On March 16, we had an exceptional session on Equity and Excellence with Superintendents Dr. Baron Davis (Richland District Two, Columbia, SC) and Dr. Mike Duncan (Pike County, GA).
From the session, we've pulled out some highlights and put them together in this reel for you and your team or faculty to use as conversation starters in your own exploration of equity and excellence in your school and system.
Here are the segments you'll find in the video and some questions to get you started:
Segment One: Defining Equity. Watch the first clip and reflect on Dr. Davis' statement: before we could work on equity, we needed to define it, and we define it as every student receives the opportunities and supports he/she needs to maximize his/her gifts and talents as they pursue their pathway to purpose. In what ways do you agree with Dr. Davis? In what ways do you do those things with/for students in your school/system? In what ways do you need to do differently to live up to that definition?
Segment Two: The Need for Equity Policies. Does your school/system have an equity policy? Watch the segment. In what ways did having an equity policy begin to improve conditions for students?
Segment Three: "How Are The Children?" This powerful segment explores the idea of collective care and responsibility. In what ways does your school/system exemplify the idea of 'the children' and their well-being existing as a priority? In what ways would that mindset make your school/system different?
Segment Four: From Knowing to Doing Dr. Duncan shares the idea that many students in poverty are terrific problem solvers and benefit when school is based on doing rather than knowing. He warns that shift won't make everyone happy. Is your school/system a place of knowing, or a place of doing? How do you move it in such a way that it meets your students where they are?
Segment Five: The Courage to Lead. Dr. Peters poses this question... how do you find the courage to lead your school/system towards a more equitable existence? Watch the video... this part is longer than most segments because, it's so rich in thoughts there wasn't a good place to cut! After you watch the video, reflect on your school/system. What must you do to have the courage to lead? Where might you gain that courage? With whom can you work to make it less daunting?
Segment Six: What Are the First Steps? Rotonya Rhodes from Greene County GA posed the question during the live session, what are the first steps towards leading a school/system of equity. Watch the video. Listen to Dr. Davis challenge all of us as he says "you first have to check your own heart." How is yours? In what ways do you need to change the way you think? How deeply are you committed to equity? Finally, Dr. Davis reminds you that many see equity as something that results in them having something taken away from them. That mindset is tough to battle, but he shares encouragement, but a reminder that equity work will probably leave some bruises. Are you ready for this work? With whom can you partner to better engage in this work?
For more resources, visit principal-matters.com
This series is possible through a partnership with Albany State University's College of Education, Dr. Janis Carthon, Interim Dean, and through The Wallace Foundation's support of schools and school leaders..