Through the years, our people have faced different issues, from segregation and discrimination to the struggle of wanting equality. Due to the fact that many years ago schools were segregated and children of color never held the same rights to an education as the white children, now society has set that barrier. This barrier has separated everything from race, ethnicity, economic status, and education. Children who come from wealthier families will score approximately 88 points higher on the PISA reading test (Programme for International Student Assessment). In this link, you can see the different scoring between different countries. This allows us to see the equity between boys and girls, immigration status, and social backgrounds. It does not mean that the wealthier one is, the smarter they are. Schools that are not funded as much, lack the extra materials and help students need. The more money a school has the more it can provide for the students. Extra classes, extra tutoring help, new books, technology are all helpful tools that not many students have access too. If schools all received the same amount of funding as every other school, it does not mean that everything will be better. Depending on what the students’ needs are, some school will need more funding than others to provide and meet the needs of the most students possible.
Equity is something that takes time to accomplish and it will not make everyone happy. Schools need to provide the students with tools they need to be successful, even though some may need more than others. The most important factors also need to be taken into account, such as the long run benefits, academic benefits, price and how many students will this help. For example, a high school’s math and science department need new textbooks because the ones they have now are outdates, old and there is new research and techniques. On the other hand, 12 students just created an after school chess club but they need funding, but there is only so much money. This means that if the chess club gets funded, there would not be enough money to buy books, which will benefit more students, which one is more likely to get funded? Or the school could also be equal and give the chess club half of the money and let them keep any they have left over. The school can just buy books with the amount they have left, even if this means not having enough books. This would be equal but not fair. Some departments will forcefully need more money/ funding than others and that is equity. Of course the books will go a long way and benefit everyone, unlike the chess club.
That is how equity and equality differ in a school setting. Another example could be the special education classroom. The special education students need therapists, paraprofessionals, teacher aids, teachers (as much help as possible), equipment and tools to better help their learning. If the rest of the school is given the same amount of funding as the special education department, but they do not use it all for some reason and the special education department needs what they have left over constantly, that says something. That says the special education department is not being given what is needed to have successful students. This limitation can be depriving special education students while everyone else has left over money piling up. According to the Ten Steps of Equity in Education, directing resources to the students with the greatest needs, is one of the ten steps. It does not necessarily mean to leave out everyone else and forget about them. All this “step” means is to take care of the bigger issues first and work your way down to the little things. Also in this article it talks about how schools with the least equity, have higher dropout numbers and low school attainments. Being fair and providing opportunities is what equity in education is. This reminds me of the video named “A world where fish are no longer forced to climb trees”, where they are using one test to measure and test everyone, yet they all require different things. A fish can not climb a tree nor run, this meaning that everyone has different needs that need to be met, compare this with funding in school. We can’t treat everyone equally like monkeys and fishes but every department needs different materials.
Achiron, M. (1970, January 01). Making education more equitable. Retrieved March 24, 2017, from http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.com/2013/02/making-education-more-equitable.html
Ten steps to equity in education. (2008, January). Policy Brief.