Given the current cultural climate in our country, the work of the Region IV Western Educational Equity Assistance Center (WEEAC) is now more important than ever. Marzano Research works in partnership with the WEEAC, supporting their work through the evaluation process, to make educational equity a priority for policymakers and legislators.
One of four regional Equity Assistance Centers funded by the United States Department of Education under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, WEEAC provides training and technical assistance on educational equity issues related to race, sex, national origin, religion, and socio-economic status. In addition, WEEAC has an emphasis on the prevention of bullying and harassment in schools.
Located at Metropolitan State University in Denver, WEEAC partners with education agencies to find solutions to problems associated with equity. Their stated mission is to “provide, upon request, technical assistance and training for school boards, school districts, Tribal Education Agencies and other responsible governmental agencies to promote equitable education opportunities and access for all students”
Marzano Research’s focus on practitioner-centered education improvement in order to “facilitate change and support educators, learners, and systems as they learn, evolve, and thrive, ” gives a common framework for the collaboration between the two organizations. Since 2016, Marzano Research have provided evaluation services for the WEEAC’s efforts to improve family and community engagement in schools and promote equity by addressing the needs of students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
This evaluation included conducting extensive research into the effectiveness of the WEEAC’s programs. As part of this process, surveys were conducted with program participants immediately after trainings and then several months later when participants have had a chance to apply WEEAC insights to their context. This long-term evaluation has yielded significant feedback which WEEAC can use to continuously improve its services, to achieve their overarching goals of supporting practices and policies that promote equity and high quality education for all students.
WEEAC leadership indicated “We appreciate the partnership with Marzano Research. The team of liaisons provide our staff with consistent communication related to the post event surveys from participants. The information from the data driven reports help shape the immediate and long-term planning for technical assistance.”
Evaluation is an important part of this dynamic, allowing organizations to see what’s working and what might need improvement. Therefore, evaluation is an invaluable component of developing more effective programs for helping students access high quality, responsive education in an environment free from harassment or bullying.
Marzano Research’s partnership with WEEAC will hopefully lead to a better understanding of equity issues as well as the most effective tools to achieve more equitable practices and policies. It’s been a rewarding project to be a part of as educational equity is a critical issue confronting the education community, made more severe by a tumultuous 2020 that has brought several long-simmering social issues to the forefront of our collective consciousness.
To view some educational resources WEEAC recommends, click HERE. To learn more about partnering with Marzano Research for a data-based evaluation of your program or organization, be sure to contact us.