District Administration December2017 - 44

SPONSORED WEB SEMINAR DIGEST

Ensuring Equity of
Opportunity in the Baltimore
County Public Schools
Key Learnings from BCPS: Closing the Achievement Gap
A District Administration Web Seminar Digest * Originally presented on October 19, 2017
Districts are increasingly tasked with providing options for at-risk and underserved student populations
to address persistent achievement gaps. While nationwide gains in closing achievement gaps have been
made, research shows that underserved student populations still achieve at lower rates than their peers
in many areas.
In this web seminar, the executive director of the Office of Equity and Cultural Proficiency discussed
how the Baltimore County Public Schools is fulfilling its commitment to support equal opportunities for all
students, and is seeing results in closing achievement gaps. From training and professional development,
to establishing consistent policies and using high-quality digital curriculum to transform the classroom,
BCPS is realizing its vision to create instructional environments that support academic rigor and cultural
relevance, while igniting the potential of each and every student.

LISA WILLIAMS
Executive Director of the Office of Equity and
Cultural Proficiency
Baltimore County Public Schools
The Baltimore County Public Schools of 1984 was a
system where the majority of students were white,
the majority of students were middle class. In the
years since 1984, that has completely shifted. Our
student population is majority students of color,
with African-American students being the greatest
percentage of the population among our groups of
students of color.
Part of our equity work had to deal with that
significant change. What does it mean organizationally
to have such a very important shift in the composition
of who we serve-in terms of how we're thinking
about curriculum, how we're thinking about teaching
and learning, how we're thinking about the provision
of transportation services? What does this change in

population have to do with how we do our work?
It became very clear to us a number of years ago
that we had to grapple with the differences that
serving a diverse population of students should
make in terms of our orientation as a school system.
Instead of problematizing children, or problematizing
communities, one of the things we ask in our district
is whether we are responding to the needs of our
learners. Certainly the use of technology and being
more nimble in terms of our engagements at the
classroom level have been a huge focus of our work.
When you look at our teaching population, when
you look at the population of school leaders, when
you look at the population of folks who are leading
offices, the diversity in those spaces is not similar to
schools. Like many school districts across the country,
most of our teaching force is white and female. How
do we create structures so that there are learning
opportunities for teachers who may be culturally or
racially different than the students? If the work that

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44 December 2017

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration December2017

District Administration December2017 - Cover1
District Administration December2017 - Cover2
District Administration December2017 - 1
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District Administration December2017 - Cover3
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