Operational Definition of Educational Equity
Equity in education is the provision of services and support for every child according to his or her specific needs. For generations, educators and policymakers have misconstrued the word equity for equality. As a result, in situations when equality or fairness were called for, educators told students and their families that there were equitable practices being implemented in policies, practices and decisions because everyone had equal access to a free public education. Generations later, we are realizing the negative impact caused by chronic and residual inequities. When education falls short of fulfilling that need, we have potentially doomed the child, which is predominantly a person of color, for years to come.
Equity is not limited to race. The issues of inequity in education have resounding effects throughout our society. Families of low income/socio-economic status usually receive the less adequate services, lower quality education, poorly maintained facilities, less funding for teacher and administrative professional development, less advanced placement courses, less therapeutic services, and more focus on testing. This would result in the performance achievement gap observed between lower SES families and affluent families of the dominant race.