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									                     Equity in School & District Improvement
                         BRIEF RESOURCE GUIDE

Notes on the use of these tools:
    Many of these tools – (particularly the school and district assessment tools) – typically
       work best when they are used as part of a well-designed and facilitated change process
       with a committed team of people who reflect, learn, plan, and assess progress together.
    Most of these tools do not include robust approaches to developing student voice (with
       the exception of the “Bridging Multiple Worlds” tool near the end).

1. Equity Alliance http://www.equityallianceatasu.org/
    They have extensive tools and offer FREE technical assistance for California, Nevada,
      and Arizona. (They are the regional Equity Assistance Center for the southwest part of
      the country, Region IX, funded by the US Dept. of Ed.)
    They also have a “learning carousel” where you can search for resources by topic.
    Folks can subscribe to their monthly, on-line newsletter.
    They are also kind, accessible, deeply equity-minded people.

2. National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems (NCCRESt) They are a
partner of the Equity Alliance. Below are samples of their tools, all of which are free and
downloadable at: http://www.nccrest.org/publications/tools.html

A. Teacher Tool

The Mississippi Cultural Responsivity Matrix - A Teachers' Self-study Guide for Culturally
Responsive Practices in Grades K-6: Reading and Mathematics, Prepared for the State of
Mississippi by The National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems. It assists
teachers and administrators in assessing the degree to which mandated curricular guides in
mathematics and reading curricula and strategies are responsive to the socio-cultural experiences
and backgrounds of their students.

B. Special Education Assessment Tool

Equity in Special Education Placement: A School Self- Assessment Guide for Culturally
Responsive Practice by Heraldo V. Richards, Alfredo J. Artiles, Janette Klingner, and Ayanna
Brown. This tool is an instrument that allows schools to conduct a self-assessment of their
programs and practices in five domains: (a) School Governance, Organization, Policy and
Climate, (b) Family Involvement, (c) Curriculum, (d) Organization of Learning, and (e) Special
Education Referral Process and Programs.

Mini Equity & Systems Change Resource Guide, 2/10
(Compiled by Sheryl Petty, California Tomorrow)                                         1
C. Rubric for Looking at District Equity Practice

This tool is designed to guide the examination of LEA practices once data suggest that serious
and inappropriate disproportionate referral, identification and placement of students who are
culturally and linguistically diverse may be occurring.

The tool is designed to examine knowledge, skills and dispositions as well as contextual factors
that may lead to institutionalized practices that manifest themselves in disproportionate
identification. This tool is grounded in a comprehensive review of the literature and the
development of a conceptual framework that locates disproportionality in the intersection of
context, policy, practice and knowledge (Klingner, Artiles, Kozleski, Utley, Zion, Tate, Harry,
Zamora- Durán, & Riley, 2005).

Action directed at changing results should be grounded in a thoughtful assessment of what is
happening, the development of theories or hypotheses about what is triggering
disproportionality, and careful planning to strategically address the areas of concern. This tool is
designed to help guide and inform the assessment, hypothesis building and strategic planning

Designed as a rubric, the tool has been reviewed by practitioners and researchers across the
country and is still a work in progress. As you use this tool, please feel free to communicate with
NCCRESt at nccrest@asu.edu to help us improve this tool for everyone.

D. Technical Assistance and Professional Development Planning Guide (pdf)

This TA/PD guide structures a five step process for the development of Technical Assistance and
Professional Development Plans for SEAs and LEAs.

5. National Institute for Urban School Improvement (NIUSI), also a partner of the Equity
Alliance and NCCRESt http://urbanschools.org/. In addition to tools, they have short, topical
briefs on various equity issues.

     You might be interested in the following (all available for free download at
          o “Skilled Dialogue” – a document on how to engage students skillfully
          o “Cultural Identity and Teaching”
          o “Understanding Culture”
     NIUSI Leadscape http://www.niusileadscape.org/ Online tools & resources for
      principals, school leaders, and educators. Also a partner of the Equity Alliance and

6. Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools (BayCES) http://www.bayces.org/
Offers training and technical assistance related to equity, culture, and school and systems change.
Based in Oakland, CA.

Mini Equity & Systems Change Resource Guide, 2/10
(Compiled by Sheryl Petty, California Tomorrow)                                             2
7. California Tomorrow http://www.californiatomorrow.org/
(Note that California Tomorrow’s technical assistance work currently focuses on community
colleges and after school programs.)

A. So They May Speak...An Agenda for Language and Culture Centered School Reform
Available at: http://www.californiatomorrow.org/resources/publications/index.php?cat_id=2

Based on the groundbreaking And Still We Speak...Stories of Communities Sustaining and
Reclaiming Language and Culture, California Tomorrow issues a call to action to create public
schools that recognize the centrality of heritage language and culture in children's high
achievement, learning and development. So They May Speak is a concise compilation of specific
steps educators can take to create a school system that will support young people to be deeply
rooted in their family culture and language, to excel academically, and to thrive as speakers of
multiple languages, as members of multiple cultural communities and as creators of a new world.
The book outlines implications for school reform and actions schools and educational advocates
must take to:

  * Prepare Students for the Complexity of a Global 21st Century World
  * Support Family Cohesion
  * Emphasize Strong Literacy Development in English and the Home Language
  * Support Parent Involvement
  * Embrace All Students
  * Model Democracy

So They May Speak is accompanied by a tool for reflection and dialogue for use by educators
seeking to explore their school's capacity for fostering bilingualism, biliteracy and high
achievement for diverse students in their programs.

B. Bridging Multiple Worlds: Creating Affirming Environments for Young People to Thrive

A publication describing an approach that schools and youth programs can adopt to help young
people develop leadership skills, cross-cultural skills, and develop student voice.

Free download available at:

C. Cultural Competency: What it is and Why it Matters
Free download available at:

Mini Equity & Systems Change Resource Guide, 2/10
(Compiled by Sheryl Petty, California Tomorrow)                                        3

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