25 thoughts on “EQUITY IN PUBLIC EUCATION”

  1. With technology innovating each and everyday many children are exposed to phones, video games, and computers at a young age. After reading this article I see some of the benefits of learning and teaching through games and gaming technology. Almost all kids love video games because they are exciting, fun, and bring on a challenge that the kid needs to overcome to beat the game. Now if you apply that same challenge in the classroom then some kids might blow it off because they don’t feel the same excitement in the classroom that they do in games. Kids need a sense of accomplishment whenever they do an activity so they can feel like that whatever they did was worth it. through games you get that feeling when you complete or get that game and through the classroom it is whenever you get a good grade. Now if we can every get to mix the 2 and combine where kids will feel both accomplishments at the same time, then I feel that you will start getting kids more excited for school.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/06/01/408540387/exploding-myths-about-learning-through-gaming

  2. This is a question more for equity for teachers, rather than the students. I would be interested to hear peoples thoughts on tenure for teachers–does it hurt our education system and why? What are some positive aspects of it?
    The is an article that states why we need tenure, and it’s an interesting read. I’d like to know what you all think.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/06/17/a-case-for-why-k-12-teachers-need-tenure/

  3. After reading “The Dark Side…,” I had to do some re-evaluating. I’ve always been a proponent for equity in providing minorities extra support to bring them up to the “same” level of opportunity as their White counterparts. However, I had failed to consider how actual knowledge takes a back seat in this concept. As Mr. Meyer suggests, knowledge is the gateway to Black success. If we are always busy trying to catch them up on what they should have already learned, won’t they always be a step behind? Would this not then lead to less knowledge when we want more knowledge? While well-being is a crucial part of education, perhaps a little more attention should be given to the actual learning side. In addition to providing emotional support, educators should also dedicate themselves to teaching students (regardless of “level”) the same curriculum and empowering them to pursue additional knowledge on their own. Far fetch? Yes? Can it be done? Yes. Clearly, based on Waiting on Superman, there are teachers accomplishing these goals, and there is a way to play catch-up while still teaching new material and encouraging further knowledge and success.

    What and how did these educators learn to be so effective and what needs to happen to transition all educators to the same level of impact?

    1. I feel that the argument made by the State Rep. Dan Fisher for why he wants o get rid of AP US history classes is not a very valid one when considering the students’ education and preparation for college. The argument that “The College Board, paints America in an overwhelmingly negative light” is not a strong enough one to warrant dismissing AP US history from the curriculum. There was a claim made that The College Board focuses on all of America’s wrongdoings and doesn’t pay attention to the moments in history that were good things. If he read the curriculum taught in these classes he would see that they cover the spectrum from the American fight for independence all the way up to modern times. Yes, there is a lot covered on moments in America’s past that don’t shine a good light on the country, but learning about topics like slavery is very important because students need to learn that society is not a happy, perfect thing. There are blemishes on our countries past that we need to account for to educate students on how to prevent future ones. Every country has negative aspect on their history and it is important to pay attention to both good and bad. Taking out AP US history would only hurt the students. The more college credit that they can receive in high school, the better start they will have in college. These intensive classes are designed to prepare students for the level of coursework that they will experience in college. The transition from high school to college is extremely important because if students are not prepared they are more likely to drop out. AP classes do a great job in preparing students for what they will be up against and giving them the educational strategies that they need to excel. Education, after all, is about the students and it doesn’t make sense to make a decision that would only negatively impact their access to the classes they deserve.

      1. This was a very interesting article to read. I was amazed and yet sadden that many black families chose homeschooling so that their children wouldn’t have to experience school-related racism or bullying. Also, because of the low expectations that are placed on African American children to succeed in traditional schools. This attitude needs to change. I recently came across this article stating that Florida had passed a plan for racially-based academic goals. http://tampa.cbslocal.com/2012/10/12/florida-passes-plan-for-racially-based-academic-goals/ All students are capable of learning and performing well. For this reason it isn’t fair to lower the expectations of other students based on race.

    1. This article makes a great point in its last few paragraphs – it can be pretty impossible to separate these subjects, as they are so deeply intertwined in the study of history and civics, i.e.,

      “What if the study of the U.S. history involves the study of global economics?

      Will the teacher be fired?

      What if the study of U.S. history involves the study of a U.S. president, Woodrow Wilson, who first proposed the League of Nations?

      Will the teacher be dragged out of school?”

      Teachers in this state need to be proactive in letting their legislators know how they feel about such a bill by writing emails or letters or calling their senators/representatives (http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Educational/membership_directory_2015.pdf) to share their opinions and the harm this is bound to cause.

