Student focus groups are next for equity audit

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School —The Martha's Vineyard Times

Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools students will have the opportunity to give feedback on their education as part of student focus groups, the next step in the public schools’ equity audit.

This month, principals of Vineyard public schools are sending permission slips for the focus groups to parents of seventh to 12th graders, in both English and Portuguese. Parents can submit the permission slips online.

The public schools’ equity audit, which was announced in February, is being conducted in partnership with the national educational nonprofit Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium. The audit’s purpose is to review policies, programs, and practices in the Vineyard’s public schools, and assess them for fairness toward students of all backgrounds. The consortium, not the school system, will be in charge of the student focus groups.

So far, public schools staff have taken online equity audit surveys, and parents weighed in on their children’s education in the school climate surveys, submitted by May 17.

Marge Harris, a former Vineyard educator who is involved in the audit’s implementation, said that the consortium will likely form two focus groups, which could each include around a dozen students, depending on how many responses are submitted. These student groups will then each attend an hourlong Zoom session.

Harris said data from the focus groups will be added in early June to a full equity audit report.

Public schools Superintendent Richard M. Smith told the Times earlier this month that district officials will view the full report this summer at their yearly retreat, and then will make the results public and work toward any improvements based on the audit’s findings.


    • Education?
      Evaluating performance?
      Making things a equal as possible?
      What would you do differently?

      • In what part of your life has everything been equal? Ever? Are you as tall as Caitlin Clark? Are you as muscular as Tom Brady? Are you as rich as Bill Gates? If not, why not? What magical thinking makes you think someone – anyone – can insure equal outcomes for everyone?

        • Back it down Annie, I made no mention of equal outcomes.
          Typical “Conservative” knee jerk reaction.
          Every basketball player deserves to be coached to the best of their ability.
          And otherwise educated.

          • A little touchy are you? I’m just making clear for you the objective when auditing “equity” – someone somewhere thinks someone isn’t getting their fair share of something and someone else getting too much that they don’t deserve. My knees rarely jerk.

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