Restoring the Soul to Education: Equity Closes the Achievement Gap

Restoring the Soul to Education: Equity Closes the Achievement Gap

Restoring the Soul to Education: Equity Closes the Achievement Gap

Restoring the Soul to Education: Equity Closes the Achievement Gap


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Mainly aimed at educators and administrators, this book is also relevant for any parent or community member concerned with equity and quality education. While it is nonfiction, it can be read with the same eagerness one often approaches fiction--you will keep turning pages, eager to see what will happen in each school district. The engaging and heart-centered writing makes the concepts, examples, and practical tools more accessible, giving the reader a better grasp of the challenges in pursuing educational equity and what can make a significant difference. Dr. Carmen Ayala, Dr. John Harper, and Bea Young become real-life heroes whose commitment to students will make you want to keep reading to see the impact of their work. This book also includes a chapter on culturally responsive curriculum, written by Susan O'Halloran, a nationally recognized equity consultant.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610660778
Publisher: Writers of the Round Table Press
Publication date: 09/12/2019
Pages: 130
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.28(d)

About the Author

Dr. Carmen I. Ayala has 36 years in education and serves as the 30th State Superintendent of Education in Illinois. She is the first woman and person of color appointed to the position. Previously, she served children and families as a bilingual and general education teacher, director, assistant superintendent, and district superintendent. She has a strong background in systemic curriculum development, which has resulted in all students being able to thrive, grow, and achieve.

Bea Young has been actively involved in supporting educational equity since her teaching days in the 1960s. She spent the summer of 1964 in Mississippi helping to develop the curriculum for the Civil Rights Freedom Schools. In 1965, she became the first education services director for the Illinois Commission on Human Relations and was later appointed to executive director. Shortly thereafter, she became a consultant in the business world where she was a pioneer in developing cultural change through diversity and inclusion for Fortune 500 companies across the country. In 2005, she returned to her first love, education, and created Bea Young Associates, LLC: Collaboration for Educational Equity.

Michael Kilgore worked as director of education and planning at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics during the 1980s. Over the past four decades, he has partnered with Bea Young, managing corporate and educational change efforts related to diversity and now educational equity. He coauthored cultural audits for multiple school districts, including those for Plainfield District 202 and Berwyn North District 98. Michael is also a magazine editor, musician, and vocalist.

Table of Contents

Why You Need to Read This Book ix

Authors’ Soul Journeys xi

Preface xvii

Part I. What We Did 1

Chapter 1. The Plainfield District 202 Success Story: A Journey through the Storms of Nature and Culture 3

1990: Storm of Nature Changes the Dynamics and Destiny of D202

2003: The Cultural Storm Creates White Residents’ Fear

2005: District’s Awakening Awareness around Difference

A National Awareness: No Child Left Behind

Hiring the Team Comes with Resistance

The Curriculum Strategy

The Cultural Responsiveness Strategy

Measurable Achievement Results

What Made the Difference in Lowering the Achievement Gap?

Postscript: A Moral Compass in the Storms

Chapter 2. Berwyn North District 98: The Second Success Story—By Choice, Not Chance 27

Building on Lessons Learned at Plainfield District 202

Another Storm: An Intentional One

Five Major Initiatives Emerge

Beginning with the Cultural Audit Data

Responding to Resistance

Moving Forward with Inclusive Behaviors

Grounding District 98’s Change Effort in Cultural Responsiveness

Measuring Achievement Results

Achievement Results at District 98

Two Systemic Processes Close the Gap . . . Again

Chapter 3. Lessons Learned: It Takes Leadership, Collaboration, and Soul 47

Part II. What You Can Do: Tools to Take the Equity Journey 61

Introduction: Are You Ready? Personal and Organizational Assessments 63

Chapter 4. How an Organizational Development (OD) Effort Helped Achieve Equity 67


Organizational Development Background and Approach

Bea Young’s Experience with Organizational Development

The Educational Equity Journey Model at Plainfield District 202

Chapter 5. Moving from Exclusion to Inclusive Behaviors 77

Encouraging Inclusive Behaviors: A Critical Component of Creating Cultural Responsiveness

Inclusive versus Exclusive Behaviors Model

Impacts of Inclusive Behaviors Training at District 98

Taking It to Your Districts and Schools

The Urgency of Now: Inclusive and Culturally Responsive Schools

Insights into the Frequency of Your Inclusive Behaviors

Chapter 6. Components of a Culturally Responsive Curriculum 91

Addressing “Blind Spots” through a Culturally Responsive Curriculum

Building Cultural Responsiveness into the District 98 Curriculum

Epilogue: Looking Back and Moving Forward 101

How the 1960s School Integration Efforts Underscore Today’s Push for Educational Equity

Moving Forward: Creating Educational Equity Is the Challenge of This Generation

Suggested Readings for Those Who Want to Pursue Equity Further 105

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