Hamilton County School Board Members discuss equity

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – Hamilton County School Board Members put equity as the main topic in a meeting Friday night.

They got a look at equity data and took a deep dive into discussion over issues seen across the system.

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“What we control is being able to give a vision and a strategy to this administration to go we want to be better and how can we do that, systematically. How can we improve the system to the point where as many as possible, 100 percent is the goal, families and children have the same access to opportunity to be successful,” School Board Chairman Joe Wingate said.

The data gathered and presented to school board members came from demographic information, surveys and achievement data.

The numbers showed some differences including gaps in benchmark performance.

Benchmark performance data was broken down by race and economic status, and had non-economically disadvantaged white students performing the highest followed by economically disadvantaged white students, non-economically disadvantaged black students, then economically disadvantaged black students.

Disadvantaged students would be students getting some kind of assistance like free lunch.

Each school board member also talked about the issues their schools face.

School Board Member Tiffanie Robinson discovered in her district communication issues with a growing Latino population.

“I think it really just comes to a funding and resource issue. The Latino community is growing not only within our county, but also throughout the entire state of Tennessee. So, I’d love to see the state get involved as well and help provide more resources for our schools to be able to better equip ourselves to communicate with these families, but also provide more resources to these families in order to have more cultural competency,” Robinson said.

The school board is planning on having more meetings on equity in the future.