The MRH Commitment to Equity in Education
Fostering diversity, equity, and social justice is an integral part of the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District’s core values. We continue to be mindful of our rich history as it affects our institutional viability and vitality. We recognize that education can both enhance individuals and strengthen communities.
We seek to overcome the social, cultural, and educational barriers that members of our diverse population may experience through advocacy, community engagement, and professional development. We believe we must directly confront issues of diversity and social justice in order to alleviate the inequitable practices and outcomes these issues spawn. Our aim, and working definition of educational equity is:
Raising the achievement of all students while narrowing the gaps between the highest and lowest performing students, and eliminating the predictability and disproportionality of which student groups occupy the highest and lowest achievement categories. Adopted from the work of Singleton and Linton, Courageous Conversations About Race…(2006).
Our Social Justice Initiative is designed to develop new learning and methods for understanding cultural responsiveness & educational equity. We offer two year-long programs of study that give participants the tools to process how we look at, and talk about, issues of social justice using the lens of race, and helps them to develop and connect new approaches that can complement and reinforce existing educational practices. These commitments were affirmed in a resolution passed by the MRH Board of Education on February 16, 2017. You may read it here.
Making Equity Visible at MRH
The Maplewood Richmond Heights School District Board of Education is committed to the success of every student in each of our schools. Considering MRH’s mission and goals, MRH recognizes that elements including, but not limited to, socio-economic status, disability, race, ethnicity and gender, can deprive students of educational equity. MRH seeks to remove educational hurdles for all children. Educational Equity – Educational policies, practices, interactions and resources are representative of, constructed by, and responsive to all people such that each individual has access to, can participate and make progress in high-quality learning experiences that empower them toward self-determination and reduces disparities in outcomes regardless of individual characteristics and cultural identities. (Fraser, 1986; Great Lakes Equity Center, 2012, n.p.)
MRH Board, Superintendent Partner With MAP Equity Assistance Center
The Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center (MAP) is one of four regional Equity Assistance Centers, funded by the United States Department of Education under Title IV of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The MAP Center provides technical assistance and training in the areas of race, sex, national origin, and religion to public school districts and other responsible governmental agencies to promote equitable educational opportunities and work in the areas of civil rights, equity, and school reform. The Center entered a partnership with MRH schools to achieve the following:
- Improve distribution of effective teachers and principals;
- Improve school engagement, environment, and school safety, as well as family and community engagement in schools;
- Increase and support data-based decision making related to use of research-based, culturally responsive curricula and instructional practices in classrooms, schools, and districts;
- Build coalitions between higher education, PreK-12 systems, communities, and families;
- Promote equity by addressing needs of historically underserved students, including students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds;
- Address the disproportionate representation of minority students in special, gifted, and advanced placement (AP) programs as well as STEM education;
- Support, develop, and disseminate effective approaches to school dropout prevention and reentry;
- Support districts transitioning to unitary status in desegregation cases.
Considerations for on-line and distance learning
National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ)
Upcoming webinar: talking to kids about the twin pandemics of racism and COVID-19.
Feb. 23, 2017: MRH Resolution on Educational Equity and Social Justice
October 2, 2019: MRH Leadership Forges New Energy into Educational Equity
February 21, 2020: Policies on Educational Equity, Gender Identity Adopted by MRH Board