By: Halie Holland
Before I get into equity issues at Heritage, I must disclose something. This isn’t bashing the school system for equity problems in any way, shape, or form. The sole purpose is to highlight evident issues at schools and shine a light on them just so everyone is aware.
Anyway, I was curious to how the Heritage Equity club members define equity and they told me, equity is often mixed up with equality. Equality is fair treatment while equity is adjusting to different needs for others. An example they gave me was people with special accommodations. They need in-class assistance and wheelchair accessibility. Its making accommodations to meet everyone’s needs met.
First, how do we go about this? Well, according to Waterford.org , there are three key strategies in equity in education. Below is a chart that goes in depth into each strategy.
STRATEGY #1: ADDRESS POVERTY AND THE ECOSYSTEM
The important belief that in order to achieve success in early childhood education, education leaders and policy makers must understand and address the varied and complex forces that affect how children learn. The better these challenges are understood and addressed through policy, the more equitable and effective the outcome for those children who need it the most.
STRATEGY #2: INCREASE ACCESS AND REMOVE BARRIERS
One of the keys to equity is removing barriers and increasing access to early childhood education resources that are crucial to mitigating early learning and development gaps. The challenges are many. Parents are often unaware of the many benefits and advantages that early childhood learning provides. Even if they are aware, finding and accessing resources can be problematic and affordability can be an issue. Removing these barriers and creating more access to early learning options can make all the difference in a child’s education.
STRATEGY #3: USE DATA AND REPORTING TO TARGET SERVICES AND SHINE A SPOTLIGHT ON EQUITY
The difference between equality in education and equity in education is subtle yet significant. Where equality aims for equal treatment of all students with access to similar resources, equity strives for giving each student the resources they need to compete on equal footing. Knowing where each child is in their development and what resources they need to close gaps depends on data.
Everyone deserves to feel included, and having an equitable learning space is crucial for a child to feel included. Equity is vital to improving school readiness and creating a fair start for early learners. Only when the majority of people in the education experience embrace equity as a core value and use it to shape policy and practice will we see meaningful and awarding progress toward those goals.