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Equality vs. Equity

  • 1.  Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 29 days ago
    To be honest...I've struggled with the concept and application towards the early childhood field. So as I researched the topic, I came across the most simplistic visual image that summed it all for me. What are your thoughts regarding equality vs. equity as it relates to Infant and Toddlers? What are some of your strategies?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Source: interactioninstitute.org and madewithangus.com

    ------------------------------
    Yolanda C Franklin
    Infant Toddler Professional Facilitator
    Collaborative for Children
    United Way Bright Beginnings
    Houston, TX
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 28 days ago

    It is the "in-thing" today to use the concept equity rather than equality. I have challenged this change, and received many editions of this picture as a true rebuttal. Its makes absolutely no sense to me. Equality mean EQAUL opportunity; it does not mean equal treatment. I am a huge advocate of equality; I am not an advocate of equity.

     

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  • 3.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 28 days ago
    Very interesting perspective. Yet I question how does one have EQUAL opportunity and not have equal treatment.  Equal is the same; if I am equal to you yet you receive "different" or "better" treatment, then are we equal?

    ------------------------------
    Sheria Mitchell
    Program Director Early Childhood Division
    Bishop State Community College
    Mobile AL
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  • 4.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 28 days ago

    My point is that equal opportunity may require additional treatment (more) for those who need it.  The rap against equality is the fact that some people should get additional assistance (i.e. a child with a disability). I agree with this. Thus I think equal opportunity includes within it different treatment, depending on needs.

     

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  • 5.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 28 days ago
    Thanks for the clarification

    ------------------------------
    Sheria Mitchell
    Program Director Early Childhood Division
    Bishop State Community College
    Mobile AL
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  • 6.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 28 days ago
    Here is a similar graphic taken to the next level:

    Equality is everyone gets the same things and starts in the same place.  Equity takes it further and everyone ends in the same place.  Justice is when the systemic barriers are erased altogether.  I don't believe this is the "in thing", as someone else has stated.  I believe it is the right thing and the goal of social justice work.  I want the barriers, whether they be around race, gender, ability, neuro-diversity, etc. eliminated for our children.

    ------------------------------
    Aren Stone
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
    she/her
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 28 days ago

    I just totally disagree with the interpretation. To me, the picture on the right – the chain-link fence, IS equality – it provides the SAME view for everyone, regardless of their size. This is equality.

     

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  • 8.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 27 days ago
    Can you tell us how you define equity and why you disagree with using the term? I understand that you think equality is broader than the graphic illustrates but do you have another objection to the word equity than that you believe it is unnecessary?

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    Margery Heyl
    Chicago IL
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  • 9.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 27 days ago
    This is in reference to Aren Stone's definition of equity. She writes that equity means that everyone ends up in the same place. That is not what it means. It means that we assist in ways necessary to make up for inequality to help those who do not start at an equal place to go as far as they can. We are all different. We will not all end up "in the same place". With equity, we are helping those who start out without equal opportunity with supports to help them go as far as they can or want to go. That does not guarantee that all will end at the same place.

    Right now, we do not have equality in access to opportunity.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 26 days ago
    I'm hoping that Francis is the Francis that I cited while working on my men in ECE paper for my Master's.  To everyone in this conversation, may I challenge you to apply the concepts of equality, equity, and justice to the reality of the dismal percentage of men in ECE?  Does equality mean 50%?  Does equity mean an unbiased definition of appropriate practice?  Does justice mean that the profession commit to improving the statistics?
    Can we move beyond the semantics to implement change?
    This is my challenge to NAEYC and its members.
    Gregory Uba

    ------------------------------
    Gregory Uba
    Elk Grove CA
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  • 11.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 25 days ago

    Yes, this is the Francis Wardle who is passionate about increasing male involvement in our programs. I agree with you, we seem to be fixated on semantics, and are not really committed to change our field. In my view, the discussion of any kind of equality cannot occur until all the people involved in our field are paid an adequate salary and receive adequate benefits, including continual free in-service training. All other issues pale in relationship to this one!

     

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  • 12.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 25 days ago
    I agree wholeheartedly with Francis Wardle. Every issue pales next to ensuring adequate remuneration for those who work with young children, particularly those who teach in community centers.

