The BELE Network
Building Equitable Learning Environments
The BELE Network is a group of education researchers, foundations, intermediaries and their district networks working with educators, policymakers, grantmakers, schools and school support organizations to innovate and implement equitable learning environments. We’re also a part of a growing movement of educators and leaders who are passionate about educational equity and ready to demand a wholesale transformation of our schools. We believe that we can change the country and the entire education system.
Why We Exist
A school system is only equitable when every student is empowered to pursue their dreams and transform the world.
The Building Equitable Learning Environments (BELE) Network is committed to proving that building a culture of change and innovation where every student can thrive is happening, possible and inevitable.
As a network of inspired educators, researchers, nonprofit organizations, and funders, we are collectively creating the resources and tools to build a better, equitable version of public education in American so every student can unlock their full potential.
What We Do
The BELE Network is redesigning public education to make sure that every student has a high-quality learning experience that helps them thrive inside and outside the classroom. Collectively, we created the BELE Framework, a holistic guide for educators, decision makers and the community on transforming student experiences and outcomes.
Our theory of action is:
- APPLIED PRACTICE, SUPPORT & LEARNING: BELE Learning Partners and School Support Organizations partner with districts and charter management organizations to realize the commitments in the BELE Framework in their schools and classrooms.
- STRATEGIC COLLABORATION WITH SCHOOLS & DISTRICTS: BELE convenes, collaborates with and shares learnings from Learning Partners and School Support Organizations across the Network.
- INFLUENCE & FIELD BUILDING: BELE works to expand the field’s definition of education success to include the aspirations and desired outcomes of young people, their families and communities; raises awareness about systemic barriers that need to be addressed, and highlights effective approaches and practices.
- BUILD THE CASE & CREATE PUBLIC DEMAND: BELE raises awareness and builds support for policies and practices that create equitable learning environments through storytelling, research, and trainings.
To realize our vision of an education system that ensures the academic, intellectual, social, emotional, academic, and cultural growth and wellbeing of all young people, the BELE Network is building momentum to inspire adults to act and providing them with the policy agendas, tools, and measures they need to create a better student learning experience and schools that produce equitable student learning and developmental outcomes.
Our priorities are
Redesigning every aspect of the classroom, from what students learn to how teachers give feedback to which disciplinary methods are used, in order to foster intellectual curiosity, self-acceptance, agency, and cultural awareness amongst students, especially students of color or those from low-income backgrounds.
Identifying and eliminating policies that cause harm or reproduce inequitable practices for students and staff across our schools and, in their place, designing evidence-based policies and practices that increase access to opportunities for all students.
Creating structures, practices, and policies that advance equitable learning practices and leadership among educators, students, and families in support of student outcomes in schools across the United States.
Working closely with adults and educators to ensure they have the resources, tools, and beliefs that every student can thrive through our collective will to transform our schools by helping students emerge empowered and with a strong academic foundation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does equitable learning look like?
Equitable learning is when each student’s unique needs and circumstances are met and they are challenged academically and intellectually within a supportive environment. The BELE Network is rethinking everything from curriculum, how teachers give feedback, and what disciplinary methods are used, to create learning communities that can help students, especially those of color, grow intellectually, emotionally, and culturally. For more information on how to create a more equitable learning environment, visit equitablelearning.org.
Why is equitable learning so important?
Knowledge is power, and the bedrock of every democracy is well-educated and empowered young people. However, our outdated school system was never designed to equip students of color with what they need to succeed or help educators break the cycle of institutional racism. We need to redesign our schools for the 21st century, so that they work for all students, not just a few.
What is the BELE Network’s theory of change?
The BELE Network is driving strategic demand to inspire adults to act and providing them with the policy agendas, tools, and measures they need to create a better student learning experience and schools that produce equitable student learning and developmental outcomes. The BELE Network is intentionally creating equitable learning environments for students by shaping their experiences based on their needs and voices in a way that equips them for life beyond the classroom.
What is the science of learning and development?
The science of learning and development refers to the emerging and growing body of knowledge illuminating how young people best learn and develop. It brings together leading scientists and education experts from a variety of fields —including neuroscience, epigenetics, learning science, social and emotional learning, early childhood development, the science of adversity, and human development—to identify and articulate essential insights that can inform how best to transform education systems, so that all young people thrive. The BELE Network is a proud partner and member of the Science of Learning and Development Alliance.
How is the BELE Network structured?
The BELE Network is composed of Learning Partners and School Support Organizations. Learning Partners provide help set the learning agenda for the Network and provide technical assistance to BELE-aligned schools and districts. School Support Organizations are organizations that make up a community of practice, sharing knowledge and innovating on solutions for equitable learning environments with their school, district and community partners.
How can I learn more?
To learn more about the BELE Network, visit our resources page or catch up on the latest news from the network. For more information on how to create a more equitable learning environment, visit equitablelearning.org. If you have questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I join?
If you’re an educator, administrator, policymaker, or in another role looking to transform our education system for the benefit of all students or if you’re a funder looking for ways to support the BELE Network, contact us at email@example.com.