Minnesota Education Equity Partnership

Report date
August 2018

Key lessons learned

We continue to learn that this concept of “Equity Action Planning” – centering community voices- in school education equity policy and practice is innovative and critical. As demographics continue to shift across rural Minnesota, across all of Minnesota and nationwide-- education systems must transform to address these new education challenges and opportunities. Equity Action Plans are important tools to assist in this wide spread transformation and revitalization of our democracy with a multiracial, multilingual community.
A big lesson is that there is no question that communities of color, immigrant communities in particular,
are eager to give input and strategize to influence the education of their children. It has been an ongoing narrative that “parents don’t want to get involved”- but I believe this project showcased different ways to do the outreach and truly engage families for a conversation, in their home language, for improvements in education equity.

Reflections on the community innovation process

All three elements are very important in making progress in the work. For an equity action planning process, inclusivity of the families and students that have been historically marginalized is critical. Being collaborative, we are able to communicate those new ideas and analysis to partners that share ownership and leadership over schools, cities, etc..for change. And being resourceful means reflecting what already exists in the community to build upon those assets (respect of cultural diversity, current parent engagement, etc..)

Progress toward an innovation

There was incredible progress in speaking to cultural communities – in their languages – to uncover solutions to the opportunity gap in education. This is directly the definition of addressing a community need that is more effective than existing approaches which have been widening gaps in education.