Advancing Equity in Education

For education advocates, a focus on equity is nothing new. In fact, it’s safe to say equity in education is what the work is all about. Over the past couple of years though, a convergence of issues has made a renewed and heightened focus on equity paramount.

Now more than ever, business leaders recognize that we cannot have a strong, growing economy without a reliable pipeline of talented, well-prepared workers and leaders ready to succeed in a global setting. When entire sectors lack diversity, and when leadership positions and board rooms lack leaders of color, then companies lack the innovation, experience, perspectives, and know-how that enable them to be competitive and grow.

Inequity costs all of us; it steals from the future. This report is part of America Succeeds’ effort to harness the energy and commitment of the business community to advancing equity and to demonstrate that fighting for a stronger economy, a more secure future, a more vibrant and innovative workforce, and a more equitable and just society are one and the same. We believe there’s no better place to make an impact and extend opportunity than in our schools.

Advancing equity in education
Download the 'Advancing Equity in Education' Report

“We need to focus on the strengths of all our students, particularly those who have faced barriers to access and opportunity. If we invest in those students and their strengths in a broad set of skills, we can be assured for a greater chance of a thriving economy that values today’s current students for tomorrow’s workforce.” – Nithya Joseph, America Forward


Only 13% of STEM leadership roles are held by people of color.

Only 82% of Black Americans and 79% of Hispanics complete high school compared to 89% of Whites. However, when SEL competencies are taught, there is a 6% increase in graduation rates.

Only 9% of students of color are enrolled in at least one AP course.

Equity in Education Playbooks

In addition to this report, America Succeeds created five actionable playbooks to support advocates interested in pursuing this work. Each playbook focuses on one of our five pillars of equity: recruiting and retaining educators of color, advancing equity in STEM, strengthening equity in social-emotional learning, expanding course access and options, and achieving funding equity.

The playbooks provide a useful framework for advocacy: they detail the problem, present facts and figures, highlight exemplar models, provide policy recommendations, and point to additional resources to learn more about overcoming barriers to make a difference for all kids.

Download Equity Playbooks

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