On Track to Equity
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.
On Track to Equity is designed to achieve one of the long-term outcomes identified in the District’s 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, Expect Great Things: Eliminate Racial Disparity in Achievement Levels of African American Students. The 97-page plan details 27 key action steps the District is taking toward this goal, each grouped under one of seven focus areas outlined in the MOU between PPS and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. As a starting point, the plan illustrates the District’s commitment to moving beyond compliance with the MOU to demonstrate our commitment to the continued monitoring of our progress and supporting the work of the Equity Advisory Panel (EAP).
The plan is grouped into seven focus areas, each of which includes action steps designed to promote equity within that topic. These focus areas include:
- Board support
- Instructional support
- Equity in discipline
- Reducing the achievement gap
- Equity in Special Education and Special Program access
- Administrative Support
Some examples of action items include:
- Improved professional development for PPS educators to bridge knowledge to practice, particularly in instructional strategies;
- Creating culturally responsive instructional materials;
- A careful review of curricular materials to ensure all students have access to a rigorous education; and
- Developing culturally responsive practices to healing violence and trauma.
In September 2006, PPS signed an agreement with the Advocates for African-American Students that included 94 action steps to reduce the achievement gap, provide instructional support and create an equitable environment for the District’s African-American and other underserved students. In 2012, the District and PHRC agreed to an additional two years of monitoring. The current MOU, which further solidified the District’s commitment to equity in education, requires PPS to provide a detailed implementation plan.
On Track to Equity is designed to achieve one of the long-term outcomes identified in the District’s 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, Expect Great Things. The plan illustrates the District’s commitment to moving beyond compliance with the MOU to demonstrate its commitment to achieving true equity.