The Challenging, Often Isolating Work of School District Chief Equity Officers

By Christina A. Samuels

A focus on student equity is not limited to traditional districts. In June, Benny Vásquez was hired as the first equity director for KIPP schools, a nationwide charter network of more than 100,000 students, 95 percent of whom are black or Hispanic.

Individual KIPP schools and regional networks have focused on equity for some time, Vásquez said. His hiring is “an opportunity to give a systemic approach to the work, and an opportunity for us to get clear about what our vision is.” KIPP is using surveys of parents and students to guide that vision, he said.

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Image credit: Michael Owens for Education Week

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