    2. While I do believe that having a foundational understanding of the history of the United States and its founding documents is of importance to students, I do not believe that it is necessary to go to these lengths to ensure teacher compliance. In building this foundation, “illegal” topics such as social problems, global economics, foreign affairs, etc. are useful tools to introduce as they relate to the topics of study. As the article implies, there seems to be a lot of undefined gray area in this legislation. For example, teaching about the social issue of slavery, which is a notable part of U.S. History. Would teachers be fined or fired for including this problem in an American History lesson? On one hand, I do agree that a basic foundational knowledge of U.S. history is very beneficial, however, on the other hand, I do not agree with this proposed legislation as it not only limits teacher’s freedom of curriculum, but the sequence in which the curriculum is taught.

    3. As a future social studies teacher and as a U.S. citizen this legislation is appalling to me. History cannot be successfully taught if it is being taught through a very small perspective lens. History not only builds upon itself, but events tend to have the domino effect on one another. For instance, to better understand why the founding fathers of America were so adamant on making a constitution that prevented anyone from having the power to become a monarch or dictator was because of the persecution they felt they went through as citizens of a monarch, which is an issue that is linked to the Magna Carta, a document written in the 1200s, long before the United States was ever dreamed of. If social studies teachers are not allowed to teach anything before the founding documents and the foundation of our nation, how will they be able to convey the importance of our founding documents without the context to support it? This is only one issue with the legislation. The bigger issue with it, I believe, is its oppressive nature. Telling teachers they cannot teach social issues is very dangerous territory. Knowledge is valuable and critical, the more a student knows and understands their world, the more they can work on changing that world. If students are not being taught about the hard issues and controversies of the past or present, they are not being brought to awareness on the issues facing their society therefore they will be less likely to try to enact change or progress.
      This legislation will hinder the progress of this country and the state of West Virginia. Keeping these students from learning about important issues and wrongs of our country will keep ignorance alive in our country. Furthermore, threatening to fire and fine teachers that try to enlighten their students seems frighteningly like something a country run by a dictator or communist would do. This is something to consider and something to be worried about. I would encourage everyone to start writing letters to legislators, start online protest or simply talk about it in order to get the word out that this is happening in our country.

    4. I can’t disagree with the fact that students needs to learn the basics of our country; things such as the bill of rights, declaration of independence, and the constitution. However, I think its ridculuos that teachers would be charged if they teach “social issues” first. I think every teacher has different ways to presetnting information to students. Some teachers may want to tie social issues into learning the basics of our country. If I were a social studies teacher, I would follow the law and teach the basics first, however, I would not be happy about doing it since it is against the law if I don’t.

    5. I think that a lot of US history is overlapped with things such as social issues and global economics, as the article pointed out. While the United States is a young country compared to the rest of the world, a lot has happened over the centuries that should be taught, because as we know, history repeats itself. I understand the legislators desire to teach about local history and government first, before moving on to national, but I don’t think that limiting a social studies teacher’s freedom to teach about US history is the right answer, as there is so much important history to cover in a very short amount of time. If WV teachers feel violated and like their teaching freedom is being taken away, I think they should bring this up with their school boards and local legislators to bring to their attention how important it is that they are not confined by strict boundaries in teaching US history before going to their state legislators.

    6. I find it near impossible to discuss history without discussing the social problems that come with them. How can students have a true understanding of history if they are unable to see how historical events effect current situations. If I taught in a state where teaching social issues would result in being fined and charged then I would just have to accept the fact that I will be fined and charged because I would not separate the two. This is a ridiculous stipulation to place on teachers.

    7. As a student from West Virginia, I think that the reasoning behind this bill comes with good intentions. However, I think that charging and firing a teacher as a result of teaching social issues before basic foundations is a little bit extreme. As stated in some of the previous comments, I liked the point that was made that in some instances, how do you avoid some of the social topics that come with the topics such as slavery? You can’t. I do agree however that a basic foundation of American history needs to be taught before you can go into the intricate details of some of the social issues. History classes are taught in which topics come in chronological order, so why not make sure that the foundation of certain topics come in order as well?

  4. After reviewing the article, I have to agree, to some with the rezoning. It sounds to me that many of the schools are over crowded and adding two new elementary schools could be beneficial. I think it is a good think that the committee is considering multiple options and are listening to public opinion. However, I think that equity in the economic and racial distribution of students will always be an issue. Neighborhoods seem to naturally progress into being grouped with the same racial background. This, I believe, will always be a challenge when faced with trying to economically and racially distribute students. I think that race and economics should be a consideration when rezoning school. I believe that schools have a large part in reducing the gap between economic class and racial groups.

