Equity: the quality of being fair and impartial

Equity in Education: policies and practices that provide every student access to comprehensive learning opportunities capable of preparing them to compete in contemporary society

Equity in Education for Students of Color: policies and practices that provide black students with comprehensive learning opportunities; acknowledging external and historical socioeconomic challenges, while maintaining high academic standards

ESSA Addresses Equity:

  • ESSA establishes a new expectation for states to design standards and assessments that develop and measure high-order thinking skills for children
    • Low-skilled factory jobs of the past are disappearing. These jobs are either outsourced to developing countries or replaced by technology. More than 70% of jobs today require post-high school training.
    • Previously, courses teaching high-order thinking skills like critical thinking and problem solving were reserved for the economically advantaged and ‘gifted and talented’. ESSA requires that acquisition of those high-order thinking skills be the standard for every student.
  • ESSA requires states to select multiple measures of student and school performance.
    • Previously, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) measured student and school performance solely by academic indicators. Now, ESSA, requires at least one indicator that measures school quality and/or comparable student success.
    • The addition of a non-academic indicator allows for more meaningful differentiation among schools and more strategic plans for intervention.
    • Examples of the non-academic indicator required include student engagement, educator engagement, access to advanced course work, and school climate.
  • ESSA addresses the resource gaps among schools adjusting the way school districts report spending.
    • For the first time since 1965, ESSA requires states to report actual per-student spending on school report cards. This change should highlight areas of unfair distribution of state and local dollars.
    • Students in poverty who require more resources to support their learning typically receive less funding. Students in poverty comprise more than half of the U.S. public school population.
    • Increasing per-student spending by 20% can lead to a 23-point increase in school competition rates and 25% increase in adult earnings.
  • ESSA adds new subgroups for student outcome reporting.
    • Under NCLB, student outcomes must be reported by ethnicity, low-income, English proficiency status, gender, and migrant status. Now, ESSA, includes homeless students, foster youth, and military youth to make sure they are receiving the support they need.
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