As the new Executive Director of EdInsights, I wanted to share some of my ideas and thoughts about where we are today and where we would like to go in 2022.
Since the pandemic began, we have made adjustments in our professional and personal lives–transitioning how we live, work, and care for ourselves and our loved ones. Students have also had to navigate difficult transitions.
The impact of the pandemic on equity for both K-12 and higher education students has highlighted the digital divide and the effects of the pandemic on education and healthcare needs of our communities, especially those that traditionally have been least served. In 2021, EdInsights focused on its mission to inform and improve policymaking and practice within and across higher education–with a focus on equity by:
- exploring the impacts of the pandemic on education;
- supporting middle leaders in the CSU as they navigate uncertainty, learn how to identify equity-focused action steps to effect sustainable and meaningful change, work to build leadership skills to advance equity on their campuses, and seek to inform their practice with evidence;
- supporting education policymakers and practitioners from across the state in building networks, developing leadership skills, and crafting policy reform; and
- informing the field through reporting on the impacts of the pandemic on education, policy analysis, and evaluation of both large scale systemic change efforts and student support programs.
It is clear that after almost two years the pandemic is still directly affecting our students and communities. The impact of these transitions on equity has had and will continue to have dire consequences for low-income students and students of color without continued support and resources.
EdInsights remains optimistic that together we can support students by identifying equity gaps and recommending improvements to the transitions that students are experiencing as they move through our institutions. This will continue to be EdInsights’ focus in 2022 as we:
- refine our strategic plan;
- progress our internal conversation about how to further operationalize equity in all aspects of our work; and
- continue our support of the field through rigorous research, fruitful professional learning and networking opportunities, and thoughtful evaluation.
In addition, I would sincerely like to thank Dr. Dianne Hyson, Dean, College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies at Sacramento State, who contributed immensely to the success and well-being of the EdInsights team over the past year.
In 2022, we will continue to work together toward greater outcomes for students in partnership with our community. I hope that you are all staying safe and keeping loved ones close during this time.
Dr. LeAnn Fong-Batkin, Executive Director