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How to Design an Equity Team

My friend and colleague Chemay Morales and I wrote this piece nearly a decade ago, and I think it still has application for many who are currently in the process of designing Equity teams. At the time, she and I were part of a center tasked to identify root causes and strategies for reducing disproportionately in NY school districts, but these steps can be revised to apply to a range of initiatives intended to systematize the fairer distribution of opportunity in schools.

As a preview, the steps we describe for "Addressing Disproportionality Through the Creation of Culturally Responsive Problem-Solving Teams" are:

1. Conduct critical observations of your building’s currently existing team.

2. Define (or redefine) the purpose of the team.

3. Establish private, safe spaces where conversations can continue.

4. Identify the cultural considerations that need to be addressed within the problem-solving


5. Pair teachers with instructional coaches and include building administrators as key

team members.

6. Use case studies to develop richer understandings of student experiences.

7. Develop action plans that articulate a clear course of action and assign ownership

within the group for oversight and implementation of objectives.

8. Problem-solving teams should routinely engage in reflection and reconsideration.

A useful exercise for a newly forming team might be to review the document and translate the steps into a local context. You can find the full paper here:

Addressing Disproportionality Through th
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