Alliance 2019 Breakout Session

Presented by: Dr. Patricia Burch, Co-Director, USC Rossier Center on Education Policy, Equity and Governance; Susan McKibben, Administrative Director, USC Rossier Center of Education Policy, Equity and Governance

In 2018-19, the USC Rossier Center on Education Policy, Equity and Governance (CEPEG) developed a set of research priorities based on the input of 149 school district and community organization leaders across Southern California. They were asked to respond to the following questions:

  1. How do you define equity?
  2. What are the biggest challenges to equity in your district/districts you work with?
  3. How are you addressing these issues?
  4. What one question do you have regarding these initiatives that would benefit from research (i.e., where do you need more information)?

Their collective responses were synthesized, accounting for points of commonality and disagreement, and frequency of different comments, leading to the development of five priorities for future research based on the following key findings.

  1. Build human, financial, social and political capacity for equity work.
  2. Examine underlying beliefs about equity and the mindsets needed to move beyond symbolic, surface-level change.
  3. Interrogate dynamics of power within and across communities and education systems.
  4. Investigate race-conscious and race-blind approaches to equity and their implications for educators and students.
  5. Evaluate which policies, programs, and practices are most effective, for whom, and why.

CEPEG Co-Director Dr. Patricia Burch and Administrative Director Susan McKibben will present what was learned from practitioners throughout the region. Session attendees will be invited to provide feedback on the research priorities and discuss their own conceptions, challenges, and success stories around advancing educational equity in their schools, districts, and communities. Each session attendee will receive a summary of the findings and research priorities to take with them.

Join the “Advancing Student Equity in L.A. and Beyond” session on November 21, 2019, at the Millennium Biltmore in Downtown Los Angeles to learn how you can discuss your own conceptions, challenges, and success stories around advancing educational equity. Register here.

Patricia Burch (PhD, Stanford University) is an Associate Professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles California. Burch’s research focuses on education policy, organizational and institutional theory, qualitative and mixed methods research, and evidence-based policy and practice. Read More.


Susan McKibben is the Administrative Director for the USC Rossier Center on Education Policy, Equity and Governance. She earned her Ph.D. in education from the University of California, Los Angeles. Read More.