Educational equity means that every student has access to the resources and educational rigor they need at the right moment in their education, across race, gender, ethnicity, language, ability, sexual orientation, family background, and/or family income.*
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Wisconsin RtI Center and the Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network have collaboratively developed Equity: Wisconsin's Model to Inform Culturally Responsive Practices.
This model describes the beliefs, knowledge, and skills Wisconsin educators and schools cultivate to reach and teach diverse learners and achieve equity within their multi-level systems of supports.
Equity: Culturally Responsive Practice
Becoming culturally responsive is a lifelong journey, not a final destination. This journey involves intentionally choosing to stay engaged in introspection, embracing alternative truths, and ensuring that every student is successful (Singleton & Linton, 2006; Promoting Excellence for All, 2015).
This process is represented on the outer circle of the model as:
- Will: The desire to lead and a commitment to achieving equitable outcomes for all students,
- Fill: Gaining cultural knowledge about ourselves and others, and
- Skill: Applying knowledge and leading the change, skillfully putting beliefs and learning into action.
The arrows illustrate the ongoing, unfinished nature of this work.
The eight areas in the inner circle describe actions of cultural responsiveness within will, fill, and skill. For those just beginning this work, these areas can be used as steps in an “inside-out” process, starting with knowing oneself first, learning about others next, and then moving to action (Cross, et. al, 1989). Those further along in their journey see these areas as recursive as they purposely seek out ways to deepen their beliefs, knowledge, practice, and impact over time.
*Adapted from The Aspen Education & Society Program and the Council of Chief State School Officers. 2017. Leading for Equity: Opportunities for State Education Chiefs. Washington, D.C.