America’s Promissory Note . . . Still Outstanding

bart-simpson-chalkboard-wallpaper-generatorIn a startling article in the New York Times, columnist Charles M. Blow lays out some statistics published in a recent UNICEF report that should equally appall and inspire us. He writes,

According to the report, the United States has the second highest share of children living under the relative poverty line, defined as 50 percent of each country’s median income, and the second largest “child poverty gap” (the distance between the poverty line and the median incomes of those below the line).

The United States ranked 25th out of 29 in the percentage of people 15 to 19 years old who were enrolled in schools and colleges and 23rd in the percentage of people in that cohort not participating in either education, employment or training.

When we consider the gravity of the challenges these young people face, both in terms of early educational opportunities and educational outcomes, we can’t help but confront our own moral and ethical responsibility to fulfill what Martin Luther King, Jr. called “a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”

We must work together to reverse these trends and actualize a better tomorrow . . . starting today.

Below are some additional facts Mr 100mg viagra. Blow provided that are both sobering and enlightening.

In fact, according to data released last month by the Children’s Defense Fund, each day in America:

2 mothers die in childbirth.

4 children are killed by abuse or neglect.

5 children or teens commit suicide.

7 children or teens are killed by firearms.

67 babies die before their first birthdays.

892 babies are born at low birth weight.

914 babies are born to teen mothers.

1,208 babies are born without health insurance.

1,825 children are confirmed as abused or neglected.

2,712 babies are born into poverty.

2,857 high school students drop out.

4,475 babies are born to unmarried mothers.

Image: Simpson Chalkboard Generator
Share

10 Steps to Equity in Education

DiversityThe Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which works to “promote the policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world,” published a Policy Briefing titled, “Ten Steps to Equity in Education.” The briefing (which you can read in its entirety here) lays out some of the basic policies necessary for achieving equity in education, as well as some fundamental elements of equity.

For example, the briefing explains two dimensions essential to equity in education:

  1. Fairness — defined as making sure that personal and social circumstances – for example gender, socio-economic status or ethnic origin – should not be an obstacle to achieving educational potential

  2. Inclusion — defined as ensuring a basic minimum standard of education for all – for example that everyone should be able to read, write and do simple arithmetic.

OECD SES Related Math Disparities OECD Struggle in ReadingThe briefing goes on to provide two charts (on the left, click to view larger versions) outlining the state of equity as reflected in achievement in math and reading. The statistics are truly sobering. For example, in the US, a student from a low SES (socio economic status) background is nearly 4 times as likely to have low math achievement as a student from a high SES background. The eye opener is that such disparity is not consistent around the globe. For example, in Iceland, a student from a low SES background is “only” twice as like to have lower math achievement than a peer with a high SES background.

So why the difference?

Proponents for pursuing equity in education suggest such disparity is a matter of policy and practice aimed at achieving fairness and inclusion. (Perhaps the yawning gap between policies that achieve fairness and inclusiveness in practice and those that don’t is the “achievement gap” we should actually be talking about.)

Below are OECD’s “10 Steps to Equity in Education” that provide something of a roadmap for achieving equity. As you read the below list, you’ll notice recommendations that are in direct conflict with current ed policy practices and some that are altogether absent from our current edu-discourse. These 10 steps may provide a big picture litmus test for looking at policies being proposed, passed and implemented at both state and federal levels.

10 Steps to Equity in Education

Design

1. Limit early tracking and streaming and postpone academic selection.

2. Manage school choice so as to contain the risks to equity.

3. In upper secondary education, provide attractive alternatives, remove dead ends and prevent dropout.

4. Offer second chances to gain from education.

Practices

5. Identify and provide systematic help to those who fall behind at school and reduce year repetition.

6. Strengthen the links between school and home to help disadvantaged parents help their children to learn.

7. Respond to diversity and provide for the successful inclusion of migrants and minorities within mainstream education.

Resourcing

8. Provide strong education for all, giving priority to early childhood provision and basic schooling.

9. Direct resources to the students with the greatest needs.

10. Set concrete targets for more equity, particularly related to low school attainment and dropouts.

Image: monosodium via Morgue File
Graphs from OECD’s Policy Briefing — “10 Steps to Equity in Education” 

 

Schoolhouse vs Jailhouse Infographic

The schoolhouse to jailhouse pipeline continues to plague our society. The causes for the criminalization of our youth are many, complex, and solvable. Whether we are transforming norms in our schools or implementing larger social justice policies, we must engage students in ways that build their strengths, confidence, and overall well-being. A good place to start is by dialoguing about equity, racial justice, and restorative discipline practices.

Take a look at the infographic by Jason Killinger below. While some of the stats are Philadelphia and Pennsylvania-centric, the overall picture it paints is enough to indicate we need to rethink our approach to providing opportunities for our students.

Be sure to click on the links under the infographic for more information about disrupting this cycle.

Education-vs-Incarceration-infographic

ACLU’s School to Prison Pipeline: Talking Points

New York Times article titled, “Black Students Face More Harsh Discipline, Data Suggests

The Answer Sheet’s post on Closing the school-to-prison pipeline

Professor of Law and Director of Racial Justice Project at New York Law School, Deborah N. Archer’s piece in New York Law School Review, Vol 54.

Unpacking the Basics of Equity in Education

Equity Protest at UN Climate talksAchieving equitable classrooms, schools, and communities is vitally important, yet much easier said than done.

While educators and education leaders may sometimes feel powerless to affect change on a large scale, they do have control over their local environments — classrooms, schools, and districts. It is here where equity work can, and should, begin.

Below is a video of Rachel Lotan, the Stanford education professor who is director of both the Stanford Teacher Education Program and the Program for Complex Instruction. In it she outlines some of the basics of equitable education as well as some ideas for reframing how we view and envision our systems of education in order to move toward greater equity.

Hat tip to David Cohen, founder of Accomplished California Teachers multi-author blog, for originally sharing this valuable resource. See below for more resources on equity in education and add your own in the comments below. 

For more information about equity work, check out these valuable resources:

Image: Young FoEE, flickr

Close
loading...