The achievement gap continues to put students of color far below their white peers, and COVID-19 has exacerbated this issue (Dorn, 2021). In addition, students in high-poverty schools report even more fears around safety than before the pandemic and more internalizing behaviors such as sadness, loneliness, and anxiety (Bhogal et al., 2021). Making things worse, research is clear that feelings of safety and internalizing behaviors are directly related to decreased academic achievement in young children (Cargnelutti, Tomasetto & Passolunghi, 2016; Wang & Degol, 2016). Furthermore, lower performing schools have less effective teachers with less access to resources (Allensworth et al., 2009).
QoreInsights works to close achievement and opportunity gaps by approaching equity from an organizational, product, and data level. At an organizational level, our team is diverse at entry, mid, and leadership levels. We are constantly working toward becoming a more diverse organization, even beyond race and gender, so we can continue to gain more insight into and connections with the students, teachers, and administrators we serve. This will help us to ensure that features, recommended implementation, and the use of data are representative and responsible. In addition, through this level of representation we are able to build more trust and commitment with the teachers and administrators who are and will be working with us to engage in continuous improvement.
At a product level, QoreInsights developed CEP to create equity for both teacher and student learning. CEP uses learning engineering and a decision support system to equitably guide every teacher to the most impactful evidence-based instructional methods to address whole-child student needs, including feelings of safety and internalizing behaviors. All academic strategies are academically rigorous and infused with tips from culturally relevant pedagogy and social emotional learning experts, have guides to differentiation, and include helpful hints and links to support and enhance every teacher and every student’s learning experience. Teachers can learn and reflect on instructional methods while teaching. All instructional methods are aligned with standards and compatible with the school’s choice of curriculum or assessments.
Finally, we have embedded ongoing evaluation at every stage of the product lifecycle to identify and mitigate any bias that may inadvertently be introduced. We know that having a scalable, technology-driven platform has great promise of closing achievement gaps, but if big data is not used responsibly, it can amplify inequity and we do not take that responsibility lightly. With so much at risk, QoreInsights is following the guidance of Baker and Hawn (2021) and many other experts in the field who have recently developed frameworks for responsible use of AI. The CEP, with a proper focus on fairness, could harness what we have learned from social and learning sciences and bring meaningful insights to teachers and learners at scale, facilitate perspective through expanding opportunities for all students, create interconnectivity, make processes more efficient, and significantly improve capacity for equitable teaching and learning (Lui, 2020; Luckin & Cukurova, 2019).