Equity and Inclusion Diagnostic
Based on the results of Grand Prairie Independent School District’s (GPISD) 2020-2021 Equity and Inclusion Diagnostic Survey, Hanover recommends that the district:
Provide resources and support to empower teachers to address equity issues in their classroom. Teachers indicate a need for professional development and time to collaborate on strategies for equitable instruction. Providing this support will help to address other deficits identified in the survey, such as normalizing open discussions of equity-related topics in the classroom and incorporating these topics into lessons, ensuring students of all backgrounds feel supported and cared for on a personal level, and adapting lessons for students of all backgrounds.
Facilitate the development of an equity mindset among students. Ensuring student exposure to these topics in a structured academic environment will help students further understand diversity and make them feel more confident when discussing these issues, interacting with peers, or dealing with challenging social situations.
Ensure students and staff members from all gender identities feel supported by their schools and the district. Most respondents have positive attitudes about school and district support for students, families, and staff members from various groups, but they are notably less positive when it comes to support for individuals from all different gender identities or expressions. Moreover, respondents who identify as a gender other than male or female are much less positive about support for people from diverse gender identities and express far fewer positive opinions throughout the survey on a range of topics including feeling safe at school.
Address perceived disparities in resources and diversity within the district. Less than half of those surveyed feel that student diversity, staff diversity, and resources are equal across district schools. While not all respondents prioritize that district staff reflect the diversity of the student body, this is more of a priority among respondents of color. Overall survey results indicate that the district is better at hiring diverse teachers than retaining them, so the district should prioritize addressing issues of importance to staff members from diverse backgrounds.
Survey Overview and Respondent Sample
Key Findings: Overall Perceptions and Priorities
Most respondents agree that GPISD schools support individuals from diverse backgrounds. However, fewer respondents agree that this support extends to individuals with different gender identities or expressions. Sixty-six percent (66%) agree that schools support these individuals compared to 74-83% for everything else including disabilities, race, ethnicities, and cultures.
- Agreement about support for different categories of individuals is generally higher among respondents who identify as white only where significant differences exist, including support for different cultures (83% 90%), races, ethnicities, skin colors (82% v. 91%), and socioeconomic backgrounds (79% v. 88%).
- Respondents who identify as a gender other than male or female report far fewer positive opinions throughout the survey on a range of topics including overall perceptions and priorities, school/academic environment, instructional practices, and the social environment. Forty-four percent (44%) feel the district supports individuals from all different gender identities or expressions.
Parents and staff want the district to prioritize ensuring a welcoming and safe environment for students from diverse backgrounds. When asked to rate district priorities for supporting students from diverse backgrounds, 82% rate this as either an essential or high priority. Second-tier priorities include promoting access to all courses (78%) and ensuring high-quality resources are available for students from diverse backgrounds (76%).
- Although 60% of respondents overall want to prioritize ensuring the staff reflect the diversity of the student body, 67% of non-white or multiracial staff and parents consider this a priority compared to 59% of those who identify as white
Sample Item: Please say how much you agree or disagree with the following statements about overall support for people from diverse backgrounds. Overall, [my school supports/my child’s school supports/district schools support] [students/families/ staff] from all different… (% “Agree” or “Strongly Agree”)
Key Findings: Academics and Instruction
Most respondents find the academic environment at GPISD positive and supportive. 82% indicate that students feel welcome at school. 70-74% indicate they are proud of, like, and feel like they are part of their schools. Relatedly, 81% think teachers can help all students succeed and 70% agree that teachers adapt lessons to suit different learning styles.
- Respondents who identify as white only are more likely to indicate teachers adapt lessons to suit different learning styles (77% 67%).
Classroom lessons and discussions do not typically focus on equity-related topics. While most respondents indicate students often talk with peers from other backgrounds (57%), 41-45% report they often learn about people, think about events, help or get help from students, or work on projects with students from diverse backgrounds. Moreover, students do not often have opportunities in the classroom to discuss topics such as diversity (30%), race-related topics (24%), and social action (23%); 16% report often or very often discussing implicit biases.
