This is the final episode of the three-part series focusing on how one school district in Pennsylvania has moved to embed equity into its education practice.

In part 3, Ms. Bea Habursky, the assistant superintendent for the Erie Public Schools discuses academic educational equity. In this discussion with Dr. Heather Bennett, director of equity services for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, Ms. Habursky further elucidates Erie’s equity transformation. She describes the step by step process in developing the strategic plan, and describes the changes in curriculum, professional development, engagement with the community, and the need to have difficult conversations to help the district and its stakeholders move towards equity.

Listen to Part 1: Developing an Equity Program

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Listen to Part 2: Implicit Bias and the Struggles for Equity

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Skip to: 00:45 How do you define equity?

When we define equity, we want equal opportunity for all students.

Skip to: 01:48 Can you define what your role is and how it has changed along with the strategic plan?
Skip to: 04:51 How does your district define cultural competency? And where do you see that infused in your district’s practice?
Skip to: 06:28 Can you define restorative practices?
Skip to: 07:37 What’s second step?
Skip to: 08:33 What are the supports given to teachers to help them practice social emotional learning and cultural competency and being more trauma informed?
Skip to: 09:45 Why do you think it’s so hard to move towards practicing equity?
Skip to: 11:29 How do you engage with the community and how does the community engage with you in this work?
Skip to: 12:40 How do you engage students in this work?

Students can, once they’re proficient they can go in any direction they want.

Skip to: 15:16 How are you working to close the opportunity gap?
Skip to: 16:13 How are we making sure that we’re providing individualized attention while at the same time making sure we’re working with the whole as well?
Skip to: 18:56 What about your district do you think makes it special?
Skip to: 20:32 How are tackling the internal work for your teachers and your staff?
Skip to: 23:10 What are steps you think would help move districts and schools towards equity?
Skip to: 24:49 What supports did you use to move equity forward in your district?

Bea Habursky, Assistant Superintendent of Erie’s Public Schools

Ms. Bea Habursky is the Assistant Superintendent of Erie’s Public Schools. She has held this position for the past 2 years. Prior to being Assistant Superintendent, she was the Director of Human
Resources for Erie’s Public Schools for 8 years during the financial crisis. Before moving to central office administration, Bea worked as a building principal, guidance counselor and classroom teacher. She has been in urban education for the past 33 years. Ms. Habursky has been an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma, has taught graduate classes at Westminster College, and enjoys spending time with her family.

o PSBA Equity Action Plan
o Pennsylvania Equity and Inclusion Toolkit
o Christopher Emdin. 2016. For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood…and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education. Beacon Press.