Practicing equity in our schools can ensure all students master rigorous standards and graduate high school college and/or career ready. The author, a long-time public-school educator, helps her colleagues understand more deeply what the practice of equity involves and how to use it to create cultures and systems in our current schools that go beyond a rudimentary education for some students to ensuring even the most marginalized of students achieve at the highest levels. This book encourages teachers, principals, and district leaders to each maximize the practice of equity in their various positions so that together we ensure a bright future for our children and our country. Equity practices in nurturing school culture, reading instruction, content area literacies, effective instructional practices, student supports, social services, and distribution of resources is required to ensure equality in outcomes so that education truly becomes the great equalizer Horace Mann proclaimed it to be.
GwenCarol Holmes has worked passionately for over 40 years to educate ALL students in numerous schools all across the United States, both rural and urban, large and small. She has served as a classroom teacher, reading specialist, educational provider and researcher, chief academic officer, and superintendent.
Preface: Rigorous Education for All
Chapter 1: What Is Equity?
Chapter 2: Foundations of Equity in Schools
Chapter 3: Building Cultures that Support Equity
Chapter 4: Reading - the Basis of Equity in School
Chapter 5: Literacy in the Content Areas
Chapter 6: Highly Effective Instruction
Chapter 7: Student Supports
Chapter 8: Social Services: Why We Need Them
Chapter 9: Allocating Resources for Equity
Appendix A: Professional Learning Plans
Appendix B: Reflections and Next Step
If you’ve picked up this book, you already understand the urgency of equity - educating all students to high levels. This book is comprehensive & concise, personal & research based, and provides all you need to begin or continue the equity journey in your classroom, school, or district. Dr. Holmes has navigated this journey in multiple settings, and provides up-to-date information on what works and what needs to change. Anecdotes and data provide the motivation to keep yourself going and get others on board, reflection questions provide the basis for individuals and groups to examine their current beliefs and practices, and research-based strategies provide the basis for deciding what to do next.
GwenCarol Holmes writes powerfully, from her heart, about how others can take up her mission: relentless pursuit of excellence for all students. As a teacher, a school operator, a school improvement coach, and a superintendent, Holmes has spoken truth to power. Her reflections on a career full of determination, hard work, and countless successes shines a light on the daily changes that any educator can make in order to make a difference for the children who need it most. I will be sharing this book with many educators!
Dr. GwenCarol Holmes provides insightful, impactful and practical steps to affording an equitable education for all students especially our most marginalized students in education. If you are striving to unapologetically remove barriers and change the culture of your school or school system; then this book will provide guidance for ensuring that the social, emotional and academic learning needs of students are met to provide an equitable learning experience. From understanding what equity means in education to truly focusing on core instruction to equitably allocating resources; this book is a must read for all educators to truly change the equity narrative in education. Dr. Holmes has applied her experiences throughout her 40+ years in education to provide a profound perspective on equity for all in schools across the nation!
I appreciate and applaud Dr. Homes’ thoughtful, thorough, and research rich examination of equity within our schools. She passionately guides us on a journey to do what’s right by our most precious resource: our children. Dr. Holmes educates us on the nuances that we need to reach every child regardless of academic demands, language differences, poverty, mental health needs or social-emotional necessities. I dare school boards, health professionals, parents, and business owners to sample the book to truly understand the complexities and the comprehensive nature required to create a team to educate our children. Dr. Holmes writes with the detail of a map maker, the determination of a protector of culture and community, the storytelling of a historian, and the heart of all educators. If you are a lover of ‘choose your own adventure’ novels, you will find this book one to treasure as there are numerous paths each school/district can follow to find their way to mastery.