Superintendents group launches new equity cohort

'To achieve equity, we must reduce the predictability of who succeeds and who fails in our schools'
By: | August 28, 2020
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, calls educational inequity "the greatest social justice and civil rights issue in the U.S. today." (GettyImages/eyecrave) AASA, The School Superintendents Association, calls educational inequity "the greatest social justice and civil rights issue in the U.S. today." (GettyImages/eyecrave)

Superintendents can collaborate with colleagues on advancing educational equity through a new cohort initiative being launched by AASA, the School Superintendents Association.

Members will participate in a series of virtual meetings focused on changing district policies, improving school climates and building cultural responsiveness to increase achievement by all students.

These activities will guide leaders in self-reflecting and engaging in productive conflict to change instructional practices and behaviors.

“To achieve equity, we must reduce the predictability of who succeeds and who fails in our schools,” said Luvelle Brown, superintendent, Ithaca City School District in New York.


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“We must cultivate the unique gifts of every young person and we will truly transform this country,” Brown said. “Shame on us if we don’t use this opportunity to address the inequities that have plagued our schools for generations. The AASA Equity Cohort will leverage that opportunity and help students achieve success.”

Activities will include:

  • Using a needs assessment to develop short- and long-term goals for districts
  • Developing case studies and actionable plans based on real-time district issues
  • Designing ways to keep leaders accountable when implementing equity plans
  • Crafting actions that foster love, liberation and belonging in school districts
  • Identifying ways in which school districts can create more equitable experiences and outcomes for all students

“We want our students to know they can fully participate in our democracy as valued members of our pluralistic society,” said Sharon Contreras, superintendent of Guilford County Schools in North Carolina.

“We want them to embrace and act on the knowledge that their voices actually matter. Without equity, we can’t ensure that our students’ public school experiences provide access to the knowledge, skills and resources that will enable them to care for themselves and their children, and their children’s children,” Contreras said. “We will only break the current cycle of institutional racism, generational poverty and despair if our public schools become bastions for equity and the driving forces for social justice.”

The cohort will engage a minimum of 30 district teams and include at least the superintendent, a cabinet-level administrator and a principal. The cohort will engage in a 12-month program beginning in August as part of AASA’s Urban Superintendents Conference.

To join the conversation via social media, use the hashtag #supts4equity on Twitter.


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