Dr. Donna Elam
The pandemic brought educational equity to the forefront of conversations going on across the country. From student access, to devices, to communities lacking high-speed internet; everyone continues to face tremendous challenges which at times can seem almost insurmountable. “At Silverback Learning Solutions, we knew we needed to take a step backward to move forward. We set a company commitment to understand how we pivot to make sure our platforms are positioned to support the evolving educational needs our customers are facing today and will face tomorrow,” says Michelle Kinley, the Chief Government Affairs & Marketing Officer at Silverback Learning Solutions.
Silverback Learning is taking its new mission of “Expanding Equitable Practices and Empowering Educators” seriously with a vision to advance equitable student achievement by connecting educational experts with intuitive solutions. Leveraging its experience and expertise, Silverback Learning reached out to several exceptional organizations with frameworks designed or re-engineered to address these challenges head-on. “After many discussions with company leaders, Silverback Learning decided to partner with the Elam Leadership Institute (ELI). Leveraging ELI’s Equity of Effort framework, a connected set of products and services have been created to empower educators with sound equitable practices grounded in efficacy and research,” states Michelle. Standing on ELI’s definition of equity, the framework helps districts connects critical research to a systemic approach for implementing and achieving equity for all stakeholders from policy to practice. Educators are presented with both the rationale and the tools that, when implemented with fidelity, are proven to yield higher academic results.
As part of this investment, Silverback built the framework within its award-winning Vitae platform to ensure that performance gaps across different student populations disappear so that all students demonstrate growth and success through school-level data reviews and alignment to best practices. Vitae (formerly Teacher Vitae) brings a framework to life while automating the process. “The Equity of Effort Framework, inside of Vitae, incorporates a complete set of documents and activities to be accomplished over a specific time frame with guided professional development opportunities available,” mentions Michelle.
The Equity of Effort Framework inside of Vitae will incorporate a complete set of documents and activities to be accomplished over a specific time frame with guided professional development opportunities available
In addition to the Elam Leadership Institute, Silverback Learning has diversified its partner base to further support school districts with new professional development offerings, instructional assessments, and more to give clients access to a variety of high-quality content that can be customized to meet the needs of diverse student populations. “Student achievement has always been the guiding principle here at Silverback Learning. The nation is urging all of us to be responsive and responsible with this precious opportunity to reconstruct education, and we do not take it lightly,” informs Michelle. “It is our responsibility as vendors to do all we can to become aware, listen, learn, pivot, develop, act and then commit to contributing to the educational paradigm shift. Pulling together the experts to attack the problem as a unit as opposed to silos is how this can happen without wasting time and maximizing the use of shared resources.”