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How SPS’ Equity Tiers Are Used to Address Educational Debt

by Ari Robin McKenna


There has been a series of historically cascading phrases to describe racial inequity in public school systems nationwide. “Achievement gap” was preferred for a while — but that phrase was inseparable from standardized tests proven both to consistently favor white students and to delineate “achievement” that actually just mirrored the family income levels of test takers. Then, “opportunity gap” began to replace it, but reeked of well-meaning na​​ïveté. The phrase leaves room for the “gap” to have been arbitrarily created, and for a deficit perspective to persist about Communities of Color, when structural racism impacting educational opportunity is well-documented nationwide. Lately, the phrase “education debt” has gained traction, and puts the onus squarely on school districts to actively address past disparity.

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