Urgent Need for Equity in Education
Throughout California and the Central Coast, students of color continue to fall behind.
According to Jack O’Connell, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the data show “persistent gaps in our system that California simply cannot afford to accept—morally, economically, or socially. This achievement gap cannot always be explained away because of the poverty that has been so often associated with low performance… In fact, African American and Hispanic students who are not poor are achieving at lower levels in math than their white counterparts who are poor. These are not just economic achievement gaps, they are racial achievement gaps. We cannot afford to excuse them; they simply must be addressed. We must take notice and take action.”
Closing the Achievement Gap
Addressing the root causes of educational disparities through a race-conscious approach
Just Communities’ Institute for Equity in Education (IEE) is a comprehensive program designed to eliminate the achievement gap and other disparities in our educational systems. The Institute is grounded in the belief that confronting educational disparities through race-conscious, race-sensitive approaches are the primary ways to address the root causes of inequities and narrow the educational achievement gap.
The Institute is a 4.5-day residential workshop for educators in California’s Central Coast. IEE helps teachers, counselors, administrators, parents, and other school and district staff increase their understanding of how race, socio-economic class, and individual and system-wide bias affect the learning environment. IEE enables participants to find true solutions and strategies for school reform. It also provides the skills, tools, and resources educators need to make a lasting difference for the benefit of all students.
"...This training was by far the most intense and most valuable of all the workshops I have attended. The materials were thought-provoking and sophisticated…. I have shared materials with other colleagues at every opportunity…. The faculty were non-judgmental, sensitive to my concerns and needs, and interested in my opinions. The contacts I made (among fellow participants and faculty alike) have enriched my understanding and my life."
Brad Heger, Assistant Principal
|“One of the most
profound personal and professional growth experiences of my life.”
Principal, La Colina Junior High School
"I highly recommend the Institute particularly if you are working on raising the expectations and opportunities for your students. . . It was one of the most impactful and thought-provoking processes I've ever experienced."
Robin Sawaske, Asst. Superintendent of Elementary Education (Ret.), Santa Barbara School Districts
|“What I remember most about IEE was the quality of the relationships we were able to form during our time at the institute. We spent so much time together . . . really quality time, digging into deep issues and topics.”||“I wasn't sure about having to stay onsite, but after a day or two of being onsite with everyone, I realized how vital this was to the experience at IEE. It allowed for conversations to continue into the night, friendships to grow, and time to enjoy the natural beauty of the setting that we were too busy to explore during the day. It was also helpful to not go back into the community each night to our families or friends because there was so much to soak in and process without the rest of our lives (bills, relationships, to do list, etc.) getting in the way.”||“The style of facilitation that Just Communities engaged in to facilitate this training was such a wonderful example of effective teaching and was so deeply appreciated.”|
In 2007, the Institute for Democratic Renewal at the Claremont Graduate
What is learned at IEE?
During the Institute for Equity in Education, participants will learn how to use the 4 R’s to eliminate achievement gaps and improve academic outcomes for all students.
Relationships: A wealth of research shows that the single most important factor in student success is the relationship students have with their teachers and school. IEE helps educators build authentic relationships with all of their students—especially across lines of difference.
Relevance: Students feel more connected to and invested in school when they see themselves in the curriculum and when instructional practices and school culture meet their cultural styles and needs. IEE helps educators improve their level of cultural proficiency so they can create culturally rele-vant educational experiences for all students.
Rigor: The combination of high expectations from teachers and a rigorous educational experience accelerate learning and im-prove academic outcomes. IEE helps educators examine their own beliefs about each student’s potential and help students develop their identities as learners.
Racial & Economic Justice: IEE helps educators explore the history and legacy of racism in the U.S. education system and its impact on teaching an learning. It helps educators under-stand issues such as white privilege and internalized racism. IEE provides educators with the knowledge and concrete tools necessary to counter the impacts of racism on student engagement and achievement.
Who can attend IEE?
IEE is open to Central Coast teachers, counselors, school and district administrators, coaches, clerical staff, school board members, and
other personnel who are interested in creating school communities in which all students thrive. You should consider participating if you are:
Note: Participants are required to attend as part of a team of at least two from their school or district. Teams should be as diverse as possible. Participants are expected to stay on-site and be present for the entire 5 days.
What is the cost to attend IEE?
Total cost of the program is $1,400 per person. This includes lodging, meals,, materials, and follow-up support. A $100 per person discount is available for participants who come as part of a team of four or more people from a single school site or district office, and for people who apply before April 15, 2013 (participants may qualify for both discounts). Just Communities can make specific pricing arrangements with interested districts.
Up to 3 graduate credits for participation are available through Antioch University’s MAE program.