The Equity Task Force encourages the Board of Education to seek wide and extensive community input in reviewing this proposed Equity policy, systematically including key community stakeholder groups while reaching out to constituents potentially unlikely to participate in traditional feedback forums.
Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education (BOE) Equity Task Force (2005-2007), Final Report (March 28, 2007).

Equity at the highest level, not simply equity, is something that we should always strive for in education. Every student should have the best opportunities to learn in ways that will help them now and in the future.
George Couros, "Equity At the Highest Level," The Principal of Change blog (July 30, 2017).

Some definitions:

MMSD Board Policy 9001, as adopted June 6, 1994:
"Equity is defined as providing each student with an equal educational opportunity to achieve the District's 100% success objectives." ....
"100% success objectives is defined as students who graduate, students who complete their individual academic program, students who enroll in a post-secondary educational program, or students who are self-sufficient in other endeavors."

MMSD BOE Equity Task Report Final Report, issued March 28, 2007:
"Equity assures full access to opportunities for each MMSD student to achieve educational excellence and social responsibility."

MMSD Board Policy 9001, as adopted June 2, 2008:
"Equity means the deliberate distribution of resources to provide full and meaningful access to comparable educational opportunity to assure that all MMSD students have the academic and interpersonal skills to be successful adults."

MMSD Board Policy 9001, draft revision for proposed adoption by BOE on July 31, 2017:
"A. 'Educational Equity' means an intentional distribution of DISTRICT resources amongst schools, students and staff based on what each needs to achieve universal goals.
B. 'Resources' means money; programs and curriculum; staff time, expertise, skills and experience; information; and, materials and services such as technology and transportation.
C. 'Targeted Universalism' an approach for achieving equity that sets universal goals for all students and identifies targeted means and processes for specific populations depending on how they are situated to opportunity. This approach recognizes that the DISTRICT must respond with necessary resources and multiple paths needed for different school communities and students to thrive.
D. 'Targeted' means the distribution of resources on top of or in addition to universally distributed resources to support a particular subgroup based on unique or specific qualities or established need, such as the provision of the allocation of an assistant principal to only the school whose student enrollment exceeds a specific number or the provision of supplementary math texts and workbooks to students who achieve within an established range on an assessment.
E. 'Universal,' when used in reference to resources, means the distribution of resources to everyone or everything in the established group regardless of any unique or specific qualities or identified needs, such as the allocation of one lead principal to each school building or the provision of a standard mathematics text book to each student. 'Universal,' when used in reference to goals, means published goals fostering all students’ acquisition of the skills and abilities to be successful in college, career and community."

Some reporting protocols:

MMSD Board Policy 9001, as adopted June 6, 1994:
"This policy applies to situations that affect students within one school, or between or among several schools, and will be reviewed every three years."

MMSD Board Policy 9001, as adopted June 2, 2008:
"Administration will report on an annual basis to the Board of Education the extent of progress on specific measures in eliminating gaps in access, opportunities and achievement. Administration will develop an annual report that will provide data on the distribution of staff, financial, and programmatic resources across all schools."

MMSD Board Policy 9001, draft revision for proposed adoption by BOE on July 31, 2017:
"The SUPERINTENDENT and his/her designee shall recommend and the BOARD shall adopt a tool and/or method by which the DISTRICT can assess alignment of recommendations with the principles in the Educational Equity Policy (Educational Equity Tool). The Educational Equity Tool shall be available on the DISTRICT's website once approved."....
"Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, the SUPERINTENDENT or his/her designee and BOARD will adopt metrics that will provide data on the distribution of staff, financial, and programmatic resources across all schools, which shall be incorporated into the annually prepared budget documents and/or Human Resources report."

Some relevant resources for district information, past and present:

  • U.S. Department of Education (USED) Civil Rights Data Collection: survey years 2013 (Educational Equity Report, including school-level data for download), 2011, and 2009; although the next biennial CRDC publication occurs in 2018, the district's data for survey year 2015 would have been compiled and submitted earlier this year.
  • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI): various dashboards with district-only access (from which relevant current data can and should be made available to the public), including: Achievement Gap DashboardMAP Dashboards, PALS DashboardsACCESS Dashboards, and more.
  • Teacher Equitable Access Plan for Wisconsin, submitted by DPI to and approved by USED in 2015, describing "the steps that the [State Educational Agency] will take to ensure that students from low-income families and students of color are not taught at higher rates than other children by inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teachers, and the measures that the agency will use to evaluate and publicly report the progress of the agency with respect to such steps," and the MMSD DPI Final Equity Plan submitted in 2016 pursuant to the state plan (including planned quarterly and annual reviews of progress, and evaluation/monitoring metrics).
  • USED Office for Civil Rights (OCR) December 29, 2016 letter to MMSD, with OCR's analysis of disparities in participation for the district's African-American and Hispanic students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in Advanced Learner programming, including Advanced Placement course participation.

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