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.

  • higher ed

    Can Equity Be Bought? Five Components of a Smart Outcomes-Based Funding Policy

    November 16, 2017 by

    While performance- or outcomes-based policies emerged in the late 1980s as an opportunity for colleges and universities to earn additional or bonus funding for improving student outcomes, they have evolved over the years into requirements for campuses to receive all of their expected or base funding. And while more…

  • higher ed

    Can Equity Be Bought? Advocating for Equity Focused Performance Funding in Kentucky

    November 15, 2017 by and

    Policymakers in Kentucky, like other states across the nation, have an opportunity through the adoption of a performance based funding formula to encourage their colleges and universities to not only become more focused on college completion, but to also prioritize equity. In Kentucky, less than a fourth of students enrolled…

  • higher ed

    Can Equity Be Bought? Minority-Serving Institutions and Outcomes-Based Funding

    November 14, 2017 by , and

    Most performance- or outcomes-based funding (POBF) models seek to address accountability and not equity, so they do not always account for the additional resources that minority-serving institutions (MSIs) require to serve their students. We found this to be the case in Texas and Washington, two states that have…

  • higher ed

    Can Equity Be Bought? HBCUs and Outcomes-Based Funding

    November 13, 2017 by and

    Performance- or outcomes-based funding is intended to drive more equitable opportunities and outcomes in higher education. But in our research, we’ve found the opposite. Instead of diverting more money to under-resourced colleges and universities, these institutions tend to get less in states with POBF policies — and the…

  • ExtraOrdinary Districts: Chicago Part 3 - On the Ground

    November 13, 2017 by

    Chicago Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson states that Chicago’s principal-development strategy is directly correlated to its improving graduation rates and test scores. Here, we visit the high school that she opened as principal, George Westinghouse Academy on the west side of Chicago, and meet principal Patrick McGill, who…

  • ExtraOrdinary Districts: Chicago Part 2 - Stumbling Toward Some Answers

    November 13, 2017 by

    How would Chicago school district know what worked and what didn’t? With foundation help, the University of Chicago launched the Consortium on School Research, where research superstars spent years studying what was going on in Chicago schools. At the same time, Chicago foundations, nonprofits organizations, and educators focused enormous…

  • ExtraOrdinary Districts: Chicago Part 1 - Nowhere to Go But Up

    November 13, 2017 by

    In 1987, U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett flew into Chicago, declared it the “worst” school district in the country, and flew home, leaving Chicago residents stunned and angry. They had known things were bad, but being declared the worst helped galvanize support for the 1988 Chicago School Reform…

  • higher ed

    Can Equity Be Bought? A Look at Outcomes-Based Funding in Higher Ed

    November 6, 2017 by and

    More than 30 states now have adopted or are in the process of adopting a formula that divvies out funding to public colleges and universities based on their outcomes for students. Called performance- or outcomes-based funding (POBF), these policies are inconsistent in their design, and in many cases, perpetuate…

  • ExtraOrdinary Districts: Steubenville Part 3 - Tackling the Secondary Drop-off

    November 6, 2017 by

    Although Steubenville’s third and fourth graders perform toward the top of the country, achievement tails off in fifth grade heading into middle school. We hear from Steubenville’s educators what they’re doing to change that. …

  • ExtraOrdinary Districts: Steubenville Part 2 - A Program in Service of a Vision

    November 6, 2017 by

    Back in the late 1990s, Ohio adopted a law that said that fourth graders who couldn’t pass a reading test would have to be retained. Steubenville educators realized that some of their students would get caught up in that law and were determined not to let that happen. They…

  • ExtraOrdinary Districts: Steubenville Part 1 - Changing the Path of Poverty

    November 6, 2017 by

    Superintendent Melinda Young has seen preschoolers who enter the Steubenville school district graduate from high school ready for college. This shows the power of schools to, in her words, change the path of poverty. Steubenville has long prized education as a path out of poverty, and long-time residents and…

  • ExtraOrdinary Districts: Lexington Part 3 - Building a Learning Community

    November 1, 2017 by

    Superintendent Ash refocused Lexington school district on helping not the bussed-in Boston students but any student who needed extra help. He brought in nationally known trainers who helped teachers learn to collaborate and make better instructional decisions. As the collaboration took hold, not only did Lexington’s students coming…

  • ExtraOrdinary Districts: Lexington Part 2 - Where Do You Start? Everywhere!

    November 1, 2017 by

    Once the educators in Lexington got a handle on how badly some of their students were doing, they threw themselves into fixing the problem. But some parents were surprised that there had never before been a system to identify students who needed help and how to get them help. And…

  • ExtraOrdinary Districts: Lexington Part 1 - Secrets of a High-Performing School District

    November 1, 2017 by

    Most wealthy, high-performing school districts have huge achievement gaps. And 10 years ago, Lexington, Massachusetts, did too. The students doing the worst? Mostly African American and Hispanic students who were traveling for hours — part of a long-running desegregation program that has been in place since the 1960s. Hear…

  • ExtraOrdinary Districts: Episode 1 - How Do We Know Which School Districts are ExtraOrdinary?

    November 1, 2017 by

    Anyone who wants to identify “extraordinary districts” has a daunting challenge: The United States has more than 14,000 school districts and they vary widely. Some have hundreds of students; some have hundreds of thousands. And they have a dizzying array of demographics, assessments, and funding structures. How can you…

  • Helping Students Get the Great Teachers They Deserve

    October 31, 2017 by and

    In school districts across the nation, Black, Latino, and Native American students, as well as students from low-income families, are less likely to have access to strong consistent teaching than their White and more affluent peers. Even students have a sense that this is happening. How are students affected…

  • ExtraOrdinary Districts: Ordinary school districts that get extraordinary results

    October 30, 2017 by

    Across the nation, many school districts are asking themselves, “What can we do to better serve our students of color and those from low-income communities?” In Ed Trust's new podcast, ExtraOrdinary Districts, writer-in-residence  Karin Chenoweth explores that question by visiting ordinary school districts that are getting…

  • The Dream Act: Allowing Immigrant Students to be Workforce Ready

    October 26, 2017 by

    Before joining Ed Trust-New York, I worked as an advocate/attorney for immigrant families. One of my first clients was Gloria,* a New York City high school student who had just enrolled in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program that would involve one semester of coursework and one…

  • Let Young Dreamers Continue to Dream

    October 24, 2017 by

    In 2012, Maryland voters overwhelmingly approved the “Maryland Dream Act." I was proud to be working for Governor Martin O'Malley, the Maryland General Assembly, and State Board of Education at the time. I had the honor of working alongside 24 district superintendents who were staunch champions for the law…

  • DACA Dreamers

    The Dream Act: Lifting Limitations on Students' Unlimited Potential

    October 19, 2017 by

    Nearly two months have passed since the Trump administration announced plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and called on Congress to act to protect undocumented children of immigrants. What Congress should do is clear: Pass the Dream Act. Doing so would create a pathway to…