What is education inequity?
Education inequity is when certain students, usually those from lower-income backgrounds, do not have access to the same educational resources as those from higher-income backgrounds or from a certain racial or ethnic group. This type of inequity can lead to disparities in academic achievement, access to additional learning opportunities, college preparation and admissions, and even career opportunities. Inequity in the educational system stems from underfunding of certain schools, lack of quality teachers and instruction, and unequal access to technology and other resources. To learn more, the U.S. Department of Education has a comprehensive overview of equity in education, including definitions, goals, and strategies for implementation.
Why is equity in education important?
Lack of equity in education is problematic because it perpetuates inequality and limits opportunity for underserved communities. Without equity, students in communities with lower socioeconomic status, students of color, and students with disabilities have less access to important educational resources such as high-quality teachers, supplies, and technology. This lack of access can lead to higher dropout rates and fewer students attending college, which limits the ability of individuals to access higher-paying jobs and inhibits their social mobility contributing to multigenerational cycles of poverty and inequality.
How is technology being used to help address inequity in education?
Data scientists, designers, software engineers and other tech workers are helping address education inequity by leveraging data and technology to identify gaps in educational access. They use data analytics to analyze and understand patterns of inequity and develop systems that can monitor and intervene when inequity is present. Additionally, they can create data-driven tools to help students identify and access educational opportunities that may have previously been unavailable to them. Software engineers and designers are creating applications and platforms that provide students with access to virtual tutoring, educational resources, and other learning opportunities.