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.

  • 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 been…

  • 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 importance…

  • 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 Committee…

  • 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…

  • #TeachDiverse: Black Teachers for More Than Just Black Students

    November 17, 2016 by

    This week, we participated in The Hechinger Report’s Twitter chat on teacher diversity, along with Andre Perry, Christopher Emdin, José Vilson, and the National Council on Teacher Quality.   We talked about what we learned from our focus groups with 150 Black teachers, who shared the challenges they face…

  • Stop Blaming Students

    November 14, 2016 by

    A recent Education Week headline brought my scanning eyes to a screeching halt: “High School Poverty, Minority Enrollment, Undermine College Progress, Study Finds.” I checked for the publication date in disbelief. Surely, we aren’t still mired in the morass of “demography is destiny” in 2016. Apparently, I was wrong…

  • Recognizing the Voices of Black Teachers

    November 2, 2016 by

    “The first step on the road to justice is to provide the oppressed with a voice to tell their story.” —Adrienne D. Dixson and Celia K. Rousseau, Critical Race Theory in Education Of all the amazing things we found on our journey listening to Black teachers across the country…

  • In Passing the Baton to the Next Champions for Equity

    October 31, 2016 by

    This is a speech delivered at the PIE Network’s Annual Meeting earlier this month. I’m something of a newspaper junkie. When my morning Washington Post and New York Times arrive around 5:15 a.m., I’m up, coffee in hand, poring through the day’s news. Reading…

  • Middle-Grades Students Are Up for Discussion — And That Might Be Just What America Needs Right Now

    October 19, 2016 by

    Middle school, where Mercury is in constant retrograde. Where we quarantine America’s young adolescents in a humid petri dish of hormones, flavored lip gloss contraband, and budding individuality. It’s where my father teaches. And it’s where I had the pleasure of talking with seventh- and eighth-graders…

  • Ed Trust Assignment Analysis: From Then to Now — to You

    October 12, 2016 by and

    As educators work to implement new standards and improve instruction, Ed Trust offers a resource for examining classroom assignments and starting conversations about rigor and expectations: our new "Literacy Assignment Analysis Guide." For nearly 20 years now, we have been focused on examining assignments in schools and calling attention to…