The group also discussed the possibility of creating a tool for school board members based on the “equity diagnostic” that the state education department incorporates into school and district improvement plans.
The timing is right for this work, said Christian County school board and Cadre member Susan Hayes, with the new state accountability system’s increased focus on achievement gaps. “I think you’re going to see a greater demand because of the way schools are evaluated now,” she said.
The training being developed will be provided to all school boards as part of regular KSBA events, such as annual conference. It also will be available as fee-based, on-site training. The training and materials will be designed to help school board members better understand a range of equity issues, including inclusion, cultural competence and implicit bias, along with generational poverty and institutional racism.
Frankfort Independent school board member Jina Greathouse participates in the discussion
at the KSBA Equity Cadre’s first meeting as Dr. Ron Chi listens.
The focus will be helpful to board members as they learn their role as public charter school authorizers, Schelling said. “We want them to be mindful that schools need to help all students,” she said.
The Center for Gifted Studies at Western Kentucky University also will work with the Equity Cadre to develop training modules, high-quality videos, and an online toolkit to help board members understand the Excellence Gap, a term describing the gap in helping gifted students achieve to the height of their capability.
The Equity Cadre
Jacqueline Pope-Tarrence, coordinator, KSBA Gap Closure Project; academic services coordinator for Bowling Green Independent Schools’ alternative school; and former Bowling Green Independent school board member
Skip Cleavinger, English as a Second Language coordinator, Warren County Schools
Roger Cleveland, assistant professor, Eastern Kentucky University College of Education
Ron Chi, chief academic and innovation officer, Frankfort Independent Schools and Kentucky State University
Veda Pendleton, equity lead, Kentucky Department of Education
Felicia Cumings Smith, assistant superintendent of Academic Services, Jefferson County Schools
Susan Hayes, Christian County school board member
Jina Greathouse, Frankfort Independent school board member
Elaine Farris, retired superintendent