The Atlanta Public Schools Center for Equity and Social Justice is committed to ensuring EVERY APS student thrives — not by accident, but by design. In order for APS to achieve our mission that every student graduates ready for college, career, and life, our schools must be joyful places that are equitable and inclusive, and places that create excellence for all, especially for our students of color. Our children must experience both meaningful rigor and culturally responsive supports from teachers, support providers and leaders. We envision school communities where students, families and staff work together to build vibrant school cultures designed to ensure that everyone in our school community thrives. With Equity at the Forefront, we can ensure equity and excellence for everyone.
We are committed to equity because leading for equity is the ethical thing to do. Equity requires that we champion the individual cultures, identities, talents, abilities, languages, and interests of every child. The goal of equity is achieved when we have broken the historical patterns of inequity that have resulted in far too few of our students succeeding at high levels. To do this, we must work to eliminate barriers and ensure that all our students have the supports they need to reach their full potential. We can do this if we are reflective, data-driven, and equitably distribute our resources to ensure access and opportunity for our historically marginalized student populations.
Our students deserve the highest quality instruction. This means that our classrooms must be places where every child participates in engaging, rigorous, and culturally/linguistically responsive learning experiences every day. This also means that our schools foster a sense of belonging because they are vibrant, inclusive, and welcoming centers of learning. To do this, we must focus our efforts on the pursuit of excellence for all by ensuring that every child receives the necessary opportunities and resources to meet their unique needs and aspirations. We must also deliver the highest quality supports to our teachers and leaders.
We define equity as the "quality or ideal of being just and fair, regardless of economic, social, cultural, and human differences among and between persons." To reach this ideal, we must invite our stakeholders, internal and external, into authentic dialogue about how to achieve equity. Achieving equity across the district requires attention from every member of our community. The APS Center for Equity and Social Justice will collaborate with every district office and school, families and community stakeholders to ensure that each undertaking is pursued with equity as a goal.