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Solving Disproportionality and Achieving Equity

Solving Disproportionality and Achieving Equity
A Leader's Guide to Using Data to Change Hearts and Minds

January 2017 | 264 pages | Corwin

When the numbers don’t lie, this is your guide to doing what’s right

According to federal data, African American students are more than three times as likely as their white peers to be suspended or expelled. As a school leader, what do you do when your heart is in the right place, but your data show otherwise? 

In Solving Disproportionality and Achieving Equity, Edward Fergus takes us on a journey into disproportionality by engaging our hearts and minds on the presence of biases that create barriers to the success of students of color. If your school is faced with a disproportionate rate of suspensions, gifted program enrollment, or special education referrals for students of color, this book shows how you can uncover the root causes and rally your staff to face the challenge head on. You will:

  • Understand through compelling vignettes and case studies how bias affects policies and practices even in good schools
  • Know what questions to ask and what data to analyze to get to the root cause
  • Create your own road map for becoming an equity-driven school, with staff activities, data collection forms, checklists, and progress monitoring tools

If you are interested in developing a deep understanding of the policy, practice, and beliefs necessary for schools to address disproportionality and achieve equity, this book delivers all that and more.

"Through careful analysis of data obtained from real cases, Edward Fergus shows how disproportionality is manifest and how it can be thoughtfully addressed. For educators and policy makers seeking solutions to these complex issues, this book will be an invaluable resource." 
—Pedro Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education
UCLA, Graduate Schools of Education and Information Studies

About the Author
Changing Landscape of Teaching Force and Its Effect on Disproportionality  
The Backdrop of the Integration Project Framework  
Organization of the Book  
Sample Road Map for Creating an Equity-Driven School
Chapter 1. Social Integration and Intensified Segregation Leading to Disproportionality
Post–Brown v. Topeka Board of Education Integration Patterns  
Integration Project: Patterns of Student Enrollment Demographics  
Integration Project: Patterns of Teacher and Principal Demographics  
Chapter 2. Knowing the Bias-Based Beliefs in Disproportionality
Bias-Based Beliefs in Pedagogy and School Practice: How Does It Show Up in Schools?  
Colorblindness Belief  
Deficit-Thinking Belief  
Poverty-Disciplining Belief  
Chapter 3. Leadership Inquiry Skills for Building Equity Focus
Section 1: Understanding Your Data and Data System Capacity  
Section 2: Practicing Analysis and Interpretation of Data: Case Studies  
Chapter 4. A Process for Identifying Disproportionality and Building an Equity Plan
Step 1: Identifying Your Starting Place  
Step 2: Root Cause Process for Understanding Disproportionality Problems  
Step 3: Monitoring Equity Work: 3- to 5-Year Span of Work  
Step 4: Progress-Monitoring Tools: Monthly Data Calendar  
Additional Equity Examinations  
Chapter 5. Building an Equity Belief School Climate
Leading Equity Competency 1: Know How to Manage Race Dialogues  
Leading Equity Competency 2: Know How to Manage the Comfortable and Uncomfortable Tensions of Learning and Practice  
Stage 1 Activities: Building Universal Equity Principles  
Stage 2 Activities: Monthly or Quarterly Sessions on Bias-Based Beliefs  
Other Ongoing Activities for Replacing Biased Beliefs  
Application Activities  
1. Data Inventory Worksheet  
2. Planning Sheet for Addressing Beliefs and Building Equity Principles  
3. Exit Ticket  
4. Definitions of Educational Equity Worksheet  
5. Applying Definitions of Educational Equity  
6. Applying Definitions of Educational Equity: Homework Worksheet  
7. Building Our Universal Equity Principles Worksheet  
8. Shifting Deficit-Thinking Worksheet  
9. Shifting Deficit-Thinking Survey Worksheet  
10. Definition Flashcards  
11. Shifting Poverty-Disciplining Belief Statements Worksheet  
12. Shifting Poverty-Disciplining Belief Statements Survey Worksheet  
13. Meritocracy Line Exercise  
14. Dual-Axis Model of Vulnerability  
15. Dual-Axis Model of Vulnerability Application Worksheet  
16. Racial Timeline Worksheet  
17. Racial and Ethnic Group Worksheet  
18. Shifting Common Colorblindness Statements Worksheet  
19. Shifting Common Colorblindness Statements Survey Worksheet  
20. Cultural Responsibility Beliefs Worksheet  
21. Looking at Books Worksheet  
22. Observing Classroom Environments Worksheet  
23. Equity Resources for Curricular, Culture/Climate, and Instruction  

"Throughout the country, a growing number of educators have come to the realization that disproportionality in the placement of children of color in special education, and in school discipline practices, is a vital equity issue that must be confronted. In this important new book, Dr. Edward Fergus explains why this issue is so important and he shows what educators can do to solve the problem. Through careful analysis of data obtained from real cases, he shows how the problem is manifest and how it can be thoughtfully addressed. For educators and policy makers seeking solutions to these complex issues, this book will be an invaluable resource."

Pedro Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education
UCLA, Graduate Schools of Education and Information Studies

"Solving Disproportionality and Achieving Equity addresses burning and significant needs and issues in the field, including areas in which districts are facing legal requirements for action. The synthesis of research, theory, application, with an acknowledgment of the interpersonal and emotional dimensions of this work all contribute to its value."

Gary Bloom, Senior Program Consultant
New Teacher Center

"I believe that this text has the potential to become a bible for every school leader who truly wants to examine the inequities in schools and then move forward with a comprehensive plan applying a sound analysis of the data."

William A. Howe, Educator
Connecticut State Department of Education

Sample Materials & Chapters


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ISBN: 9781506311258