Education is rife with acronyms—inside the schoolhouse and the statehouse. In the policy space, it’s easy to get caught up in jargon and talking points, particularly when it comes to the Federal policy landscape where talk about the shift of power under the current acronym, ESSA (The Every Student Succeeds Act), is de rigueur.
But at the heart of each of these acronyms are real students with real goals and aspirations. And behind each of these acronyms is a clear intent that education should be an equalizer and that all students should have an equal opportunity to succeed. But equal opportunities do not guarantee equal outcomes and equality is not the same as equity. Fifty-two years ago, the original ESEA aimed to level the playing field by providing additional funding to schools serving low-income students; 16 years ago, NCLB shined a light on pervasive achievement gaps. And, yet, despite the significance of these landmark laws, the national conversations they spurred, and the education policies they inspired, inequities persist. Will we be having the same conversations 16 years after ESSA?
We hope not. And we imagine you hope not, too. And so, to keep this conversation front and center, we’ve asked some of our partners and friends in the ed policy world to share what educational equity means to them and the opportunities they see as states move into implementation of ESSA plans. Meet us here, at The Intersection, beginning Monday to hear from some of the brightest people we know and share your thoughts with us on Twitter to keep the conversation going!