It or history can create barriers to

It wasn’t until this school year, as I became a member of my school’s Equity Team, that I was exposed to and truly started to understand the difference between equality and equity. I am a very visual learner, and strongly feel that the image above is a brilliant pictorial representation of the difference between equality and equity. The caption beneath “Equality” goes on to state that “equality is about sameness, as it promotes fairness and justice by giving everyone the same thing.” However, it can only work IF everyone starts from the same place, which is represented in the picture, as showing that equality only works if everyone is the same height. The caption beneath “Equity” goes on to state that “equity is about fairness, it’s about making sure people get access to the same opportunities.” Occasionally, our differences and/ or history can create barriers to participation, so we must FIRST ensure equity, BEFORE we can enjoy equality. When all is said and done, “educational equity stands at the center of our nation’s growing effort to reform and improve public schools, and provide greater educational opportunities to every family.”
In order to close the achievement gap, it is more than giving everyone access to the same resources. The truth of the matter is that some students still need more to get there. Data shows that mostly students who come from low-income families, and students of color, who may sometimes fall in both categories, tend to come to school lagging academically. These are factors outside of a school’s control, so giving those students the same exact resources as those students in higher-income neighborhoods alone, will not close the achievement gap. Therefore, a policy needs to be put in place that gives more funding for poorer schools than they do for more affluent schools. After all, shouldn’t students who attend school in low-income neighborhoods, as well as, students of color have access to exceptional teachers and the funding to provide them with the high-quality education that they not only deserve, but that they need to succeed? Why should students suffer for factors that are out of their control? “Equality has become synonymous with ‘leveling the playing field,’ so let’s make equity synonymous with ‘more for those who need it’ (Mann, 2014).”

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