African American Equity Task Force
In response to the Dr. Bailey report on the factors contributing to the opportunity gap that exists for our African American students and educators, the DPS Board of Education and Superintendent commissioned an African American Equity Task Force in the fall of 2016.
The African American Equity Task Force was asked to develop and present a set of prioritized recommendations to help close the Opportunity Gap for our African American students and educators. The task force was made up of more than 100 parents, educators and community leaders who received guidance from an executive council made up of leaders in Denver’s African American community. The work was a significant time investment for community members. From surveys to community meetings — sometimes twice a week — the team dedicated themselves to finding ways to improve outcomes for African American students and educators.
While there is still work to do, the initial partnership effort marks a tremendous start toward providing culturally responsive instruction for students, improving engagement with families and ensuring equity for all.
Our most recent progress in each recommendation area of the African American Equity Task Force can be found here.
Since being presented and accepted by the Board of Education in June of 2017, the district has developed work plans and prioritized actions in response to the recommendations. Since the adoption of the recommendations, five implementation teams have been created with the task of driving results toward each of the recommendations. These teams collaborate with multiple departments and organizations to develop and prioritize actions that will lead to results.
The final recommendations have been organized into the following groups:
Recommendation 1: The AAETF recommends that Denver Public Schools provide funding for the creation of an African American Equity Team that will ensure the African American Equity Agreement is upheld, effectively implemented and evaluated on an ongoing basis.
District and School Structures to Promote Equity
Recommendation 1: We recommend that every school and department creates and publicly disseminates an Equity Plan that outlines both its commitment to equity and its plan to address inequity for African American students and employees.
Recommendation 2: We recommend that DPS adapt and expand the SPF Equity Indicator to integrate additional data that provide a more robust understanding of a school’s “equity performance.” This additional data is crucial for effective school-level progress monitoring and accountability related to equity for African American students and other marginalized groups.
Culturally Responsive Instruction, Engagement and Communication
Recommendation 1: We recommend that DPS develop and implement systems to support consistent and ongoing professional development focused on improving instruction, engagement and communication with African American students, families and community members.
Recommendation 2: We recommend that DPS ensure curricular materials are culturally responsive to African American students.
Targeted Supports for Students
Recommendation 1: We recommend that DPS develop and implement an African American Equitable Access Plan that increases African American students’ access to high value learning opportunities such as: Advanced Placement (AP), Gifted, Talented (GT/Honors), Concurrent Enrollment, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math (STEM/STEAM), CareerConnect, International Baccalaureate (IB), Middle Year Programming (MYP), student leadership and magnet programs.
Community and Family Resources
Recommendation 1: We recommend that DPS establish Community and Family Opportunity Centers (CFOs) that respond to and serve African American students and families living in Far Northeast and Near Northeast neighborhoods.
Recommendation 2: We recommend that DPS create school-level and district level Black Family Advisory Councils that give voice to the goals, needs and concerns of African American students, families and community members.
Recommendation 3: We recommend that DPS design and disseminate a supportive assessment and planning tool that assists African American students and families in successfully navigating the school process at all levels, ECE through 12th grade.
Equitable Employment Practices and Work Environments
Recommendation 1: We recommend that DPS create a district-led HR Task Force responsible for the development, implementation and oversight of equitable recruitment, hiring, promotion, renewal, and compensation processes and practices.
Recommendation 2: We recommend that DPS develop both systems and structures to attract and retain African American educators.
Opportunities to Engage
African American Education Network
The purpose of the African American Education Network is to provide African American students, parents and families with a tool to help navigate PreK-20 education in Denver and beyond. Visit the website, and/or submit an event here.
Become an Equity Ambassador
Are you interested in receiving updates about our progress, invites to events in support of equity and inclusion, and opportunities to provide meaningful feedback? If so, please complete the form to sign up as an Equity Ambassador. Sign up here.