    Part of the issue is upgrading the professional preparation of those in our field. Doing this engenders a vicious cycle, which makes it hard for this to happen. If those who work in the field are not considered professionals and we are seen as not having standards for the knowledge necessary to work with young children, then the pay will remain low. This is the vicious cycle. I am not sure how to solve this. Which comes first: the chicken or the egg???

    On the other hand, are men not going into the field because of this vicious cycle or is there an issue with hiring where we need to institute quotas. I think it is the vicious cycle and I would be very sad to see us institute quotas and all the issues those bring.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 25 days ago
    Norah I just think that education is not valued in the list of priorities in this country.  Educators are not paid well at any level, though ECE is definitely the lowest on the rung.  Endless research is always being done that shows how important quality early education is, but politicians and policy makers are not listening.  I have worked with at least 5 men in the last year who were exceptional teachers and who all left because they were getting married and needed to be earning more money.  My husband is the best teacher that I have ever observed, and he left teaching when we moved to this country because he couldn't earn enough here to help support us.  He tried for two years to get a teaching job that paid enough to even bring us over here, and eventually ended up in high-tech, which he hates with a passion.
    So, yes Francis you are absolutely right that when the salary issue changes, more men will want to join ECE.  Men who want to be teachers but feel that they can't make enough money in this field.

    ------------------------------
    Joanie Calem
    Music and Inclusion Specialist
    Sing Along
    Columbus, OH
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 25 days ago
    As a member of the Men and Child Care Committee if Sacramento Valley Chapter of CAAEYC, I've always cautioned against connecting wages to drawing more men into the profession.  I believe that doing so can be unintentionally disrespectful to the many women who have made great sacrifices to do this important work as well as to the many men who have made this their career.

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    Gregory Uba
    Elk Grove CA
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  • 15.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 25 days ago
    As I said, there is a vicious cycle. Yes, it is not good to connect wages with how many men are in teaching in community childcare but I will bet that situation is what drives the number down, that along with the feeling of low status - the younger the children you teach, the lower the status some people feel they have.

    Unfortunately, most men will not work in ECE because of the low wages. Women who have the requisite diploma and certification will leave the community centers for a public school in order to earn a bigger salary, which is still too low but better than what they would earn in a community center. It is not a good situation for anyone. I don't see the United States moving much toward universal childcare from birth onward. To do that would require tax increases and Americans, in general, hate the thought of that.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 24 days ago
    Thank you, Gregory, I agree with you.  It's true that early childcare pay is low because education isn't valued enough in this country.  However, any care of children (and others) that includes a lot of physical care is seen as work that women do.  Women still earn less than men and work that women primarily do is devalued. That is the systematic sexism at the heart of this issue, though there are other systemic issues at play that also effect education in general.

    It sounds like some are implying that we can't talk about equity issues until teachers and others in the field are paid more.  This didn't start out being a post about wages, but one about the difference between equality and equity,  We can talk about equity and justice in relation to our field.  There is much work to be done to make changes in all of the "isms" that exist fro children and adults.  I agree that some of this is semantics.  I don't think it matters if people use the word equality, equity, or justice--it's the concepts that matter.  As long as we are giving people needed supports and working to eliminate systematic oppression that keeps so many from being able to have access to what they need people can call it whatever works for them.


    ------------------------------
    Aren Stone
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
    she/her
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 24 days ago

    The very reason why I believe equal pay is central to any discussion of equality in our field is exactly because the majority of people in our field - who don't even get paid as much as workers at McDonalds – are women! To make it a gender issue misses the point! Women, who are often heads of households, desperately need to be paid what they are worth.

     

    I am not sure I agree that the low pay is because its manual work. Farming is essentially manual, yet our government subsidizes farmers billions of dollars every year. My own solution to the funding piece is simple: lets subsidize chidlren and not cows!

     

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  • 18.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 21 days ago
    Francis Wardle,
    I agree with your many points and the clear way you stated them. Thank you.  (Catching up on emails.)

    ------------------------------
    Ellen Cogan, MS Ed - Owner, Chief Consultant - HILLTOP Early Childhood SERVICES
    NYS Early Learning Credentialed Trainer
    NYS Master Cadre, Pyramid Model
    Implementation Planner, Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership
    www.earlychildinfo.com
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 23 days ago
    I agree with Aren's oppinion:
     It's true that early childcare pay is low because education isn't valued enough in this country(US). 

