Equity by Design Briefs
 
Equity by Design briefs synthesize current research and practice to provide stakeholders with accessible information in the fields of educational reform and culturally responsive pedagogy. Research-based information is presented in ways that have immediate relevance and applicability to school contexts.

 
Cover page of disproportionality brief. Image of a young firl smiling at a desk with a pencil.
 

Systemic Approaches to Eliminating Disproportionality in Special Education 

Perhaps no other educational inequity today illustrates the complex relationship between discrimination and systemic oppression at the intersection of race, language, and ability more than the phenomenon of special education disproportionality. This brief defines and addresses the historical and contemporary contexts that have resulted in disproportionality. The authors also offer strategies in three domains of systemic change intended to address and redress disproportionality.
  
RELEASE DATE: September 2016
AUTHORS: Robin G. Jackson, Kathleen A. K. Thorius, and Tiffany S. Kyser
Cover page of reframing summer learning loss brief. Image of a blacktop with chalk and hopscotch grid.
 

Summer— A Vacation from Learning? A Critical View 

Some researchers posit that White, middle and upper middle class students continue to learn over summer break, while those from historically marginalized racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds cease learning during the summer, i.e., 'summer learning loss', widening the 'achievement gap'. This brief outlines this rhetorical history and rationale of summer learning loss; challenges traditional notions of 'summer learning loss'; and, discusses approaches toward centering students from working class, poor, and historically underserved racial and ethnic backgrounds in summer learning.
  
RELEASE DATE: July 2016
AUTHORS: M. Nickie Coomer, Tiffany S. Kyser, Kathleen A. K. Thorius, and Seena M. Skelton
 

The State of Education: Equity Considerations for Historically Underserved Populations 

 
  
RELEASE DATE: June 2015
AUTHORS: Rodney S. Whiteman, Kathleen A.K. Thorius, Seena M. Skelton, Tiffany Kyser
 

Rethinking Quality: Foregrounding Equity in Definitions of "High-Quality" Educators 

All children deserve access to high quality educators. Many definitions of “high quality” teachers over-emphasize student achievement outcomes and do not sufficiently consider other important factors of schooling and educator practices that may lead to those outcomes. This brief offers an equity-oriented framework that defines a high quality educator as one who: (1) views students’ existing cultural resources as assets, (2) applies these assets within critical pedagogies toward empowering students in their lives and communities, and in doing so, (3) fosters students’ academic, social, and personal growth
  
RELEASE DATE: April 2015
AUTHORS: Rodney S. Whiteman, Kathleen A.K. Thorius, Seena M. Skelton, Tiffany Kyser
Cover of the Developing Critical Consciousness through Professional Learning Brief
 

Developing Critical Consciousness through Professional Learning

Critical consciousness, defined as an active state of seeking to identify the beliefs and language that obscure systemic inequities, is a central component of transformative professional learning. Practitioners can use the two tools described in the brief - reflection journals or blogs and critical communities of practice - to create psychologically safe spaces in which to examine assumptions and alter practices.
 
 
RELEASE DATE: December 2013
AUTHORS: Sharon Radd, Erin M. Macey
CRPBIS Brief Cover
 

Re-mediating the Role of School-Family Partnerships in Systemic Change within Culturally Responsive Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports

School-family partnerships within Culturally Responsive Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (CRPBIS) function toward creating school cultures that: (a) from the start, position families as equal partners with school practitioners in determining the goals, activities, and desired outcomes for local CRPBIS implementation; (b) center student and family analysis of crucial avenues for building safe and inclusive schools; and (c) attend explicitly to institutional structures that have hindered such partnerships in the past and seek to remediate them through collaborative inquiry. Read about how two districts engaged in such partnerships.
 
 
RELEASE DATE: September 2013
AUTHORS: Kathleen A. King Thorius, Esmeralda M. Rodriguez, Aydin Bal
Peer-Mediated Learning Brief
 

Using Peer-Mediated Learning to Advance Equity for All Students

The use of peer-mediated learning has emerged as a promising practice to transform the classroom experiences of both students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers. This brief summarizes the best practices for implementing peer-mediated learning and advocates situating peer-mediated learning in inclusive, interdependent learning communities to better empower not only students with disabilities, but all students.
 
 
RELEASE DATE: May 2013
AUTHORS: Paulo Tan, Erin M. Macey, Kathleen A. K. Thorius, Marsha Simon
Image of Critical Reflection on Policy Brief
 

Engaging School Communities in Critical Reflection on Policy

 
School communities that develop a process for engaging in careful consideration of both policies as written and policies as praticed will be better equipped to promote equity. This brief offers some considerations for the creation of such a process.
 
RELEASE DATE: September 2012
AUTHORS: Erin M. Macey, Kathleen A. K. Thorius, Seena M. Skelton