Educational equity and student achievement

Oregon school boards struggle to meet the needs of students who don’t speak English, have special needs, live in poverty or are left behind in other ways. Here are resources, reports, stories, ideas and insights to help your board with these challenges.

Getting started resources

  • Oregon leadership network - a comprehensive effort to improve student achievement by enhancing the quality of school and district leadership initiated by the State of Oregon in 2000.
  • Timeline: Oregon and U.S. Racial, Immigration and Education History - Looking Back In Order to Move Forward, a timeline of Oregon and U.S. racial, immigration and education history outlines significant events during the last 10,000 years that have brought us to where we are today in Oregon education equity.
  • Cognitive dissonance: A critical tool in social justice teaching - Paul C. Gorski explores our preconceptions about equity issues and the dissonance that occurs when new truths battle established beliefs.
  • Educational Equity Workshops - four workshops designed to help boards expand their understanding of educational equity issues and support collaborative planning around their solutions.
  • Educational equity 101 - a for-fee online course created by OSBA to help you learn how society has viewed racial and ethnic differences through history. 
  • Communicating With Diverse Populations - According to 2000 Census figures, the minority population doubled in the last decade. How do we communicate with, and involve, this growing population?
  • Census Primer - While Census 2000 reveals our dramatic population changes, it is also a powerful information tool for school boards. 

Poverty information and resources

Other resources

  • Definitions for educational equity -  a glossary of terms commonly used when discussing educational equity.
  • Resources from and recommended by NSBA - National School Boards Association shares resources on minority achievement and closing the gap, including links to national clearinghouses, other organizations and best-practices publications.
  • National equity project -  A project started in 1991 to address opportunity gaps across the country to improve learning and education outcomes for vulnerable students.
  • Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory - This agency is a good resource for districts seeking culturally diverse curriculum and multicultural staff. Type "achievement gap" under "Search."
  • Oregon Department of Education - Click on "Reports, data and statistics" to get Oregon Department of Education information about the state's educational system including student membership, graduation and dropout rates, spending, staffing, processes, performance, and demographics.
  • E3 Small Schools Initiative - Read about the Employers for Education Excellence project to increase student achievement and graduation rates in Oregon’s high schools. 
  • Johns Hopkins Center for the Social Organization of Schools - For more than 30 years, the center has maintained a staff of sociologists, psychologists, social psychologists and other educational researchers.
  • What Americans keep ignoring about Finland's success - an article by the Atlantic describing the importance of equity in the success of the Finnish school system.
  • What the U.S. can't learn from Finland about ed reform - an article in the Washington Post describing how the different approaches to funding and child welfare between Finland and the United States influence the U.S. ability to import Finland's education approach.


For more information contact Peggy Holstedt at 800-578-6722 or via e-mail at