National Equity Standards

1. Educational environments are created that honor diversity and respect the individual


  • Diversity and human difference are openly and sensitively discussed in the school and community both informally and as part of the formal curriculum.

  • School personnel understand how student learning is influenced by individual experience, gender, talents, and prior learning, as well as language, culture, family, and community values.

  • Policies are in place to ensure that schools and school personnel respect diversity. Clear procedures exist for resolving discrimination and harassment complaints of students and school personnel.

  • Acceptable behavior, language, and dress standards are clearly identified and non-discriminatory. Disciplinary policies are clear and penalties are equal for all students.

  • Published documents, informational brochures, school-wide displays, and visual materials portray females and males of varied racial, ethnic, age, and ability groups in a variety of roles.

  • Respectful behavior is modeled and reinforced so students develop positive views of themselves and their futures.

  • Inclusive language is used by all those in the educational environment including students and staff.

  • Resources are allocated to provide safety for all students; programs are established that reduce incidents of fighting, battery, and weapons use (e.g., natural helpers, peer mediation, anger management).

Related Student-Content Standards: #1

  • Students know how to work and relate effectively across genders, cultures, and abilities.

  • Students possess knowledge of laws, ethics, and dynamics related to discrimination, bias, prejudice, and stereotyping in the learning environment and workplace that are age and developmentally appropriate.

  • Students exhibit positive attitudes toward self, especially as it relates to their gender, demonstrating confidence in their ability to learn and accept personal responsibility.

  • Students identify societal attitudes about gender roles for men and women.

  • Students address societal attitudes about gender roles for men and women to promote and reflect fairness.

[#1 Within the construct of system-building standards there is specific content that addresses equity issues in a direct way with students. Where appropriate these content standards are presented. It is recommended that content standards related to equity be included in curriculum frameworks or courses of study. They are applicable across content areas and may be adapted for developmental appropriateness.]

2. Educational leaders assure equity in governance


  • An identified individual or group (e.g., administrator and/or experienced faculty) takes leadership for ensuring equity is an integral part of daily school life and all educational processes.

  • School personnel, especially those from underrepresented groups, have the opportunity to influence formal and informal decision-making at all levels.

  • All school committees contain members who are knowledgeable about equity issues and are representative of the diversity of the educational community.

  • Leadership roles (e.g., department chairs and chairs of special committees) reflect the gender and ethnic make-up of the educational community.

  • Administrators are evaluated on their support and incorporation of equity standards.

  • School resources are targeted at addressing equity and diversity issues including making time available to staff members to collaborate and improve their own skills and knowledge regarding student diversity.

3. Preservice and in-service education equips faculty, administrators, and staff with the skills needed to teach and work with diverse student populations and communities


  • Regular in-service education is offered to help educational staff identify and overcome bias and to confidently meet the needs of a diverse classroom/school.

  • Information is provided to educational staff regarding local, regional, and national workshops, conferences, and professional development opportunities related to diversity and equity issues. Equitable support is provided for participation in those activities.

  • Teachers increasingly indicate they feel prepared to meet the needs of diverse students and understand the profession in the context of our diverse society.

  • Preservice teacher education links content knowledge, experience, and diversity with instructional strategies that enhance student achievement.

  • Preservice practicums and/or student teaching experiences provide teachers and administrators experience in working with a wide variety of students.

  • Curriculum standards for professional programs emphasize the integration of theory and practice as related to diversity and utilize performance assessment and field experience to support learning.

  • Curriculum standards for professional programs emphasize all aspects of subject content and include the contributions of diverse populations.

4. Fair and impartial teaching practices are incorporated into classrooms to facilitate the academic achievement of all students


  • Teachers positively reinforce the abilities and interests of all students when interacting with students, parents, or school personnel.

  • Teachers hold high expectations and standards for all students.

  • Teaching strategies and methods address the learning styles of each student.

  • Teacher interactions are structured to provide maximum interaction with every student.

  • All classroom procedures and patterns, including seating, lines, activity areas, academic, and athletic groups are gender, ability and race inclusive.

