Equity in D.C

Disparities in education may not come as a surprise to you. I certainly see the disparities first hand working in education. I have worked in several types of school settings ranging from traditional public, public charter, and private. I have also worked in many different areas where you can see the vast difference in demographics, resources, teachers, and quality of education. What this comes down to is equity in education. Do all children have access to the same resources to be able to be successful? It’s more than equal access. Schools must be willing to provide students with extra support they may not have previously received. We have to realize where students are, what they are coming to schools with, and what we need to provide them to close the achievement gap. This is no easy task, but it is undoubtedly a task worth accomplishing. Every child deserves the opportunity to be able to succeed in education and be placed on the same playing field as other peers in the United States. If we examine Washington D.C. the majority of the students are African American. The start of education begins with having access to a quality early childhood education. Pre-kindergarten is not compulsory which means families have the choice to send their children to kindergarten or not.  However, if they do not attend pre-k, they be behind their peers that do participate. Kindergarten continues to increase in its rigor seemingly. If parents have to pay for their child to attend high-quality early childhood programs, families that are low-income might have limited access to the choices in programs. According to The Education Trust (2019), students that are considered being from low-income families have a lower enrollment rate in higher quality education. The report also shows that African American students and students with disabilities have higher discipline rates and chronic absent concerns. African American students are also performing lower than other students, and these students have a chance with being paired with an inexperienced teacher.

We have this data to suggest that there are some issues in our education system right here in D.C. that has to be addressed. Each school can certainly do their due diligence to address the issue, but the government has to realize there is a serious issue at hand. It is going to take a significant change to address these issues because laws that have been passed previously have not produced results. I encourage higher ups in education to spend a day in a school to walk through the schools, so they get a feel for what it is like in these schools. They can’t keep making blind decisions about situations they have not experienced for themselves.

 

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