Critical Factors in Assessing Educational Equity

When it comes to successfully assessing education equity, I have to agree with Soloman that it is both gaining access to technology as well as the meaningfulness and relevance of that technology to the students in a classroom. The criteria to which we need to assess equity by come in four factors: social context, economic context, political context, and educational reform context.

Social Context: Soloman states that the school is the most important institution, outside of the home, to prepare students for the future. The knowledge gained from school provides students the prepatory work necessary to function academically as well as socially in a world that will challenge them. The problem within the social context is trying to discover some consistency among the many different regions of the world. Different cultures and sub-cultures define what is expected to be taught at schools differently. Some of their beliefs may inhibit them from receiving the same education as say another region, but it is difficult for someone to just changed what they have been brought up on.

Economic Context: Soloman states that the inequities in school are a reflection of the inequities within a larger society.  One of the hot topics in our nation from the past, present, and more than likely the future in education is funding and resources.  While some schools in our country have ability to set up learning experiences for students of higher caliber, others are struggling just to get the bare essentials for their students.  There are many ways of obtaining resources through things like grants and donations, but there is a lot of work to obtain them.  Sometimes schools will obtain the resources they want and sometimes they do not.  While in a perfect world, we would live in a Utopian society where everyone would provide the same learning experiences as every other school.  However, the fact remains that the world will always remain in a class system when comes to finances whether its in terms of schools or society as a whole.

Political Context: The political system within a country holds the reins of the educational system.  The laws and policies created  by the government provides the script for the players to perform on the national stage.  The political and economic factors kind of go hand in hand because the people who are in power have the ability to make the changes necessary for pushing towards equity.  A lot of different factors play a role in the decisions that politicians make on educational policy.  Sometimes it may be because of allocating money for other more pressing areas and it may be their own personal interest to explain why some schools are not getting what they need.

Educational Reform Context: This is probably the key factor in making the changes necessary for educational equity.  Sitting down with colleagues, discussing the issues within schools, and deciding on the best course of action to bring change for the good of our students.  Problem is, there are so many different perspectives on what should be done that sometimes nothing gets decided on.  With reform, I think we need to explore every single option possible and discuss every possible influential factor to find what exactly is affecting the education in our schools.  I know right now there is talk of providing a new form of standardized testing to replace CATS testing. But, despite the financial savings and additional instructional time, students are still going to have to face cultural bias within these standardized tests and other obstacles.

By using all four of these critical factors, you can successfully assess the educational equity and find out what can be done to make some changes.


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