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.

  • 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…

  • Although ESSA Provides More Flexibility, Feds Must Remain Steadfast on Equity

    February 24, 2016 by

    Much of the public rhetoric about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) — including that of some of the witnesses in yesterday’s Senate hearing — has trumpeted the idea that the new law represents a full repudiation of the “harmful” federal role in education. But as Kati Haycock reminded lawmakers yesterday…

  • Why I Teach Where I Teach: My Work Is As Diverse As My Students

    February 19, 2016 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…

  • Higher Education's Critical Role in Increasing Opportunity in America

    February 12, 2016 by and

    Board members who want to be great stewards of the institutions they are entrusted to lead — today and into the future — must ensure two things: that they truly understand what the numbers say about their institution’s contributions to restoring opportunity in America and that they have capable leadership teams…

  • This Fall, Don’t Short Pell Students

    February 9, 2016 by

    It’s 2016 — an election year. It is the last year that President Obama will submit a budget to Congress, while issues of student loan debt and college costs are being discussed broadly on the campaign trail and at kitchen tables across the country. But even with these political dynamics…

  • Lessons From ‘Butterfly Gardens’

    February 8, 2016 by

    As we prepare to release the fourth installment of Ed Trust’s Echoes from the Gap series, I am excited to introduce readers to five extraordinary young men and women I had the pleasure to spend time with, as well as the dedicated educators in the three alternative settings in…

  • Honoring Native American Language and Culture to Raise Achievement

    January 28, 2016 by

    Samantha Wauls was an intern at Ed Trust through December 2015. She previously taught high school English and third grade on her maternal grandmother’s tribal homeland, the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation. Though only in middle school, my brother Charlie has already had school experiences where his racial and cultural…