Equity is at the center of the Promising Policy series. While data indicates that postsecondary attainment has steadily increased nationally (nine percentage points since 2008), significant gaps by race and ethnicity persist. These gaps are a reflection of the fact that communities of color have had to navigate systemic barriers that impede their access to quality education, and ultimately the American Dream. Policy is a tool to break down barriers to education for students of color and low-income communities.

Policy is not static. Rather, it should be viewed as an ongoing process of development, implementation, evaluation and revision. Advancing results-driven educational policies that close equity gaps and produce long-term societal benefits will have a direct impact on underserved populations.

Specifically, policies developed in three core areas ‑ student-centered pathways, strategic funding and data-driven leadership – can influence institutions to scale critical reforms. These policies can also help build connections across K12, postsecondary and the workforce to provide opportunities for all students.

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