3 Guiding Priorities for Equity and Inclusion in Schools

3 Guiding Priorities for Equity and Inclusion in Schools

NAESP is focused on strengthening principals as leaders of equity and pushing for an equity-aligned policy and advocacy agenda.

This summer, NAESP formed its National Task Force on Race and Equity to advise the association on issues related to racial equity and dismantling systemic racism in school communities. The group has been meeting biweekly to review schools’ common challenges and to determine how best NAESP can provide support to principals around these issues.

The task force has identified the following guiding priorities to support principals in this crucial aspect of their leadership role.

Guiding Priorities

1. Strengthening Principals as Leaders of Equity

Professional learning for principals that positions them as equity leaders and enhances key skill sets such as:

  • Personal reflection on race and implicit bias: Explore implicit biases and how they impact safe and culturally responsive learning communities.
  • Listening skills and courageous conversations: Develop critical facilitation skills to address race and equity with students, staff, and school community.

2. School Assessment and Action Planning

Curated tools and customized resources for school leaders that will include:

  • Schoolwide equity audit and screener tool: Review building and district-level student achievement data, staff hiring and retention practices, discipline policies, and digital access.
  • Curriculum and access review: Assess text selection, instruction, assignments, standards, and assessments with an eye toward equity. Also review gifted and special education programs.
  • Schoolwide equity training: Vetted training resources on various aspects of culturally responsive leadership.

3. Equity-Aligned Policy and Advocacy Agenda

  • Data collection: Gain insights about principals’ experiences and professional learning needs from unconscious bias survey.
  • Policy review: Use insights from principal unconscious bias survey to inform advocacy agenda, including identification of federal funding opportunities to support principals in their race and equity work. Examples might include targeted principal professional funding and grant programs to support principals to lead on equity in their schools.

Resources and supports for these guiding priorities will be announced in the coming months. But immediate next steps include:

  1. Implicit Bias: NAESP has entered into a custom research services agreement with Project Implicit to develop and host an online research study. This study will consist of an Implicit Association Test/web study for NAESP members focused on identifying biases related to race. This customized project should be finalized and ready for use by the start of November.
  2. Equity Audit: NAESP is in discussions with various organizations regarding the potential collaboration for an equity audit/screener tool for school leaders.

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