An education equity plan is a set of guidelines formulated by each State to ensure that learners have adequate access to the most qualified teachers and leaders. Each equity plan is an upgrade version of the previous one. The plans come as a response to the government requirement in Section 1111(b) (8) (C) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Part A plan of Title I states that each State is obligated to formulate an informed and realistic strategy that it will implement to ensure that children of poor families, representing minorities, or with limited English proficient, as well as students with special needs are not educated at the same rates as other children by inexperienced personnel, out-of-field or unqualified teachers. The plan calls for evaluation and public reporting measures to be included (Thomas & Brady, 2005). The aim of this paper is to examine the equity plan for the state of Georgia and evaluate it in contrast to that of the state of Kentucky.
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The state of Georgia aims to achieve this goal by the year 2020 through the implementation of the following objectives. The state seeks to prepare schedules that produce qualified schools and teachers that are ready to impart knowledge upon learners thus promoting their success; regularly avail high quality, committed and relevant environment and opportunities to teachers and leaders for them to adapt in to the system in the induction phase; provide adequate induction assistance in each school district to assist in the induction phase and follow up. In addition, he state seeks to ensure that each classroom is assigned these teachers and leaders (Woods, 2015).
The equity plans formulated by both states seek to bridge the education gaps across the state. GaDOE, the Georgia Department of Education and the Kentucky Department of Education, KDE have been charged with ensuring that equitable learning is attained throughout the states. They are in the process of ensuring that each classroom receives a qualified teacher who is both innovative and practical. They ascertain that every class is led by a competent and practical leader. GaDOE and KDE have enlisted the help of all education stakeholders, namely the teachers, community leaders, parents, the business community, higher education organizations, professional organizations, community members and civil rights groups. These are involved in various steps in trying to introduce the best equity plan. Collaboration is highly encouraged as it is a common practice throughout these states. The stakeholders review the current data and try to look for the causes of the gaps; they identify the causes of such inequities and lastly review and assist in introducing the best solutions.
Through this process, GaDOE and KDE have presented the following findings that impact the education system in one way or another. These include hiring of teachers and their preparedness to meet in the requirements of the teaching field, and the effectiveness of the principals and teachers in carrying out their duties. Retention of the teaching staff and their professional growth also affects effective education (Woods, 2015).
In theory, the research done concludes that the following steps should be implemented. These are: introducing programs that produce the best teachers and leaders employed and creation of the learning environment in the classrooms. This can be attained by supporting the teachers and principals with the best material and information since commencing their employment to subsequent years. This is implemented in each school district; each class assigned a teacher and a leader. Implementation of the statutes can improve the standards of education. It calls for continuous monitoring and support for the program to become successful (Kentucky Department of Education, 2015).
Both plans are well formulated and articulate. However, the Georgian equity plan seems to be very critical upon resolving the issue of leadership amongst the teachers more than anything else as an integral part in solving the situation. It has put great emphasis on the role that leadership plays in presenting a better system of education. To them, solving the problem at the top will result in the trickledown effect whereby the teachers and students in the classrooms will automatically conform to the desired environment.
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The Kentucky equity plan seems friendlier to the entire education system in the state. It does not single out a particular place in the chain of commands and seeks to strengthen it. Rather, it believes that for the education system to be at par, all the parts of the system need to be strengthened. The plan focuses on the teachers as the people who are ready and willing to work the best way possible. It is hindered by the existing limits. These include lack of proper educational environment and professional climate, and human resource services (Kentucky Department of Education, 2015).
The government has strived to bridge the education gap between the various communities through the formulation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to ensure observation of equity throughout the country. The ESEA has been adopted; each state education board has formulated an equity plan that when implemented to the full, will serve to ensure that each learner receives the same privileges. From the two examples, it is clear that an equity plan is the best solution to the problem brought about by different education standards witnessed in various parts of the country. A basic education equity plan consists of an introduction, the basic summary of the need for the plan, and the efforts put in place by the stakeholders. In addition, it contains an exploration and analysis of the equity gap, formulation and implementation of strategies for the elimination of the gaps, monitoring and support of the strategies, and a conclusion of the findings so far.
An introduction quantifies the reasons for the education boards formulation of the equity plan and the steps taken to formulate the plan. The reason for the formulation of the plan is the ESEA directive that each student deserves to receive the same value of education. The basic summary of the plan states that research has shown that students who receive better quality of education tend to be more successful as compared to their counterparts. So far, both agree on these facts.
Stakeholders in the education sector involve everyone in the community. Every stakeholder in the sector agrees that there is a need for an equity plan. They come together in various groups such as advisory committees that provide advice and guidance to the education committees on the best way forward. At this stage, stakeholders have suggested that the main reasons for the varied education standards are the hiring process, turn-over rates of effective teachers and poor leadership. Exploration and analysis entails the reality. It compares the various standards of education across the state and establishes the cause(s) of the difference(s). Currently, the data indicates that education standards are higher in schools that are not found in marginalized places. The reasons for this is the fact that educators are overwhelmed with what they meet in the field as compared to what they were led to believe, some are inexperienced and unqualified, or are teaching subjects out-of-their field. Thus, there is a lack of effective leadership in the education field and inadequate human resource support for the teachers.
Having ascertained that there is a gap in education standards, necessary strategies need to be implemented to rectify this situation. These include establishing favorable professional learning atmosphere for both the learners and the teachers, provision of adequate human resource support, and retention of the teachers so that they also could grow in the field and gain the necessary knowledge and confidence required. There should be an adequate formulation of an effective strategy for the recruitment, hiring and placement of teachers and principals to ensure one is hired where they are best qualified.
A proper monitoring plan should be implemented to evaluate the following: the working conditions in the institutions, the overall effectiveness of teachers and leaders in a given time frame, the rate of teacher turnover, and the growth of the education standards during that period. This can be achieved by regular assessment of the teachers and leaders by the stakeholders and also by analyzing the results posted by the students.
It has been ascertained that there is a higher turnover rate amongst teachers in the marginalized areas. As a result, students in these areas tend to suffer academically. Proper procedures, such as incentivizing teachers and leaders, should be implemented to rectify any problems experienced.