about it. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
This book explores racism in politics, work, community, and family life. The author addresses white privilege and suggests ways for individuals and groups to challenge racism in society. Special features include exercises, questions, and suggestions to challenge assumptions and motivate readers toward social action. Kivel, P. (2011). Uprooting racism: How white people can work for racial justice (3rd ed.). Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada: New Society Publishers.
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
In this book, the author explains development of racial identity. In any racially mixed high school, you are likely to see Black, White, Latino, Asian Pacific, and American Indian youth clustered in their own groups in the cafeteria. Tatum examines the meaning of this self-segregation and raises questions adults and children have about race. Tatum, B. D. (2003). Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? And other conversations about race. New York, NY: Basic Books.
This diversity video combines drama and comedy to explore the effects of bias and racism in America. The film follows the lives of three “Clown-Americans” and their families as they make observations about life within their own experience of stereotypes based on their clown heritage.
The College Track: America’s Sorting Machine
This video allows viewers to learn more about the unintended consequences of educational tracking in public schools. Innovative model solutions are presented for teachers and parents to bring students who have been guided away from the college track back into this opportunity. Hosted by Emmy Award-winner Andre Braugher, the film showcases the stories of schools and communities that are successfully addressing this problem. Note that the video clip requires installation of Real One Media.
Confronting Discrimination and Prejudice
This ABC News video includes vignettes in which actors interact with unwitting bystanders, resulting in a wide range of experiences—from overt hostility toward others based on their race or culture to acts of compassion.
Prejudice: More than Black and White
In this film, psychology professors Susan Fiske, of Princeton University, and Mahzarin Banaji, of Harvard University; representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other pro-tolerance groups; and victims of prejudice share their experiences and insights related to intolerance, discrimination, and violence. People whose lives were formerly characterized by racist or anti-gay behaviors now speak out for tolerance. Note that the video contains inflammatory language and images.http://ffh.films.com/dealerpreview/39150
The Pygmalion Effect: Managing the Power of Expectations
High expectations lead to exceptional results for children and adults alike. This phenomenon, known as the Pygmalion Effect, has been documented in research and observed in both business and education environments. Viewers come to understand how positive and/or negative expectations create self-fulfilling prophecies and how to raise expectations for staff and students. http://www.crmlearning.com/pygmalion-effect-the-power-of-expectations-3rd-edition
Teaching Diverse Learners
A diverse learning environment benefits everyone, but it can put overwhelming pressure on an unprepared teacher. Produced by Illinois State University’s renowned College of Education and School of Communication, this two-part series empowers educators using real-world teaching methods—enabling them to overcome the obstacles and maximize the rewards of a diverse learning atmosphere. Teachers describe surprising, challenging, and sometimes overwhelming situations they encounter working with young people. New teachers can be well prepared to teach but unprepared for dealing with issues like pregnancy, gang activity, drug abuse, and difficult home lives that are daily realities for many students.
Village of 100
This brief video answers the simple question: If we shrunk the earth’s population to a village of exactly 100 people, what would it look like? In three minutes, this program statistically approximates what that village would be like based on the existing global ratios of race, language, gender, age, educational status, and more. The result makes it clear that people need to develop tolerance and understanding.
Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
The mission of the ADL is to “secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sector body of citizens.” Among other things, the organization develops and delivers educational programs and provides information about an array of issues related to discrimination. www.adl.org
Center for Research on Education, Diversity, and Excellence (CREDE)
Based at the University of California at Berkeley, CREDE is focused on improving the education of students whose academic success is challenged by language or cultural barriers, race, geographic location, or poverty. Among other resources, CREDE provides a CD-ROM series on Five Standards for Effective Pedagogy and has videotapes on the Five Standards model and on SIOP.
Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence
This research program of the Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS) at the University of Colorado at Boulder provides information and assistance to groups committed to understanding and preventing violence, particularly adolescent violence. The center offers an information clearinghouse for research and other resources, offers technical assistance for evaluation and development of violence prevention programs, conducts research on the causes of violence and the effectiveness of programs designed to prevent and intervene in violence, and implements a Safe Communities – Safe Schools Initiative. http://www.colorado.edu/cspv/index.html
Clearinghouse on Disability Information, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
This organization provides information about programs and initiatives for improving outcomes for people with disabilities of all ages. The website provides an array of supports to parents and individuals, school districts, and states in three main areas: special education, vocational rehabilitation, and research. Also provided are publications and products on many topics related to these three areas. www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/index.html
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
In addition to advocating for individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents, CEC provides professional development, specialized information, journals and newsletters, conventions and conferences, and special education publications. www.cec.sped.org
Critical Multicultural Pavilion
This website, which is a project of EdChange, provides resources for teachers in five areas: General Multicultural Education Resources; Multicultural Education: Subjects, Disciplines, and Fields; Multicultural Education: Teaching and Learning; Equity in Education; and Multicultural Education: Historic Collections. http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/sites1.html
This educator-founded organization offers a variety of projects and resources, workshops and consulting services, and research-based information grounded in equity and social justice in schools and communities. The website includes links to other organizations that offer a variety of resources for educators. http://www.edchange.org/
The Education Alliance
The Education Alliance, based at Brown University, has expertise in such areas relevant to equity and diversity as culturally responsive teaching, gender equity, disproportionate representation, and differentiating language learning and special education.
The Equity Alliance at Arizona State University works with principals, teachers, parents, community members, students, school boards, and other school leaders to create the environments necessary for culturally responsive schools. The Alliance offers a range of resources, including a newsletter (http://www.equityallianceatasu.org/pub/newsletter), curriculum and instructional strategies, and information about research-based practices.
Equity Assistance Centers (EAC)
There are 10 Regional Equity Assistance Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education under Title IV of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. They provide assistance to public schools in the areas of race, gender, and national origin to promote equal educational opportunities.
This organization provides practical advice and up-to-date education information for families of children and adults with disabilities and special healthcare needs. Other interested audiences would be physicians, allied health care professionals, and education professionals who are involved in the care and development of these families. The group offers a monthly publication; website; communications projects; online, interactive seminars and teleconferences; and books, DVDs, and CDs on disability related subjects. www.eparent.com
Facing History and Ourselves
This organization promotes an approach that teaches students to critically examine historical events, most intensely the Holocaust, to help them understand the roots of racism and hatred and to promote a more humane and informed citizenry. The website provides educator resources and professional development opportunities. http://www.facinghistory.org
The Institute on Violence and Destructive Behavior (IVDB)
This organization provides information to assist schools and social service agencies in addressing violence and destructive behavior both inside and outside schools, in order to ensure safety and promote the successful academic achievement and social development of children and youth. The website provides information regarding the implementation of Positive Behavior Support, a program that promotes the development of school environments based on safety, respect, and responsibility.
Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA)
Based in San Antonio, Texas, IDRA is an independent, non-profit organization that advocates the right of every child to a quality education. IDRA conducts research and development activities; creates, implements and administers innovative education programs; and provides teacher, administrator, and parent training and technical assistance.
