TABLE OF CONTENTS
- SYSTEMIC RACISM IN EDUCATION
- SUPPORTING TEACHERS
- TUTORING + MENTORING
- INCREASING ACCESS TO POST-GRAD OPPORTUNITIES
- LIMITING/ELIMINATING SCHOOL POLICING
- KEEP DOING
CHAPTER ONE : OVERVIEW
Thank you for your commitment to learning more about the Education Equity Gap. Our hope is that, when armed with this knowledge, you will become an even more powerful advocate for change.
WHAT IS THE EDUCATIONAL EQUITY GAP?
Let’s define some key terms first.
WHO DOES IT IMPACT?
Latinx and Black students are consistently impacted, with Black males amongst the student population who are most affected.
The Education Department’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) comes out every other year and provides an overwhelming amount of statistics on this gap.
Let’s look at a sample regarding the reading levels of 8th graders in 2019:
- The percentage of students who read at their grade level were 81% for white non-Hispanics, 62% for Hispanics, and only 53% for blacks.
- Introducing gender into the equation shows even larger gaps. Roughly 5 times as many white females could read at grade level as black males.
Evidence shows that non-Black teachers can have lower expectations for Black students, which causes teachers to not recommend them for AP courses or college, and may increase their likelihood of discipline or interaction with school-police.
WHY IS THE EDUCATIONAL GAP IMPORTANT?
Education Equity matters because its absence has a lasting impact on not just students, but our community as a whole.
Underserved students are less likely to graduate from high school, enroll in college, and graduate from college. Once they are adults, they’re more likely to be unemployed and likely to earn less. But another student’s lack of resources affects you too. One study found that the gap has cost the U.S. economy more than all recessions since the 1970s. This study also estimated that if there had been no achievement gap from 1998 to 2008, the U.S. gross domestic product would have increased $525 billion.
Addressing the education equity gap also saves billions of dollars in public assistance programs, reduces crime rates, and increases property values.
HOW COVID WIDENED THE GAP
Due to inequitable access to health care, income inequality, and disproportionate employment in high-risk essential jobs, underserved communities have been most impacted by COVID.
It is difficult for children to learn if they are sick or hungry, or if they have family members who are sick or even dying. Furthermore, some students who relied on schools for basic necessities such as meals or social services were cut off from them. When classrooms became virtual, many low-income families didn’t have the necessary internet capacity, routers, or computer equipment. One study showed that as a result, students of color were an additional three to five months behind in math, while white, non-Hispanic students were one to three months behind.
HOW TO SHRINK THE GAP
Learn more about what works in the fight against the education equity gap in the sections to follow