School & District Management

Campaign for Equity to Push Beyond Dollars

By Karla Scoon Reid — June 14, 2005 2 min read

Teachers College last week announced a campaign to address equity in education across a range of issues that go beyond school finance.

The Campaign for Educational Equity wants to define “equity” in concrete terms, linking money needed to educate all public school children to high levels with specific strategies for closing gaps in their academic achievement.

Campaign leaders plan to combine research, public policy advocacy, and an annual report card assessing the nation’s progress toward closing such gaps.

Michael A. Rebell, a prominent school finance lawyer, will head the new campaign.

“We want to see the issue of equity on the national agenda,” Arthur E. Levine, the president of Teachers College, part of Columbia University, said in an interview last week. “We would like to see policy changes. We would like to point to some children whose achievement is higher in schools because of the work that we’ve done.”

The campaign aims to become a clearinghouse for research, examining strategies, such as preschool, that could boost achievement. That work would be presented to lawmakers and publicized nationally, through Web sites, for example, in hopes of making an impact on schools.

Mr. Levine said researchers involved with the campaign would meet with lawmakers, testify at government hearings, craft legislation, and speak to journalists.

The project intends to test its research in classrooms with the goal of producing national models. That work will begin through a partnership between the college and the New York City public schools.

To gauge progress, the campaign will publish an annual “equity report card.” Richard Rothstein, a visiting professor at Teachers College and the author of Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic, and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap, is devising the report card’s indicators.

The report card, the first of which is slated to be released next year, will assess the state of equity in education in every state.

In addition, research symposiums will highlight strategies and tactics to address educational disparities. The first, scheduled for Oct. 24-25 at Teachers College, will focus on the economic, social, and political costs of an inadequate education.

‘Do the Right Thing’

Michael A. Rebell, the executive director and counsel of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, will direct the initiative, starting in September. He is the lead lawyer in a successful 12-year legal battle to increase funding for New York City’s schools, which are to receive $14.8 billion under a proposed settlement. (“Judge Orders Billions for Schools in N.Y.C.,” February 23, 2005.)

In the wake of legal victories in school finances cases in 19 states, Mr. Rebell described the Teachers College campaign as an opportunity to “do the right thing.”

“The bottom line is not just getting more money,” he said last week. “It’s how do we make sure we close the achievement gap?”

Some of the brewing ideas about what ingredients might help increase achievement among disadvantaged students stem from the comments Mr. Rebell heard around the city as a result of its finance case.

While he will continue to lead the legal team working on the New York City lawsuit, Mr. Rebell will step down as the executive director of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity.

Mr. Levine said Teachers College hopes to raise $12 million to finance the campaign over the next four to five years, roughly $3 million of which is now in hand.

“We don’t want to be the Heritage Foundation. We don’t want to be Brookings,” he said. “We want to let the data speak.”

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management We Pay Superintendents Big Bucks and Expect Them to Succeed. But We Hardly Know Them
National data is skimpy, making it hard to know what influences superintendents' decisions to move on, retire, or how long they stay. Why?
8 min read
Conceptual image of tracking with data.
marcoventuriniautieri/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Data For the First Time in the Pandemic, a Majority of 4th Graders Learn in Person Full Time
The latest monthly federal data still show big racial and socioeconomic differences in who has access to full-time in-person instruction.
3 min read
Student with backpack.
surasaki/iStock/Getty
School & District Management From Our Research Center To Offer Remote Learning in the Fall or Not? Schools Are Split
An EdWeek Research Center survey shows that nearly 4 of every 10 educators say their schools will not offer any remote instruction options.
4 min read
Image of a teacher working with a student through a screen session.
Ridofranz/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Opinion What Does It Mean to Call a Program 'Evidence-Based' Anyway?
States and school districts need to help educators weigh the research on programs. Too often it stops at a single positive study.
Fiona Hollands, Yuan Chang & Venita Holmes
5 min read
A researcher points to charts and data
iStock/Getty