Be they urban, rural, large or small, homogenous or diverse, given the myriad of challenges facing schools in the America and around the world, simply assigning the same, cookie-cutter education solution is not only ineffective, it is a miscarriage of justice.

It is not enough to assign equal resources to vastly unequal challenges and think that we will achieve a measure of equity with successful academic and life outcomes for all students. It is also not effective just to provide more resources as a strategy to ensure equity. Equity requires a root cause analysis of the needs of a student or group of students. Such analysis should then direct and align the allocation and deployment of resources to meet the identified need(s).

Students in urban, resource-strapped schools who are located in economically depressed neighborhoods, have different needs than students from wealthy suburbs or rural agrarian cultures. Students with special needs or language and cultural differences have different needs as well. In this edition of the Source we tackle the topic of Education Equity: When Equal is not Enough. Articles this quarter reveal: The School Finance Perspective on Equity; address The Legacy of Racial Inequity in Urban America—and How to Reverse It and focus attention on What Matters Now: Addressing the Nation’s Equity Challenges.  

For AdvancED, An Equitable Education Matters Significantly as such, we are steadfast in our commitment to helping our partners around the world to build a system of continuous improvement that takes into account the unique challenges and gifts of every learner to improve their learning environment and successful outcomes. In our work as education advocates, we strive to identify fellow education champions who bring perspective on topics such as The (Dys)function of Empathy—Activating the Right Type of Empathy to Increase Equity in the Classroom; and share best practices for how to replicate the good happening in places like an Atlanta neighborhood where place-based funding is as a model for building equity.

The quest for equity does not compel us to dole out equal resources to all stakeholders, quite the opposite; it requires us to find ways to accomplish the more difficult task of thoughtfully addressing inequities with remedies that are likely dissimilar to what is needed in the classroom down the hall or that school across town, or one half a world away. Join us as we take a look at Educational Equity: The New Institution Revolution.