There are times (and settings) in our lives where “going back to the basics” is absolutely the correct approach; returning to a healthy and active lifestyle, loving our neighbor as ourselves, etc. However, I do not believe that the current American educational system is one of those settings. The “basics” have failed student after student, year after year, that do not subscribe to a “traditional” system.
We have more information than ever before on how children learn. What we absolutely know is that the “one size fits all” model of education does not work. It has not, and will never, close the achievement gap. While we have been focused on dispensing “equal” education, we have missed the mark in the distribution of “equitable” education; not just for our brown and Black students, but also for students with special needs and non-traditional family settings.
Equality means we give each child the same thing, while equity means we give each child what they need. There is a huge difference between the two, and children can only learn when they receive what they need. It is time for all teachers, staff and administrators to move forward equitably, but they will only do so when the direction, funding and support comes from the top.
I am voting for Nneka Sederstrom for Prior Lake-Savage Area School Board because she exemplifies what leading with an equitable lens means. As a teacher and a mother, I am desperate for this perspective in our community’s leadership.