- Respondents who identify as white only are more likely to indicate they or students often talk with students from different backgrounds (66% 56%) and learn about people from different backgrounds (54% v. 42%).
Teachers are not perceived to directly address equity-related topics in the classroom. Respondents indicate they use instructional materials that reflect different views (71%) but fewer agree that teachers encourage them to speak out against discrimination and racism (58%), have meaningful discussions with students about diversity (55%), or empower them to fight for social justice (44%).
- Respondents who identify as white only are more likely to report that teachers encourage them to speak out against discrimination and racism (70% v. 56%), have meaningful discussions with students about diversity (67% v. 54%), or empower them to fight for social justice (53% 43%).
Respondents – particularly students – see diversity in their teachers but indicate diverse staff retention could improve. Ninety-three percent (93%) of students agree that their teachers come from many different backgrounds, and 79% of respondents agree that schools hire teachers from diverse backgrounds. Meanwhile, 69% believe they retain diverse teachers.
Sample Item: Please say how much you agree or disagree with the following statements about classroom support. [My teachers/My child’s teachers/Teachers at my school/District teachers]… (% “Agree” or “Strongly Agree”)
Key Findings: Student Support and Safety
Perceptions on equal access are generally positive, but resources may not be equally distributed across the district. At least three-quarters of respondents agree that students have access to all classes (85%), co-curricular activities (81%), and extra-curricular activities (76%). However, fewer agree that students have access to effective college and career supports to meet their goals (68%). Staff report fewer positive perceptions of diversity and resource distributions across GPISD schools, with approximately half or fewer agreeing that staff diversity, student diversity, and resources are equal.
- Agreement about access to all classes is notably lower among respondents receiving special education services (61%) compared to those who did not select SPED (84%).
- Agreement about effective college and career support is higher among respondents who select a race other than white or are multiracial (71%) compared to those who select white only (59%).
Respondents are more likely to agree that students of all backgrounds are cared about, respected, and treated fairly by the adults at their school than by other students. Fewer agree that adults at their school understand students’ backgrounds and experiences. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of parents and staff members agree with this statement, and 60% of students feel that adults understand their backgrounds and cultures. Similarly, 45% of students think adults understand them and their experiences.
- Agreement with statements about adults is sometimes lower among non-white or multiracial respondents; for example, they are less likely to agree that adults care about and support students beyond schoolwork (75% v. 84%), care about students of all backgrounds (81% v. 87%), treat students from all backgrounds fairly (78% v. 83%), or understand students' experiences and backgrounds (68% 74%).
Sample Item: Please say how much you agree or disagree with the following statements about student-staff relationships. Adults at [my school/my child’s school/district schools]… (% “Agree” or “Strongly Agree”)
Key Findings: Staff and Family
Staff are more likely to perceive their school as treating staff from diverse backgrounds with respect (85%) than the district (72%). Two-thirds or more of staff also agree that schools communicate high expectations for all teachers (85%), help teachers assist struggling students (71%), and support culturally sustaining practices (69%).
However, staff responses also suggest that schools should focus on offering more equity related professional learning opportunities, as slightly more than half (54%) agree that schools provide enough of this. They would also like schools to use more asset-based language, provide more time for staff to collaborate on equitable instruction, and work more on reducing the impact of implicit biases and discrimination on decision-making.
Parents and staff express positive perceptions of schools’ family engagement and outreach efforts, with at least 80% agreement that schools provide translation services when needed (89%), encourage parents to support students’ schoolwork at home (86%), and work with families to help students succeed (82%), among other things. Parents also report feeling comfortable approaching school staff (83%) and find them friendly and responsive (80%). 67% of parents and 44% of staff members are satisfied with the level of parental involvement at their schools.
- Non-white or multiracial parents report feeling more comfortable approaching school personnel (87% v. 80%) and are more satisfied with parental involvement overall (60% v. 54%).
Sample Item: Please say how much you agree or disagree with the following statements. [My school/District schools]… (% Agree” or Strongly Agree”)