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 by 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 VDOE Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion leads these statewide efforts and is strategically focused on the following priorities:
1. Increasing the Cultural Competency of Virginia’s Educator Workforce
2. Closing Opportunity Gaps
The VDOE Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 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:
- –Navigating #EdEquityVA – Virginia’s Equity Audit Tool
- -Annual Conferences and Monthly Webinars
- –Mary Peake Award for Excellence in Education Equity
- -EdEquityVA Monthly Newsletter (see below)
- –African American Superintendent’s Advisory Council
Equity-Centered COVID-19 Response
The Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion also works closely with other VDOE Departments in the statewide and division level responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we continue to navigate the pandemic and its after effects, we remain committed to ensuring that Virginia’s public education system is one that provides equitable educational opportunities to all students. Meeting the needs of all Virginia learners, especially those disproportionately impacted by school closures or learning loss, is especially important during this time.
For the latest from the VDOE on pandemic response efforts, please visit www.doe.virginia.gov.
Implementation of the Culturally Competent Virginia Educators Legislation (2021)
The VDOE, in collaboration with the Board of Education, is working to implement the Culturally Competent Virginia Educators Bill passed by the 2021 General Assembly and signed into law (SB 1196 / HB 1904). The law includes four new requirements for Virginia educators, which are:
- -Every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license shall complete instruction or training in cultural competency.
- -Every person seeking initial licensure or renewal of a license with an endorsement in history/social science shall complete instruction in African American history, as prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education
- -Each school board shall adopt and implement policies that require each teacher and other school board employee holding a license issued by the Board of Education to complete a cultural competency training, in accordance with guidance issued by the Board of Education, at least every two years.
- -Teacher Evaluations shall include cultural proficiency efficacy.
The Board of Education has taken action to begin implementing the requirements of the law, however it should be noted that none of the requirements are in effect for the 2021-22 school year. Local training requirements and changes to the evaluation criteria will go into effect in the 2022-23 school year.
For more information, please contact the VDOE Office of Policy at email@example.com.
Supporting the Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices Advisory Committee
Previously the Department also supported the work of the Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices Advisory Committee. The Committee was established by legislation passed in 2020 (HB916 and SB953) and met throughout the 2021 calendar year to prepare a report for policy makers in fulfillment of their charge. Committee information can be found in their public Dropbox online here.
Through a regular newsletter, the Department aims to provide resources and support to teachers and leaders in school divisions. This publication is a repository of professional learning opportunities, resources, best practices and information about our #EdEquityVA initiatives.
Subscribe to the EdEquityVA Newsletter to receive monthly updates from the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
To contact the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, please email EdEquityVA@doe.virginia.gov.