Racial inequality in education Statistics

Article Reaction

Article Reaction

Summary

The journal article authored by Skrla et al. (2004) suggests solutions to the existing educational achievement among students based on class and race. The authors note that students of color and those with poor economic backgrounds perform more poorly on average than the white peers and those from upper- and middle-income families. Skrla et al. (2004) acknowledge that 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) will put responsibilities on stakeholders in education, such as teachers, administrators, and educational boards to facilitate equity in education among all students Racial inequality in education Statistics .However, the authors are suspicious that the reliance on the Act alone will help facilitate the achievement of the desired equity. Skrla et al. (2004) suggest the need for a more robust approach called reconceptualized equity auditing that can be used by leadership in education to increase the probability of bridging the achievement gap. As Skrla et al. (2004) explain, the tool can help leadership to determine, understand and address inequities present in districts and schools in three areas, namely educational programs, quality of teachers, and student achievement.

Regarding the quality of teachers, for instance, Skrla et al. (2004) note from empirical studies that there have been inequity whereby quality and experienced teachers are more concentrated in the schools with high proportions of learners from high- and middle-income families and whites than those with high rates of students of color and low-income families Racial inequality in education Statistics .The studies also indicate that the students of color and low-income families are discriminated against in the enrollment in programs such as those of the gifted and talented learners. Skrla et al. (2004) propose several steps or strategies that can help educational leadership to uncover and address such inequities. The strategies involve relevant stakeholders, gathering inequity information through actual research, discussing the data, suggesting possible solutions, and implementing the selected options (Skrla et al., 2004). The implementation should be followed by results monitoring and evaluation and, ultimately, a celebration of success.

Reaction

As Skrla et al. (2004) suggest in the article, achieving equity in achievement among students is indeed a major challenge that cannot be effectively addressed by focusing on the responsibilities described in the NCLB Act only. To eliminate the achievement gap, there is a need for collaboration, willingness, and efforts from all education stakeholders, including parents. Importantly, there should be spirited efforts among the stakeholders to uncover the fundamental causes of the achievement inequities. While the NCLB Act puts pressure on schools to bridge the achievement gap, it does not elaborate on strategies such as those suggested by Skrla et al. (2004) to address the problem. Thus, the reconceptualized equity auditing suggested in the article is one of the key solutions to the achievement gap Racial inequality in education Statistics.

Despite that the use of reconceptualized equity auditing can be viewed as a major stride, it should be complemented with other strategies to achieve optimal outcomes. In addition to distributing experienced and quality teachers in schools equally, as suggested by Skrla et al. (2004), there should be programs to educate them on addressing the existing inequities. The reason is that some of the fundamental courses of the inequities may not be rooted in the schools. For instance, some communities might be giving priority to education than others, which can influence students’ achievements. The teachers, for instance, should be taught how to use multiple strategies to present information and engage all students in the classroom irrespective of ethnic background. For instance, the teachers should be taught the importance of connecting instructional content to the experiences of students from different ethnic backgrounds to engage them. Despite this, the reconceptualized equity auditing is an important tool that should be embraced in all schools.

References

Skrla, L., Scheurich, J. J., Garcia, J., & Nolly, G. (2004). Equity Audits: A Practical Leadership

Tool for Developing Equitable and Excellent Schools. Educational Administration Quarterly, 40(1), 133–161. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0013161X03259148 Racial inequality in education Statistics.