9/19/21: Navigating the Terminology in EdEquity Virginia, Learning for Justice, and Second Step

The words/terms/phrases below are directly from EdEquity Virginia’s “Roadmap to Equity”. There is an obvious theme that parents must pay close attention to when reading through EdEquity VA. You may also come across words like “transform” OR “transformation” OR “transformative”. It is very important that you read through this material with a critical eye and thought process. These people distract, obfuscate, and mislead the reader, in other words, do NOT take it at face value.


Anti-Racism: Acknowledges that racist beliefs and structures are pervasive in all aspects of our lives and requires action to dismantle those beliefs and structures. This requires that school leaders hold educators and students accountable when they say and do things that make school unsafe, and that they dismantle systems perpetuating inequitable access to opportunity and outcomes for students historically marginalized by race.

(Christina Torres and Teaching Tolerance. “All Students Need Anti-racism Education”. July 30, 2020.)

Cultural Competency: Having an awareness of one’s own cultural identity and views about difference, and the ability to learn and build on the varying cultural and community norms of students and their families. It is the ability to understand the within-group differences that make each student unique, while celebrating the between-group variations that make our country a tapestry.

(National Education Association. “Why Cultural Competence?”. August 27, 2020.)

Culturally Relevant Pedagogy: Recognizes the importance of including students’ cultural references in all aspects of learning.
(Gloria Ladson-Billings, The Dream Keepers. 1994)

Culturally Relevant/Responsive Teaching: The behavioral expressions of knowledge, beliefs, and values that recognize the importance of racial and cultural diversity in learning. An approach that emphasizes using the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning encounters more relevant to and effective for them.

(Geneva Gay, Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice. 2000).

Cultural Proficiency: Environments that create opportunities for access, empowerment, and achievement by acknowledging, valuing, advocating, and empowering cultural diversity in all aspects of the educational process.
Adapted from: Cultural Proficiency, A Manual for School Leaders, 2nd Ed. Lindsey, Robins, and Terrell, 2003)

Disproportionality: A group’s representation in a particular category that exceeds the expectations for that group or differs substantially from the representation of others in that category.
(National Association of School Psychologists Diversity& Social Justice Resources)

Disciplinary Disproportionality: The disproportionately high rates at which students from certain racial/ethnic groups are subjected to office discipline referrals, suspensions, school arrests, and expulsion. (National Association of School Psychologists Diversity & Social Justice Resources)

Diversity: Recognizes differences and respects and values each individual irrelevant of their background including: age, gender, race/ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and national origin. (VDOE.

Adapted from the Global Diversity Project. What is Diversity and Inclusion.)

Education Equity: Eliminating the predictability of student outcomes based on race, gender, zip code, ability, socioeconomic status or languages spoken at home. (VDOE. Adapted from the National Equity Project. Educational Equity Definition.)

Inclusive School Communities: Environments where all students, educators, and families feel supported and are extended a sense of belonging regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, identity, learning preferences, socio-economic status or education.
(Adapted from “Inclusive Classroom Climate”. Strategic Resources & Digital Publications. The Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning.).

Marginalized Students: Those that have been systematically excluded and relegated to lower educational opportunity. In Virginia specifically, it is those groups of students who are over represented in VDOE’s equity gap data and includes; Black and Hispanic students, economically disadvantaged students, English Learners, and students with disabilities.

(VDOE review of relevant literature and data)

Opportunity Gap: Describes the complex issues that contribute to achievement gaps and recognizes the historical and societal implications of the way race and class influence the kind of education and access to support a student is likely to receive.
(Adapted from “Let’s Stop Calling It an “Achievement Gap” When It’s Really an Opportunity Gap”. Mike Yates. http://www.weareteachers.com.)

Racial Equity (Racial Justice): The systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. It is not just the absence of discrimination and inequities, but also the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity.
(Racial Equity Tools Glossary. http://www.racialequitytools.org)