  • Students are taught to understand and value diversity through both the formal and informal curriculum.

  • Heterogeneous grouping is predominately used to promote social understanding and enhance opportunities for success in a wide variety of social settings.

  • Alternatives to tracking are explored especially where data indicates that tracking leads to lower achievement and aspirations for students.

  • Inclusive language is modeled in teaching.

5. Fair and impartial assessment practices are incorporated into classrooms and testing programs


  • Educational progress and/or student achievement is based on multiple forms of assessments that include authentic assessments such as performance-based or portfolio assessments.

  • Assessment strategies are sensitive to how students learn (e.g., written, verbal, kinesthetic, and/or visual) and are administered in a manner that permits individual students to demonstrate mastery of content.

  • Assessment strategies are subject to continuous review and improvement.

  • Accommodations in assessments are made and are based on the students' need.

  • Accommodations do not give the student an advantage over other students and do not change the nature of what is being tested.

  • All students are provided with alternatives for earning credit through challenge exams and performance tests.

6. Curricula and personnel are evaluated to ensure that issues of equity and diversity are consistently addressed


  • Equitable teaching strategies are included in teacher and administrator evaluation and accountability.

  • Teacher-student interaction patterns are studied to promote equitable involvement with every student.

  • Curriculum materials appeal to and are relevant to the interests and needs of a diverse student audience (i.e., students see an accurate and consistent reflection of themselves including gender, race, abilities in the materials they study); if not, supplemental materials are consistently utilized or materials are developed.

  • A process is in place to regularly screen curricula and instructional materials, including computer software, for potential bias and stereotyping.

  • Inclusive language is used in the classroom and in curricular and learning materials including computer software.

7. Data on student achievement and programs is collected and evaluated to ensure that all groups benefit from educational practices and policies


  • A data collection system clearly identifies the educational progress of all students; information is disaggregated to identify performance of all population groups.

  • Class enrollment trends are monitored relative to gender, ethnicity, ability, and other socio-cultural factors.

  • The number of underrepresented students completing high level courses increases, especially in the areas of math, science, and technology, until they match or exceed their representation in the general population.

  • The number of underrepresented students who meet state and local performance standards increases until they match or exceed that of the general population.

  • Data reflecting student achievement is evaluated and used to provide direction for systemic change and improvement.

  • The percentage of underrepresented students who earn a high school diploma, postsecondary certificate or diploma, or certificate of final achievement increases until the percentage matches or exceeds that of the general population.

  • Underrepresented and at-risk students have increased success and lower drop-out rates.

8. The entire learning curriculum is available to all students through comprehensive, individualized planning and course selection


  • Students are integrated in all programs without regard to gender, race, disability, and/or national origin to enhance their potential for future success.

  • Master schedules encourage gender fair enrollment (e.g., a traditionally female class is not scheduled at the same time as a traditionally male class).

  • Computer technology is available to all students including equitable access to up-to-date equipment and software that is free of stereotyping and bias.

  • Underrepresented groups are recruited and encouraged to enroll in advanced math, science, and technology courses and programs as well as other programs where gender imbalance exists (e.g., young men in family-related programs, advanced languages, etc.).

  • Mentoring and support groups exist for students who enroll in non-traditional classes.

  • All students have the opportunity to earn college credit and take advanced standing courses prior to graduation from high school.

  • A career development process is available to help students identify traditional and nontraditional career options, understand occupational trend projections for high wage and high skilled careers, and to develop individualized educational and career plans.

  • Support services exist, where needed, to ensure participation in educational programs (e.g., child care needs for teen parents; transportation needs for students without economic availability of personal transportation; tuition, textbooks, or tools for students who demonstrate financial need; and accommodations for learners with disabilities and second language learners).

Related Student-Content Standards: #2

  • Students identify the relationship of changing demographics of the workplace related to gender and diversity to career planning, career decision-making, and realities in the workplace.

  • Students describe the impact of gender role expectations on the development of life skills (e.g., punctuality, appropriate emotional expression, time management) and their importance in managing the dual roles of work and family.

