Breaking Down Barriers: Girls' Equity in Education

The Schott Foundation for Public Education is on the front lines of the movement to ensure equity for girls in education, and their girls-specific grant program was recently featured in the December 2012 issue of The Legislator, the publication of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators! Check it out!

The article was written by Dr. John Jackson, Schott's President and CEO, and Nakisha Lewis, Schott's Program Manager who heads up the Girls' Equity Grant Program. As they explain, a gender lens is just as important as a racial or socioeconomic lens for analyzing how different education policies and practices affect different groups of students. Young women of color face a unique set of challenges in the classroom, but are often overlooked by today's education debate, which focuses more on the plight of young men.

Jackson and Lewis write:

"While our national conversation on education has finally begun to focus on young men of color, little attention is paid to the unique challenges and circumstances facing young women, particularly young women of color, in the classroom. The 'school-to-prison pipeline' – harsh school discipline policies and a lack of supports that combine to push students out of the classroom and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems – affects both young men and women. In addition to this pipeline, young women of color also contend with a culture of low expectations stemming from gender and racial stereotyping and institutional inequalities that lead to a 'school-to-low-wage-work pipeline.'" 

Only by meeting the particular needs of each student can we ensure a fair and substantive opportunity for all. To that end, Schott's Girls' Equity Grant Program is funding research and grassroots organizations to better define the issues young women face and to elevate the voices of young women who are at the center of these issues.

Download the Jackson's and Lewis's article here [PDF].

Read the full December 2012 issue of The Legislator here.

Learn more about Schott's girls' equity work here.

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