Dimensions of Equity

No two children are alike.

Parents and teachers understand this intuitively. And they respond by working to provide the right combination of supports at the right time to meet each child’s unique needs so they can achieve their biggest dreams.

Schools and systems can do this too — and many do every day. Our framework includes 10 dimensions to equip you — in partnership with other education leaders and advocates — with a foundation for unlocking better, more equitable school experiences for children in your community.

School Funding

Does each student attend school in a district that distributes funding based on the needs of its students? Does funding support all children to achieve and thrive?

  • A summary of research on the role of money in school quality, and related policy implications.

    from: Learning Policy Institute

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  • A brief and data tool for analyzing school funding equity by race and poverty concentration.

    from: The Education Trust

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  • Reports and tools to help district leaders design equitable, flexible, and transparent funding systems.

    from: Education Resource Strategies

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Teaching Quality & Diversity

Does each student have access to strong teachers and teaching practices that meet their needs? Do the teachers reflect the diversity of the student population?

  • Reports and tools that focus on how school systems can attract, retain, and develop a strong teacher workforce.

    from: Education Resource Strategies

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  • Insights and promising solutions from focus groups to understand why Black and Latino teachers leave the profession.

    from: The Education Trust and Teach Plus

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  • Examples of how states and districts can use the data they currently collect to ensure students have equitable access to effective teachers.

    from: Reform Support Network

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School Leadership Quality & Diversity

Does each student have access to strong school leadership that meets their needs? Does the school leadership reflect the diversity of the students and staff?

  • An advocacy guide for improving the preparation, hiring, and support of principals.

    from: The Education Trust

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  • Reports and tools to help districts build strong school leadership teams.

    from: Education Resource Strategies

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  • Considerations for districts and states interested in building and supporting strong principal pipelines.

    from: The Wallace Foundation

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Empowering, Rigorous Content

Does each student have access to high-quality and culturally relevant curriculum, advanced courses, arts, and enrichment opportunities?

  • Findings from observations, assignment reviews, and student surveys about the lack of access to challenging materials that students face.

    from: The New Teacher Project

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  • An examination of the barriers that lock Black and Latino students out of advanced coursework opportunities, and actionable solutions for state, district, and school leaders.

    from: The Education Trust

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  • A case study exploring the relationship between connected professional learning for teachers and rigorous, comprehensive curricula and assessments.

    from: Education Resource Strategies

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Instructional Time & Attention

Does each student who needs it receive additional instructional time and/or attention?

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Positive & Inviting School Climate

Does each student experience a safe and supportive environment, fair rules and policies, positive relationships with staff, and meaningful family engagement?

  • An advocacy guide to support community members and leaders working to ensure that all students and adults have positive experiences in school.

    from: The Education Trust

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  • An exploration of five areas for leveraging family and community engagement to provide equitable learning pathways in and out of school.

    from: The Global Family Research Project

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  • Advice, tools, and action steps to help school leaders understand how to organize resources in ways that weave social-emotional development into every aspect of school.

    from: Education Resource Strategies and The Aspen Institute

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Student Supports & Intervention

Does each student have access to the social-emotional, physical, mental health, family, and post-secondary education support they need to succeed?

  • A factsheet introducing key elements of social-emotional learning — including opportunities, challenges, and specific suggestions for school and district leaders working to create thriving learning environments.

    from: The Education Trust

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  • Models and considerations for how to implement wraparound services.

    from: Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center

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  • A look at how students perceive access to mental health services in school and recommendations for policymakers to address issues of awareness and access to mental health services.

    from: ACT Center for Equity in Learning

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High-Quality Early Learning

Does each student have access to high-quality preschool programs?

  • An examination of evidence around effective preschool education and its impact on student performance.

    from: National Institute for Early Education Research

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  • An analysis of the accessibility and quality of state-funded preschool programs and suggested next steps for state leaders.

    from: The Education Trust

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  • Policy implications and recommendations based on focus groups with early childhood educators of color from across the country.

    from: National Association for the Education of Young Children and The Education Trust

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Learning-Ready Facilities

Does each student attend schools with safe, well-maintained facilities? Does each student have access to functioning, up-to-date equipment?

  • A comprehensive assessment of the current infrastructure conditions and needs in America’s schools.

    from: American Society of Civil Engineers

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  • A closer look at how poorly designed and maintained buildings affect student learning and health, teacher performance and satisfaction, and community well-being.

    from: Phi Delta Kappan

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  • 55 priority actions for addressing systemic infrastructure problems across federal, state, and local levels.

    from: Planning for PK-12 School Infrastructure National Initiative

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Diverse Classrooms & Schools

Does each student attend schools and classes that are racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse?

  • Highlights of how racial and socioeconomic diversity in schools and classrooms can provide students with a range of cognitive, social, and economic benefits.

    from: The Century Foundation

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  • Research findings on the pervasiveness of economic segregation and next steps for identifying viable policy options.

    from: The Center for American Progress

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  • An essay by former U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. discussing segregation in our schools and the importance of working together to improve diversity.

    from: The Education Trust

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Education Resource Equity in 2020-21
Child learning on laptop

School can unlock every child’s power to live a life of their choosing.

And for those that believe every child can reach high levels with the right combination of supports, living our values means directing resources where they are needed most this school year.

America is grappling with an ongoing pandemic, an economic recession, and renewed national recognition of systemic racism. COVID-19, in particular, has exacerbated the barriers that students of color and students with higher needs face to access excellent learning opportunities. Therefore, schools must provide those students who have been impacted with different levels and combinations of support. This puts schools, systems, families, communities, and education advocates at a critical juncture. Together, as we embark on the 2020-21 school year, we must do what we have not been able to do before these crises: to mobilize the right combination of resources that create high-quality learning experiences and meet the distinct needs of every student. That idea —education resource equity — is what we need to ensure that school unlocks every child’s power to live a life of their choosing.

In this together,

The Alliance for Resource Equity Team