New Book Chronicles Fresno’s Equity & Access Work

October 2015

Collaborative members Mike Hanson, Mike Kirst, Jennifer O’Day, and Chris Steinhauser participated in an event promoting the release of a new book, Improving Equity and Access in Fresno: Lessons from a K12—Higher Education Partnership. The book describes the inception and evolution of Fresno Unified School District’s efforts to “provide students the greatest number of postsecondary choices from the widest array of options upon graduation.” Written by AIR senior researcher Clarisse Haxton and Collaborative chair Jennifer O’Day, the text explores many of the themes that emerged during the Collaborative’s March 2015 meeting in Fresno. Among these, it goes into greater depth about the history of the equity and access initiative, how efforts of Fresno counselors and the district’s higher education partners have improved students’ access to college, and progress and challenges in expanding equity and access work to other district departments and to site-level planning efforts. It also describes the importance of senior leadership commitment, having an explicit guiding principle, a data system with timely and actionable data (to change opportunities and outcomes for individual students), and the long-term process of creating a culture of continuous improvement.