Equity Symposium Agenda

Educating and Leading: Addressing Equity through Effective Policy and Strategies

Saturday, January 28, 2017
7:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.


7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m - 8:45 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction

Thomas J. Gentzel official photoThomas J. Gentzel
Exec. Dir. & CEO

Miranda A. Beard official photoMiranda A. Beard

8:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Keynote Presenter:

Kati HaycockKati Haycock, CEO, The Education Trust

Achievement and Opportunity in America: Critical Roles for School Boards

In this session, review data on what happens to different groups of children as they take the journey from kindergarten on toward college. She’ll talk about the practices and policies that contribute to current problems, as well as about what school board members can do to help move their districts and the country toward closing longstanding gaps in opportunity and achievement

10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.


10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Concurrent clinic sessions

The Road to Racial Equity: The Process of Racial Equity Policy Development

What does it take for Boards and districts to engage in a meaningful racial equity policy process? What does a Board need to do to prepare? Who should the Board be engaging with? How does the Board ensure this policy reflects local context and incorporates the community in the conversation? How does the Board ensure the policy is implemented? This session will Identify concrete actions that you as a school board can take on the road to racial equity. The session presenters are members of a regional Racial Equity Policy Design Team in Washington State and will share learnings from the racial equity policy convenings process that has been taking place for the last 18 months.

Can Poverty Impact Student Engagement in the Classroom?

Poverty is a nation-wide epidemic that has no color lines or age limits and is impeding academic progress for some of the most vulnerable children in our country. Areas such as health and well-being, language and literacy development, access to necessary resources, and uncontrolled mobility causes, at times, unbearable lifestyles for impoverished families every day. How can educators be responsive to the needs of so many children if they’re not aware that these circumstances exist or to what extent? This session will outline several known impediments that interfere with classroom engagement and will provide solutions that will address poverty’s impact in the classroom head on.

Coming Out for Inclusion: Serving LGBT Students and Improving School Climate

School boards have tremendous authority to create and adopt policies that can make schools safer and more inclusive for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students. Still, many boards across the country continue to wrestle with how to meet the needs of their LGBT student populations. In this session, GLSEN, the leading national organization focused on supporting LGBT students in K-12 schools, will present its recommendations on effective, evidence-based policy solutions to address LGBT issues and lead a focused discussion with the audience on the possibilities and challenges of passing those recommendations. GLSEN will describe successful policies that address bullying, harassment, individual identity, privacy, and other important concerns for LGBT students.

11:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m.

Lunch and Speaker

Dr. Leslie Fenwick

Dr. Leslie Fenwick, Dean Emerita, Howard University

The Science of Educational Equity: The relationship between educational inputs and student outcomes

Do all students have an equitable opportunity to learn? How do school and community leaders not just advocate for an equal opportunity to learn as a criterion for judging schools, but rather an equalizing opportunity to learn? What kinds of standards and measures should be used to determine a school’s effectiveness as an equitable learning institution? Most research about achievement/attainment gaps between racial/ethnic subgroups of students does not examine the reasons causing the group differences. This presentation will present relevant opportunity to learn (OTL) research and the equity index (EI) as a practical mechanism for diagnosing and remedying underlying school causes for differences in academic achievement

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Concurrent clinic sessions

New Money to Support the Digital Age Economy

Federally chartered banks invest $100 billion dollars annually to comply with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requirement. With the issuance of new guidance by the Federal Reserve, those funds can now be used to address the digital divide, in addition to traditional investments in low and moderate income communities for economic opportunity and revitalization. The National Collaborative for Digital Equity (NCDE) will support statewide teams with strategies to secure a portion of those funds from their communities’ banking leaders to address digital equity. As the bridge to the community, school board members can lead conversations and planning efforts with other local partners about how best to utilize these funds before the arrival of proposals from corporations anxious to capitalize on these new funds. Imagine what even 1 percent of these dollars could do to address home access to broadband, hardware, multilingual tech support, open educational resources and more for your students and their families.

Re-segregation: Is it Happening in Your District?

More than sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, American public schools are still highly segregated by both race and class. In fact, by most measures of integration, our public schools are worse off, since they are now even more racially segregated than they were in the 1970s, and economic segregation in schools has risen dramatically over the past two decades. This session, will highlight the work that school districts across the country are doing to promote socioeconomic and racial integration by considering socioeconomic factors in student assignment policies.

How to Create an Equity-Focused District: Everyone Has A Role

Focusing on purpose, engagement, pedagogy, assessments, climate, and cultures are the ingredients for an equity-focused learning environment for all students. Learn from an award-winning district, Tacoma Public Schools, how they engaged all levels of education stakeholders to positively impact learning outcomes for their very diverse school district. This presentation will prepare you to create your plan of action for success by focusing on their five principles of equity: Awareness; Attitude; Analysis; Action; and Accountability.

2:45 p.m. - 3 p.m.


3 p.m. - 4 p.m.

What Does Equity Look Like?

Don’t miss this interactive closing session which brings together and integrates the day’s discussion about equity, tying up loose ends and answering the imperative questions: What does equitable decision-making look like for boards of education? What is the test? How do you know when the board is operating in “Equity-Mode” ©.

Participants will receive an "Equity-Mode Questionnaire and User-Guide" © within two weeks of attending the session.

Facilitated by: Dr. Verjeana M. Jacobs, Esq. VMJacobs Esq. & Associates, PC, Legal, Consulting and Mediation Services, and former School Board Member, Prince George’s County Public Schools

4 p.m.

Final Comments and Adjournment

Thomas J. Gentzel official photoThomas J. Gentzel
Exec. Dir. & CEO

Miranda A. Beard official photoMiranda A. Beard

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