Promoting Equity In Schools

Did I mention these next few weeks are jam-packed for me?  Yes, I did!  Well, today I have a major project due for my Language Block class (covering all of my work in the field thus far this semester), a big science assignment due, oh and a debate in my Ethics & Human Rights discussion section that my TA emailed us about...YESTERDAY (thanks!).

I feel like this girl!

In addition to all that work, my mom visited yesterday for lunch...lunch turned into ice cream and a Target trip, which then turned into lots of girl talk, and ultimately dinner.  I was so grateful to have her here, however, that took a huge chunk out of my work time and I just didn't have time to write a good post.  So, I decided to post this draft I wrote a few weeks ago.

LOVE this pic of my mom and me!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing Pedro Noguera, a leader in the field of education, speak.  He spoke particularly about ways to address the achievement gap in our education system and I was quite inspired.  His speech is on YouTube and I plan to post it and my thoughts down the road.

We watched this YouTube video in class as an introduction to Noguera and I find it quite interesting and hope you do too!.

Noguera, executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education speaks about promoting equity amongst students.

This video was shown in one of my education classes.  It caused me to reflect on my own experiences as well as the experiences friends have shared.  I was a public school girl msyelf, and received a superb education.  That wasn't the case for everyone in my school though.  I was on the advanced/honors/AP track from elementary school on and experienced classes that challenged me to think differently and exposed me to brilliant teachers.  In addition, to having an exceptional honors/AP program, my school also had a really great special education department.  I had the chance to volunteer in the special ed class and was impressed by the relationships formed amongst students and faculty and well as their learning of life and career skills in the real world.  Where the real inequity lied in my school, however, was for the average students.  Students enrolled in standard classes had a very hit-or-miss experience.  There were a few great teachers sprinkled in amongst a lot of average teachers and a even a few duds.  The point I am trying to make is that inequity exists everywhere (not just inner-city)-- in wealthy suburban public schools like mine, in private schools, in charter schools, in parochial schools, etc....

As a future teacher this is an issue I think needs to be addressed-- but how?  Should we try and tackle it first at the classroom level?  Work at the school, district, or federal level for reform?  What do you think would help make schooling more equitable?  What were your experiences in school or what are your children's experiences now?