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  • Jessica Cardichon and Linda Darling-Hammond
Advancing Educational Equity for Underserved Youth
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This brief produced by the Learning Policy Institute summarizes research and recommendations for strategies states and districts can do to improve equitable opportunities and outcomes. The brief suggests that to promote equity and improve outcomes, states can:
• track suspension and expulsion rates, while removing zero-tolerance discipline policies
that have proven ineffective in improving youth performance, replacing them with
restorative justice practices;2
• incentivize schools to evaluate and improve school climate, which is associated with youth
achievement and educational attainment, for all groups of youth, with special attention to
those who are most vulnerable;
• monitor attendance and chronic absenteeism, and create approaches to intervene early
and support attendance where needed to increase learning time;
• use an extended-year graduation rate (e.g., 5, 6, or 7 years), as well as a 4-year rate, to
encourage high schools to work with and bring back young people who, for a variety of
reasons, could not graduate in 4 years; and
• measure youths’ access to and completion of college- and career-ready courses of study
in an effort to open up evidence-based pathways to future success that help youth reach
their potential and encourage schools to offer these opportunities to all youth.

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Jessica Cardichon and Linda Darling-Hammond
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