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.

  • Pushing, Prodding, and Cajoling Our Country Toward Educational Justice — Even Amidst Alarming Times

    December 6, 2016 by

    This first appeared on Huffington Post. Count me among those who have been deeply worried about what the next four years will mean for social and educational justice. While I’m a life-long Democrat, my concern is not that our president-elect is a Republican. Low-income students and…

  • Update: So What Is PISA, and What's All of the Fuss About?

    December 5, 2016 by

    The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is one of the best ways — one of the only ways, in fact — that we have of comparing our teenagers’ knowledge and skills to those of teens in other countries. Unlike many other assessments, PISA isn’t based strictly on academic content…

  • Celebrate Grad Rates, Yes, But Don’t Sit Back Just Yet

    November 21, 2016 by

    Each year, millions of students enter ninth-grade to begin their final stretch toward earning a high school diploma. Four years later, parents, families, and friends gather at annual graduation ceremonies throughout the country to celebrate the students who reach that milestone. The most recent graduation rate data show that…

  • #TeachDiverse: Black Teachers for More Than Just Black Students

    November 17, 2016 by

    This week, we participated in The Hechinger Report’s Twitter chat on teacher diversity, along with Andre Perry, Christopher Emdin, José Vilson, and the National Council on Teacher Quality.   We talked about what we learned from our focus groups with 150 Black teachers, who shared the challenges they face…

  • Stop Blaming Students

    November 14, 2016 by

    A recent Education Week headline brought my scanning eyes to a screeching halt: “High School Poverty, Minority Enrollment, Undermine College Progress, Study Finds.” I checked for the publication date in disbelief. Surely, we aren’t still mired in the morass of “demography is destiny” in 2016. Apparently, I was wrong…

  • Recognizing the Voices of Black Teachers

    November 2, 2016 by

    “The first step on the road to justice is to provide the oppressed with a voice to tell their story.” —Adrienne D. Dixson and Celia K. Rousseau, Critical Race Theory in Education Of all the amazing things we found on our journey listening to Black teachers across the country…

  • In Passing the Baton to the Next Champions for Equity

    October 31, 2016 by

    This is a speech delivered at the PIE Network’s Annual Meeting earlier this month. I’m something of a newspaper junkie. When my morning Washington Post and New York Times arrive around 5:15 a.m., I’m up, coffee in hand, poring through the day’s news. Reading…

  • Middle-Grades Students Are Up for Discussion — And That Might Be Just What America Needs Right Now

    October 19, 2016 by

    Middle school, where Mercury is in constant retrograde. Where we quarantine America’s young adolescents in a humid petri dish of hormones, flavored lip gloss contraband, and budding individuality. It’s where my father teaches. And it’s where I had the pleasure of talking with seventh- and eighth-graders…

  • Ed Trust Assignment Analysis: From Then to Now — to You

    October 12, 2016 by and

    As educators work to implement new standards and improve instruction, Ed Trust offers a resource for examining classroom assignments and starting conversations about rigor and expectations: our new "Literacy Assignment Analysis Guide." For nearly 20 years now, we have been focused on examining assignments in schools and calling attention to…

  • What Do Black Teachers Say?

    October 3, 2016 by

    A couple of recent reports have utilized national survey data to raise critical questions about why teachers of color leave the profession. But these reports — and the debates that have followed — are missing a big piece, and that piece comes directly from teachers. To date, with the exception of some…

  • America’s College Attainment Problem Is About More Than Affordability

    September 29, 2016 by

    Amid mounting concerns about the cost of college and toppling student loan debt, policymakers are proposing various forms of relief, from increased financial support to free college entirely. Many of these proposals would require what’s called a federal-state partnership — an agreement between both tiers of government that, in…

  • Tackling Achievement Gaps From Summer Learning Loss

    September 19, 2016 by

    A well-designed summer program can help low-income students read and do math better. In fact, attending a summer program regularly for as little as five weeks for two years in a row could result in about a quarter of a year’s gain in both reading and math…

  • Holding Up Data as a Mirror

    September 13, 2016 by

    This op-ed first appeared at Inside Higher Ed. Around this time every year, as colleges and universities begin to spring back to life, I am reminded of my years working within central administration and the excitement in watching the sea of people full of promise come spilling back onto…

  • Black and Proud: MLK, BLM, and Today’s Education Reformers

    August 29, 2016 by

    This piece was originally published in New America’s digital magazine, The New America Weekly.  Sunday marked the 53rd anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Parts of that speech — specifically, the part that asks for judgement based not…

  • Letting Students Take the Lead

    August 24, 2016 by

    Last school year, our principal invited me to take part in instructional rounds — an observation-based approach to better understand the learning occurring in our Title I elementary school. The reason? To determine why our school was having difficulty meeting various benchmarks on the end-of-year assessments. The goal…

  • What Students Have to Gain From the Arts

    August 15, 2016 by

    “The simple fact is, every child in this country needs and deserves access to the subjects that go into being a well-rounded, well-educated person. Music and art; world language; physics, chemistry, and biology; social studies, civics, geography and government; physical education and health; coding and computer science…

  • Love Isn’t All We Need In America Right Now

    August 10, 2016 by

    In the online comment section under news articles on recent shootings of and by police are missives from pained, well-intentioned Americans, crying various themes of “love is ALL we need” to end racism and bridge the gap of a deeply divided America. And while these pleas to simply love…

  • The $500 Million Club in Higher Ed

    August 4, 2016 by

    A new report we’ve released today shows that just 3.6 percent of colleges and universities — 138 in all — held a whopping 75 percent of all postsecondary endowment wealth in 2013. Because these institutions, which we dub the “$500 million club,” benefit tremendously from their endowments (e.g., no…

  • Letter to America: Achieving Racial Justice Is a Job for All of Us

    July 13, 2016 by

    “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation…

  • New Video Highlights Key Components of ESSA

    July 11, 2016 by

    Curious about what’s in the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, the new education law that replaced No Child Left Behind? Check out our new video that highlights six key components of ESSA that are intended to increase opportunities for learning and improve outcomes for all groups of…