My main concerns with equity and education deal with low-income families and low-income schools.  Currently, the Philadelphia school system has 16 vacant teacher slots.  A friend of mine has not had a teacher (a permanent teacher) since SEPTEMBER! This particular third grader has had at least five different long term substitutes, since nobody wants to stick around!  This has such a negative impact on the children.  There is no equity in education for students in low income schools and families that have little stability.  My Find Five comes from these concerns of mine, and also has some connection to girls in education and whether they have the same access to the curriculum as boys.  ENJOY! 🙂

  1. I follow “Education Nation” on Twitter, and stumbled upon an article about keeping remote students connected through virtual learning experiences.  This was such an “ahhah” moment for me, because this idea could be brought into inner-city-schools, in order to enhance the students access to curriculum.  Above, the student in Philly who had to transition from one teacher to the next to the next could have received a solid education, through online virtual experiences.  

    “Now all students in the district, regardless of location, have access to the same high-quality instruction. For example, many of Kodiak’s rural students receive Algebra I instruction from an excellent math teacher who happens to be based at Kodiak High School, while others receive Geometry and Algebra II from teachers based at Chiniak School.” 


2.  I’ve been following the Connected Learning Alliance on Facebook, and came across this appropriate video regarding Cities of learning.
Cities of Learning is a national effort to remake learning into an exciting enterprise that prepares all young people for the world they live in today and will work in tomorrow. Each City of Learning brings together all of a city’s resources to equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. Wealthy families spend seven times more on enrichment activities than low-income families.  Chicago, Dallas, Pittsburg and Washington are trying to transform entire cities into platforms of learning to overcome the barriers that some families face which prohibit them to get their children involved in equitable learning experiences.  There are so many goodies out there, but there are too few people who know about the goodies and know how to become part of them.  Citywide learning is an association that gets the news out to parents, and shares opportunities about robotics, computer science, video production, etc. all while teaching students to become navigators for themselves.  It connects them to opportunities then they can transfer to currency that really counts.  Chicago City of Learning just launched a mobile destination van which goes to places that may not have resources available to them.  It is my hope we can broaden this all over the country!  Let’s have this become a movement so we can break down barriers and teach students all over the world how empowering they can be to address access barriers for kids. http://clalliance.org/cities-of-learning/

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3. Since the start of class when we were assigned to follow Blog’s, I’ve been following the “Joan Ganz Cooney Center” website, full of great posts and blogs.  A few days ago an article was posted about equal access in education.  Digital inequity is no longer a topic we can ignore. It has a direct impact and amplifies economic and educational inequities. If we aim to end social inequity, we must tackle its digital roots.  Education disrupts poverty, and technology can help enable, enhance, and support the great education our students need. If we are ignoring those students and families who need Internet access the most, we are failing in our education and community policies.  Access to technology and the Internet are no longer a “nice to have” feature in our lives. These elements are essential. Besides the typical day-to-day activities you can accomplish with access, such as looking for a job, comparing and shopping for the best prices on the things you need, and communicating and staying connected with families and friends, access to information equals having access to education.

I found this all to be such a repeat of information I continue to read and read.  We are absolutely in tune with this problem, and now it’s time for more cities to do city-wide reforms, such as my post in number 2, above.  http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/2016/03/14/the-internet-is-for-all-of-us/

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4.  When I think about inner-city-education, and the lack of opportunities that students have, I immediately begin to think “where are the success stories?  Where are the model school that WORK, and how can we get more kids to have opportunities that will get students involved, enriched, and passionate about education?”  I began reading about an administrator at a non-traditional Philadelphia school called the Science Leadership Academy.  Chris Lehmann is the founding principal of the Science Leadership Academy, a progressive science and technology high school in Philadelphia, PA. The Science Leadership Academy is an inquiry-driven, project-based, 1:1 laptop school that is considered to be one of the pioneers of the School 2.0 movement nationally and internationally. Science Leadership Academy is the Dell Computing Center of Excellence for Technology in Education.  His school was rated one of the ten most amazing schools in the U.S.  Chris co-founded the non-profit Inquiry Schools with Diana Laufenberg to help more schools create more empowering, modern learning experiences for students.  There is so much power in this school’s model, and it is my hope that more schools open like Chris’ school!  This could be a great opportunity to bring virtual experiences (recorded, or live) into inner-city schools so that more kids less fortunate can be exposed to this style of education.  http://practicaltheory.org/blog/about-chris/

5.  #Letgirlslearn has been a community I’ve been following, regarding the power of education in girls.  The theory behind the community is that every time a woman stands up for herself, she not only enhances her being but also paves the way for all women.



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