The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has awarded AdaptiveX, an industry-leading Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning Professional Development company, with $362,500 in project funds to be a fundamental contributor in the Department’s Cultural Proficiency Professional Development project. The project tasks AdaptiveX with analyzing and understanding culturally sustaining practices, pedagogy, and environments, as well as becoming well familiarized with the underlying details and structures that feed into systemic inequities, from implicit biases to common educational policies.
Founded out of Glenarden, MD, with endeavors spanning across the country, AdaptiveX is no stranger to tackling systemic inequity in education. Black female tech founder, Shayla Adams-Stafford, details how AdaptiveX approaches Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning by helping educators recognize and manage their own biases, and by making sure that these educators are equipped with the knowledge and research-based practices in order to close the achievement gap both inside and outside of the classroom.
A variety of workshops, activities, and self-guided programs offered by AdaptiveX help education professionals identify and recognize not only their own personal biases but also the systemic inequalities that implicitly favor individuals from privileged demographics. Being able to recognize the pedagogical disparities in standard education systems is far from all of the work that needs to be done, however. In fact, it is only the first step in racial equity training and anti-racist professional development.
Students come from diverse backgrounds and socioeconomic situations, which is why a one-size-fits-all approach cannot and has not been working. Engaging students with “authentic and rigorous learning experiences that honor learner’s cultural capacity” is a dynamic educational approach that fosters progress and growth in any situation. This approach is known as Culturally Responsive Teaching, and to be able to execute it properly, schools and teachers need the appropriate practices and training. AdaptiveX offers Culturally Responsive Teach support and coaching, as well as workshops and other resources.
This specialization in culturally Responsive Teaching Practices is precisely what allowed AdaptiveX to stand out in the competitive bid. The comprehensive, research-based program is to be implemented in nearly a dozen districts throughout the state of Massachusetts, providing workshops, equity landscape analysis, virtual coaching, and much more.
The death of George Floyd and subsequent, widespread cries for social and racial justice brings to light once again that now, and always, systemic inequities at every level of society lead to inequality in public health and the justice system. The services provided by AdaptiveX, to be implemented through the DESE project, shed a light on these gaps, and provide solutions towards making school systems more equitable for all students.