Equity-Line-Draft-1-1

The Equity Line contains original analyses, commentary, and “on the ground” stories of students, parents, educators, and activists all over the nation striving to improve education. It chronicles our efforts, as well as those of partners and friends who are working toward the shared goal of closing gaps.


  • Evaluating an Evaluation System: Lessons From a New York Times Graphic

    May 20, 2015 by

    Teacher evaluation systems are complex. There are a number of measures available — such as classroom observations, student achievement growth, and survey results — to rate a teacher’s performance, and each one has its own insight to add. Districts should keep that in mind, particularly as they (and policymakers and…


  • What Does Good Education Research Say?

    May 19, 2015 by

    In Huffington Post this week, I talk about a new movement of teachers who are taking control of their own professional development by seeking out rigorous cognitive and education research that can really help improve their practice. One of the cornerstone works they cite is John Hattie’s Visible Learning…


  • So What Does School Leadership Look Like?

    May 11, 2015 by

    I was just talking with a friend whose son is in his second year of teaching. During that entire time, his principal has been in his classroom only once for a 10-minute “walk-through.” With all we know now about the importance of school leaders, it’s really…


  • States: What’s Your Plan for Ensuring Fair Access to Quality Teaching?

    May 11, 2015 by

    Strong teachers are key to raising achievement and closing gaps, but not all children have the same access to those teachers. Low-income students and students of color are less likely than their white and middle-class peers to have experienced, in-field, and effective teachers. Federal law requires…


  • Appreciating Teachers Beyond Teacher Appreciation Week

    May 5, 2015 by

    It’s Teacher Appreciation Week, and social media and teachers’ desks are filling up with expressions of gratitude for the extraordinarily important work that teachers do. Truly appreciating teachers, though, requires more than a once-a-year acknowledgement. Appreciating educators means ensuring support for them to develop and sustain…


  • ‘Because Someone Did It for Me’

    May 4, 2015 by

    You can still see the stained watermark from the storm feet above eye level on the school walls. It was here, at a high school just off the highway that runs along the Gulf Coast between New Orleans and Gulfport, Mississippi, that I met Mr. King. I was there…


  • NAEP Results Highlight Opportunity for Deeper Social Studies Integration

    May 1, 2015 by

    This week, the National Center for Education Statistics released new findings about middle school students’ performance in civics, geography, and U.S. history. These results, part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, show students — including low-income, African American, and Latino students — have made gains in all three…


  • Brains, Poverty, and Educators

    April 30, 2015 by

    Complex scientific studies are often misleadingly cited to bolster long-held political beliefs, and a recent study measuring the brains of children and adolescents is the latest. The study, which appeared in Nature Neuroscience, found a relationship between family income and brain size as measured by magnetic resonance imaging…


  • ‘Where Is the Compassion?’ Conversations About Baltimore and Educational Improvement

    April 30, 2015 by

    This week, I had dinner with my sister-in-law in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and was deeply immersed in our conversation about the Baltimore protests when a Jewish woman in her mid-60s asked to join us. Acknowledging that even though it was an odd request for a total stranger…


  • Between the Echoes: High School Show Down

    April 28, 2015 by

    An offshoot of Ed Trust’s Echoes From the Gap series, drawing stories of students from behind the statistics, this blog series shares shorter narratives — brief glimpses into classrooms and hallways — that give readers an opportunity to examine educator practices and policies through the intimate lens of student experience. All…


  • Why I Teach Where I Teach: Increasing Levels of Professional Autonomy and Commitment to Community

    April 27, 2015 by

    This post is a part of an ongoing series, called “Why I Teach Where I Teach,” which asks educators in high-need schools to share what has attracted (and kept) them in the challenging environments they’re in. They share important stories and experiences that should remind us all of…


  • Teaching Vocab in a Way That Sticks

    April 21, 2015 by

    If students are going to be able to make sense of what they’re reading, express themselves, or interpret phrases used figuratively or symbolically, they need to know a wide range of words. But research shows that low-income students often come to school with a smaller vocabulary than their…


  • Why Teach Where I Teach: Diversity With Splash of Arts Integration

    April 13, 2015 by

    This post is a part of an ongoing series, called “Why I Teach Where I Teach,” which asks educators in high-need schools to share what has attracted (and kept) them in the challenging environments they’re in. They share important stories and experiences that should remind us all of…


  • Teachers as Civic Leaders

    April 10, 2015 by

    Faced with sniffling kindergarteners who can barely sit in their chairs, it can sometimes be difficult to see them as responsible adults 12 years hence; even high school kids, much closer to adulthood, often undermine themselves with goofiness or obduracy. But when I talk with highly successful educators, they…


  • The FASFA Divide: Getting More Low-Income Students to Apply for Aid

    April 8, 2015 by

    Almost 20 percent of students with family incomes low enough to qualify for a Pell Grant never even apply. And many more students who qualify for other types of financial aid are missing out, too, having never submitted their Free Application for Federal Student Aid. According to our analysis…


  • Is Funding in Your State Equitable? A Tour of Our New Data Tool

    April 6, 2015 by

    Recently, we released Funding Gaps 2015, along with an online data tool, which looks at local and state funding for high- and low-poverty school districts, as well as for districts with the most and fewest students of color. (Our analysis only focuses on state and local funding, as…


  • Traditional Autonomy Isn’t Necessarily Supportive

    March 30, 2015 by

    In Huffington Post this week I write about how most teachers think “supportive leadership” is very important to retaining good teachers. But what is supportive leadership? The term means different things to different people. For example, I know a high school principal who thinks he is being supportive by…


  • Why I Teach Where I Teach: To Give My Students the Same Opportunities My Teachers Gave Me

    March 30, 2015 by

    This post is a part of an ongoing series, called “Why I Teach Where I Teach,” which asks educators in high-need schools to share what has attracted (and kept) them in the challenging environments they’re in. They share important stories and experiences that should remind us all of…


  • Persistent Inequities in School Funding: A Q&A with Natasha Ushomirsky

    March 25, 2015 by and

    Today, Ed Trust released Funding Gaps 2015, a new report and online data tool, which compares local and state funding among school districts (1) with the highest and lowest poverty and (2) those that serve the most and the fewest students of color. The results show funding gaps continue to…


  • Between the Echoes: Right Place, Right Time

    March 23, 2015 by

    An offshoot of Ed Trust’s Echoes From the Gap series, drawing stories of students from behind the statistics, this blog series shares shorter narratives — brief glimpses into classrooms and hallways — that give readers an opportunity to examine educator practices and policies through the intimate lens of student experience. All…