Board members share what they’ve learned in final meeting of CSBA Equity Network
Closing persistent opportunity gaps requires a commitment to educational equity.
In summer 2018, CSBA launched an Equity Network with a grant from the Stuart Foundation, providing extensive support and professional development to board members across California on concepts related to educational equity. Topics addressed included implicit bias, cultural proficiency, the history of public education and the role of education leadership in disrupting a system of inequity.

The second cohort of network participants met at CSBA’s offices in West Sacramento for the final time March 6–7 to discuss the status of their districts’ equity action plans, review what they’ve learned so far and further analyze how they can continue working toward creating equitable opportunities for all students.

CSBA spoke to a handful of participants to discuss what they’ve learned through the Equity Network and their district plans moving forward.

Equity Network group
Equity Network group after meeting at CSBA’s offices in West Sacramento in the beginning of March.
Martha Alvarado, Vista Unified School District trustee:
“This Equity Network training has empowered me with the knowledge and the research of historical trends in public education regarding equity. Intrinsically, I knew what some of the inequities were, as a person of color and as an educator, but to have the knowledge and data makes it much more powerful. With that information I feel that it would be easier for the other trustees on our school board to understand how important the work is within our district and to begin to tackle some of the most severe problems we have in our district. The other thing I took from this experience is information from the first cohort that has already done the work. When I see where they’re at now compared to where they started, it’s helpful for me and our district to look at some of the practices that have been successful in those districts and they worked through the equity network too.”
Anthony Duarte, Hacienda La Puente USD school board president:
“I came in thinking we were already doing some good work in our district when it came to equity issues with our students, but having been a part of this network, I’ve seen that we still have a lot of work to do. Being able to bring all this information back to our board and our district staff is what I’m taking away most from this. Walking through our school sites, I’d never thought to look at it with an equity lens — looking at the classrooms and how teaching is being done and looking at the classroom climate and atmosphere. Being able to walk a school site with that different lens is something I’ve taken back as well.”
Monique M. Tate, San Leandro USD trustee:
“My experience with this Equity Network cohort has been a positive one. I’ve learned a lot and we’ve implemented many things in our district. However, to actually bring equity across the board to our district, we’re always going to need to work on this. It’s bigger than our board — it’s our community, our students, our county. You have different layers of equity in our community, and in order to be effective for our students we all have to work together and we all have to make sure we’re all on the same page to bring student achievement to the forefront for all students. This cohort has helped my district to start addressing issues that maybe haven’t always been addressed, and to educate others throughout our district and community.”
Find CSBA’s dedicated educational equity resource page at www.csba.org/equity, which provides data, evidence and best practices to support the achievement of California’s highest-need students. In addition, CSBA will ensure that the importance of promoting equity and closing opportunity and achievement gaps is reflected within all CSBA materials, trainings and advocacy efforts.