    But in my country, Singapore, It is better. esp. for qualified teachers and administrators. 
    For example, my company,Eminence Investment Pte Ltd (EI), invested in a Child Care Center, we are recruiting a Principal from USA and set the salary above the market rate cum free accomadation. but so far, no one apply.
    (the position is still available, those who interested in it,please let me know.)





  • 20.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 14 days ago
    Aren I totally understand and agree with your response.

    ------------------------------
    Crystal Darlene Sanford-Brown
    Early Childhood Consultant
    Owner of "Enhancing Young Leadership"
    Bloomfield Hills, MI
    Member of the Naeyc Governing Board;
    Vice-President
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 24 days ago
    Yes, Nora, Catherine, and Joanie.  And if we stick with the image of the fence as a solid one--taking away the fence rather than having people stand on boxes takes away the systemic barrier to equality and/or equity.  (There may need to be an alternative clear fence, hence the wire fence rather than the wooden one in my original graphic as the third picture.).

    ------------------------------
    Aren Stone
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
    she/her
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 26 days ago
    Gregory Uba

    ------------------------------
    Gregory Uba
    Elk Grove CA
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 27 days ago
    Yes, I totally agree with you Aren Stone. Equality would mean equal opportunity, starting from the same line but as the poster that has been all over Facebook shows that equity is giving each child what they need to use that equal opportunity to succeed. And this is definitely what is meant by social justice.

    Let's think of the fence as a solid one, not a chain-link one. Then, in order for all the children, regardless of their characteristics to see over the fence, some will need stools to increase their height, etc.

    Maybe if we really had equality in life and schools, we would not need equity to the extent that we do now. Compare the schools in wealthy neighborhoods to those in poor neighborhoods - no equality! Compare housing, access to healthy food - no equality there! I could go on and on. And the same could be said of children's characteristics: we all are uniquely structured in terms of what we need for optimal growth.


    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 23 days ago
    I agree with this picture a little better than the original one used to describe equality versus equity.  However, the children are still outside.  There is still a barrier - the chain link fence.  These children are not enjoying the game in the same way that those inside are.  It is still a different experience.  It is the right work but it is also work that people are jumping in on because it is popular right now.  My hope is that we will see systemic change that acknowledges and removes barriers permanently - as Aren has stated.

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    Lisa Roy
    Buffett Early Childhood Institute
    Omaha NE
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  • 25.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 27 days ago

    Thank you all for sharing your personal perspectives.

    Has anyone had the opportunity to read NAEYC Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Position Statement?  



    ------------------------------
    Yolanda C Franklin
    Infant Toddler Professional Facilitator
    Collaborative for Children
    United Way Bright Beginnings
    Houston, TX
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 27 days ago
    To me, from what I have researched, equality means everything is the same, that is, everyone is standing behind a fence. Not everyone can see over that fence, so everyone is not equal. In order to be equal, the middle person needs to stand on the box, the one on the right needs two boxes. This is equity (in my opinion). So I think that equity leads to equality. In my toddler room, I would see equality as everyone gets the same snack. The inequality could be that some children have enough with what is provided, but others might need more to not be hungry. So, to be equitable, we would give those that need it more food. My goals for my children are to feel safe, be happy, be healthy, to reach their potential. The way for each child to get there will be different. Just my opinion!

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    Catherine Roach
    Milwaukee WI
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  • 27.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 27 days ago
    I think the challenge with continuing to use the word equality is that in the past it has been used to mean "the same."  But we're not the same, no one is, and no child (or adult for that matter) learns in the "same" way.  So though I agree with Francis that equality SHOULD mean equal opportunity, and therefore be tailored to whatever the child's need is, it doesn't usually play out that way.  And then kids who learn differently because of an invisible learning disability, or kids who come from a home life that has not been able to provide the same enrichment as another child's, do not have the same starting point.  To me that is the point of using the word equity...that we as educators recognize that children are not starting from the same place, and we cannot assume that they know the same things or can make the same connections.  Equal rights are great, and absolutely necessary, but the problem is that not everyone even knows what their rights are, so when their rights are being abused, they don't always know that.  Equal rights have not led to equal treatment or to equal opportunities, because the starting points are different.
    So it's a very subtle difference, but an important one I think.

