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Technological Equity in Local and National K-12 Education: How Can I Be More Mindful About Promoting Digital Access and Fluency in My Future Classroom?

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The purpose of this study was to determine how I, as a future teacher, can best combat inequities in technological access and fluency in my future classroom. In this study, I explored a range of literature on the role of

The purpose of this study was to determine how I, as a future teacher, can best combat inequities in technological access and fluency in my future classroom. In this study, I explored a range of literature on the role of technology in the classroom, the digital divide in home and school settings, and variance in digital literacy. Additional insight was gained through interviews and observing school faculty in three public school districts in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. This provided a better understanding of local context in order to gain a sense of the national and local realities of the digital landscape as they relate to educational equity in the educational settings where I aim to serve as a certified teacher.

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2017-05

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Ebbs, Flows, and Floods: How the South African National Water Act has fared in achieving its equity and sustainability goals

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The threat of global climate change to the world’s water resources has jeopardized access to clean drinking water across the world and continues to devastate biodiversity and natural life globally. South Africa operates as a useful case study to understand

The threat of global climate change to the world’s water resources has jeopardized access to clean drinking water across the world and continues to devastate biodiversity and natural life globally. South Africa operates as a useful case study to understand and analyze the effectiveness of public policy responses to the perils of climate change on issues of water access and ecosystem preservation. After the new South African Constitution was enacted in 1997, protecting water resources and ensuring their equitable distribution across the nation’s population was a paramount goal of the young democratic government. The National Water Act was passed in 1998, nationalizing the country’s water infrastructure and putting in place programs seeking to ensure equitable distributive and environmental outcomes. Thus far, it has failed. Access to South Africa’s water resources is as stratified as access to its economy; its aquatic ecosystems remain in grave danger; and many of the same problems of South Africa’s Apartheid era still plague its efforts to create an equitable water system. Decision-making power continues to be concentrated in the hands of the wealthy, at the expense of historically marginalized groups, whose voices are still not adequately heard. Corporate actors still exert undue influence over legislative policy that favors economic growth over environmental sustainability. The looming threat of climate change is exponentially increasing the chances of disasters like Cape Town’s 2018 feared ‘Day Zero’. The National Water Act’s noble intentions were never actualized, and therefore the people of South Africa remain in serious danger of acute and chronic threats to their water supply.

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2021-05

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A digital approach to closing equity gaps in Arizona schools

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Schools across the United States have been subject to a rise in violent incidents since 2013. Reading about school shootings, racist acts, and violent demonstrations in schools has unfortunately become commonplace, which is contributing to inequitable outcomes for some student

Schools across the United States have been subject to a rise in violent incidents since 2013. Reading about school shootings, racist acts, and violent demonstrations in schools has unfortunately become commonplace, which is contributing to inequitable outcomes for some student populations. These equity gaps have triggered demands for more equitable solutions in schools, a responsibility that falls on the shoulders of stakeholders like school governing boards, principals, and parents.

Chandler Unified School District (CUSD), a large school system in Arizona that serves 45,000 students from preschool through high school, has been unable to escape similar structural and frictional inequities within its schools. One instance of a racially charged student performance at Santan Middle School motivated CUSD to take a more immediate look at equity in the district. It is during this response that our team of New Venture Group consultants engaged with Matt Strom, Assistant Superintendent of CUSD, in analyzing the important question of “how CUSD can take steps towards closing equity gaps within the district?”

CUSD defines an equity gap as any difference in student opportunity, achievement, discipline, attendance, etc. contributable to a student’s ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status. Currently, certain student populations in CUSD perform vastly different academically and receive different opportunities within schools, but as was our problem statement, CUSD is aiming to reduce (and eventually close) these gaps.

Our team approached this problem in three phases: (1) diagnosis, (2) solution creation, and (3) prevention. In phase one, we created a dashboard to help principals easily and visually identify gaps by toggling parameters on the dashboard. Phase two focused on the generation of recommendations for closing gaps. To achieve this goal, a knowledge of successful gap-closing strategies will be paired with the dashboard. In our final phase, the team of consultants created a principal scorecard to ensure equity remains a priority for principals.

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2019-12