The Office of Equity
OVERVIEW OF THE OFFICE
For more than three decades, Pittsburgh Public Schools has been working attentively towards building racial equity. Leading in a spirit of developing, implementing, and acting on knowledge that repairs the circumstances and effects of public education history in Pittsburgh is valuable work.
Today, we work with a community-appointed group jointly selected by the Original Advocates for African American Students of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and the school district, known as the Equity Advisory Panel, to embed recommendations that support equity through unrelenting advocacy. Together we strive to move the needle on equity develop tools to encourage cross-functional supports that convert to frameworks for educational improvement and transformation. move the needle
Over time, we have seen progressions in school and District culture. The Office of Equity, established in 2012, is supportive in this process but we know our collective work is far from over.
EQUITY IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY
In order to achieve real transformation and system change, all equity initiatives require long-term commitment and strong support throughout the entire organization.
Dr. Barbara A. Sizemore led the original Advocates for African American Students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools that filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Committee. The District and the Advocates reached a Conciliation Agreement in September 2006. The Agreement detailed 94 issues action steps to address how the District could reduce the achievement gap, provide instructional support, and create an environment of equity for its African American students to be remedied within five years or by 2012. In this Agreement, it outlined the creation of an independent volunteer Equity Advisory Panel to monitor the district’s compliance with the Agreement.
During the initial period, “substantial progress” was not achieved; consequently, an extended two-year Memorandum of Understanding continued the Agreement to 2014. After two years, “substantial progress” was not met again; therefore, an additional five-year Memorandum of Understanding extended the Agreement to 2020.
On October 24, 2018, Pittsburgh Public Schools Board of Directors adopted the Policy 102.5 Equity and Excellence in Education
On November 9, 2019, Pittsburgh Public Schools announced the next phase in its ongoing efforts to bridge racial equity gaps in the city’s public schools. On Track to Equity: Integrating Equity Throughout PPS is a comprehensive implementation plan that seeks to reduce racial disparities throughout the District and elevate the achievement levels of African American students.