equity themes > asset-based systems

Asset-Based Systems

Teachers have had a huge impact in making me feel more comfortable with who I am by acknowledging and celebrating my cultural differences and ethnicity.
- San Diego County student

Equity Wheel asset based system

Aligned LCFF PrioritiesPriority 4 Student AchievementPriority 6 School ClimatePriority 7 Course AccessPriority 8 Student Outcomes.

The Problem

A deficit belief model has historically permeated our educational system, disproportionately impacting students of color who are identified as low-income. Teachers’ perceptions and expectations of their students have an impact on student success. According to a National Center for Education Statistics study, 10th-grade students whose teachers held high expectations were three times more likely to graduate from college. To address this issue, the system needs to be intentionally designed to interrupt and dismantle inequitable practices and structures and collectively design asset-based systems.

The Definition

An asset-based system is a model where educators intentionally focus on their mindsets about their students. Educators build on students' languages and cultures, and celebrate the strengths, gifts, and talents students bring to the classroom.

"Asset-based teaching seeks to unlock students’ potential by focusing on their talents. Also known as strengths-based teaching, this approach contrasts with the more common deficit-based style of teaching which highlights students’ inadequacies" (Association of College and Research Libraries, 2018).

If teachers uplifted the joys, inventions, and contributions we've made, it would make a huge difference.
- San Diego County student


  • Create inclusive school environments that support all children, including those who have been historically marginalized
  • Build cradle-to-career educational programs
  • Increase positive representation
  • Offer, encourage, and provide supports for all students to engage in rigorous coursework (UC "a-g," International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement)
  • Share power intentionally with parents and communities

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