Equity or idiocy?

Yesterday Ben Grey highlighted an issue that often arises when educators think about technology initiatives:

If a public school teacher writes a grant for technology, but the district can’t sustain the program in other buildings or potentially refresh the equipment once it reaches end of life, should the grant be granted? Is it better to deny the students in the classroom where the grant would be in effect so as to ensure equity across the district, or is it better to afford students an opportunity to reach higher, even if it means others won’t have that experience? Would allowing the grant to go forward specifically advantage one group of students over another, and thus present ethical issues for a public entity?

The person I was talking with was adamant that we should not allow classrooms to have that which other classes in the district can’t.

Is this all-or-none mindset equity or idiocy? Head over to Ben’s blog and chime in on the conversation.

[hat tip to Kelly Hines for pointing me to Ben’s post]

2 Responses to “Equity or idiocy?”

  1. I think the principal is a little too worried about fair.

    What an opportunity to see how things might work. If the technology targeted in the grant helps this teacher, the principal can start making plans to roll it out to everyone. It sounds like a pilot to me.

    As far as “fair” goes, is it fair that the students in this room are going to have to put up with a teacher distracted by the new technology? There will be some time spent getting it to work, finding how it fits into the curriculum and all the other obligations of the grant.

    I would be saying “Good hustle.” and “Let me know how it works for you in a real live situation.” to the grant winner.

    Now if it turned out to be a technology that would be valuable in every classroom and it was installed in all but one or two… Then fair is an issue.

    Maybe this principal has had a bad experience with a jealous staff!

  2. This isn’t equity – it’s equality, which is quite a different beast. This lowest-common-denominator mindset has sabotaged the educational opportunities of far too many students already. Use the grant, I say! Not every teacher has to have the same tools…

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