Multicultural and Native American Website, Nebraska Department of Education
This website offers valuable tools, resources and information regarding multicultural education in Nebraska. The site offers newsletters, notices of workshops and conferences, and notices of grants and scholarships for educators and students. Multicultural and Native American Website
National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems(NCCRESt)
NCCRESt is dedicated to closing the achievement gap between students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and their peers. The organization also seeks to reduce inappropriate student referrals to special education. The center provides technical assistance and professional development to advance culturally responsive practices, early intervention, literacy, and positive behavioral supports. The program is currently located at The Equity Alliance at Arizona State University. http://www.nccrest.org; http://www.equityallianceatasu.org/
National Multicultural Institute (NMCI)
This organization’s mission is to work with individuals, organizations, and communities to create a stronger diverse society. NMCI addresses some of the important systemic issues of multiculturalism through organizational consulting, training, and publications. http://www.nmci.org
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
This Center, established by the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education, provides capacity-building information and technical assistance to schools for the purposes of identifying, adapting, and sustaining effective school-wide disciplinary practices. The website provides information regarding Positive Behavior Support (PBS), the research-based approach to systemic behavior strategies and interventions. www.pbis.org See also the Nebraska Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support website
This website provides critical perspectives on issues of ethnic, racial, and linguistic diversity. The site is also a good source for books. Back issues of the Rethinking Schools magazine to fall 1995 are available in the online archives. http://www.rethinkingschools.org
School Safety Website, Nebraska Department of Education
The Nebraska School Safety Center provides extensive information about such issues as bullying prevention, crisis response, dating violence prevention, substance abuse, and suicide prevention. Contact persons are provided to offer assistance in these and other areas, for example, locating institute, workshop, and training opportunities. Nebraska School Safety Center
This project of the Southern Poverty Law Center provides news and support in the areas of diversity, equal opportunity, and respect for differences in schools. The website provides access to the Teaching Tolerance magazine (which is free to educators who request a subscription on school letterhead) and includes classroom activities, teaching kits, and other publications. http://www.tolerance.org
Setting the Goals
Technology planning should be based around the concept that an organization is a functioning system of inter-connected relationships between the various components of the organization. “Planned organizational change is an attempt to solve a problem or to catalyze a vision. A change is introduced into an organizational system with the specific intent of affecting other system variables. Acknowledging the relationships between variables gives planners the potential to effect large changes. Systems theory allows planners to broaden their perspective, and to consider how their decisions will affect the other components of the system and the environment (Walonick, 1993).
Section 1 of the online technology planning tool contains three parts. Part 1 represents the target or focus on which the technology plan is built. Part 2 represents the core purpose of education – student learning and instruction. Part 3 are those critical services which support all parts of the organization.
Setting the Goals
Staff will use profile data to determine if curriculum alignment is a strength or an area of need. If the curriculum is appropriately written and aligned, no further work needs to occur in this area within the current Continuous Improvement Process.
Areas of Need
Through the same process, the profile phase may identify areas of need in curriculum alignment.
Priorities to Address
Priorities for curriculum alignment can be determined by utilizing the following Guiding Questions:
- What area(s) of the curriculum does the data indicate is a priority for curriculum alignment?
- How will curriculum alignment in the identified area(s) lead to improved student learning?
- Is it necessary for curriculum alignment to become an improvement goal or simply a strategy to address an existing goal?
Setting the Goals
During this phase of the Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) cycle, strengths and areas of concern will be identified based on data collected. Once this occurs, staff will work together to prioritize areas that will be addressed through improvement goals. All staff and representative stakeholders should be involved in this analysis and goal-setting stage of the CIP.
After analyzing student data, it is important to identify areas of strength. All staff should work together to identify strengths related to leadership, students academic success, staff expertise, and student/family interest and involvement.
Together, identify reasons for success. Always remember that areas of strength should be recognized and celebrated.
Areas of Concern
In addition to strengths, disaggregated data will reveal areas that need improvement. As you study your data, be sure to consider the possible reasons for performance that needs to be improved. Selection and implementation of instructional strategies at the district, school, or classroom level may be needed in order to improve student achievement.
Priorities to Address
Priority areas to address through formal improvement goals must be identified with the consensus of all stakeholders. Throughout the process of setting priorities, remember that improving in any area requires commitment and time. Select one or two areas that will be the focus of your improvement efforts. Identified goals must be specific, attainable, and measurable.
Setting the Goals
The effort of engaging family and community is a continuous process reflecting a shared philosophy and an attitude that becomes imbedded in the school community’s vision, mission, and heartbeat. This philosophy permeates the entire school improvement process. Family and Community Engagement is not a separate, stand-alone theme of school improvement, but is a thread that runs throughout all school practices.
