My impression of Susan Allen’s Letter to the Editor is that she did a very credible job of showing the dilution of the original version of the Equity Policy until it is virtually useless in its revised format. I agree with her when she says that the board “... be honest about it and state clearly that it rejects equity as a policy.” Melee-mouthing and pandering is wearisome and resolves nothing. At least Mr. Jeff Boom evidently devoted time and effort to researching the subject and stating his opposition clearly. It seems apparent his research was of an academic nature and did not reach down to the reality of daily life as reflected in those who gave testimony. Bottom line being no policy is better than bad policy.
On the subject of equity itself I have a problem with the dichotomy that seems to exist between racial groups. On the surface it would appear that all students have an equal opportunity to obtain an education. Not to stereotype but it would appear that each group takes advantage of education with varying levels of outcome. Generally speaking all students are on a equal footing in the classroom. Of course, this is what an Equity Policy would seek to insure.
So we achieve equal opportunity and equity in dispensing education. Yet we still have differing outcomes? Asian students value an education highly and are much more likely to go to college and ultimately earn a higher than average income. White folks are pretty much spread across the spectrum from not caring and dropping out to valuing it highly and succeeding. Blacks and Latinos seemingly bump along the bottom rung of the educational ladder. My feeling is that this is changing gradually but still seems to hold them back.
So are we saying that racial inequality or inequity is the difference? My personal belief is this is an overreach which tries to rationalize deep seated societal difference in valuing education. If I had my druthers, I would insure equality and equity; teach the basics of reading, writing & arithmetic; hold to high standards; and most importantly teach at every opportunity the value of an education. It is the only way to overcome societies stagnation. (Except for the Asian community which seems to have gotten it right.) The students, teachers, parents and the community will benefit. Education must be a positive undertaking, not one rife with ambiguity. Make it a policy.
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