MPS Board Hears Proposed Statement of Equity | News, Sports, Jobs

MARSHALL — Marshall Public Schools is updating its strategic plans, and part of the process school board members were asked to consider was whether to adopt a statement on equity and fairness for students.

At Monday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Jeremy Williams shared an equity statement used by the Minnesota Department of Education.

“I feel like it really encompasses our core values,” said Williams. After discussion on Monday, Williams said he plans to bring the statement back to the board at an upcoming meeting.

“Thinking about where we are as a district and thinking about our new strategic plan, one of the things we talked about is adopting an equity statement as a board of directors. “, said Williams. He said MPS board members resented the statement “corresponds to a lot of what we talked about at the board table.”

Williams read a copy of the statement from the Department of Education. The statement was also included in the school board meeting records.

“Equity in education is the condition for justice, equity and inclusion in our system so that all students have access to opportunities to learn and develop to their fullest potential” , the statement read. “The pursuit of equity in education recognizes the historical conditions and barriers that have impeded learning opportunities and success for students based on their race, income, and other social conditions. Removing these structural and institutional barriers to educational opportunities requires systemic change that allows for the distribution of resources, information, and other forms of support based on the student’s circumstances to ensure an equitable outcome. .

The statement went on to say that equity was different from equality. “Fairness is a principle based on justice and fairness, while equality requires that everyone be treated equally”, the statement said.

Williams also shared a list of “Ten Minnesota Commitments to Equity”, that the Department of Education used in meetings. The list of commitments included actions such as allocating resources to learners who need them most, working with community partners, and implementing standards equitably for all students.

School board members had questions about the proposed equity statement. Board member Matt Coleman was unsure of the purpose of the statement.

“What kind of systemic changes can we make? » said Coleman. Public schools aren’t supposed to do things like equalize family incomes, he said.

“What I consider a start for us is that we think about our goals, our planning and our budgeting, look at it using this framework and think, ‘Are we making sure that we count for all our students?” said Williams.

For example, Williams said, schools can think about making sure students are required to bring supplies they may not have access to.

“I don’t know if it’s any different from the practice of what this district has been doing for years,” said school board member Aaron Ziemer. Adopting the equity statement would only formalize what MPS is already doing, he said.

Board member Bill Mulso had positive comments on the statement.

“I like that we define what equity is. I think it is essential that people understand that fairness is not equality,” Mulso said. He said he also liked the “Ten Commitments” list, as it explained how the district could seek equity.

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