Equity Inquiry for Education Networks - Digital Promise

Equity Inquiry for Education Networks

As education innovation networks grow and mature across the country, the need for examining equity gaps has never been more critical. This framework provides education network leaders and partners with a set of key topics, guidance, and questions to help them begin the work of better understanding the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their leadership and initiatives.


From 2014 - 2020, Digital Promise convened a network of Education Innovation Clusters, local ecosystems that bring together educators, entrepreneurs, funders, researchers, and other community stakeholders (e.g. local government, nonprofits) to support innovative teaching and learning in their region. In 2017, an Equity Working Group was launched with contributors from across the country to critically examine equity in their networks and curate resources to support their efforts. This group developed and workshopped a version of the framework we share here.

About the Framework

This framework is organized into modules that introduce key areas of inquiry for advancing equity in education innovation. You may engage with different pieces depending on the needs and nature of your work. After following the Guidance for Getting Started below, we recommend beginning with Understanding Your Community (the starting point for all modules). From there, you can explore modules on: Networks; Staff, Culture, and Leadership; Programming and Initiatives; and Events and Communications. The modules are designed as starting points for reflection to accompany required deeper and ongoing work. Topic pages include:

    • A series of guiding questions
    • A downloadable worksheet with prompts to guide reflection
    • A link to additional resources on the topic (see full resource library here)
    • A spectrum with examples of inequitable and equity-striving practices in that topic area

Guidance for Getting Started

Equity work requires a deep commitment to recognize and dismantle inequitable systems, attitudes, policies, and behaviors. That work must be sustained over time, with the help of experts and resources. This framework can ignite and support that larger work.

Understanding Your Community

In order for an education network to evaluate how equitably it represents and engages its community, the network must first truly understand that community -- its people, equity gaps, and assets.

Assess and Reflect: Essential Areas

Each of these modules asks you to reflect on your work in essential areas through a series of questions. You will gather artifacts or evidence to answer them and assess your work. You may choose to focus on the module that is most appropriate for your work, needs, or perspective. You might also choose to leverage all three.

Assess and Reflect: Details Matter

Details matter -- and communications and events are often where equity values and practices play out. These modules ask you to reflect on your work in these two areas, with guidance for how to make them more equitable.

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