Having educational equity means understanding the changes that education has gone through, it means understanding what/ who impacts or changes education policies, being mindful of varying perspectives, and being fair to all students. We have to examine the achievement of students to understand true equity. Has achievement levels changed within the differing groups? According to Schrag (2004) the gaps in achievement, should start to close as the pressure on U. S. schools to achieve educational standards which will allow lower socio-economic districts to catch up to their wealthier peers. As we look back through history we see how education as evolved. Throughout history, there has been many issues that have had an impact on education, one being school desegregation. Teaching in an urban, minority school setting, I choose to include a paper on historical changes in education as one of my artifacts. This paper discusses the inequalities related to segregation and the some of cases that dealt with the issue. One problem I face is getting students to appreciate what education means, so as a history teacher, I include a lesson on the Brown v. Board of Education. This second artifact is a web quest that I require my students to complete that takes a look at what happened in the past to African-Americans and looking at how education has/hasn’t changed. This allows the students to develop an appreciation for education by examining the social justices that have occurred. Through the research on this assignment it allows the students to see who is directly involved in the policymaking and decisions on education. The third artifact is summary and reflection on diversity in the school. I choose to include this piece because it deals with understanding various ethnic groups and how some teachers need to change their mindset from the “American” middle class culture and learn to understand and be respectful of other cultures and economic status of the students. Adaptation is key to being an effective teacher. The reflection allowed me to look at how different educational experiences, cause me to be mindful of different backgrounds. The fourth artifact is a powerpoint that looks at equity among schools in different socio-economic regions and how it impacts learning. This powerpoint incorporates different demographic data that illustrates how things aren’t always equitable, still today in education.
Schrag, P. (2004). What’s good enough? Nation, 278, 17, 41-45.