Launch’s Definition of Educational Equity
We take a holistic view of each student and see their unique set of talents and experiences as assets. It is our responsibility as educators to develop a course of action that will ensure the highest student achievement outcomes and narrow the opportunity gap for each child we serve. We do this by creating the conditions for a trusting and supportive environment and by using culturally relevant practices that will develop students around their own cultural competence, academic success, and critical consciousness so that they can disrupt inequities in society.
In order to make the above definition of educational equity come to life all adults in our community commit to:
reflecting on and identifying current practices and cultural norms that perpetuate white supremacy and replacing them with culturally relevant practices that dismantle white dominant cultural norms. We will always be, in words and actions, firmly on the path to becoming a “fully inclusive anti-racist multicultural organization.”
Identifying and disrupting stereotype threats relating to race, gender, socio-economic status, religion, sexual orientation, and ability and, by doing so, disrupting disproportionality in student achievement as they relate to all members of our community and in society at large.
aligning around what a high bar for excellence means for our students and for ourselves
Equity at Launch
Educational equity is at the core of the work that we do at Launch, and it is directly related to broader social equity issues in which we all play a role. We engage in thoughtful and structured work to break down inequities for our students. We do so by doing the same within ourselves and within our team.
Understanding culture, multiculturalism and being culturally competent is important to this work. But we believe it is even more important “that any meaningful approach to diversity or multiculturalism relies more on [our] understanding of equity and inequity and of justice and injustice than on [our] understanding of this or that culture” (Gorski, 2013).
As such, we work to do the following:
Recognize even subtle forms of bias, discrimination, and inequity
Respond to bias, discrimination, and inequity in a thoughtful and equitable manner
Redress bias, discrimination, and inequity, not only by responding to interpersonal bias, but also by studying the ways in which bigger social change happens
Cultivate and sustain bias-free and discrimination-free communities, which requires an understanding that doing so is a basic responsibility for everyone in a civil society
Because the work of creating equity begins first with self-awareness, self-knowledge, and personal growth for our staff, Launch commits to providing high-quality professional development to all staff on an annual basis that continually moves our school toward more equitable practices and outcomes. Launch’s goal is not to “work on equity” as a separate endeavor from the rest of the work that we do, but to infuse equity into the lifeblood of our daily practice. This is a continual endeavor, but one that Launch is committed to in order to ensure all students can achieve their full and vast potential.