Some boards are adding an equity policy to their policy manuals to demonstrate their commitment to equity and define ways in which their districts will embed equity. Before a district moves to establish an equity policy, they should first work to utilizes an equity lens as they evaluate their current policy and practices. This, along with the use of the Leading for Equity Framework, will help the district determine the type of policy they want to establish in their community.
An Equity Lens is a set of questions districts will ask themselves to assess how a particular policy or practice might impact various groups. This will help the district determine if a policy, practice or program supports the district’s equity efforts by ensuring such items do not disproportionally benefit or harm any particular group of students. Below are some examples of equity lenses but each district may modify or add to these when creating their own lens.
MABE Equity Lens 2018
PPS Equity Lens Bookmark
National Equity Project Lens of Systemic Oppression
NWRESD Equity Lens Poster
Equity policy lets your community know-the role equity will have in your district. It makes explicit that equity should be embedded in district operations. Some policies are very detailed, while others provide broader guidelines. Either way, policy sets a clear expectation around equity that the board will be accountable for. Below are some examples of what some districts have adopted:
North Clackamas Equity Policy
Portland Public Schools Racial Equity Policy
Cincinnati Public Schools Equity and Excellence Policy
Baltimore Schools Equity Policy