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Professional learning and equity directors work hand-in-hand

By Caitlin Ahern and Johnny Cole
June 2021
In the Lexington Public Schools, outside of Boston, Massachusetts, we pride ourselves on being innovative. One of our core values encourages us to “embrace your revolutionary spirit,” harkening back to Lexington’s historic role in the American Revolution. Two years ago, we demonstrated that spirit by creating a director of equity role. Positions like this hadn’t previously existed in many districts like ours — small, suburban, well-resourced, high-performing, historically white, and recently diversifying. We developed the role in part to respond to equity issues that had long existed but were rising in our community’s awareness, like the trend of educators making disproportionate special education referrals and exclusionary disciplinary practices for Black students. But we also recognized we needed help dismantling the larger systems of oppression that

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Caitlin Ahern (cahern@lexingtonma.org) is director of professional learning at Lexington Public Schools in Lexington, Massachusetts.

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Johnny Cole (jcole@lexingtonma.org) is director of equity and student supports for Lexington Public Schools in Lexington, Massachusetts.


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