Allentown School District Focuses Efforts on Equity


Allentown, PA (August 18 2016):  With the start of the 2016 school year on the horizon, the Allentown School District turns its focus toward equity for all students. This journey will commence with a candid conversation about equity and equality for educators and community members.

“Last year, the District began an open dialogue with the community about equity,” explains Dr. Gary R. Cooper, Interim Superintendent of the Allentown School District. “We are starting this year off with presentations from two noted scholars who will offer insight into understanding Equity vs Equality. We are setting the tone from the beginning of this school year that our focus is equity for all of our students and we’re engaging the community in being our partner in this effort.”

The two events will be held on September 1 – one event for the community and one for all ASD educators.

The public is invited to a FREE presentation entitled Equity vs Equality: The Community Perspective on Thursday, September 1, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Dieruff High School’s Auditorium featuring Dr. Tyrone C. Howard. The event is a collaboration between the District and Lehigh Valley My Brother’s Keeper and will include a Panel Discussion with community leaders.

Tyrone C. Howard, Ph.D, is professor in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies’ and Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UCLA. Author of several bestselling books,

Dr. Howard’s research examines culture, race, teaching and learning. He is also the Director and Founder of the Black Male Institute at UCLA, which is an interdisciplinary cadre of scholars, practitioners, community members, and policy makers dedicated to improving educational experiences and life chances of Black males and other males of color. Dr. Howard was recipient of the 2015 UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award and has been listed by Education Week as one of the 50 most influential scholars in the nation informing educational policy, practice and reform.

Earlier in the day, ASD teachers and administrators will gather with community leaders for Equity vs Equality: Which Will We Feed? presented by Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade. “This is the first time in recent years that all ASD educators will gather collectively for an event,” says Dr. Cooper. “We want everyone hearing the same thing and understanding the importance of this initiative as we move through our school year.”

Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Raza Studies and Education Administration and Interdisciplinary Studies, San Francisco State University, and Co-Founder of the Teaching Excellence Network. He is a high school teacher in East Oakland, CA, where for the past 18 years he has practiced and studied the use of critical pedagogy in urban schools. His research and publications span the areas of urban schooling and curriculum change, urban teacher development and retention, critical pedagogy, and cultural and ethnic studies. Duncan-Andrade has lectured around the world about the elements of effective teaching in schools serving poor and working class children.

The Allentown School District will continue to offer community engagement opportunities on this initiative. “We need to work together on this to ensure that our students have every opportunity to succeed academically and reach their full potential.” Dr. Cooper adds. 


About Allentown School District

ASD serves more than 16,250 students in a network of 22 early childhood, elementary, middle and high schools located throughout the City of Allentown, PA. The Allentown School District is the third largest urban school district in the Commonwealth’s 500 school districts. A shared vision of the community, parents, guardians, staff and faculty focuses on “Empowering Students for Life,” providing ASD students with the skills and academics they need to realize their aspirations whether they be college, career or technical focus. ASD goals are aligned and compatible with the Pathways to Success Framework while providing a balanced education to all students. Allentown School District employs more than 2,250 teachers, staff and administrators. The District, founded in 1866, serves students from 51 countries speaking 26 languages with more than 89% of ASD households qualifying as low income. The Allentown School District is committed to providing safe learning environments in which all students have equal access to education programs and resources.