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Task Force Charge:

The task force shall be charged with updating the 2012 report of the Presidential Task Force on Education Disparities by adding current research synthesizing the psychological science on ethnic and racial disparities in PreK-12 education and providing recommendations for practice, policy, and research.  The task force will conduct its work using virtual technology.


During a June, 2020 virtual meeting, the Board of Educational Affairs (BEA) was asked to consider and take action on a request submitted by the APA Center for Psychology in Schools and Education  to address the unique needs of racial and ethnic minoritized (REM) students as evidenced by persistent racial/ethnic disparities in education. These disparities include achievement gaps between REM and White students, overrepresentation of REM students in special education and underrepresentation in gifted education, and excessive use of exclusionary discipline practices as well as violence associated with policing and racism. Moreover, these disparities are compounded when REM students hold multiple marginalized identities. With our knowledge of teaching, learning, and wellbeing, psychologists are well positioned to serve as advocates for diverse students to address educational inequities and challenge the institutional and systemic barriers that may prevent students from reaching their full potential (Singh, 2010).

BEA approved forming a virtual task force to update a 2012 APA document on this topic. The goals of the task force will be to (1) identify what psychological science has to say about the nature and source of educational disparities; (2) identify interventions that have been successful in addressing these gaps on the part of schools, families, communities, and young people themselves; and (3) make recommendations to psychologists and the public regarding implications from this body of work to practice, policy and research.

Proposed membership:

BEA will appoint six members (including a Chair), to the task force from those that apply. The task force shall represent individuals with expertise in race and ethnicity as related to the following areas:

  • Composition of student enrollment in schools and districts
  • Representation in special and gifted education
  • Early childhood education
  • Disparate application of discipline policies
  • Implications for teacher preparation
  • Implications for school support personnel preparation
  • Intersection with
    • Gender
    • Immigration status
    • English language acquisition
    • Socioeconomic status or class

Individuals with multiple areas of experience and expertise are strongly encouraged to apply.

Those interested in serving on the task force should submit:

  • A CV or resume documenting experience and knowledge related to the charge of this task force.
  • A one-page (maximum) letter specifically articulating how qualifications relate to the areas of expertise outlined above, and any aspects of diversity that you represent and choose to make known.
  • Matrix (linked here) for the Task Force to Update Research on Ethnic and Racial Disparities in PreK-12 Education

Questions and nomination materials should be sent by August 3, 2020 to Maha Khalid, Associate Director of APA’s Center for Psychology in Schools and Education, at