    ------------------------------
    Joanie Calem
    Music and Inclusion Specialist
    Sing Along
    Columbus, OH
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 27 days ago
    I agree with Joanie. That is the reason people separate the concept of equality and equity as related but not the same.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 19 days ago

    These are such important conversations. Conversations that we need to approach intentionally and without bias. Equal does not mean fair, it means same. If you begin to think of equality as sameness and related to the outcome as opposed to the process of getting to the outcome it becomes easier to understand that we are talking about different things when comparing the two terms. Equity is about the process of ensuring fairness by mitigating the constraints or barriers (social, educational, disability, cultural etc) faced by an individual while in the process of working toward an outcome.

     Equity depends on the uniqueness of each circumstance (which is where most global policy fails).  We discuss equity and social justice because research is clear that there are gaps in both opportunity and outcomes when we allow the visible and hidden barriers to remain.

     To remove those barriers, we have to understand the definition of disadvantaged, which is: lacking in the basic resources or conditions (such as standard housing, medical and educational facilities, and civil rights) considered as necessary for an equal position (outcome) in society.

     For example, my son recently applied to doctoral programs.  His skin color states that he is white, his heritage does not. He also has a disability. He had choices to make when he filled out his application in-regards-to checking boxes that indicated disadvantages.  He chose not to designate any disadvantaged indicator.  He did not get interviews at his two top choices who were clear that they enroll according to indicators such as ethnic background, gender, and economic disadvantage. He understood that he is not economically disadvantaged (although will owe money when he is done). I knew that he could have marked 2 of those boxes in a self-serving effort to take advantage of a social policy that has over-reached in many ways.  He knew that there were other students who needed to designate disadvantaged more than he did or they would never realize their dream.  He made an informed choice not to check those boxes. 

    I recently listened to a speaker on anti-bias education who was by their own report raised by two educated professional parents and who by admission could afford to pay for college. The speaker was bi-racial and shared that they were fortunate to be able to check the box that provided a free education. That to me is where policy has over-reached. The speaker being educated for free was not equity, nor socially just, I would argue that it was instead privilege by definition.  Had the speaker done as my son had, using a three-pronged test, there would have been a student who could not afford to attend who would have been provided the same opportunity.

    Until we all understand that just because the box is there to check and we can benefit from our history by checking that box while knowing that we don't need to check the box to obtain the same outcome we will never be within the intent of the definitions.

    One of our students is blind, in a wheelchair, chooses the pronoun "hen", and is bi-racial. The reality is that there are outcomes this child will likely never be able to achieve.  This child will not be able to be the center on a professional basketball team unless medical research eliminates the barriers presented.  This child could be president though. This child will always need a building that is completely accessible (hard to find).  Here in the northeast, when it snows and the streets are plowed, they do not universally remember to clear the curb cuts, eliminating access to those in wheelchairs. It is not a simplistic process. The definitions are always dependent upon each individual's needs. In the case of this child, at least today, the most significant barrier is access to the educational program and the content of the curriculum



    ------------------------------
    Tami Callister
    Executive Director
    Achievements and Kids Express
    Latham NY
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 18 days ago

    Hello Tami,
    Thank you for posting a response to one of the "hot button" questions that many individuals in the Early Childhood Education field are asking, especially after the release of NAEYC's newest position statement on "Advancing Equity in Early Childhood."

    As someone who has applied and completed a doctoral program, I completely understand your son's desire to attend the institution of his choice.

    In regards to your statement of equating race, nationality and ethnicity to an absolute position of disadvantaged, I question if that represents a complete anti-bias rationale to your son not being selected for admission?

    Educational institutions utilize a multiplicity of factors in the selection of students for their programs. With the readiness and availability of technology, a profile check of an applicant's social footprint, may be included within such a checklist.

    While it was not his top selection, my congratulations to your son for securing entrance into a doctoral program.

    Best to you, 



    ------------------------------
    Crystal Darlene Sanford-Brown
    Early Childhood Consultant
    Owner of "Enhancing Young Leadership"
    Bloomfield Hills, MI
    Member of the Naeyc Governing Board;
    Vice-President
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 17 days ago
    Dear Tami:

    I sense a great deal of anger in your response about equality and equity. As the last responder to your post stated, colleges use a lot of different lens to review applications.

