As the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) — the most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) — brought greater attention to equity by requiring states to develop policy to reduce equity gaps, Nebraska policymakers redesigned the state's school accountability system with an emphasis on educational equity for all students.
Despite policy advocating for equity, how individual policy actors make meaning of equity and facilitate the implementation of accountability is unknown. That hinders school systems' capacity to successfully meet the needs of students, particularly those who are underserved.
This project is designed to develop a strong research team that will conduct large-scale research on equity-driven accountability systems in K-12 education in Nebraska that draws on our various backgrounds in terms of research expertise, professional experience, career stages and campus resources.
A new collaborative research relationship between the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the University of Nebraska at Kearney will be crafted, and between the research team and community partners. The team will work to align research questions with funder priorities, identify expertise needs, build new collaborations, prepare joint publications and submit competitive extramural funding proposals.
The project will offer scholarly and practical implications into how state-level policymakers and educational leaders can effectively support more equitable learning in K-12 schools in Nebraska and beyond. It will also position the research team and University of Nebraska to engage with state policymakers and local partners to advance equity.