Holding High Expectations While Also Holding the Ladder
We are happy to serve you as partners and with you as co-conspirators. We do the things that make you better, that you cannot do for yourself or have time to do alone.
Our services are not meant to be transactional, but transformative. We believe in the African proverb: "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." Let's go together.
Applied Research & Evaluation (ARE)
We don't conduct research for research sake; we conduct research for a purpose. Our multidimensional applied research and evaluation offerings are designed to assess and analyze systems, policies, and practices and lead to recommendations for long-term improvement and better and more granular understandings that answer questions and/or solve problems our partners pose. All of our research and evaluation services intentionally center equity and systemic change and emanate from a culturally responsive-sustaining education approach to inquiry.
Our design-based research involves developing solutions (often called "interventions" or "innovations") to problems or questions of practice or policy our partners have. The solutions are put to use to test how well they work. The iterations may then be adapted and re-tested to gather more data. The purpose of this approach is to generate new theories and frameworks for conceptualizing learning, instruction, design processes, educational reform, etc. Data analysis often takes the form of iterative comparisons that include you, our partners.
We conduct action research, which seeks transformative change through the simultaneous process of taking action and doing research, linked together by critical reflection. This interactive inquiry approach balances problem-solving actions implemented in a collaborative context with data-driven collaborative analysis or research to understand underlying causes enabling future predictions about personal and organizational change.
Our evaluation services provide systematic assessments or appraisals of an object, program, practice, activity, or system with the purpose of providing information that will be of use in decision making. We conduct a variety of evaluations tailored to your needs: implementation (process) evaluations that tell us about how and why something works; outcome evaluations that tell us about when something works (the effects); and impact evaluations that tell us if something works (the effectiveness). In addition, we offer other kinds of evaluation services such as diagnostic evaluations (e.g., root cause analysis, gap assessments, needs and opportunities assessments, equity audits), formative evaluations (e.g., climate analysis, focus group research, community canvassing), and summative evaluations (e.g., randomized control trials and quasi-experimental studies).
We do cost-benefit analysis, which is a process of comparing the projected or estimated costs and benefits associated of a project, program, or decision to determine and measure its value. This kind of evaluation helps our partners appraise the desirability of a given policy, program, and decision by clearly laying out the various pluses and minuses of the policy program or decision.
CURRICULUM EVALUATION & CONTENT ASSESSMENT
We use multiple research approaches and various sources of data to determine the effectiveness and cultural efficacy of specific content, programs, or curricula. This service aims to assist schools, state agencies and non-governmental organizations by providing detailed CRSE feedback to partners to improve their content, programs, or curricula. Our approach is intentionally based on emerging work around culturally responsive and sustaining education and is meant to promote equity and help engineer curriculum and content that reflect the broadest range of students across multiple lines of difference.
We provide HR analytics to improve hiring decisions by understanding and capturing issues of organizational equity, diversity, inclusion, and access. Using multiple approaches and various sources of information, we leverage HR analytics to support partners in making better and more equitable hiring decisions, achieving staff diversity, retaining a diverse and well supported staff, and fostering policies that promote culturally responsive and sustaining human resources for their organization. By embracing data-informed and human-centered hiring practices, our partners will be able to recruit and retain the most diverse and most effective workforce because equity does not oppose quality. In fact, quality cannot persist where equity does not exist.
Technical Assistance & Professional Learning
Our services include comprehensive technical assistance to help enhance school safety and climate, reduce disproportionality, and support the needs of vulnerable youth, such as multilingual learners and students with IEPs. We also customize professional learning and leadership development sessions on a variety of topics, provide support to improve school culture and infrastructure, and score and help design curriculum, teaching, and assessment materials. Depending on the service, virtual sessions are available upon request.
SCHOOL CULTURE & WHOLE SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT
We collaborate with our partners to create a long-term trajectory of growth, and assist them in developing clear visions to guide improvement. We also help partners strengthen leadership and solidify infrastructure, and share effective strategies for improving communication and problem-solving. Through our implicit bias and intersectional equity series of workshops, we offer strategies to promote diversity, inclusion, equity, belonging, and access, in addition to other concrete equity skills.
