EQUITY IN EDUCATION
Every public school student should know how to read, write, and compute. But there are huge gaps in achievement for low-income students, especially for low-income students of color.
In New York, only 36% of economically disadvantaged K3-K8 students read at grade-level, or are proficient, while 60% of economically secure students are proficient. This gap will follow students for their entire lives without significant, and expensive, interventions.
Race and economic status should not determine educational performance. EquityPAC will work to make public education more equitable by getting kids to grade level at an early age.
We will get there by:
Investing in community schools
No child should have to spend hours on a bus to get to a good school. Community schools are a data-driven solution to a complex challenge. They level the playing field by providing before and after school care, no-cost meals, and wrap-around services including: tutoring, basic medical and dental care, and social and mental health services. These schools also build a sense of place and community that is essential for long-term success.
Implementing Universal Pre-K (UPK)
High-quality preschool improves short- and long-term outcomes such as school readiness, high school graduation, and earnings. Early interventions are a cost-effective way to level the playing field for students who would otherwise have fewer advantages. UPK can also help engage parents and act as an entry point for future educators.
Diversifying the Teacher Pipe-Line
Students of color benefit from educators and support staff who look like them. Yet, 80% of public school teachers in NYS are white, compared to 43% of students who identify as white. We need to provide cultural competency training for current educators and scale-up existing programs that bridge the gap between teachers’ aides’ credentials and the state's requirements for teachers.
Smaller classes for K-K4 English Language Arts and Math
Class size is directly related to student success, especially when paired with the wrap-around services provided by community schools. We need more educators working in reading and math in grades K-K-4 to help get every child proficient, preparing them to learn for the rest of their lives.