Monday, 10 June 2013

America to Achieve Equity in Education to Produce Potential Students

Owing to the limited constraints of the project ‘No Child Left Behind’, the debate concerning the achievement of students has become limited for over a decade. This has actually resulted in the closure of practical discussions about extreme economic inequalities that have restrained almost millions of students from progressing. As far as the achievement gap is concerned, quality time hasn’t been given on behalf of the lawmakers in pointing out the opportunity gap.

English: Mural drawing by teachers and students
Mural drawing by teachers and students (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Predictions say that all these are taking place owing to the drastic changes in the climate. A group of economists and experts of the Equity and Excellence Commission published a report in the name of “Each and Every Child” where they chalked out a policy framework with the intention to bring down all socio-economic discrepancies and give students the opportunity to prosper academically.

As per the reports, the federal government must take some more serious steps that will not only encourage and help states and districts in improving inequities but also avoid welcoming such days when millions of economically deprived children won’t be consigned to low standard schools lacking quality teachers and principals. According to the report writers, a sense of urgency must be kindled with absolute passion that can help them achieve their mission.

Recommendations came from the commission for more school financing equitable systems that can bring in effective teachers and curriculum along with high-standard education applicable during the early childhood. The commission summoned the federal government for relieving inequalities in association with state as well as local districts.

According to the member of the commission and NEA President, Dennis Van Roekel, quality education can only open up new opportunities and standardised levels for all those students who attend schools equipped with poor resources. So, the challenge here will be to inspire all the districts so that students can attend schools with highly qualified staff and solid resources.

It was the previous week when Roekel joined with Linda Darling-Hammond who is a professor at Stanford and a fellow commission member; Renee Moore, a teacher and member of Learn Campaign, and National Community member Joe Bishop for a webinar that was sponsored by CTQ (Center for Teaching Quality) and NEA to discuss how the commission’s findings can be translated into real actions. Bishop drew comparison between the probable impact of ‘For Each and Every Child’ and ‘A Nation at Risk’, which was a report published in 1983 created with an influential tone with the intention to warn the soaring tide of unevenness in the schools of America.

Bishop clearly said that the focus here was quite different and the report of the commission served as a call-to-action on a national level. The objective here is to achieve success, only if educators can play active and potential roles, said Bishop. On the other hand, Darling-Hammond said it was high time now for the practitioners to speak up against equity. She moreover showed positivity in saying that the national discussion in regard to the public education has taken a sharper turn from the typical “search for heroes and villains”.

Although the teachers are no doubt doing good work, the structure just requires retooling. The schools must be redesigned and teachers must be put to leadership roles. This will result in the creation and spreading of best practices for individual teachers, thereby making the educational standards better and stronger.

3 crucial steps America should take to achieve equity in education

  • First, America must go for a corresponding investment for the quality of preparation the teachers will be receiving.
  • Second, the national education policy of America must include all-inclusive clinical preparation along with a 1-year residency at a school site, just like what trainee doctors receive in medical teaching hospitals in association with their medical schools.
  • Finally, classroom teachers must be given salaries that must be competitive in comparison to other professions. Rather, high salaries and social respect given to lawyers, doctors and engineers will actually allure young adults to new fields of work.
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