Decades of reforms have proven insufficient to address persistent racial disparities in educational opportunities. In school systems across the United States, meaningful efforts to ensure access to strong educational opportunities require a bold and significant shift. A new tool from the Learning Policy Institute and the Racial Equity Leadership Network, a program of the Southern Education Foundation, provides a practical and accessible resource for school leaders to support them in understanding, assessing, and advancing racial equity within districts.
The Districts Advancing Racial Equity (DARE) tool captures research-informed, high-leverage aspects of schooling that school leaders can use to create systems that build on the strengths of and respond to the needs of students of color. The tool brings together what is known about district actions that can support racial equity and provides a guide for district leaders to investigate their systems, set equity-oriented goals, and track progress over time. This tool also contains a set of qualitative and quantitative indicators to support data-informed decision-making and track progress toward greater racial equity.
The tool rests on a framework for district leaders and staff to understand the complex ecosystem of policies and practices they design and enact. The DARE framework consists of six key domains, including the following:
- A clear vision for racial equity
- Deeper learning and culturally responsive instructional practices
- Safe, healthy, and inclusive school environments
- Resources that are equitably distributed
- Meaningful partnerships with families and the community
- Data systems that drive progress toward racial equity