Areas of Need
To begin setting the goals, consider your school’s mission: what do you wish to address first? If you know the areas of learning which most need improving, it would be logical to engage your family and community partners in that area(s). For example, if a school goal is to improve student performance in language arts, and 3rd grade is to plan, compose and revise paragraphs, stories and letters, 4th grade is to raise vocabulary scores, and fifth grade is to understand a variety of printed materials, you might: provide parents with various resources and strategies to help their children succeed academically, in these skills. Information would be provided on a regular basis through grade-level newsletters or web sites containing study guides or homework tips, suggestions through parent/student/teacher conferences, or brief workshop demonstrations of interactive strategies to use at home.
Priorities to Address
In team planning, address how student needs can be met through collaboration. Identify what you need, and which elements of family and community engagement are already in place, and how you can expand those to increase other areas of partnership that may be lacking. The research tells us that we may not need to create more events or strategies, but just be more intentional and focused on including partners in children’s learning.
Considering the 6 types of involvement: welcoming all families into the school, communicating effectively, supporting student success, speaking up for every child, sharing power, and collaborating with the community, how is your school doing? The National PTA has developed assessments to evaluate the standards for schools in family and community engagement. The assessment data, if collected, would clearly identify the strengths of the families, the community and the connections or collaborations already in place. Likewise, it will reveal the areas where communication and engagement are lacking. Examine these, carefully. Whether the different stakeholders agree on strengths and weaknesses will be evident, and that issue may need to be addressed by your team, as step one. After reviewing your assessment, did you find you needed to set a goal in one of the following areas?
- Improve 2-way communication,
- Increase the families’ role in student learning, or
- Increase community resources to strengthen school, families, and student learning.
Strengths and Areas of Concern
- What are the unique strengths of the community that influence student success?
- What are the target areas of the school’s overall improvement goals and how can collaboration with families and community support those goals?
Priorities to Address
- How can you address student needs through family and community collaboration?
- What steps might be taken to prioritize the student needs?
For school personnel, parents or community partners who want to access current family engagement research, websites, promising practices, or tools for evaluation, go to the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) Family and Community Engagement website.
To continue the continuous improvement process, click on:
Planning to Improve
Setting the Goals
During this phase of the CIP, you’ll use your profile data to set priorities and determine goals for improving student performance. Before you set your goals, it may be helpful for you to review Nebraska history and policy related to equity and diversity in public education (see Step 1).
As you set your priorities and goals, you will address each of these questions.
- Do our goals and strategies address equitable outcomes across student subgroups?
- Do our goals and strategies address a decrease in disproportional treatment of students?
- Do our goals and strategies address personal beliefs and school culture?
See the Resource section of this guide for a variety of information and tools that might help you set goals. The following resources will be most useful to you during this phase.
- Curriculum and Instruction
- Research and Theory
Step 1: Understand State History and Policy
Nebraska, over the years, has through statue and Rule demonstrated an ongoing commitment for providing equitable opportunities for all students. Several statutes reference equity/diversity concerns. These include: 79-2, 114-123 Equal Opportunity in Education and 79-719-723 Multicultural education. More recently 79-1013 Poverty Plans and 79-1014 Limited English Proficient Plan provide state financial assistance to school districts providing services to students in poverty and/or students who are Limited English Proficient. In 2012, Rule 15 Regulations and Procedures for the Education of Students with Limited English Proficiency in Public Schools was approved, with an effective date of the 2012-13 school year. Rule 10 Regulations and Procedures for the Accreditation of Schools provides the specific requirements on mulcultural education including violation provisions.
