Come together for equity

Rework beliefs, actions, and systems through professional learning

By Jill Harrison Berg and Sonia Caus Gleason
October 2018
Vol. 39 No. 5
The word “equity” is found throughout U.S. schools today — in district mission statements, school vision documents, and classroom posters. It is used to signify a value that feels fundamental to our democracy and public education system: Students’ educational outcomes should not be determined by their demographics, including race, ZIP code, primary language, gender, and/or disability. Yet equity can feel elusive in practice. Education stakeholders who aim to advance equity in practice might approach this work from different fronts. Policymakers and district administrators might focus on providing all students with access to quality educational resources, including high-quality school facilities, teachers, curriculum and instructional materials. Local agencies and school partners might concern themselves with improving all students’ readiness to learn, for example, by addressing disparities in

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Jill Harrison Berg and Sonia Caus Gleason

Jill Harrison Berg ( is a researcher and consultant on teacher leadership and systemic improvement. Sonia Caus Gleason ( is director of strategic learning and evaluation at Nellie Mae Education Foundation.


Anti-Defamation League. (2017). 2017 audit of anti-Semitic incidents. Available at

Gleason, S. & Gerzon, N. (2013). Growing into equity: Professional learning and personalization in high-achieving schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Southern Poverty Law Center. (2018). Intelligence Report. 2017: The year in hate and extremism. Available at

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