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The President’s Equity Challenge campaign was created and launched by the Arizona School Boards Association as the annual theme to kick off 2017.The intent of the campaign is to encourage individual school board members and school districts to take a look at students on a deeper level—to find out who they really are and how we can best serve them by identifying equitable gaps to better serve EVERY child in every school districts across Arizona.

A Message from President Bacon

Will You Accept the #Equity Challenge? Julie_Bacon-300x300Let’s take a look at our students on a deeper level—to find out who they really are and how we can best serve them. We cannot afford to be idle on this any longer.

And if you think you do this already, I would challenge you to dig deeper. We can’t change anything unless we do the hard work to look at ourselves. Our students deserve for us to be the leaders they need, not the leaders we think we should be. And that is what the President’s Challenge is all about. Other school districts across the state are addressing this including Buckeye Elementary and Kyrene Elementary. But, I suspect that even those districts doing something to address equity would also say there is still much work to be done.

And that why I am asking every school board in the state to take on this challenge. I am asking for us to dig deep into our data to really see how our students are doing. And I am not just talking about students of color but I am confident you will find their challenges far more difficult.

But ask yourselves: How are your girls doing? Are boys doing the same, better, or worse? How many students of color do you have in advanced classes? What courses do you have for special education students to address their unique needs? Are your students living in poverty able to access the same extracurricular activities? What about foster children—how do they fare in your schools?

The list goes on and on. But, with the help of the ASBA staff, the Challenge has been broken into manageable pieces that will not be too overwhelming to address. You are provided with a framework for this challenge. We will ask you to share your work with us and give you timelines and the opportunity to check in with us throughout 2017.

I ask you to pick a category and examine all the points in that category. We have developed a tool kit for you to use to make it easier. We will give you everything you need to get started and make it as easy as possible for you to do. But I need you to do the work. So, I ask you: Who is in this with me? Who is going to roll up their sleeves and take the challenge? If you will take the challenge, please stand up and show me you are ready to do the work!

Read NSBA’s latest media release published Feb. 7, 2017, NSBA Center for Public Education Study Finds Diversity Benefits Students.

Five Elements of the Challenge

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Your leadership is needed to close gaps in opportunity and achievement for every Arizona student. ASBA is urging you and your board to join school boards from around the state and dig more deeply into five critical areas where you can exert your leadership locally and make an even bigger difference for kids.

We are calling it the President’s Equity Challenge. ASBA has rolled out a framework and guiding questions to assist you and your board in this work – wherever your starting point.

Download the following resources from the #EquityChallenge to help spread the word:

Resources for the #EquityChallenge

ResourceDownload
Guiding questions (to assist you and your board in this work – wherever your starting point)Guiding Questions PDF
Equity challenge graphics (post to your social media platforms)

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Media release to send to your local media contacts
Challenge acknowledgement certificates (use to let your community know that you've accepted the 2017 #EquityChallenge)