post, the one I couldn't finish all the way, has to do with equity. I got assigned to a Pacific Equity Academy Cadre last May. The purpose for the cadre, made up of members from Hawaii, Guam, the CNMI, Chuuk, Republic of the Marshalls, Yap, Pohnpei, Kosrae and Palau is to share the message of Educational Equity among entities. It's roots come from the Civil Rights Movement, ensuring that people are treated fairly regardless of age, race, religion and (although not protected by the civil rights act) sexual orientation.
The key components of Educational Equity are Access, Attitudes, Materials, Assessment, Interactions, Language, and Instruction. The goal is to provide equal opportunity for all children to succeed in school by making sure each child is offered all the components available. The first step is understanding where each of us comes from. The civil rights act, FERPA, FAPE, IDEA, school policies, board policies, local laws are all foundations for childrens' rights. It's easy to enforce these laws because there are severe legal penalties for breaking them. That's the stick. No one likes the stick. But, let's say for a minute we don't focus on the stick. We focus on the carrot, the children. Although these laws are here to protect them, the spirit of the law, at least to me, is the most important part.
Understanding 1) that all children can be successful and 2) the Pacific child is the key to creating and maintaining schools that are student centered. Whether you measure success by school climate,organizational effectiveness, achievement scores or the amount of awards in the trophy case, we cannot move towards that without first recognizing and valuing the children that walk through our school gates.