Educational Equity and Excellence: webinar series


According to the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center, “educational equity is when educational policies, practices, interactions, and resources, are representative of, constructed by, and responsive to all people such that each individual has access to, can participate, and make progress in high-quality learning experiences that empower them towards self-determination and reduces disparities in outcomes regardless of individual characteristics and cultural identities.”

The Danielson Framework, which has equity at the heart of it, encourages teachers to strive for excellence, but “a commitment to excellence is not complete without a commitment to equity.” Each student deserves access to world-class teaching and learning environments that promote joyful inquiry, intellectual rigor, and reflection. However, the assurance of great teaching for every student has proven difficult to achieve in both policy and practice.

The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) states that a fundamental commitment to inclusive excellence embedded throughout educational institutions is critical to their health and functioning. Inclusive excellence starts at the highest level of administrative authority, is expressed prominently in institutional missions and strategic plans, and is supported through meaningful allocations of fiscal, human, and physical resources. NADOHE suggests that education leaders should embody and demonstrate the critical values of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and should enable entire campus communities to access and articulate the contributions of and the rewards gained from an inclusive learning and working environment.

This same diversity, equity and inclusion trend is evident on the global level. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is the United Nations’ specialized agency for education that provides global and regional leadership in education. UNESCO states “education is a basic human right and the foundation on which to build peace and drive sustainable development”. In fact, Sustainable Development Goal 4 calls for countries to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’.

These educational inequities also exist in STEM education and careers. The stark reality is that a disproportionate number of people of color, particularly Black and Latinx persons, are even further away from becoming STEMliterate and having the ability to thrive in a hyper-competitive, global marketplace. The nation has persistent inequities in access, participation, and success in STEM subjects that exist along racial lines, which threaten the nation’s ability to close education and poverty gaps, meet the demands of a technology-driven economy, ensure national security, and maintain preeminence in scientific research and technological innovation. If the U.S. wants to maintain its status as a global leader in STEM, be competitive in the STEM space, and address global challenges, diversifying the STEM education to career pathway must be a take precedence. STEM and diversity are integral to the sustainability of our schools, the innovation of our businesses, the prosperity of communities and the global competitiveness of our economies.

Project Team: Adrienne Coleman, Ed.D., Angela Richardson, Katelyn Lancaster, Amberly Carter, and Jean Bigger

Browse the contents of Educational Equity and Excellence: webinar series:

2022 Advancing Educational Equity and Excellence: Webinar Series
2021 STEM Talks: three-part STEM Equity Series