Dismantling Institutional Racism in Education
As schools across the country responded to acts of systemic racism in the summer of 2020, NSBA launched the Dismantling Institutional Racism in Education (DIRE) initiative to assist state school boards associations and other education leaders in addressing racial inequities.
DIRE acknowledges that institutional, structural, and systemic racism has been engrained in the history of America and throughout its public education system. It is dedicated to understanding and recognizing the root causes of barriers to equitable educational outcomes for each child.
The nation’s school boards are uniquely positioned to accomplish this task. School boards set goals, approve policies, adopt curriculum, set budgets, and oversee administrative aspects for their local schools. They also serve as a direct line of communication from the community to the school. School boards are responsible for fulfilling the promise of public education.
In 2017, the NSBA Board of Directors adopted the following definition of equity:
We affirm in our actions that each student can, will, and shall learn. We recognize that based on factors including but not limited to disability, race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status, students are often deprived of equitable educational opportunities. Educational equity is the intentional allocation of resources, instruction, and opportunities according to need, requiring that discriminatory practices, prejudices, and beliefs be identified and eradicated.
DIRE is governed by a National Advisory Steering Committee composed of NSBA’s equity council chairs, state school boards association presidents, and state school boards association executive directors from across the country.
NSBA's Equity Online Symposium, held live on Feb. 10, 2021, focused on the importance of DIRE to ensure support that equalizes and improves the educational experience for every student. Learn more and view the free video of this event and share it with your colleagues.
Interview with DIRE Co-Chairs
The following resources are designed to offer support and guidance that lead to changes in practices and policy. They are organized in categories identified as key areas in NSBA’s Center for Public Education Educational Equity research brief.
The content listed is not intended to take place of services provided by state associations and other agencies.