Equality in Education

I am in favour of building a society in which all children have equal access to an education that meets their particular needs. But this does not mean that all of those needs are the same.

Having basically taken myself out of a public educational system that I feared wasn’t meeting my academic needs, and having put my children in special parts of the public system and/or at least temporarily relied on private services and facilities, I am well aware of the extent to which the availability of such options unlevels the playing field and gives unfair advantage to people like me and my children compared to those whose parents lack the interest or resources to optimize the education of their children. I am uncomfortable with that reality and would prefer a system where all children were provided with optimal resources.

But children are people with different interests and capacities, and although they all need to learn to socialize appropriately with others different from themselves, they also need acknowledgement and support of the areas in which they differ.

So I am not in support of the current efforts in many places to eliminate all “streaming” and special interest programs in the public school system (as described here).

The solution as I see it is to enrich the early years enough so that every child can discover special interests and make access to specialized programs as free as possible from economic and social barriers. And then every child’s education should receive an equal share of the total funding (except for exceptional cases of “special needs”), but that doesn’t mean that every child’s share of the funding should be spent in the same way.

Source: Vancouver Wants to End Classroom Inequality. But What about Mini Schools? | The Tyee

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