  • Students identify the benefits for both male and females in acquiring skills in math, science, technology, reading, and writing and the benefits of educational achievement for all students.

  • Students identify the impact of socio-cultural roles and expectations in their decisions related to education, career planning, and course selection.

[#2 Within the construct of system-building standards there is specific content that addresses equity issues in a direct way with students. Where appropriate these content standards are presented. It is recommended that content standards related to equity be included in curriculum frameworks or courses of study. They are applicable across content areas and may be adapted for developmental appropriateness.]

9. Financial resources, facilities, and staffing are allocated in ways that provide opportunity and success for all students


  • Equity issues are considered when educators are recruited (e.g., teachers of ethnic minorities, male elementary educators, female math and science educators, nontraditional occupational teachers, qualified teachers for rural areas).

  • Data on staffing patterns is collected and analyzed to ensure the educational workforce reflects the ethnic and gender make-up of the school.

  • Incentives are developed for those who accept more challenging teaching assignments (e.g., working with high need students).

  • School funding policies recognize that differing needs and circumstances require different interventions and incur different costs.

  • Financial support is allocated for special needs of students (e.g., adaptive equipment, child care, large print materials, transportation).

  • Resources are allocated to provide equitable facilities and learning environments for all students.

10. Parents/caregivers, community organizations, business/industry, and schools work together as partners to promote academic achievement and inclusive learning environments


  • Outreach activities (e.g., newsletters, open houses, workshops) empower parents, partners, and caregivers to become involved in the student's education.

  • Parents are aware of the effects of stereotyping and bias and its impact on educational achievement.

  • Data is collected which shows the number of families involved in the school community and the growth in involvement, especially of traditionally underrepresented families.

  • Schools are sensitive to work schedules and work demands of parents and create schedules to accommodate working parents (e.g., flexible scheduling of conferences, open houses, and special programs).

  • Schools and social service agencies collaborate to provide services (e.g., parenting education, early childhood services, and comprehensive health and health education programs) to decrease poverty-connected inequities that may reduce a student's readiness to learn.

  • Successful strategies that reduce inequities are publicized throughout the community.

  • Partnerships are established between schools and all facets of the community to enhance home-to-school-to-work transitions and to ensure that all students find appropriate educational and employment opportunities.

  • Community members, organizations, and businesses provide opportunities to promote equity, especially for nontraditional and underrepresented students, by serving as field trip hosts and/or becoming involved in job-shadowing and/or mentoring programs.

Work-Related Equity Standards (For Community Organizations, Business, Labor, and Industry): #3

  • Workplaces or community organizations which serve as learning environments for students honor diversity and foster respect for the individual.

  • Organizational recruitment and promotion policies result in a diverse workforce.

  • Evaluation policies of organizations promote respect and reward productivity and work qualities, regardless of gender, disability, or ethnic background.

  • Training is provided to workers, mentors, and community members to develop skills needed to work with diverse student populations.

  • The highest standards for safety, including adherence to local, state, and federal requirements, are in place, especially related to gender and disability issues.

  • Workplaces or community organizations reflect adherence to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related amendments of 1978, Title IX, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974.

  • Students are informed about the laws, policies, and procedures related to equity which are in place for their protection in the working environment.

  • Students see and experience workers of both genders, varying abilities, and ethnic backgrounds at all levels of the organization and in a wide variety of job functions.

[#3 Among the educational reform efforts sweeping our country today, one of the most critical is the effort to make curriculum more relevant to the lives of students by using the community or workplace as a learning environment. Professional programs and career education programs have successfully used cooperative education, work experience, and internship experience for many years to promote student learning. Currently, the national School-to-Work and Service-Learning initiatives acknowledge and utilize the community and workplaces for relevance in learning. As more students enter external environments for learning, it is imperative that those environments also adhere to the same quality standards as traditional school environments. In addition to the relevant System-Building Standards already identified, the following standards are recommended as guidelines to those community and business enterprises who wish to promote the best quality learning for students.]