To push for excellence today without continuing to push for access for less privileged students is to undermine the crucial but incomplete gains that have been made. Equity and excellence cannot be divided.” -American Education scholar Earnest Boyer
Virginia is for ALL Learners Equity Commitments
Establish Equity Goals
The Commonwealth is committed to ensuring that its public education system is positioned to achieve equitable academic outcomes for ALL students. Virginia has developed a clear definition and vision of education equity, which includes establishing and reporting on measurable goals that support closing student achievement gaps and advancing academic rigor for all students.
#EdEquityVA is defined as our commitment to eliminating the predictability of student outcomes based on race, gender, zip code, ability, socio-economic status, and/or languages spoken at home. This vision of equity requires that students have access to high quality learning programs that enable them to maximize their potential.
The Office of Equity and Community Engagement leads these statewide efforts and is strategically focused on the following priorities:
1. Increasing the Cultural Competency of Virginia’s Educator Workforce
2. Eliminating Disproportionality In Student Outcome Data
3. Closing Opportunity Gaps Among Marginalized Student Groups
Focus on Teaching & Leading
Virginia is working to advance the cultural competencies of its existing teachers and education leaders and prioritize increasing the diversity of its educator workforce. This includes ensuring that all students experience culturally responsive learning environments. To maximize the potential of all students, Virginia must ensure that all students have access to high quality teachers and school leadership.
Curriculum & Instruction
Virginia is working to ensure that every student experiences high quality instruction based on rigorous curriculum that prepares them for the future. Additionally, Virginia will ensure open and equitable access to instructional resources for teachers and learning resources for students.
In partnership with the Board of Education, Virginia will apply an equity lens to how schools are resourced through the Virginia Standards of Quality (PPT). The Standards of Quality (SOQs) set the minimum expectations for Virginia schools including student to staff ratios and maximum class sizes and determines the funding provided to local schools from the state. To provide all students with the supports and resources they need to succeed, Virginia will continue to focus attention on increasing its ranks of student support staff, such as counselors, nurses, and school psychologists.
Together with partners across the state and in the Governor’s office, our #EdEquityVA vision is both strategic and intentionally focused on establishing equity targets, measuring equity outcomes, providing tailored assistance to schools and school leaders, and implementing systemic policy and regulatory changes.
The Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Equity and Community Engagement is charged with leading state efforts to advance education equity, eliminate achievement gaps and increase opportunity, and decrease disproportionality in student outcomes. These efforts are collectively known as #EdEquityVA and include the following initiatives:
- -Virginia is for ALL Learners Education Equity Summer Institute
- -#EdEquityVA Monthly Webinar Series
- -#EdEquityVA Community of Practice
- -Mary Peake Award for Outstanding Advancement in Education Equity
- African American History Education Commission established by Governor Ralph Northam
- -#EdEquityVA Monthly Newsletter
- -Special Projects in Conjunction with the Offices of the Governor and Secretary of Education
- -Partnerships with Various Stakeholder Organizations
Join the conversation and follow our equity work via our twitter by using and searching our hashtag #EdEquityVA on twitter!