    We are all different and there are individuals who will not be able to enter certain professions because of their abilities and other characteristics but all of us should be given the opportunity to learn and develop all our capacities. That, of course, does not mean that all of us will be able to or want to enter certain professionals. It just means that if we choose to go in one direction or another, we will have been given an equal opportunity, which to me is equity.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 32.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 16 days ago

    Dear Nora,

    Thank you to you and Crystal for your responses. I was providing an example and apologize to anyone who misunderstood the point. I want to assure you both that there was no anger in my response. Crystal used the phrase "hot button".   I am a New York State Master Cadre for Pyramid and teach as well as coach the process of recognizing, reflecting and reframing our "hot buttons".  I am trained to teach and coach on brain development, trauma, the Protective Factors, Pyramid, and other areas related to early childhood. As a result, my children have lived the lessons and have been taught to reflect and reframe while considering the unknown contexts of each and every event. Pausing to do so is a powerful tool.  My daughter, not surprisingly became a school psychologist and my son understands that he will land where he is meant to land to fulfill his purpose in life. He respects and is happy with the outcome but more importantly and the point I was attempting to make, understood the process. 

    I was not equating race, nationality and ethnicity to an absolute position of disadvantaged although I could have articulated the message better.  I presented a definition of disadvantaged while also mentioning other indicators used in the vetting process. In my son's chosen profession, he does not meet the indicator of educationally/environmentally disadvantaged because he was fortunate enough not to have come from an environment that made it difficult for him to obtain the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to enroll, graduate and serve the profession.  

    Several of the institutions he applied to also have missions to enroll and graduate those who come from under-represented populations within his chosen profession.  Some of those institutions have received grant money that demands they meet specific data points to continue to receive those grants in support of those programs. As an informed and educated consumer, we understood what all of this meant.

    My point in that example was that many do not understand and it unfortunately contributes to the negative perceptions that we are trying to eliminate.

    I do believe that as we try to teach what equity means, what social justice means, and what anti-bias means that we also have to teach what disadvantaged means as well as what privilege means.  I believe that we have to help others understand on a metacognitive level to question, reflect, seek more information, and hopefully create positive outcomes.  

    Locally we have a program called "Bridges Out of Poverty".  Mike Soccio, leads the work in our area. Years ago, he shared the example of physicians and clinicians at a local hospital being frustrated with parents for missing or being late for their children's appointments. A similar frustration was felt by other organizations that were in place to help these families. Those late parents were perceived as irresponsible and at times unfit. Mike set up an activity in which those physicians, clinical staff, and other community support staff had to use a stroller while accessing public transportation to get from certain areas of the city to the hospital (or other community settings). Those who did it on days when it rained or snowed had a more powerful experience bet everyone ended with an understanding of the barriers. He did not just tell the story, he had them experience the life. He facilitated powerful and meaningful change in doing so because he understood the definition of disadvantaged and made sure that others did as well.  It has always resonated with me.  

    I have a lot of stories but will end with a sincere and respectful acknowledgement as well as an abundance of appreciation for NAEYC standing courageously for all children, families and professionals serving them.

    Respectfully,

    Tami



    ------------------------------
    [Tami] [Callister, MSed, LSP, SAS, SDA]
    [NYS Pyramid Model Master Cadre]
    [NYAEYC Credentialed Leader/Teacher Coach Early Childhood ]
    [Latham] [NY]
    ------------------------------



  • 33.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 15 days ago
    Hello Tami,
    I thank you for responding to the postings of both Nora and myself. As a person of color (POC), I'm comfortable with the term POC as a reflection of a multitude of individuals from many cultural backgrounds with melanin hues ranging from porcelain to indigo tones.

    Unfortunately, in my scholarly research, I've noted on far too many occasions, the terms social economic status, disadvantaged, quota  and underrepresented, are being overtly utilized to equate to POC. 

    I'm confident in who I am and the many barriers that I've crossed and will continue to cross as a POC. I do not take lightly or for granted, the borrowed wings of my ancestors upon which I've flown with opportunities to have completed six higher education credentials. I'd like to assure that I met and completed all requisites and requirements of each degree for graduation and not graduated as a result of continued grant funding.

    Respectfully Tami, I believe that both Nora and I are hopping to shed light on the verbiage that you've selected to address your concerns of equality vs. equity.

    Your statements:
    "In my son's chosen profession, he does not meet the indicator of educationally/environmentally disadvantaged because he was fortunate enough not to have come from an environment that made it difficult for him to obtain the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to enroll, graduate and serve the profession."

