Education is a significant gateway to adulthood, yet the experience is unique to everyone. When students receive a rigorous, rich educational experience, they gain a solid foundation for future success. Education can provide stability in a student’s life, foster self-dependency, encourage social and mental skill development, and benefit society by helping to harness and cultivate individual skills and abilities for an improved community with shared values.
Children also start to understand what others have and what they don’t, recognizing the differences and thinking beyond themselves. Harnessed in the right way with a structure that supports equity in education, our children learn the foundations of what it means to have an equal opportunity at success.
However, the reality is that our education systems were never designed with equity in mind and have continued to fail students in historically underserved and marginalized communities.
As a system traditionally designed for in-person learning, the onset of the pandemic has seen educational disparities on the rise. According to a McKinsey study, students of color were an additional three to five months behind in math, while white students were one to three months behind. In many areas across North America, schools were closed, worsening the racial disparities as many low-income families don’t have access to WiFi connections or the technology required for long-distance learning.
How do we achieve equity in a system that has undergone significant reform in past years, and how do we create the ideal future state of our education systems where all students can achieve their full potential everywhere?