Framingham School Committee Unanimously Approves Request For Proposals For Equity Audit

FRAMINGHAM – Wednesday night, the Framingham School Committee unanimously approved an RFP for a equity audit of the Framingham Public School District.

The School Committee’s Racial Equity sub-committee and an advocacy organization Families For Racial Equity in Education (FFREE) has been pushing for this audit since the spring of 2018.

The Framingham Public School district has about 9,100 students.

“The purpose of this audit is to understand more clearly our assets and challenges which are the drivers behind the gaps in student opportunity and access. Through this audit process, we look to identify and adopt evidence-informed practices so we may build upon our strengths and align resources to support the various requirements of our diverse student body,” said Framingham Assistant Superintendent of Schools Joseph Corazzini in a memo to the Committee.

The budget for the audit is $48,000.

The district is “looking for an experienced professional or team who has worked with public education institutions and/or public sector systems to assess systemic factors including but not limited to student access to high-quality programs, high-quality teaching, hiring practices, just discipline procedures, and equitable resources. The audit process will be conducted in the interest of providing a root cause analysis of factors which may be hindering and supporting the achievement for our diverse population,” wrote Corazzini.

Deliverables include:

  • Conduct individual focus groups made up of a representative body of students within the district and families within the community. Provide a detailed report on common themes that emerge from the focus group process. Within the time and budget constraints, FPS hopes to have the participation of the following historically marginalized groups (children of color, a range of ethnic groups, religious groups who have historically been targeted (ie. Muslim,Judaism, Hindu students, LGBTQ, students in foster care, students on free or reduced lunch, students with a (dis)ability(ies), and students with an incarcerated parent for example). Focus groups should consist of the following groups: ● Students in the middle school (2 groups) ● Students in high school (2 groups) ● Teachers Pre-K to 12 ( 2 groups) ● Staff with representation from support, athletics, guidance, transportation, custodial, etc. (1 group) ● All Administrators will be interviewed. Data from phase I will be incorporated. ● Parent groups (2 groups) ● Invitational Focus Group of Traditionally Marginalized Faculty and Staff (1 group staff) ● Community Partners (1 group)
  • Review the district’s targeted interventions and supports for attendance, social-emotional, and behavioral needs at the postsecondary level and grades K and 1. Identify strengths, challenges, opportunities, and effectiveness.
  • Assess the budget to ensure equity across the district and provide evidence-informed recommendations that build upon our strengths and align resources to meet the needs of our diverse student body.
  • Assess the FPS leadership team’s structure, process, and current activities to address equity. Review professional development offerings related to equity, diversity and creating schools free of bias, prejudice, and discrimination. Make evidence-informed recommendations for improving programs to support staff development.
  • Work with district data team using existing data to identify assets and challenges prioritizing the identified areas of focus (e.g., student academic performance, discipline, attendance, dropout and graduation rates).
  • Review current efforts to recruit and retain diverse staff (staff of color, immigrant staff, LGBTQ+ staff, staff with a (dis)ability, bi-lingual staff, etc.). Provide evidence-informed recommendations on how to improve staff recruitment and strategies on how to support a diverse workforce by creating a welcoming, bias-free work environment.
  • Initial review of aspects of the curriculum with department heads to ensure it is intersectional and representative of all aspects of our diverse community.

The District will solicit quotes beginning on August 9, 2019, and ending on September 6, 2019 until 5 p.m.

All price quotes will be reviewed by the Office of the Superintendent of Schools and the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Community Development to determine if the consultant meets the identified qualifications.

The Office of Business and Operations will review all submitted price quotes to determine if the proposals are in compliance and complete. In accordance with Massachusetts state law, the contract will be awarded to the lowest bidder who meets the requirements

1. Residence in Massachusetts and general knowledge of Massachusetts policies.

2. A work plan and timeline describing methodologies, approaches, and roles and responsibilities for how and when the work will be accomplished

3. Experience providing consulting services, including audits or assessments related to racial equity/diversity/inclusion/cultural responsiveness for public systems and sectors.

4. Significant experience (4 or more assignments) as working as part of a multicultural/multiracial team. Please articulate your understanding and philosophy on equity as part of the submission.

5. Relevant experience in the education/nonprofit and philanthropic sectors

6. Liability insurance is required and must be paid before the audit begins. All travel, expenses, and fees are the responsibility of the contractor.

Proposals will be disqualified if they do not contain the following elements:

1. A detailed budget

2. Short bios of the proposed project team members and full resumes of the principal consultants

3. A brief list and description of past and current clients in the public sector in Massachusetts, preferably public schools

4. Evidence of substantial work on equity and an individual or team who are from diverse backgrounds.

5. Contact information for a minimum of 3 relevant references that are equity-specific.

The timeline for project is as follows:

Solicitation for Price Quotes: August 9, 2019 – September 6, 2019

District Review of Quotes & Award of Contract: Sept. 9, 2019 – Sept. 13, 2019

Audit Begins: October 2019

Ongoing Updates: October 2019 – February 2020

Initial Report: January 24, 2020

Final Written Report: April 12, 2020

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: Phone: 508-315-7176

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