Campaign for Educational Equity Launches Web Site | Teachers College Columbia University

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Campaign for Educational Equity Launches Web Site

"The web site is intended as a resource and partnership with the TC community, said Michael A. Rebell, Executive Director of the Campaign. "The goal is to provide timely and useful information on the many issues affecting educational equity."

For TC, a Resource and a Partnership

On Monday, March 13, The Campaign for Educational Equity launched its official web site at  "The web site is intended as a resource and partnership with the TC community, said Michael A. Rebell, Executive Director of the Campaign. "The goal is to provide timely and useful information on the many issues affecting educational equity -- information that can be translated into policies and practices that impact on what we do in our schools and communities to make educational equity a reality in this country."

The site features links to The Campaign's five key component parts -- the annual Equity Symposium, demonstration projects (including those in the TC Education Zone Partnership), research and dissemination efforts, the Equity Report Card (still in development) and the National Access Network, which works with attorneys, policymakers and community advocacy groups to promote education finance reform and access to educational opportunity. In addition, the web provides a comprehensive set of facts and figures about the equity gap in America, both inside and outside the classroom. Among the more startling statistics:

  • African American students are three times more likely than white students to be placed in special education programs, and are half as likely to be in gifted programs in elementary and secondary schools.
  • Among 18- to 24-year olds, about 90 percent of whites have either completed high school or earned a GED.  Among blacks, the rate is 81 percent; among Latinos, 63 percent. However, a much larger share of blacks earn GEDs than whites, and only about 50 percent of  black students earn regular diplomas, compared with about 75 percent of whites.
  • Black students are only about half as likely (and Latinos about one-third as likely) as white students to earn a bachelor's degree by age 29. 
  • Poor children have severe vision impairment at twice the normal rate.  One cause is watching excessive television, which can retard development of hand-eye coordination and depth perception. Forty-two percent of black fourth graders watch six or more hours of television a day, compared to 13 percent of whites.
  • Black pre-schoolers are one-third less likely than whites to get standard vaccinations -- probably one reason why poor children lose 30 percent more days from school than non-poor children.
  • One in every four children in Harlem suffers from asthma, a rate six times as great as that for all children.
  • Poor children have higher rates of anemia and more frequently fall below national averages in height and weight due to inferior nutrition. 

The Equity Symposia link provides information about last year's inaugural Equity Symposium, "The Social Costs of Inadequate Education" as well as about the upcoming 2006 Equity Symposium, "Examining America's Commitment to Closing the Achievement Gaps," which will focus on key components of the federal No Child Left Behind Act that should be reconsidered in connection with the reauthorization of the Act in 2007.

The new web site also offers a current list of faculty at TC who are directly affiliated with The Campaign, as well as the Equity Campaign's National Advisory Board members and the TC Trustee Advisory Board.  Press releases from, and stories about, The Campaign are also available on the web site.

The Campaign for Educational Equity web site is a work in progress that will be expanding and changing during the coming months. Among other things, a series of "white papers" by TC faculty members that sum up the state of knowledge in each of the 12 areas The Campaign has identified as its priorities for research and policy will be added as well.

Finally, there is the regularly updated "Equity News Round-Up" featuring current equity news from around the country; a current listing of events associated with The Equity Campaign; and "Student Showcase" presenting the work of TC students who are doing equity work.  The current "Student Showcase" spotlights Mark Noizumi, a doctoral student studying Educational Leadership and Executive Administrator for the Equity Campaign.  After working for four years as a teacher in rural Mississippi, in one of this country's poorest school districts, Noizumi decided to attended TC and study Educational Leadership: "I realized that the best way to change things was at the policymaking level and that I needed the tools to become a policymaker myself. I wanted to be in a place where I could help address systemic problems on a policy level, and that's what The Campaign is all about."

Published Tuesday, Mar. 14, 2006