Equity in Education
by Jim Hopkins, school board member
image missing The picture contains the progressive view of equity in education. In the tree of knowledge, the progressive's goal is for students to have the same opportunities meaning equal outcomes.  I prefer the traditional approach to equity where each student is allowed to excel where their strengths take them, and the outcomes will not be equal.

Most educators support the idea of equity in education, and they agree it calls for allocating resources proportionally to meet the individual needs of each student.  But when asked what the ultimate goal of equity is, their answer may be somewhat confusing.  Equity can be challenging to explain and implement if one does not clearly understand the concept and how it is applied to education.

Some will say the goal of equity is to allow all students the opportunity to achieve equal outcomes.  This is a progressive vision of what our schools should be.  This view advocates for eliminating talented and gifted classes and doing away with the Advanced Studies Diploma to achieve equity.

Others will say the goal of equity is for each student to reach their full potential. This view is the more traditional approach and is the exact opposite of the progressive view.  The traditional approach supports diverse course offerings, including the talented and gifted classes, to achieve equity.

Therefore the word equity can be used to advocate for two completely opposite points of view. This is one example of how those that want change do so by redefining a word.  The progresssives often say equity in education means the same opportunities for students because it is more acceptable to the public than equal outcomes.

What is Orange County School Board's position on equity? The school board's eighteen-page Strategic Plan does not contain the word equity.  Still, the Vision statement in the plan says: Our Vision is "to improve the future by empowering our students to value learning, reach their full potential, and achieve their goals."  The Strategic Plan says absolutely nothing about equal outcomes.