CRSE CURRICULUM & ASSESSMENT SCORING & DESIGN
Our curriculum, teaching, and assessment scoring tools allow us to work with partners to develop short- and long-term instructional goals. We support partners in creating and using such tools for monitoring progress toward goals that center culturally responsive-sustaining education ideas. For example, our equity-based teacher performance assessment and customized practice continuum tools offer partners ways to enhance their capacity. We use these tools collaboratively to help partners design curriculum, instructional practices, and assessments that are humanizing, equity-based, culturally responsive and sustaining, and focused on students.
COMPREHENSIVE NEEDS & OPPORTUNITIES ASSESSMENT
We conduct multi-dimensional needs and opportunities assessments that address infrastructure, classroom practices, and outcomes. These assessment take an assets-based approach and engage all stakeholders to get information from multiple perspectives, and provide recommendations for whole-school/organizational improvement based on the unique wealth each community possesses.
CRSE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
We share expertise on equity and CRSE across subject areas (e.g., literacy, math, science) to improve instruction, and support teaching and learning (both in-person and remotely). We also provide strategies and sessions to engage all learners and to meet the needs of diverse students. Additional session include: restorative practice workshops, trauma-informed care trainings, mindfulness trainings, DEI trainings, intersectional racial equity trainings, and CRSE guidance and training sessions for general audiences.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT & EXECUTIVE COACHING
We conduct professional learning sessions for leadership teams, teachers, curriculum leaders, and school administrators to support organizational improvement. We also equip leaders, through executive coaching, to more effectively support teams to achieve success, and provide strategies for team-building, collaboration, and shared ownership.
EQUITY-BASED TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE (OR EQUITY ASSISTANCE)
We provide equity assistance in a number of ways and on a number of topics including (but not limited to): school diversity and integration, reducing disproportionality, supporting vulnerable learners (e.g., multilingual learners, students with disabilities, SLIFE students). In addition, we support partners in developing, implementing, and monitoring equity plans, equity indicator systems, logic models, theories of change/maintenance/action, etc. We also provide intergroup facilitation, mediation, and monitoring services.
General Services & Consulting
We provide personalized services such as grant writing support and content development, including school and district-wide equity plans, CRSE curricula, CRSE lesson plans and learning assessment development for every discipline; CRSE codes of conduct that are legally compliant and binding; fair and equitable discipline policies meant to build character rather than to punish; community agreements; and other equity-based policies. We also offer general consulting services and featured speakers on broad topics related to school transformation and education equity.
We provide knowledge and expertise to support our partners through change processes, performing a variety of tasks based on the specific needs of our partners, such as: providing area-specific customized coaching and training; brainstorming new ideas and strategies for growth, positive change and advancement; assisting with brand development, data review, equity assessments; discussing goals and creating strategies to meet/exceed them; problem solving; offering helpful recommendations and practical suggestions; and collecting data through interviews, stakeholder shadowing, and researching documents. All general consulting services are human centered, relational, and research informed (where science is available). All services seek to promote equity, and Dr. Kirkland is our main general consultant.
We use the design process to help partners develop their content solutions that are rooted in innovation and local needs. Our goal is to help partners develop content that is user-friendly, culturally responsive and sustaining, broadly applicable, and cutting edge.
We offer a wide array of speakers, including Dr. Kirkland's inspirational presence and thought-provoking charisma, who can help you innovate towards effective equity today. The right speaker adds something special to your events. We can take your message, repackage it, and deliver it back to your people with unmatched power and vigor, leaving your people feeling energized and inspired.
We help your board undertake their role more effectively by facilitating formal trainings and providing informational briefings to help them set meaningful values and strategies with a clear vision. Services include: DEI trainings, role descriptions, needs and gap assessments, skills audits, board development plans, equity-aligned board recruitment and induction, annual refresher training, annual reviews, and other services as determined by our partners.
GRANT WRITING SUPPORT
We support the writing of compelling grant applications and letters of intent, including budgets and specific sections of your narrative. In addition, we provide draft reviews and timely feedback. Using our powerful sets of databases, we will also support your efforts in prospecting potential funders, and searching out warm leads tailored to your organization's needs.
COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE
We can help you convene "community of practice" (CoP) work sessions, either through heterogeneous or affinity groupings. Communities of practice are working groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. In addition to facilitating your CoP, we can support you in organizing it, setting agendas for it, and establishing leadership over it.