    "Several of the institutions he applied to also have missions "to enroll and graduate" those who come from under-represented populations within his chosen profession.  Some of those institutions have received grant money that demands they meet specific data points to continue to receive those grants in support of those programs."


    While you may not believe it to be equitable, I totally understand the disappointment in desires to have dreams and prayers fulfilled and not receiving the desires of your heart. Yet, sharing the example of desires unfulfilled by your son's choice of not selecting a demographic on applications, should not diminish the process "some" institutions utilize to level the primarily white educational fields. 

    In all actuality, individuals who are privileged in multiple ways, yet have been overly protected and disengaged from the realities of the social constraints of this world, they too may also fall into the one of the many factors describing disadvantaged.

    Life as a POC in this world, is a 365 day experience unknown to those who aren't blatantly redlined in every aspect of their lives due to the hue of their skin tone.
    Respectfully, just my thoughts. 


    ------------------------------
    Crystal Darlene Sanford-Brown
    Early Childhood Consultant
    Owner of "Enhancing Young Leadership"
    Bloomfield Hills, MI
    Member of the Naeyc Governing Board;
    Vice-President
    ------------------------------



  • 34.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 11 days ago
    Crystal,

    I understand multiple contexts of inherent bias and privilege and because I do, I must acknowledge that it was ignorant of me to use the two scenarios of my son's choices and the speaker's choices as equal comparisons of choice without thoughtfully including all information. That was disrespectful to the experiences of others such as yourself and all POC.  I apologize for that.

     Each institution's use of the terms and criteria for consideration varied in some way. I do not disagree with the process, the grants nor the pursuit of equity.  There are times there is over-reach, misunderstanding, and misapplication based on my own experiences in higher ed, advocacy, and in the equity work that I am directly involved in. No system is infallible or perfect. Through my work, I also know that there are times we are unknowingly engaging in biased practices and are surprised when the data indicates we are and that we need to change something.

    The educationally/environmentally disadvantaged criteria I mentioned required that individuals must have graduated from a high school that had a low percentage of seniors receiving a high school diploma, or a low percentage of graduates attending college, or had low per capita funding or had at least 30% of students that were eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.  I understand how the data is acquired, I agreed with the process, and I understood that my son was fortunate to have attended w well-funded and high performing school. Students who made it to the doctoral level application process that met that criteria had to overcome barriers to do so.  I serve preschool and school aged students from urban, suburban, and rural districts who attend school in districts that meet the criteria quoted. The "Bridges Out of Poverty" program example I shared is an example of the barriers present. I can also think of a district that has a hard time finding qualified teachers and suffers constant turnover. If the students are not taught by qualified teachers and they have no lasting relationships because teachers leave, they are at a disadvantage.  

    Gender, was the predominate under-represented population in the case of the two schools that were my son's first choices.  I have no argument with their mission nor does he. He felt disappointment because he wanted to live near his only sibling but understood that he had an incredibly small chance of being asked for interview.  He also felt joy and pride in being accepted to multiple other programs in a highly competitive field. It's not about him but the example.

     Today, in my program, there are some who have had to leave college because they could not afford it. There are others who have completed teaching degree programs but cannot pay the final tuition bill so cannot obtain their transcripts nor apply for certification. They represent men, women, POC and white.  I'm not sure the descriptors in this case matter as much as the fact that college is hard to afford for many. That affordability prevents the opportunity of higher education and is a barrier and is the barrier that informed my opinion.

    I failed quite miserably by not sharing that the speaker I referenced previously agreed with my position. In the decision-making process they experienced a feeling of guilt and gratitude. Gratitude for the right, guilt for taking what was not needed.  I am not blind to the injustices that provided the speaker the right to check the box that represented that they were a POC.  I do not disagree with that right. The speaker questioned their own decision to accept a free education when their financial statements indicated they did not need to and also suggested that it could be viewed as unjust and that it may have prevented another POC from affording the program. This was a conversation that was easily almost 2 hours.  I applauded the courage it took to present the opportunity to discuss the situation. 

     I celebrate my Native American and European heritages but am not identified by either. Growing up as I did, nothing was wasted, the earth gave and could take away, and nothing was taken for granted. We never took what wasn't needed.  I have read and studied history written from a non-American perspective in an attempt to better understand injustices inflicted throughout time.  Yet, while my opinion is informed by my own knowledge, and experiences, whether tragic, unjust, or joyous, I can never understand what it is like to live 365 days a year or even 5 minutes as a POC.  