Step 2: Prioritize Areas of Need
When you created your profile, you analyzed and interpreted data to identify strengths and challenges as they relate to student equity and diversity. Now you’ll now work with your staff and other stakeholders to determine how to prioritize the many challenges you identified. For example:
Your third grade reading is below expectations and the disaggregated data show that students from low-socioeconomic families (those who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch) are the lowest performing group. You might consider this fact both a challenge to achieving overall high student performance in reading and a challenge to ensuring that all students enjoy an equal opportunity to learn to read.
Of course, strengths shouldn’t be overlooked. Strengths are resources that can leverage change in school practices and culture. To identify both the challenges and strengths of your school or district, use the Emerging Goals worksheet below. Two examples are provided. A copy of the Emerging Goals worksheet can be found in Appendix G.
Emerging Goals Worksheet
Is it a strength?
Is it a challenge?
Why is this important?
On a scale from 1-5 (1 highest, 5 lowest) how important is it?
Reading performance of 3rd grade low-SES below proficient
Performance of any sub-group affects performance of our overall school.
Our 3rd grade students who are not low-SES are proficient on NeSA reading.
20% of Hispanic students participate in the student leadership club
Many of our Hispanic students also are from low-SES families.
We want all students to participate in the student leadership club. We need to look at how many students from all subgroups are participating in the club.
Step 3: Determine Improvement Goals
The question to be answered in this step is, “What goals do we want to select?” Keep these points in mind as you set goals.
- Goals should be concrete. This means that it is important that they are clear and well understood by all stakeholders.
- Goals should be actionable. Educators, staff, and other stakeholders should be able to take specific actions toward achieving the goals.
- Goals should be measurable. You must be able to identify and measure the results of working toward the goals.
Goals that relate to student equity in performance also should be based on your school or district values and beliefs. If you do not have a vision and set of mission statements related to equity and diversity, it might be helpful to create them now. The vision and mission statements can help focus your overall improvement plan, and you can then develop specific strategies in response to the vision and mission statements. See Appendix H for an equity and diversity policy example, Appendix I for a vision and mission statement example, and Appendix J for high school strategy examples.
Step 4: Identify Improvement Strategies
The question to answer in this phase is, “What strategies have research and practice shown to be effective in achieving equity and diversity in student performance?” For example,
The following strategies might be useful to address our goal to increase the reading proficiency of our low-SES third graders:
Use the worksheet in Appendix K titled Researching School Improvement Strategies to record each improvement goal and summarize research and practice relevant to that goal.
Step 5: Summarize Goals and Strategies
Use the chart below to summarize your improvement goals and strategies for achieving the goals.
Places where these strategies have been effective
Planning to Improve
Creating the Vision
Envisioned Future –Part 1 is for describing a long-term goal, or envisioned future, that the organization desires to achieve. It is not a mission statement, but should align to the organization’s mission. The envisioned future is an overarching long-term goal that will take many, many years to achieve. It is where the organization wants to go — that which the organization aspires to become, to achieve, to create through systemic integration of ICT (information and communication technologies). The more concise the statement, the easier it is to focus actions.
Developing an envisioned future for educational technology empowers every level of the system to focus efforts and resources toward the desired state. This is the “target” that all other aspects of the plan should aim toward. It is therefore important that representatives from all stakeholder groups participate in creating the envisioned future.
Parts 2 and 3 will detail actions in several areas that focus efforts and resources toward the desired change. Actions should be achievable in 1-3 years.
Learning and Instruction – Today’s educators need to provide a learning environment that takes students beyond the walls of their classrooms and into a world of endless opportunities. Technology promotes this transformation through integral digital-age resources for both the learner and the instructor. Actions planned in Part 2 may also align to the organization’s continuous school improvement plan.
- Student Learning and Productivity: Actions in this section should focus on creating the envisioned future relative to enhancing student learning and productivity.
- Curriculum and Instructional Practices: Actions in this section should focus on creating the envisioned future relative to the teaching environment, multimodal delivery of curriculum, and effective instructional practices.
