August 2019
Newsletter of the Center for Educational Improvement
Addressing Equity in Education
Dear Educators,

As we head back into our classrooms to prepare for our students' return, we have the chance to reflect on the year that just was and learn from our successes and mistakes to make plans for improvement in the year that is to come. This month, we reflect on equity in education and how school leaders and teachers can change the conversation by changing their mindsets and their language. Join us this Thursday for a Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative Webinar with Dr. Yvette Jackson, Equity for All Students – Especially those who are marginalized, to learn more and engage in a conversation with peers about equity in education.
Equity in Education: A Strengths-Based Approach

By Dana Asby, CEI Director of Innovation & Research Support and Zenisha Shah, CEI Intern

In a world focusing on sensationalizing the negative aspects of education and equity, experts like Dr. Yvette Jackson, Founder and Senior Scholar of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education , and Dr. Michele Rivers Murphy, Director of Heart Centered Learning at the Center for Educational Improvement (CEI), highlight the importance of using a positive, solution- and strength-based lens. For administrators and teachers to help create a culture of equity in their schools, they need to create a community where students feel safe, encourage staff and students to examine their biases, and have conversations around equity using normed language.

Equity in Education: Confronting Biases as a First Step
By Didi Dunin, CEI Intern

Inequity that stems from race, gender, sexual orientation , socio-economic status or disability is a tragic part of our history, culture, and modern life. It impacts all of us in society. Understanding the causes and consequences of inequity is critical for stimulating social change and a more compassionate world.

While combating explicit bias towards any group tends to be the target focus when trying to increase equity, implicit biases that people hold towards others must also be addressed and understood.

Poverty & Brain Development: Why Early Intervention is Imperative
By Vien Nguyen, CEI Intern and Dana Asby, CEI Director of Innovation & Research Support

Today the nurture vs. nature debate has largely been resolved - experts agree that both are interrelated in a complex dance that shapes our behavior (Hackman & Farah, 2009). In the past few years, researchers have been especially interested in the interplay between one specific aspect of nurture, poverty, and one of nature, the brain. Now, neuroscientists and child development researchers, like Dr. Kimberly Noble’s Neurocognition, Early Experiences, and Development (NEED) Lab at Teachers College, Columbia University, are refining their understanding of which deficits are especially affected and how early.

Special Invitation to
New England Educators:

Watch past webinars on school mental health issues here .

Join us in August for 2 upcoming webinars to support a compassionate school culture!

Thursday, August 29 at 4:00 p.m.
Featured Fellow: Lisa Parker

This August, the Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative (C-TLC) is celebrating its first Featured Fellow! We’d like to introduce Lisa Parker, who inspires students every day as a high school social worker in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Earlier this year, Lisa presented at a very successful Mental Health Summit hosted by the National Education Association (NEA). The event was attended by 150 participants from all over the New England area. At the summit, Lisa opened the LGBTQ inclusivity workshop, advocating for gender-nonconforming and transgender students.  Read more.

Contact your Solution Tree Representative for Bulk Discounts and receive a 10-40% discount. Ideal for teacher book study groups!

Improving Mental Health in Schools

T he Yale University Program for Recovery and Community Health  and the Center for Educational Improvement invite school leaders in the New England region to learn more about the Childhood-Trauma Learning Collaborative.

Applicable States:
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
Starting Within

"The difference between equity and equality is that equality is everyone gets the same thing and equity is everyone gets the things they deserve." -DeRay McKesson

Making positive change towards equitable education for all starts from within. Take time these last quiet moments of the summer to reflect on how your mindsets and language can shift to better support equity in your school community. Look out for more of our special blog series, Equity in Education, for practical tips to teach equity in the classroom.

Christine Mason
Executive Director
Center for Educational Improvement