Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Education excellence requires equity

Take 6 minutes and watch this video.

I'm all for improving our public schools. I want my children's teachers to be better than me.

But what if our focus on reforming our schools is a distraction from addressing income inequity and poverty?

Poverty isn't an excuse -- but it does explain why so many families and schools are struggling to set children up for success.

The most important problem facing American children today is not bad teachers -- it's poverty. 

Canadians, and more specifically Albertans, are not immune to this. Take 9 minutes and watch this video to see how two schools in Calgary can be so very different.

I could care less about the achievement gap. If we want to set all children up for success then we have to care far more about the opportunity gap.

The good news is that we don't have to choose between improving our schools and addressing poverty -- but let's not pretend that education can lift people out of poverty.

Without equity, excellence is a pipe dream. 


  1. Gosh, Joe, this hits between the eyes!

  2. I am a student in edm 310 at the University of South Alabama. My blog can be found at

    Watching the first video is sad because it is not fair that the economic equity isn’t divided into equal portions. Like the old saying says “the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.” Why is it that we have students living in the same country living in towns less than 15 miles away, but their schools are different and the opportunities that they are provided with are different? I agree we need to get our students out of the poverty gap.
    Find me on Twitter @educating_1


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