The Role of Equity in Modern Education

by A Guest Author

Equity in education is often referred to as the idea that every student has a right to a satisfactory education regardless of their social status, race or gender.  Researches who study educational equity look at the effects of biases and social class and its effects on a student’s quality of education.

The National Coalition for Equality in Education strives to find the root causes that inhibit a student’s education and are trying to eliminate these factors. Their research attempts to identify how bias affects the quality of education for students without demeaning diversity. The NCEE identifies inclusion as an important aspect for maintaining equity in education. Inclusion means that every student has a fair opportunity to meet the minimum requirements for educational standards. Some of these standards may include the ability to read, write and do simple math problems.

According to a January 2008 report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, grouping students by academic ability at a young age hurts equity in education since it prematurely labels students. They propose that schools delay this grouping until students are older or find a justifiable reason for the sorting if it must be done. This will improve educational equity because it will erase the divide between who is “smart” and who is “not smart”.

High school dropout rates are on the rise and many blame the absence of educational equity. High school dropout rates are as high as 25% and 50% of drop outs are coming from urban areas. The OECD proposes a few solutions to reduce the risk of students who drop out. They state that schools should encourage both students who succeed and those who struggle.

For the students that struggle, a common solution is to have them repeat the school year they failed or fell behind in. The OECD states that this method does not ultimately help the child and puts more costs on the school.  They propose that students repeat the class or classes that they failed but have teachers present it in a different way. Repetition is not the key for educational success.

Educational equity can also be affected by a student’s familial ties. If there is no academic support at home, the student is likely to fall behind. Teachers should not expect homework to be the panacea for improving equity in their classroom. Some students do not receive parental support at home so teachers should promote “parental involvement”.

The National Academy of Education published an education policy briefing sheet detailing equity in education.  It states that a divide in opportunities lead to unequal educational results. The NAE believes that a child from an underprivileged background should have the same educational opportunities as a child from an affluent background. In order to increase equity in education the NAE is calling for school reform of its policies and practices.

Equity in education plays an important role in helping students achieve academic goals and giving them an opportunity to learn.

About The Author

By Angela Moore, chief writer of (


This post was written by A Guest Author

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