There is still confusion to what equality means, especially in terms of education. Since success looks different for each individual, the path and tools that they need also look different. That is why I like to use the term equity. Both of these terms speak to fairness, but equality only works if students all start from the same place. For those of us that have worked in education for any amount of time, we know that students do not all come with the same background knowledge or prior experiences. If they did, education would be a science at this point.
When thinking about this topic, immediately, the YouTube video, Life of Privilege Explained in a $100 Race https://youtu.be/4K5fbQ1-zps , comes to my mind. In this video, students are all standing on a starting line, but then get to take steps forward if statements apply to them. All of these statements are things that those individuals have no control over, but without these privileges they now have to work even harder to reach the finish line than their peers do. Is that how the educational system should be? Should there be different starting lines or should we work to ensure we get all students equipped so they can run the best race they can.
I am proud to work in CTE; we are able to provide assistance to help students get to that privileged starting line. Food pantries, tuition waivers, student organizations, provided uniforms and tools, certification vouchers, women in technology programs, interview clothing, paying for student travel to contest, career counseling, mock interviews, resume building, access to community resources, and faculty/staff that truly care, are all opportunities that help to provide privileges that some students would have never gotten without being enrolled in a CTE program. I can’t help but think there is a question that was missing in the $100 race video that shows an advantage over peers… Are you or have you ever been enrolled in a CTE program?