4.13.2011

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?

8 comments:

  1. I agree that there is inequity everywhere. I went to a public elementary school in a wealthy Atlanta suburb, and I had some great teachers and some not so great teachers. But, when I moved to a private school in 6th grade my teachers realized I was never really taught English. Um, I hardley knew what a verb was...in the 6th grade! Luckily I caught up quickly, but, sadly, many students don't.

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  2. You have no idea how much I got out of this post... It was a reminder that I desperately needed. Prior to law school, I graduated with my degree in Education (K-8) focusing in the upper grades (4-8) on the No Child Left Behind Act--and almost became a teacher. One of my reasons of going to law school instead was not only that it has always been a dream, but because I knew in my heart I personally could do a lot more good (and this is just knowing myself) as a lawyer. I currently am clerking in the juvenile justice system--and the inequalities throughout different districts show up there. This post really gave me that gentle reminder that I can do a lot of good for these kids--even though it is at a different part of the spectrum than it would have been in education--it's still on the same spectrum. Thanks for posting this--I can't wait for your posts once you're in the classroom!!! Good Luck on all of your work at the end of the semester girl :)

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  3. I completely agree, there is so much inequality in schools, but it's such a complex issue. I watched Waiting for Superman last week in an education class, and it made me think about all of the opportunities I had growing up as opposed to the kids in the film. Something needs to be done about this inequality, but I'm not sure that anyone has the right answer.

    P.S. It sounds like you had fun with your mom! I hope you finish all of your work!

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  4. There was most definitely inequity at my high school. I went to school in a relatively affluent suburban neighborhood in a really great county. Our county is known for the teaching and yet my siblings and I would always stumble across the not so wonderful teacher. I sseriously believe that I didn't learn one thing from one of my high school English teachers. I can't remember any of the books we read, just that we did a lot of silent reading time with books from home.

    Hopefully our professors will do a better job at making sure that each one of us future educators are skilled and qualified enough and not let any slip through the cracks.

    I loved seeing my inbox filled with your questions. They made me laugh :) I'm hoping that you had a fantastic week thus far! I'm going back home, possibly going into Georgetown again, and bringing my car back to school!

    btw don't forget about the white-t challenge that's posted on my blog!

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  5. Beautiful pic of you and your mom! :) I went to public school, too, and did really well. But I'm honestly not sure if I would send my own children to public school anymore. So many changes! Good luck with your assignment! Have a great night! xoxo

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  6. My son just got accepted (lottery) in a magnet school where we live. I am really excited because the school offers so much more than the regular schools even though the schools are doing fine. He will have electives in kindergarten, and specials in drama, and dance in addition to the regular specials that schools offer. We feel fortunate that we got in.

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  7. You're right...inequity is everywhere. and the question of how to deal with it, or solve it, is a tough one. I feel very fortunate that I was able to put my daughter into a school that I'm very satisfied with.

    Yay for time with your mom! Love Target trips :)

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  8. Yep, feeling the same way. SO overwhelmed with school right now. Hope you get through it.

    xoxo.

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Your comments brighten my day!