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Education: The search for Equity not Equality

Source | .com  |  BY:Nicole Newman, Market Strategist showing results thru e-mail and social media campaigns. Co-founder of Calling All Female Entrepreneurs

Edglossay wrote “In education, the term equity refers to the principle of fairness. While it is often used interchangeably with the related principle of equality, equity encompasses a wide variety of educational models, programs, and strategies that may be considered fair, but not necessarily equal. It is has been said that “equity is the process; equality is the outcome,” given that equity—what is fair and just—may not, in the process of educating students, reflect strict equality—what is applied, allocated, or distributed equally. Inequities occur when biased or unfair policies, programs, practices, or situations contribute to a lack of equality in educational performance, results, and outcomes. For example, certain students or groups of students may attend school, graduate, or enroll in postsecondary education at lower rates, or they may perform comparatively poorly on standardized tests due to a wide variety of factors, including inherent biases or flaws in test designs.”

For example, the article wrote “Cultural inequity: Students from diverse cultural backgrounds may be disadvantaged in a variety of ways when pursuing their education. For example, immigrant and refugee students and their families may have difficulties navigating the public-education system or making educational choices that are in their best interests. In addition, these students may struggle in school because they are unfamiliar with customs, social expectations, slang, and cultural references

I say this because I can see even in my own children, that not all children, start from the same place so an ‘equity’ – fairness of opportunities will still not yield equality in results. My mother came to Philadelphia by way of Bryn Mawr college. By the time I went to school, both my uncle and my aunt had graduated from college. As a result, I was expected to succeed in school by my parents and that expectation was enforced at the schools’ my mother chose for me. Inherently, my education and even my daughter’s education shows that girls tend to perform better in classroom settings that are mainly designed by women. While I see the same and even greater opportunities in my daughter’s education, I also see a dearth of opportunities for my sons.

The lack of opportunities for brown boys is a design flaw. Why would I say this? We are not giving all students equity in afterschool programs, job training opportunities and educational options. I live in West Philadelphia. A community of low to middle class working adults. What happens for our bright students, our low income students and our average students do not equate to equality. There is an abundance of programs for our brightest students – Girls Ellis Trust, Minds over Matter, PRIME, Upward Bound, Drexel Honors Program, and a plethora of magnet schools. There are also an abundance of programs – Achievability,, etc..for low income students. The problem with both of these options is the assumption that students are the same. EVERY student does not start at the same point. This is knowledge I learned from



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