  5. I think Lexington is making a big move in education trying to rewire the school districts. Like erma233 said that free and reduced lunch percentage was a huge gap that should be addressed. For those who are in the low income populations of Lexington can now have a chance to get their students to a new environment. However, when I did my classroom observation at Dunbar High school, I saw a huge lack of community and unity between the high income families and the low income families. Although they tried to even out the classroom, still without further attention to the issue all they did was put the students in the same room. I think to ensure equity it must be openly discussed and actively pursued in all of the schools once this change has occurred. Race and economics will always be a slight consideration for people, especially if we want to work on evening out the classroom.s However, I do not think that it should play a role. That should be an unbiased opinion aimed to give the people in every district–despite race or income–an even and fair chance for where they’re placed.

  6. I think that rezoning school attendance is tough due to so many opinions and concerns that have to be taken into consideration, but I think it will become even tougher when officials have to rezone the low SES schools. While it is a great thing to be making smaller class sizes a priority, I can’t help but think if this is what will really help bridge the achievement gap in the low SES neighborhoods. Are we taking into consideration why the neighborhoods are low SES in the first place and do we have a larger picture about what is really going to help these children succeed? For instance, is food security and the lack of food at home the real issue for a lower success rate in school? I do think that race and economics should be a consideration to help shed light on bigger issues in the community to help the overall population and build sustainability in those community towards the various issues.

  7. I think that the plan, in its initial set up looks fairly good. I like that they are wanting to make it a priority to keep kids from the same neighborhoods at the same schools – this in essence I feel like is an attempt at addressing the equity issue. They commented on, however, the difficulty in doing this because of overpopulation, which is another problem facing many Fayette County public schools. It at least sounds like the committee is trying to weigh out all options and possibilities from a wide array of viewpoints rather than just mandating a one-sided plan. With that being said, however the issue of equity in the economic and racial distribution of students is and probably always will be a pressing problem. Neighborhoods naturally tend to be grouped according to families’ SES and racial background. Therefore, trying to keep those students together, while also tending to their SES and racial distribution needs is a tough challenge – which I don’t necessarily think this plan prioritizes. Undoubtedly, I think that race and economics should be a huge consideration when planning for re-zoning and re-districting schools (students). Schools have a major role to play in limiting the gap between high SES and low SES students. Prioritizing race and economics in a re-zoning and re-districting plan is just one way to get the committee’s foot in the door, and help to lessen this gap for the students.

  8. After reading the article, I was very happy to hear that the committee wants to make the class sizes smaller and attempt to keep the schools at or under capacity. It is very difficult for learning to take place when there is not adequate space, attention, or materials available to students. In regard to the equity of the economic and racial distribution of schools, it would not seem that this plan provides this equity. Looking at the proposed map, the areas are all different sizes and different locations in town. Based on this and prior knowledge, I cannot help but think that this will not provide equity for economic and racial distribution among schools. Lastly, I believe that race and economics should be topics of consideration in school zoning. The gap in education, especially among high and low SES students, needs to be bridged.

  9. I think the idea of creating smaller classes, especially in the struggling districts, is a good one. The gap in students who receive free or reduced lunch still seems a rather large one. From the way this article is worded, it seems like the committee made this first map based merely on capacity and the next meeting will look more to the socioeconomic issues, therefore looking into equity. I certainly think equity in economic and racial distribution of Lexington students should be considered. There is a very real gap between the haves and the have nots in this town, and school districts can go far to contribute to inequality. I am glad the committee is continuing to work on these issues and that this isn’t their final plan.

  10. It sounds like the committee is at least considering multiple scenarios and are trying to find the best fit. However, equity in the economic and racial distribution of students will always be an issue. Neighborhoods are typically divided by SES and race, and in trying to match students to a nearby school, lower SES and minority students will typically attend the school in the area. And this school may be lower-performing because…? I think the verdict is still out on why these schools are not performing. Waiting on Superman was a great video to start pondering the different reasons. However, I do think race and economics should be considered as minorities often lack the resources and opportunities presented to those of higher social status. This is where equity as opposed to equality comes into play.

  11. The Harold Leader has published the tentative recommendations for Fayette County School redistricting (rezoning). Read the article and review the maps, then post your opinion of the plan. Also comment on the following two questions: Does this plan provide for equity in the economic and racial distribution of students? Should race and economics even be a consideration? The link to the article is: http://www.kentucky.com/2015/01/29/3667833/fayette-county-public-schools.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *