LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An escalating national argument over “critical race theory” landed in Kentucky weeks ago, prompting legislation, spurring protests at school board meetings and, ironically, forcing conversations about race.
Throughout, opponents to “critical race theory” in classrooms frequently claim the phrase is synonymous with racial equity and inclusion efforts.
Is that true? Here’s what equity is, and how it is used in schools:
What is equity?
Equity is giving students the resources they need in order to be successful.
This is different than equality — the practice of giving all students the same resources, regardless of their need.
Public schools are tasked with ensuring the success of all students, so districts tend to take an equity-focused approach to meet students where they are and help them succeed.
“We must educate all children,” Jefferson County school board member Corrie Shull said in June. “Some children, some demographics of children, demand more wraparound services, more triage because those groups of children have been historically left and have historically received the shorter end of the stick.”
This means some students may receive more resources than others, but it does not mean certain students will be torn down or ignored to boost the appearance of other students.
“We don’t want to bring anyone down,” Jefferson County Superintendent Marty Pollio explained in a recent interview. “Everyone needs to move forward, but we have to move certain groups faster than others.”
Anti-racism, equity, critical race theory: Here are the definitions of those terms and more
How is equity used in education?
Educators have used an equity-based approach for decades — although most people may not have known it.
“When we provide students with disabilities the supports they need to participate in school and access the curriculum, this is equity,” Education Commissioner Jason Glass explained to lawmakers earlier this month.
Offering free or reduced-pr
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