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.

  • More on Black Student Success: What It Means to Be at the Top of Our List

    March 23, 2017 by

    Over the last few years, Ed Trust has released several reports on graduation rates and gaps for low-income students and students of color at four-year colleges and universities. In each of these reports, including our most recent, “A Look at Black Student Success,” we included lists of top…

  • Exhuming Potential in Our Children

    March 21, 2017 by

    “You know, there’s one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered. One place and that’s the graveyard.” I’ve been in the grip of that haunting opening line ever since Viola Davis spoke it during her Oscar acceptance speech. Davis is certainly correct…

  • Ensuring All Students Count in School Ratings

    March 17, 2017 by

    This post first appeared on the PIE Network's website, where they invited us and others to answer the question: Without ESSA regs, how do we leverage the law? School rating criteria that are based on how schools are doing for all groups of students — including low-income students, students…

  • On Mission and Movements: John King’s First Day at Ed Trust

    March 13, 2017 by

    For two decades Ed Trust staff and education advocates all over the country have been motivated by a guiding question: What would Kati do? #WWKD. But a few weeks ago, when the board announced that John B. King Jr. would be Kati’s successor, that question quickly shifted … What will…

  • Why Closing Gaps in Graduation Rates Requires a Focus on Enrollment

    March 1, 2017 by

    If every college and university closed the gap that exists in graduation rates between Black and White students on their campuses, there would still be a gap nationwide. That’s because Black students aren’t as well represented as White students in the more selective colleges and universities that tend…

  • Academic Progress in Today’s World: What Students Need

    February 28, 2017 by

    As a first-grade teacher in Chicago, I believe that every brain should have the opportunity to learn. I am confident that my colleagues, my students, and their parents believe the same. When Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act with bipartisan support in 2015, I believed it would mean…

  • In the Classroom, Experience Is Two-Fold

    February 22, 2017 by

    We already know that low-income children, children of color, and English learners are more likely to be assigned to a brand-new teacher than their wealthier and White peers. But a new study shows that — even when they’re placed in a classroom with an educator who’s…

  • Here Are Some Schools You Should Visit, Secretary DeVos

    February 15, 2017 by

    On one of her first days on the job, Betsy DeVos did what any U.S. Secretary of Education might do: She visited a public school. Such an event might have gone relatively unnoticed if not for widespread worries that she neither understands public schools nor appreciates their central…

  • OASIS at Work: Redesigning Courses to Boost Completion

    February 14, 2017 by

    What happens when you bring institutional leaders from 10 campuses together to exchange ideas about student success? That’s exactly what the OASIS Network was designed to see. Queens College recently received a $5.6 million federal grant (over five years) to increase the number of Hispanic students in STEM…

  • Between the Echoes: What Real Classroom Engagement Sounds Like

    February 13, 2017 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…

  • A Tale of Two Colleges: Similar Students and Different Results

    February 9, 2017 by

    As the college admission letters start to trickle in, young adults across the country are facing one of the largest investment choices of their lives: where to go to college. Identifying the right institution could mean a lifetime of higher earnings and more stability and opportunity in the labor market…

  • Congress Gets the Ball Rolling on Higher Ed

    February 7, 2017 by

    This morning, José Luis Cruz, an Ed Trust board member and former member of our OASIS network, testified at a Congressional hearing on the opportunities and challenges facing higher education. It was the first hearing of this Congress on higher education issues and raised many issues for the House…

  • DeVos Hearing: What We Heard and What We Didn’t

    January 18, 2017 by

    Last night, education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos did what advocates are supposed to do: Point out a problem and make a case for their theory of action for how to solve that problem. The issue with last night’s Senate confirmation hearing, though, is that we didn’t get much…

  • Martin Luther King Jr.: The Chief Aim of Education Is to Save Man From the Morass of Propaganda

    January 16, 2017 by

    This post first appeared at the Huffington Post. Many of the civil rights movement’s demands had to do with the unequal schools and truncated educational opportunities African American children — and other children of color — faced. But this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I decided to reread the poignant essay…

  • What We’ll Be Listening for in Betsy DeVos’ Confirmation Hearing

    January 9, 2017 by

    President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education, and on Jan. 17, she will appear in front of the Senate HELP Committee for her confirmation hearing. As secretary, DeVos will be the lead administrator for hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of programs that…

  • PISA Headlines Are More Complicated Than They Seem

    December 20, 2016 by and

    Over the past week, we’ve seen two big headlines emerge about the 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results. One focuses on declines in U.S. math scores, and how our students, on average, compare with teens in other countries. The other celebrates U.S. improvement on equity…

  • A Teachable Moment in Deeply Troubled America

    December 13, 2016 by

    "Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them." — James Baldwin In the weeks since the election, network news and social media feeds have continued to reveal the corrosive effect of toxic and damaging rhetoric on our children: Images…

  • 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…