“A crucial way for companies to invest in equity in education is thinking about empowering students and their families with equitable education options. Whether it’s through classes or extracurricular activities, access to quality resources gives people the freedom to drive their life and define their success.” – Casey Cortese, Managing Director, Charles Schwab Foundation
A modernized public education is crucial to fostering greater student achievement, building an educated workforce pipeline, and protecting our future economic vitality. As we begin a long recovery, it is essential that we not only address the inequities amplified by the pandemic but also reimagine and restructure education systems to work better for all.
America Succeeds’ Equity in Education initiative targets five specific policy pillars where system change is needed and can be impactful. The five pillars encompass a broad scope that can be easily understood and embraced to increase equity across the education system.
Equity in Education Initiative Support
America Succeeds Equity in Education Platform
Recommendations for Advancing Equity in Education
- Staffing schools with more teachers of color is a proven tool for closing the achievement gap for students of color, and all students benefit when their educators are more diverse.
- Achieving equity in STEM creates greater opportunities for students of color to develop versatile skill sets and participate in the fastest growing, and often higher-paying, fields.
- By developing competencies that promote inclusiveness, empathy, and building cross-cultural relationships, social-emotional learning can set the tone for building a welcoming school environment where every student feels valued and supported.
- Empowering students and families with equitable educational options (such as gifted and talented programs, AP classes, and school choice), gives them the freedom to make the best decisions and the resources to pursue whatever opportunities they choose.
- Ensuring all students receive their fair share of school funding is not only fundamental to achieving equity, but also targets substantial public investments where they are needed most and puts all students on a path toward opportunity.
By removing systemic barriers to opportunities for students of color, all students have a better chance to pursue and succeed in the pathways of their choice. Business leaders are an ideal partner to support this work through a shared vision of economic opportunity, vibrant innovations, and creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce. Only when all students, particularly those most underserved, have access to equal educational opportunities can this vision be realized – so let’s get to work.
Business Perspectives on Equity in Education
“Talent is everywhere and opportunity is not, which means we’ve got to create opportunity. From the standpoint of companies, it definitely means that the barriers – visible and invisible – that they’re creating to opportunity are barriers that they need to eliminate.”– Maurice Jones, President & CEO, OneTen
“If we don’t have a teacher workforce that represents and reflects our community, then we don’t have the full bench of our educators. Having a diverse teaching workforce is akin to having the comprehensive workforce we need. And, the business community recognizes that the strength of our teaching workforce is the single most important factor for student success.” – Brenda Berg, President & CEO, BEST NC