“Education must not simply teach work, it must teach life.+- W.E.B. DuBois
We should have equality in all our schools. Equity allows all students to be treated the same and having access to highly enriched educational resources. Education is life building, not simply passing a test and building good academic data. in 2017, we must ask ourselves what equity in education truly looks like when we still have high student drop out rates and low literacy rates.
All students should be able to receive the best education possible. In studying the ideologies of W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington, freedom is sustained through education. Learning helps our minds to grow and expand so that we can go beyond just the ordinary. In today, we are still battling the same issues that have been discussed for decades i.e. suspension, discipline, socioeconomic, teacher quality and proper resources.
I ensure that I go over the difference between equality and equity so that parents and students can best advocate for what they need. Many of the issues are connected to equity. Equity in education means that each student receives resources needed for graduation and success after completing high school. Resources could be reflected through:
- Parent/Family Center
- Early Learning and Literacy
- College & Career Readiness
- Adult Education
- Lending Libraries for special learners (i.e. ELL, Gifted & Talented, Special Education, etc.)
- Restorative Justice and PBIS
- Communal Resources
- Health and Wellness
The conversation around equality and equity should encourage school Districts and city leaders to strengthen their relationship with each other and their stakeholders. It benefits both parties as together. We must intentionally look at how effective the resources being provided are driving student and family success. Educational resources should not be limited to the classroom! Learning takes place everywhere. Partnering with families, communities, Alumni, non profits, businesses and city agencies helps provide additional resources that support the work of teachers outside of the classroom.
Here are some questions to consider when advocating for reform around educational resources and equity:
- Do the high schools in your school District offer rigorous college and career readiness courses for all students?
- Are teachers, staff, students and parents provided professional development collectively and individually?
- Are certain groups of students suspended at higher rates than others?
- How effectively are we monitoring and implementing federally funded programs?
- Do we have enough school counselors and social workers to serve each school?