Our goal is to support district leaders in identifying racial, economic, language, gender or disability inequities in access to teaching, programs, and resources that lead to variability in student outcomes.
To enhance our support of districts, or as a stand-alone process, NCUST conducts district-level audits to identify opportunity and resulting achievement and attainment gaps different groups of students may experience. Teachers, administrators, school board members and community members are often aware of inequities in various aspects of their schools, but they rarely have systematically examined these areas and then devised ways to eliminate the inequities. Our audits are intended to bring these issues to light so educators have a clear, accurate and useful understanding of the degree of inequity present in their own schools and school districts. In general, our audits identify the similarities
and differences between the systems and practices employed by a particular school or district and those in place in the highly effective schools and districts we have studied. In short, we look for evidence of the three critical characteristics found in urban schools where all groups of students achieve at high levels: access for all to challenging curricula, effective instruction that leads to engagement and mastery, and a positive transformational school culture. Further, we attempt to link the gaps we identify to the assumptions, beliefs, practices, procedures, and policies of schools and districts themselves Each equity audit generates a report with findings and recommendations that address root causes and systemic issues.
We tailor each audit to the goals of the particular district. Our approach is collaborative and intends to build on district strengths, existing initiatives and inform next steps for continued improvement and more equitable student outcomes.
Key Features Include:
Our General Process Includes:
- Day-long site visits to a representative sample of schools that include: an interview with the principal; focus-groups with the leadership team, teachers, staff, students and parents; and observations of teaching and learning in every classroom.
- Focus groups with a representative sample of district staff across departments and community members.
- We then search for themes across the data gathered and compare what we see in these schools to what we have learned from the very successful urban schools and districts we have studied.
- A report is prepared that describes our findings and provides key recommendations.