Our Building for Equity framework first and foremost is centered on ensuring equitable student outcomes, the result of aligned and equity-focused people, policies, processes and practices. If our ultimate goal is true equity within the fraught context of K-12 U.S. education, we have learned that we can only do by dismantling power structures that currently produce inequity and rob agency from under-resourced students and families; including all voices in visioning, planning, and implementation; and learning for transformation both internally and externally, can we hope to achieve true and sustainable equity.

In order to achieve these outcomes, we have learned that three Critical Drivers must simultaneously be present:

  • Culturally Responsive Design Principles ensure that schools are built to ensure that the mental, social-emotional, and engagement needs of all students are met, ensuring in particular that the school is inclusive and supportive of students of color, low-income students, English Learners, and students with learning differences. There is no single set of design elements that indicate a culturally responsive school, but CCE’s principles can serve as a beacon for design teams. Get started with the School Self-Assessment tool here.

  • Intersection of Self & Systems is the personal learning that individual educators must do to examine their own identities, biases, beliefs and privileges in the wider context of their local, national, and global institutions: in short, their positionality. CCE offers a wide array of coaching options to support educators in this aspect of the work. Get started with the Intersection of Self and Systems Personal Learning Guide here.

  • Community-Driven Process is the journey that is often as important as the destination, not least in school redesign work. In order for schools to become authentically responsive, the process by which they are created must include and give voice to the community that will be most affected by its school: the students, families, and the wider community. Our Equitable Redesign Cycle begins with the development of a right-size inquiry question, moves through the four phases of the cycle, and concludes with evaluations and future planning. The Cycle is designed to emphasize equity at every phase and step, in action-oriented and practicable ways.

Continue to Phase 1 of the Equitable Redesign Cycle

An approach to teaching and learning that is flexible and adaptable, adjusting the system to the individual students and what they need to be successful in today's diverse, global world.
Students exercise voice and choice in their learning, embracing their individual strengths, needs, interests, and cultural backgrounds.
The ability to use the cultural characteristics, experiences, and perspectives of culturally and linguistically diverse learners as conduits for teaching them more effectively. (Geneva Gay, 2002)
Developed in a way that ensures a barrier-free environment for all students, ensuring that every student, particularly those within historically underserved groups, has what they need to be successful. To be truly equitable, schools must not only have equity of opportunity, but of outcomes.
The process of envisioning, designing, and implementing a school model, either from scratch as a way of redesigning and disrupting the existing educational system, or as part of the transformation of an existing school.