Regional Equity

“We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else.”

--President Obama

Equality in education is easily understood by the example set in President Obama’s quote above. Equality seeks to give all students the same chance at success through education. It is an issue that is not unique to President Obama’s administration, however, and one that is essential to the American belief in human rights.

Regional equality in education asks that all students in all regions have equal access to quality education. Equality in education is highly important in ensuring that all students, regardless of socioeconomic background and other factors, receive the same opportunities in education and furthering their growth.

Inclusiveness and Fairness

It falls to the education system to achieve regional equality. Simon, Malgorzata, and Beatriz in their book Education and Training Policy: No More Failures, Ten Steps to equality in Education argue that education systems must implement fair and inclusive design, practice fairness and inclusiveness, and utilize resources to support that goal. equality cannot simply happen by willing it.

Inclusiveness dictates that there is a minimum standard of education for all students. Fairness requires that schools provide equal opportunity to all students regardless of gender, race, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, etc. This equality is highly important because it is a basic human rights issue and because our society values education so highly. It would be unreasonable to both prize education highly and at the same time condone a disparity among different groups in terms of education.

Unfortunately, education is currently in a state of inequality. It is easy to see how children who live in poorer neighborhoods are getting less good educations that those kid who live in wealthier neighborhoods. Stacking on top of that is the fact that students are restricted to going to certain schools based on their address. A student does not get to decide to go to a better school unless that student has an address that means he or she falls within the boundaries.

Equality Importance At Schools

Some might wonder, what is the point of equality in education? Well, the American culture is built around the idea that an individual’s quality of life in his or her later years is directly affected by the education he or she receives throughout life. It’s easy to see how our culture embraces this idea. Students feel more and more pressure to do well in school, to get into good colleges, because they are told that that will mean they are successful later on.

However, if not all students are receiving the same opportunities at education in their youth, then how can they possibly be equipped to compete against students who had better opportunities in their youth? There are a number of factors contributing to inequality that need to be addressed. Socioeconomic standing, race, gender, sexual orientation, and/or disability can all contribute in order to put up barriers. Thus, equality would dictate that schools work to break down these barriers.

Furthermore, the demand for equality points at the fact that some students are more advantaged than other students, and so schools must work to bridge that gap and ensure that all students are receiving a quality education. For example, a student who comes from a Spanish-speaking family might have a weaker understanding of English. A school would need to offer courses in English as a second language in order to help compensate for that disadvantage, so that students who fall into that category do not fall through the cracks.

Other Participants

While a lot of this work falls on the schools, there is still work to be done by the teachers, governments, and society as a whole. Teachers can work to be aware of bullying and work hard to curb it when they do face it. Governments can work on implementing policies that would improve equality and strike down policies that hinder equality. When it comes to society, there is the fact that certain students are treated differently and unfairly because society treats them differently.

The more that people everywhere progress with the idea of inclusiveness, the more that will be reflected in all ways. Equality is a goal that the United States’ Department of Education has been working towards for a long time, and in all likelihood, will continue to need a lot of good, hard work. If it can actually be achieved, however, all students can look forward to receiving the same opportunities regardless of background, and that is the pinnacle of education. Education itself seeks is aimed at improving the lives of those who willingly partake no matter who you are.