Equity Policy Update

One of my goals as a CMS Board member was to strengthen CMS policy around equity. The Policy Committee just voted to send a revised Policy ADA Equity – 4.9.19  to the full Board for consideration.

This policy will NOT automatically make our schools equitable, but it will allow us to track progress and use that data to target resources where they are needed most. 

The next steps for the Policy are:

  • April 9 – “first reading” of the revised policy at the regular Board meeting (no discussion).
  • April 23 – 1st public hearing on the Policy. Sign up to speak by calling Board Services, 980-343-5139 option 4, by 12:00 p.m. the day of the meeting or at the dais 15 minutes prior to the call to order.
  • May 14 – 2nd public hearing on the Policy, sign up to speak. Board will consider the policy, offer any amendments and vote.

The Policy does not include a community engagement/advisory committee at this point. It is my hope that the full Board will support that addition.

Download Policy ADA Equity – 4.9.19 

Policy ADA – Equity

Purpose:

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education adopts this policy to ensure fair and equitable educational opportunities for all students. The Board commits to breaking the historic and continuing predictive links among student socio-economics status, race, and ethnicity to educational opportunities and achievement. Low-income students in schools with socio-economic diversity outperform low-income students in schools that have predominantly low-income students. This predictive link between school composition and student outcomes is strong.

This policy sets forth equity areas of action that impact student achievement, outlines a measurement rubric, and creates a monitoring mechanism. The Board directs staff to document, reduce, and ultimately eliminate the disparities and gaps that have persisted among subgroups of students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools so that every student achieves full potential. The Board recognizes that there are many other factors that contribute to inequities, opportunity gaps, and achievement gaps. Another measure of CMS’ equitable provision of resources is the amount of investment in its students on a per-pupil basis. This policy seeks to focus on those aspects of equity that can be documented.

Definition:

The Board defines equity as providing the opportunities, support, environment, high expectations, and resources that every student needs to achieve educational success, feel valued, and contribute to a thriving community.

Equity Areas of Action crucial to student success:

The Board recognizes that a number of factors influence success for all students. These factors include: (1)Pupil Assignment; (2)Educational Opportunities and High Expectations; (3)Student Wellness; (4)School Facilities; (5)Human Resources, Leadership and Staff; and (6)Family & Community Engagement.

Equity Reports:

The Superintendent or designee shall provide separate annual reports for each of the six Areas of Action listed above. The goals and measurements for each of these individual reports are listed below. In order to access the gaps in disparities among student subgroups, reports should disaggregate district and school level data by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES) where available.

Goals and Measurements for Areas of Action:

  1. Pupil Assignment – TWO OPTIONS FOR FULL BOARD CONSIDERATION

Version (A) –

As stated in Policy JCA, The Student Assignment Plan will be built on a foundation of equitable access to high-quality schools including home schools, magnet schools and additional types of school options.” The Pupil Assignment Report will track the annual changes in SES composition of schools. Also, describe the impact of the School Choice system on SES diversity. Based on that data, the Report will make recommendations for increasing SES diversity. The report shall take into consideration that multiple price-point housing requirements and zoning are beyond the purview of CMS and acknowledge the impact those decisions have on pupil assignment.

Version (B) –

In order to deliver upon the goals enumerated in Policy JCA, The Student Assignment Plan will be built on a foundation of equitable access to high-quality schools including home schools, magnet schools and additional types of school options.” As such, the Pupil Assignment Report will document CMS’s progress on achieving those five goals:

  1. Provide choice and promote equitable access to varied and viable programmatic options for all children;
  2. Maximize efficiency in the use of school facilities, transportation and other capital and operational resources to reduce overcrowding;
  3. Reduce the number of schools with high concentrations of poor and high-needs children;
  4. Provide school assignment options to students assigned to schools that are not meeting performance standards established by the state; and
  5. Preserve and expand schools and programs in which students are successfully achieving the mission and vision of the Board.

The report shall take into consideration that multiple price-point housing requirements and zoning are beyond the purview of CMS and acknowledge the impact those decisions have on pupil assignment.

  1. Educational Opportunities and High Expectations

Students deserve access to, and success in, a rich and diverse curriculum that includes on-grade level and advanced level courses in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, history, world languages, and the arts, along with a well-equipped media center staffed by a qualified media specialist.

The Educational Opportunities and High Expectations Report will include school level data disaggregated by race, and social economic status, where available, to address these questions:

  1. Do students have access to on-grade level curriculum, advanced curriculum, career and technical educational options, world languages, and visual and performing arts?
  2. To what degree are students participating in these offerings?
  3. What are the outcomes for those students? These include but are not limited to AP/IB exam results, CTE pathway completion rates/certificate attainment, 4-year cohort graduation, and Career and College readiness rates.

The Report will also include specific recommendations for eliminating disparities in access, participation, and outcomes for student subgroups.

  1. Student Wellness

Meeting students’ social, emotional, and all other wellness needs, are crucial to their success. Students experiencing multiple traumas – from housing and food insecurity, to domestic violence, and mental health issues need support from social workers, counselors, and psychologists to ensure success.

One reflection of student social emotional health are outcomes such as student behavior as reflected in student discipline and attendance. This report shall present outcomes such as numbers of out-of-school suspensions, in-school suspensions, average daily attendance and chronic absenteeism disaggregated by race. Reporting should include inputs such as, but not limited to, physical education programming, social-emotional programming and/or practices, counselors and social workers, and specific interventions to improve school attendance. The Report should also include descriptions of efforts used to reduce racial disproportionality in suspensions.

  1. School Facilities

Every student deserves to attend a clean and well-maintained facility. There is a perceived link between the school SES and school condition. This report will rank or grade the conditions of each school’s facilities, outdoor spaces including parking areas, athletic facilities, stands/bleachers and playgrounds and examine the data for correlation with the SES of the school.

  1. Human Resources, Leadership, and Staff

School success depends on strong leadership with a stable high-quality staff. Our most challenged schools have often suffered from high turnover in leadership and staffing, teacher absenteeism, long-term substitutes, greater numbers of inexperienced teachers, and higher than average numbers of provisionally licensed teachers or teachers teaching out of certification. The Human Resources, Leadership and Staff report will document these and other factors to enable comparison of the equitable distribution of human resources across schools.

  1. Family & Community Engagement

Increasing family engagement with the school, requires active effort to remove barriers of language, work hours, transportation, access to technology, and for some past history of negative school experiences. This report will examine the level of family engagement within schools and offer strategies for improvement.

  1. Actively support and monitor parent representation and active participation in school-wide organizational groups, such as, School Leadership Teams [SLT], PTA/PTO, family ambassador programs, and volunteerism.
  2. Direct schools to report in their annual School Improvement Plans the strategies and programs undertaken to actively involve parents in their child’s school experience.
  3. Standardize and implement clear and transparent communication protocols that allow families to engage in two-way communication with school staff. The protocols should include opportunities to connect with families outside of the school day and outside of the school setting.
  4. Create and document a plan to leverage mentorship volunteer opportunities for students.
  5. Develop and provide annual customer-service training and protocols for front-line employees at the school level. This training should be mandated as part of their onboarding process.
  6. Develop and monitor tools to ensure culturally competent school leaders and staff.