    Your statement is powerful, and it took me back to an experience that is relevant. I apologize for any emotional trigger this may cause. In the 90's we were visiting family in another state and came upon a tree that had a noose hanging from it.  On that day, standing there staring at that symbol of suffering and injustice, I understood what I can never understand.  I was so angry and disgusted. I naively thought I could make them remove it. Our constitutional rights said otherwise. What I was called when I demanded that it should be removed shook me to the core. In that moment of pure defeat and disbelief, I also understood the shield of privilege that I had been afforded because of my skin color.  Yet, I still did not understand enough. My daughter's best friend is from that state and is set to marry an amazing man. She was the apple of her grandmother's eye until the day she informed her grandmother that the love of her life is a POC. Her grandmother's response was ugly, and her entrenched beliefs were more important than her relationship with her granddaughter. For those two young people starting their lives together to experience that deep level of hatred in this day and time is unacceptable. I can hate that our society allows this in any way, I can stand for equity, but I can never ever understand how that young man feels, or how any POC feels.

     I understand that hatred against difference exists and I have great appreciation and immense respect for you flying proudly on the wings of your ancestors.  The barriers you referenced are not acceptable, and we need to work to eliminate them just as we need to eliminate all of the barriers for everyone no matter the reason of their existence. Change does not come easily and rarely does it come without risk and intense emotions attached to it.   

     All children have a right to be healthy, respected, resilient, feel a sense of belonging, and feel safe while having access to bright futures. No child should feel less than or choose to end their life because life is unbearable. Every child has a right to be heard and valued whether they can speak or not.

     I dream of the day that we realize a time when everyone treats each other with respect and when society as a whole places appropriate value on the work and the works impact on children.  While we have seen progress in my lifetime, we still have a long journey ahead of us.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, for making me dig deeper, for finding and sharing the words so perfectly that led me to reflection and for the important work that NAEYC is doing.

    Respectfully,

    Tami



    ------------------------------
    [Tami] [Callister, MSed, LSP, SAS, SDA]
    [NYS Pyramid Model Master Cadre]
    [NYAEYC Credentialed Leader/Teacher Coach Early Childhood ]
    [Latham] [NY]
    ------------------------------



  • 35.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 11 days ago
    Thank you for a very well-written response to the discussions embraced by many. Did anyone notice that we just modelled what education really is...thoughtful, respectful conversation that allows one to grow and learn......

    I so loved your statement:   "I understood what I can never understand."   

    Continue to be an advocate and an example of what we do every day......





    Kindest regards,



    Sheria Slone Mitchell, MA
    Student Services Specialist
    Bishop State Community College
    351 N Broad Street
    Mobile, Alabama 36603-5898
    (251) 405-7085 (office)









  • 36.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 10 days ago
    Tami,
    Thank you...I sincerely appreciate you taking the opportunity to step back and review your initial posts through a different lens. There is nothing short of an applause to you for your willingness to publicly apologize for your "intent" to contribute to the discussion, yet your "impact" was unintentional and unknown.

    Your passion for equity is apparent. NAEYC has set the challenge to see equity in All early childhood environments. The acceptance of the recent position statement, requires dedicated individuals like you and I to accept the challenge by committing ourselves to "seek to understand, before seeking to be understood." 

    As the world views continually evolves, the Early Childhood Education field must also change. However, we must never take away the researched based foundation for children to learn best through PLAY in environments that creates #EQUITYinECE a reality for ALL children. 

    My best to you����





    NAEYC released a groundbreaking position statement:  Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education. This position statement calls on NAEYC, its members and our field to assert that: "All children have the right to equitable learning opportunities that help them achieve their full potential as engaged learners and valued members of society,"

    Crystal Sanford-Brown
    Member of the NAEYC Governing Board 
    Naeyc.org


    Sent from my iPhone 







  • 37.  RE: Equality vs. Equity

    Posted 11 days ago
    Well said, Tami


    Ellen (Jaffe) Cogan , NYS Cadre of Pyramid Model Trainers
    Hilltop Early Childhood Services
    Helping Adults to Help Young Children
    www.earlychildinfo.com
    718-997-6867