Delivering on the Promise of Education for All
Good schools top the list of “must-haves” for most parents who are moving their families – whether it’s across town, from city to suburb, to the United States for the very first time or from Puerto Rico to the mainland. Parents gravitate to communities with strong academic programs and results evidenced by standardized test scores, graduation rates, college acceptances and rankings. But what about families whose options are limited by circumstances beyond their control, like those who arrive in this country at gateway immigrant communities, then make their way to destinations near work or friends and family or concentrations of people from their home countries?
Amid the DACA debate, Castro said, “We shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that many children, especially immigrant children, are impacted by their experience in the United States, and often by the ugly rhetoric they hear about their own communities. That has a very real cost.”
Hardy relayed a conversation he had with a district social worker – one of two tasked with meeting the needs of 1,700 students at the high school. The social worker, whom he described as “someone who cares deeply about the individual student and his or her heart and mind” expressed frustration about not being able to meet student demand. The district is actively working to improve its ability to provide these supports.
In places like Lorain, sometimes being in the minority doesn’t have to do with race or economics. Because so few students are on grade level, those who actually are where they need to be are challenged by a lack of resources – like books and AP courses – to propel them forward. Hardy believes addressing the range of needs requires an individualized approach to education and “looking at the needs of all of his scholars through an equity lens.”
Krish Mohip, CEO of Youngstown, Ohio City School District since 2016, knows about equal v. equitable. Like Hardy he heads an economically challenged district that has been taken over by the state. Youngstown has about the same number of city residents as Lorain, but a smaller Latino population.