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.

  • Embedding a Hyper-Focus on Student Success Into Everyday Work

    May 23, 2016 by

    Institutional leaders have a responsibility to improve success for all students, especially those who are from underrepresented groups. While some leaders continue to abdicate their responsibility, many more are stepping up — and in so doing, grappling with tough questions about how to translate a commitment to student success into practice…

  • The Window of Assignments

    Reprinted with permission from the May 2016 issue of School Administrator magazine, published by AASA, The School Superintendents Association. In discussing what schools can do to better serve children in poverty, educators often focus on the importance of extra counseling, school meals programs, school-based health services, or after-school…

  • Between the Echoes: The Poet of the Gulf — And the Teacher Who Saw His Gift

    May 5, 2016 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…

  • To Have Strong Teachers, We Need Strong Principals

    May 5, 2016 by

    We’ve written before about how school culture influences teacher satisfaction more than student demographics do. More than any other factor, satisfaction with school leadership impacts teachers’ overall satisfaction with their jobs, as well as their decisions to stay in — or leave — the profession. So if district and state leaders…

  • Teacher Appreciation: Honor in the Classroom

    May 2, 2016 by

    It was the summer of 1971 when Ms. Barbara, a recent college graduate, entered the gates of the juvenile detention facility as a teacher, a youthful spring in her step. “My first day in the classroom as this new, fresh summer employee looking much the same age as the students…

  • Eleven Higher Education Institutions Unite to Improve Graduation Rates

    April 27, 2016 by

    Our new OASIS (Optimizing Academic Success & Institutional Strategy) network is a group of 11 institutions that have committed to implementing high-impact practices intended to improve success among students of color and low-income students. The group comprises four Historically Black Colleges and Universities, six Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and…

  • The Road to Readiness: Meeting Students’ Aspirations With Real Preparation

    April 19, 2016 by and

    A high school junior in a small Southwestern border town, George dreams of the big city. “I don’t know how I’m gonna get there,” he says, but he’s confident that his diverse interests will pave the way. His words tumble over each other excitedly on the way…

  • Elmont Memorial High School Provides Students with Opportunities, Expectations, and Expert Instruction

    April 18, 2016 by

    When news broke that Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna was admitted to all eight Ivy League schools, I’m guessing more than one person had the same reaction as someone on Facebook that there must be “something in the water” at Elmont Memorial High School. After all, Augusta isn’t the first…

  • Assignments Matter

    April 14, 2016 by

    Students can rise no higher than the assignments and instruction they are given. Makes sense, right? We all want young people to be challenged in the classroom by the work they do. Yet, our initial analysis of assignments in middle-grades classrooms found that assignments often do not reflect…

  • The Road to Readiness: Running in Neutral

    April 12, 2016 by and

    “If I fail it, my teacher said I can just take it again next year.” His words came out with all the calm of someone who’d just missed their bus and would catch the next in five minutes. But the high school freshman was talking about a full…

  • The Road to Readiness: Rhetoric vs. Reality

    April 5, 2016 by and

    "The dental program, huh?” the community college admissions counselor asked as she looked over Tre’s high school transcript. “Then why didn’t you take more science?” The question took him aback. “I just took the classes my counselor put me in,” Tre stammered. “She knew I wanted to…

  • Capstone Projects Are Only as Successful as the Work That Precedes Them

    March 28, 2016 by

    A capstone is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic experience for a student, particularly high school seniors. It’s a major event because the student defends the final product (and its process) before a panel of educators and community members who have knowledge and experience in the…

  • Are Institutions Improving Overall Grad Rates But Leaving Black Students Behind? A Q&A With Andrew Nichols

    March 22, 2016 by and

    Today, we released a new analysis, looking at a decade of graduation rates among African Americans at four-year, public institutions that improved overall student success during the past decade. The report — titled Rising Tide II: Do Black Students Benefit as Grad Rates Increase? — shows that while 70 percent of…

  • Don’t Balance the Budget on the Backs of Students Most in Need

    Just a few months ago, Congress passed — and the president signed into law — a bipartisan budget agreement for 2016 and 2017. However, it now appears that Republicans in the House of Representatives want to abandon that agreement and implement their own, revised plan — complete with $1 trillion in spending cuts…

  • Both Sides of the Gap

    March 16, 2016 by

    Ashley Lamb-Sinclair is the 2016 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. She teaches English and creative writing at North Oldham High School, a high-achieving school northeast of Louisville where 97 percent of the school’s mostly white, middle and upper class students graduate, and 90 percent move on to…

  • Breakfast: Fuel for School

    March 10, 2016 by

    On any given day last school year, 4 percent more — or 475,000 — students received breakfast at school, as part of the national School Breakfast Program, than did students in previous years. And almost 9 in 10 of those students got their breakfast free of charge or at a reduced…

  • On HEA, Congress Should Focus on Resources and Accountability

    March 3, 2016 by and

    As Congress begins conversations about reauthorizing the Higher Education Act (HEA), Kati Haycock laid out two priorities for lawmakers this week that could help more young people get the college diploma that is increasingly becoming the sole ticket to economic mobility in our country: Resources for the students who most…

  • On-The-Job Teacher PD: Getting It Right

    March 1, 2016 by

    One Wednesday afternoon nearly a decade ago, I sat with all the other teachers at my school for a professional development (PD) workshop. Our district office had sent a representative to train us in “differentiated instruction,” an approach that provides students with different ways to access grade-level standards. The…

  • Elmont and Malverne: A Window on the ‘Scalability’ Question in School Improvement

    February 24, 2016 by

    One of the big questions in the field of education is what is sometimes called “scalability.” That is, how can we use the expertise developed in one school to help others and thus spread success? There isn’t a good answer to that question, but Elmont High School provides a…