This is a portion of the most recent newsletter from the UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools.
The Challenge of Addressing Equity of Opportunity for All Students
The latest equity report* released by the U.S. Department of Education last week, begins with this statement in the Forward: "This report summarizes how America’s K-12 education system, taken as a whole, fails our nation and too many of our children. Our system does not distribute opportunity equitably. Our leaders decry but tolerate disparities in student outcomes that are not only unfair, but socially and economically dangerous. Our nation’s stated commitments to academic excellence are often eloquent but, without more, an insufficient response to challenges at home and globally ...”
The report provides the following five-part framework “of tightly interrelated recommendations to guide policymaking:”
• Equitable School Finance systems so that a child’s critical opportunities are not a function of his or her zip code;
• Teachers, Principals and Curricula effective enough to provide children with the opportunity to thrive in a changing world;
• Early Childhood Education with an academic focus, to narrow the disparities in readiness when kids reach kindergarten;
• Mitigating Poverty’s Effects with broad access not only to early childhood education, but also to a range of support services necessary to promote student success and family engagement in school; effective measures to improve
outcomes for student groups especially likely to be left behind including English-language learners, children in Indian country or isolated rural areas, children with special education needs, and those involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems; and
• Accountability and Governance reforms to make clearer who is responsible for what, attach consequences to pe
rformance, and ensure that national commitments to equity and excellence are reflected in results on the ground, not
just in speeches during campaigns ..”
* For Each and Every Child: A Strategy for Education Equity and Excellence
What do you think about this most recent effort to address educational inequity?
How do you think this report might guide the reauthorization of ESEA and education policy in general over the next decade?
Send you comments to Linda Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org