Creating a school and community culture where students and staff are valued and respected and where the curriculum and students' social and emotional wellness are prioritized is at the heart of this book. Equity Implementation: A Case Study and Practices for Educators and Leaders is the follow-up to Shatter the System: Equity Leadership and Social Justice Advocacy in Education. This book draws on the major themes and frameworks presented in Shatter the System to take you on a journey in the life of a school district that reflects the many challenges and triumphs schools experience today. It highlights how educators and leaders within the Ascension School District, a fictitious district, collaborate with their students, school board members, colleagues, and other concerned partners to promote transformational changes to curriculum and social and emotional wellness for all members of the school’s community. Equity-mindful and equity-minded reflections, practices, exercises, and activities are woven throughout the book to support individuals and professional learning communities to build the capacity of equity implementation through an institutional, individual, and interpersonal equity lens.
Candice Dowd Maxwell, EdD is the Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Inclusion at McHenry County College. She is praised for her ability to work with organizations and schools to strengthen, internalize, and operationalize their equity efforts.
Andrea Brown-Thirston, PhD, is the CEO and Founder of Optimal Learning Solutions LLC. Optimal Learning is a consulting company specializing in innovative education solutions to improve student learning outcomes.
Section 1: Why this Book and How Will It Help Me?
Chapter 1: Making the Case
Chapter 2: Introducing the Ascension School District
Chapter 3: Honoring the Personal Journey
Chapter 4: Cultivating an Equity Ecosystem
Section 2: Planning for Change
Chapter 5: Equitable Curriculum and Instruction in Elementary School
Chapter 6: Equitable Curriculum and Instruction in Middle School
Chapter 7: Equitable Curriculum and Instruction in High School
Chapter 8: Social and Emotional Wellness and Wellbeing in Elementary School
Chapter 9: Social and Emotional Wellness and Wellbeing in Middle School
Chapter 10: Social and Emotional Wellness and Wellbeing in High School
Chapter 11: Leveraging the Commitment to Practice
About the Authors
Drs. Maxwell and Brown-Thirston present a compelling analysis of equity education. This book empowers educators to implement equitable practices and inspires readers to commit to transformative change and disruptive practices in education that impact diverse students. This framework is a necessary tool to develop students to not only succeed in the American economy but also compete globally. In their utilization of case studies, I saw the stories of many broken educational systems where millions of our students are educated. This book is a necessary contribution to the field; it provides in depth analysis, thoughtful reflection, and conjures meaningful dialogue to impact current and future generations. This is a must read!
I love the direct, no-nonsense, and thoughtful approach. I also really like the key terms and phrases as well as the key takeaways that summarize what readers should have learned. We need more, not less of this kind of scholarship!
Drs. Andrea Brown-Thirston and Candice Dowd Maxwell provide much-needed guidance to support organizational leaders with tools and strategies to make their organizations more diverse, equitable and inclusive. Included within the text are case studies, video references and team exercises at the end of the chapter to engage teams in DEI efforts. They have developed a text that presents insights from diverse perspectives, while supporting organizations to develop exceptional DEI outcomes. Both authors have years’ experience supporting organizational leaders to make DEI a priority for developing their organizational culture. The content and timing of this book could not have come at a better time.
As a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) focused educational professional, I was thrilled to read Dr. Candice Dowd Maxwell’s (2022) publication, Shatter the System. The practical guidance on the Equity and Social Change Process (ESCP), aided in my work as an advocate and activist within my institution and community. With her second publication, Maxwell walks us through the hard work of creating equity ecosystems. This work is not only timely for the political and social climate we find ourselves in, but we are positioned for a great culture change in education. “The bottom line is the student demographics in public education are changing. School personnel needs to be ready with a culturally affirming, not just culturally responsive, curriculum.” You can see this in her Equitable-Social Change Process (ESCP) as described in Shatter the System, and in her second work, we expound on the final step, auditing and accountability. While those of us who do this work can relate to awareness, advocacy, and access, we often fall short in accountability. Accountability is beyond understanding systems failures, and as Dr. Maxwell states, “...responsibility for actions, behaviors, and thinking of the individuals who have made and detailed their commitment to the process….” Now more than ever, educational systems must take ownership of the systems they allow to dictate policy, practice, and curriculum. It is our responsibility and our imperative as socially conscious educators and equity advocates to do the work.