Equality or Equity
Toward a Model of Community-Responsive Education
Equality or Equity sets forth a compelling argument urging us to shift our understanding of the role of our education system from providing equal opportunity to building an equitable society.
A leading scholar-practitioner and ardent proponent of culturally responsive forms of education, Jeffrey M. R. Duncan-Andrade aims to settle the debates over whether we should work toward a public education system built on the goal of equality, in which identical resources are provided for all students, or equity, in which different resources are offered in response to differences in student interests and needs. Duncan-Andrade centers his argument on the importance of creating meaningful education experiences for all students, particularly for low-income students of color and immigrant students, who have gained relatively fewer benefits from decades of equality-focused education reform.
Drawing on research from across a range of disciplines, including neuroscience, social epidemiology, public health, and social work, Duncan-Andrade introduces three essential domains of a pedagogy that are both culturally and community responsive: relationships, relevance, and responsibility. He enlists the voices of practitioners to provide grounded examples of what community-responsive pedagogy looks like in each of these domains. These examples demonstrate how equitable classroom practices can enrich student engagement, enhance trauma responsiveness, and improve educational outcomes.
Equality or Equity makes an urgent appeal for designing and implementing a truly equitable school system and shows us how we can begin to accomplish that goal.
"In this volume, Duncan-Andrade cogently demonstrates what happens when you 'mathematize' a social/cultural problem. His admonition that equity is the 'superior growth model' is the watch phrase every educator must embrace. This book is a tour de force!" —Gloria Ladson-Billings, professor emerita, University of Wisconsin and fellow of the British Academy
“One of the most influential educators of our generation provides a thought-provoking work that asks who we are as a nation and where we want to go when it comes to educational opportunity. Duncan-Andrade provides an important historical analysis of school inequities that are essential to understanding today’s realities. He reminds us that giving our students what they need, when they need it matters, and is at the heart of educational equity. Duncan-Andrade provides a compelling, personal, and robust interdisciplinary analysis of how our education system can and must do better. Put this book at the top of your reading list!” —Tyrone C. Howard, Pritzker Family Endowed Chair in Education for Strengthening Children and Families, University of California, Los Angeles
“At a time when there is so much contestation over questions of social justice within schools and society, Equality or Equity shines a bright light on the hidden realities of a system historically designed to perpetuate educational apartheid in this country. In doing so, Duncan-Andrade not only issues a passionate clarion call for culturally democratic change, he skillfully provides us sound theoretical and practical directions for putting our commitment to educational justice into daily practice within our communities." —Antonia Darder, Leavey Presidential Endowed Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership, Loyola Marymount University
“A powerful, challenging book. Equality or Equity dissects (or rather disembowels) the current educational system in a masterful combination of storytelling and scholarly insight that helps the reader understand the structural and cultural intention of public education: to support and maintain the historical and existing power structures in our society. But more than simply illuminating these issues, Equality or Equity offers hope for meaningful transformation in education…This important book should be required reading for all educators, administrators, school boards and anyone who cares about children and our future.” —Bruce D. Perry, principal, Neurosequential Network
“Lays out clear recommendations—mandates—for student success and zeroes in on creating an environment that prioritizes student health over standard markers of achievement like grades and test scores. —Truthout
“Andrade brings together his real-life experience working with students of color together with his years of working with systems in his groundbreaking book. He guides the reader to explore the fundamental elements or root causes of the educational systems failure, especially with Black and Brown students. It pushes us to decide as individuals and systems, in earnest, whether we are ready to truly honor, embrace, and prepare all children for a life of health, healing, life fulfillment, and success.” —Jerry Tello, award-winning author and Director, National Compadres Network
“Duncan-Andrade makes a provocative, persuasive, and deeply researched argument for equity in education—defined as what each and every student needs and deserves. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, much needed, and as nuanced a perspective as I've seen on the past, present, and future of public education.” —Angela Duckworth, Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, and New York Times bestselling author of Grit