Equity in HISD
Houston GPS is committed to equity as one of our core values. We believe that ALL students, no matter their personal circumstances, deserve the opportunity to reach their highest potential and, in order to do so, they need a school board that supports an equitable learning environment that addresses racism, injustice, and other disparities in education. We believe that ALL families and communities in HISD deserve to be heard and to receive resources and information in a format that is accessible to them. We believe that ALL kids deserve a high-quality education! In order to help realize our vision of equity in HISD, Houston GPS has compiled 8 recommendations to help shape a district-wide definition of equity in HISD. To read the full white paper, visit here.
1. Cover All Students: HISD has one of the most diverse student populations in the country. HISD’s equity definition must be broad enough to protect all groups of students.
2. Address Differences and Gaps: HISD is responsible for making sure that every student has the individual support that they need to be successful and self-sufficient. An equity definition must recognize differences in student needs and gaps in achievement in order to address them.
3. Do Not Confuse Terms: Equity is not the same thing as equality. Equality means that all students have the same support and resources, which means that some students are not getting the help they need, while others are receiving resources that they have no use for. Equity means tailoring support and resources to each student’s needs.
4. Avoid Negative Language: Definitions of equity must recognize that it is the school district’s job to ensure that students have what they need to succeed. HISD must avoid language that shifts this burden to students, families, and communities.
5. Make Equity a Process: HISD should always keep its definition of equity in mind when making decisions.
6. Create an Equity Policy: Along with a definition, HISD needs a formal equity policy that outlines steps it commits to taking.
7. Listen to Community Voice: HISD should make sure it is listening to the needs of its community as it works on its equity process.
8. Monitor Progress: HISD should monitor goals based on commitments made in a formal equity policy to keep it accountable.
Equity is the deliberate process of treating all individuals with respect and providing all students with resources, support, and opportunities that are tailored to their individual needs, in order to ensure that every student has the greatest opportunity to learn and the educational foundation necessary to achieve personal success and self-sufficiency for school, for career, and for life.