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.

  • Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

    September 18, 2017 by

    Today marks Chile’s Independence Day and the first full week of Hispanic Heritage Month celebration — a time when classrooms around the country become venues steeped in the rich traditions, culture, and history of places as far away as Tierra del Fuego and the Iberian Peninsula and as near…

  • Dear White People: We’ve Always Had Affirmative Action

    August 22, 2017 by

    “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”—Gloria Steinem Dear White People, Days ago, I, like many of you, watched in horror the vile display of bigotry and hatred, violence and terror that unfolded in Charlottesville, violating the University of Virginia’s campus…

  • On Charlottesville: Race Matters, But Facts Do Too

    August 15, 2017 by

    Deadly protests this weekend by torch-carrying White nationalists at the University of Virginia and in the city of Charlottesville, Va., serve as a terrible reminder to us all just how much race matters in the United States. When angry crowds of White Americans shout, “You will not replace us…

  • Getting Students Over the AP Finish Line: Hear From Schools Already Doing It

    August 11, 2017 by

    In implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states are choosing how to measure and hold schools responsible for how well high school students are prepared for success after graduation. So far, more than half of the states that have submitted their ESSA plans to the U.S. Department of…

  • Welcoming Our New Team Members

    August 4, 2017 by

    We are thrilled to announce a number of new additions to our team, as we work toward growing our advocacy efforts across the country. They are: Tia Borders Tia will serve as executive assistant to the president and CEO. She has eight years of experience at the U.S. Department…

  • Pairing Access With Supports to Boost Success in AP

    July 26, 2017 by

    This morning we published our new brief, “Systems for Success: Thinking Beyond Access to AP,” an in-depth examination of two high schools that are not only enrolling more traditionally underserved students in AP courses, but also helping them pass at rates above the national average. The brief highlights Alhambra…

  • Mansur’s Manifesto: How an Aspiring Black Male Teacher Plans to Turn Teaching Into Activism

    July 24, 2017 by

    Anytime I tell people that I am majoring in social studies education, they ask one of two questions: “Where do you want to teach?” or “Why do you want to teach?” Those especially curious ask both. My answer is consistent: I would like to teach in a secondary school serving…

  • Putting Profits Over Students

    July 19, 2017 by

    John B. King Jr., Ed Trust President and CEO and former U.S. Secretary of Education, teamed up with fellow former secretary of education under the Obama administration, Arne Duncan, now managing partner for The Emerson Collective, on an opinion piece for The Hill. The piece examines the Trump administration…

  • To OASIS Leaders in Memphis: ‘This Is Civil Rights Work’

    July 19, 2017 by

    “This is the story of a people, of hopes and dreams, of challenge and change. It is an American story. This story and struggle that started many centuries ago, continues today – with you.” — A Culture of Resistance exhibit, National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TN In today’s political climate…

  • Systems for Success: Thinking Beyond Access to Advanced Placement

    July 18, 2017 by and

    When deciding to increase opportunities and participation in Advanced Placement, schools and districts often respond by eliminating prerequisites and opening access to these courses — so if any student wants to enroll, they can. This is an important first step, but far from enough to promote AP success, especially for students…

  • Why I Teach Where I Teach: To Be a Part of the Solution

    July 5, 2017 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…

  • John King, DeRay Mckesson Talk Education and Its Implications for Life and Opportunities Beyond School Walls

    June 29, 2017 by

    There’s a raging debate on health care right now. Issues of access, coverage, and cost are dominating newspaper headlines, social media channels, and even sports radio programming. One thing that’s not being discussed enough, however, is the influence of quality public education on health outcomes. Yet research from…

  • Honoring Pell’s Legacy

    June 22, 2017 by and

    This week marks the 45th anniversary of the creation of the Pell Grant. Sen. Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island championed these grants, using the GI Bill as an inspiration for how to make higher education accessible for all students and particularly for students who might not otherwise go on to…

  • NBER Study Makes Assertions About Supergroups Without Proof

    June 21, 2017 by

    A recent paper touting gains in Kentucky’s Focus schools (schools with the lowest performance for student groups) is, on the surface, encouraging. We want to know more about what’s driving these gains. But we’re also worried about assertions made by the authors, who suggest that these improvements…

  • Diversity Offers a Clear Path to Brighter Futures for All Children

    June 7, 2017 by

    This essay was originally published in a compilation from the Albert Shanker Institute as part of an event it hosted today titled “School Integration By Race & Class: A Movement Reborn?” Our children live in a more diverse country than ever before. And America is projected to become even more racially…

  • Why I Teach Where I Teach: To Give Students Their Fair Shot

    June 5, 2017 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…

  • Trends in State ESSA Plans: The Problem With Supergroups

    June 1, 2017 by

    Among the most important questions to ask to understand whether a state accountability system is designed to promote opportunity and achievement for all groups of students are: Do all groups of students matter in the ratings given to individual schools? How does the state identify schools that need to improve…

  • It Takes a Village

    May 31, 2017 by

    “We rise by lifting others.” — Robert Ingersoll Earlier this month, I hooded four doctoral students at Howard University’s School of Education, adding to a long line of talented Black educators rooted in a tremendous history and legacy. As I reflect on the experience, I feel honor and pride…

  • OASIS at Work: Fostering Confianza to Learn From Each Other

    May 30, 2017 by

    I have spent a good portion of my personal life and career developing relationships. If you have ever read Malcom Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, any of my friends or colleagues would likely define me as what Gladwell refers to as…

  • Trump’s Education Budget Cuts Are an Assault on the American Dream

    May 30, 2017 by

    This op-ed was originally published by U.S. News & World Report. Millions of Americans are engrossed in the NBA Playoffs this time of year. If you are one those people, you may find yourself inexplicably pulling for an upset. That tendency speaks to part of who we are as…