Actions in Part 2 requiring a supportive action can be tagged providing a heads-up to one or more of the support systems in Part 3. The support system(s) indicated will see a copy of the Learning and Instruction action and must include its own action in response.
For technology planning purposes systems, services, and supports are defined as “activities or functions required for successful completion of an educational process, program, or project.” Actions to meet the envisioned future can be independently defined to the functional areas, or be a requisite-action to one identified in Part 2: Learning and Instruction. Address Erate-specific technology plan requirements in this section. Functional areas include:
- Core Applications and Information Systems: Actions in this section center around applications (software and hardware) within the organization that support the storage, retrieval and maintenance of systems supporting the instructional and administrative services within the organization. Examples: Student Information system, HR/Financial systems, Learning Management System; and includes backup and recovery for business and learning continuity.
- Telecommunications Systems and Services: These are the facilities for sending and receiving information such as sound, visual images, or computer data over distances through the use of electrical, radio, or light signals, using electronic devices to encode the information as signals, and to decode the signals as information. Actions in this section focus on all systems (infrastructure, software and hardware) that provide communications services of the organization (voice and data transport, email, networking, and Internet).
- Professional Development: Building capacity at all levels of the organization will assure that the investment in technology is achieving its fullest potential. Actions in this section should engage all aspects of the organization including both certified and professional staff.
Planning to Improve
Aligned curriculum is a balanced school program that accommodates a wide variety of developmental levels and is designed to increase the intellectual, personal, physical, social and career development of all students. Curriculum must be rigorous and challenging, aligned to district and/or state standards and benchmarks, and vertically and horizontally articulated across all levels.
Administrators and teachers should use the following guiding questions to analyze their PreK-12 curriculum alignment. This analysis will help determine if curriculum alignment should be a major focus of their CIP process.
- Is there formalized written curriculum for PreK-12 in all content areas?
- Is curriculum aligned with:
- Is the curriculum reflective of
- District’s vision and mission?
- Local Board policies?
- A consensus process by teachers who are experienced with the content area and age groups of students involved?
- Is the curriculum
- Reviewed and revised at regular intervals?
- Based on data, research, and best practices?
- Comprehensive and sequential?
- Totally integrated with quality instruction and assessments?
- A framework for facilitating teaching and learning?
- Reflective of a commitment to equity and an appreciation of diversity?
- Articulated to ensure P-16 student performance and readiness for employment?
- Does the curriculum
- Challenge each student to excel?
- Provide for differentiated levels of instruction?
- Include a system for implementing interventions to help students who need it?
- Move the staff away from textbook only to textbook as a resource?
- Is the staff
- Familiar with the horizontal and vertical alignment of their specific content area(s) to the district’s curriculum?
- Given dedicated time to work with peers on alignment?
- Have families and community partners
- Been given a chance to provide input?
- For additional questions, check out the following phases of Continuous School Improvement:
Planning to Improve
Strategies (Action Plan)
The plan for improvement that is developed for your school or district is a result of your data collection, research, and study. It should reflect the needs of your staff and students and should be created collectively. Your plan must include specific information about how research-based instructional strategies will be used by all teachers in a strategic, school-wide effort to improve the academic achievement of all students in your buildings and classrooms PreK-12. Instructional strategies selected should be taught consistently and purposefully across all content areas. A detailed plan to provide meaningful, on-going professional development opportunities for all staff to learn about and implement research-based instructional strategies should be included in your plan for improvement. Include specific steps, timelines, who is responsible, and data collection/analysis information for each identified goal. Allow adequate time and support for teachers and students to implement strategies, discover how and when to use them, and to determine their purpose in every classroom as a tool for increased learning.
Establish a timeline as part of your improvement plan. Consider that teachers and students need many experiences implementing selected strategies in order for its impact on learning to be measurable.
As part of your timeline, identify who is responsible for implementation, how often assessment information will be analyzed, how data will be used to monitor progress towards your goal, and who is responsible to adjust and monitor your improvement plan based on collected data.