Addressing Beliefs to Create Equitable Systems for Currently Marginalized Students
This panel comprises three technical assistance providers and a district Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. It will focus on spotlighting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) concerning English Language Learners (ELLs), Students with Disabilities (SWDs), and Racial Equity. In the field of education, with a growing emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion, it is vital to support educational entities in ensuring equitable outcomes for all students, including those from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds, ELLs, and SWDs. Academic data consistently reveal opportunity gaps and disparate behavioral outcomes between these students and their white peers (NAEP, 2019), along with disproportionate behavior outcomes for students of color (Office of Civil Rights, 2018). To address these disparities, student-centered professional development, technical assistance, and policy reviews centered around racial equity are crucial steps toward eradicating such concerning outcomes.
Meet the Author
Wednesday, February 7 from 4:15pm - 4:45pm Pacific
David Lopez will be greeting in-person attendees at the "Meet the Author" counter in the Portland Ballroom lobby on Level 2.
David Lopez delivers technical assistance (TA) and expert consultation, develops research-and evidence-based tools and resources, and provides research and policy support to state education agencies, district leaders, and school-based educators, focused on creating culturally responsive and equitable systems through comprehensive equity audits. Lopez is also an expert facilitator and trainer on issues related to racial equity, intersectionality (e.g., race and ability), diversity, disproportionality, and culturally responsive-sustaining education. He is co-author of the TC Press book, Dismantling Disproportionality: A Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Systems Approach (2022)
Dr. Sarah A. Odneal has over a decade of practitioner experience in the k-12 setting. She has served as teacher, principal, curriculum specialist and most recently as the district's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director. Dr. Odneal has always been driven by and organized around equity. Beginning with teaching middle school in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, Dr. Odneal really immersed herself in trying to come to terms with what true disproportionality presents as at the district, state, and federal levels. Serving as a principal in an urban district also deeply impacted her leadership. It was in this position that she began to understand how deeply rooted biases are, and how long the continuum is in helping to coach people around equitable practices. Most recently as the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, she was assigned as lead project manager on a district wide equity audit in partnership with the research firm WestEd. Dr. Odneal holds several advanced degrees in education including a Master's in Instructional Leadership: Literacy, Language, and Culture.
Sáez is the Senior Partnership Development Director for WestEd’s English Learners and Migrant Education Services team. Sáez supports the scale-up of professional learning offerings by creating partnerships and contributing to the team’s vital role in educational recovery efforts to ensure full and equal participation of English Learner students in their learning and growth. Sáez is an accomplished leader and a demonstrated change agent in K–16 education, bringing expertise from her work in the private and nonprofit sectors and in local, state, and federal educational agencies. She has worked as senior advisor and consultant for national and international education services with CTB Graw-Hill, Educational Testing Service, Council of Chief State School Officers, and National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. For over 20 years, Sáez has served as a core member on several organizations’ leadership teams, contributed knowledge and expertise in the area of English Learners, literacy, standards-based accountability, K–12 education policy, as well as the design, management, and implementation of projects to enhance access to quality education for all students.
Saroja Warner, Director for Culturally Responsive and Equitable Systems at WestEd, is committed to ensuring each child experiences teaching and learning in classrooms and schools that are led by educators who are racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse and are culturally responsive. Early in her life, watching the struggles her mother experienced in advocating for Warner’s hearing impaired little brother, Warner learned that equity is not the same as equal. Despite her own initial lack of engagement in school (or, as she would characterize it today, the ineffectiveness of her teachers to engage her), Warner’s parents, immigrants from Trinidad, made sure she completed high school and went to college. Warner credits excellent teachers at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, for helping her develop a passion for history and eventually leading to career in education. She started her career as a history teacher in the district she had attended as a K–12 student. Since then, she has become a National Board certified teacher, earned a PhD from the University of Maryland, and teaches in the teacher preparation programs there. Throughout, she has championed education equity. In 2012, she extended her reach to the state and national policy arena through work at CCSSO, the Maryland State Department of Education, and AACTE. Warner is a leading national expert on the research and evidence base related to Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education (CRSE), educator diversity and effectiveness, educator preparation and professional learning, and school and district improvement.