EQUITY vs EQUALITY:
When it comes to equity vs equality in education, the terms are often used interchangeably. But understanding the distinction between the two is essential for resolving issues faced by disadvantaged students in the classroom. While working towards equity and equality can both do good, equity should be an educator’s end goal. The reason lies in the difference between being fair vs equal.
Equality is more commonly associated with social issues, perhaps because more people know what it means. In a nutshell, its definition is as it sounds–the state of being equal. When a group focuses on equality, everyone has the same rights, opportunities, and resources. Equality is beneficial, but it often doesn’t address specific needs. Giving each student a take-home laptop, for example, would not address students who don’t have Internet in their houses. Even if a school is equal, some students may still struggle.
Equity, on the other hand, provides people with resources that fit their circumstances. The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of social equity is “the absence of avoidable or remediable differences among groups of people.”  Schools that prioritize equity versus equality are more in tune to their students’ needs and provide resources to overcome their specific challenges.
A school that is educationally equitable is one in which we accept and value all individuals for who they are, and provide the structures, relationships, and resources they need to achieve their greatest potential. It is a school committed to educating globally skilled and engaged citizens who will contribute to the creation of a more just world. In achieving equity in the Woodstown-Pilesgrove Regional Public Schools, we are guided by the following principles.
We provide access to academic and extra-curricular opportunities to all – without barriers and with support.
We are committed to building a diverse staff reflective of our student body.
We are committed to building and broadening the cultural responsiveness of our staff, students and families, specifically, our ability to learn from and relate respectfully with people from all cultures and backgrounds.
We are committed to building, supporting, and regularly revising a high quality, diverse curriculum that is representative of the world and of the multiple narratives of the human experience.
We are committed to upholding a Code of Conduct that is reflective of cultural differences and encompasses universal expectations of care, kindness, and restorative justice.
We are committed to getting to know our students as individuals and as learners and to being responsive to them in our teaching.
We are committed to practices that cultivate empathy and to the creation of a community in which everyone feels they belong.
EQUITY IN EDUCATION:
The mission of Woodstown-Pilesgrove Regional Public Schools is committed to challenging and empowering each individual to see and pursue his/her potential and to develop a passion for life-long learning in our diverse and changing world.
As a district, we want every child, regardless of race, religion, country of origin, economic status, sexual identity, gender, gender identity, or learning differences, to fully reach their potential. We want to be a school district where systemic bias or racism quite simply cannot be found. We know this is immense in scope, and know we have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are committed to this work.