Monday, January 2, 2017

Equity and ELPs: An Interview with Jorge Ruiz de Velasco

By Sam Piha

Sam Piha
Jorge Ruiz de Velasco is Associate Director, John Gardner Center at Stanford University. Jorge is working with Marisa Saunders (Annenberg Institute on School Reform) to co-edit a book entitled Model Approaches for Advancing Equity through Expanded Learning Time: Policy Opportunities and Challenges. Jorge presented at the How Kids Learn VI conference in San Francisco and will also present at the upcoming HKL conference in Los Angeles on January 23, 2017.

Below are some questions and answers from a recent interview with Jorge.

Q: Can you give your definition of "equity" in regards to youth and
Jorge Ruiz de Velasco
youth programs? 

A: In the youth sector, an equity agenda is focused on ensuring that ALL youth have the opportunity to reach their full potential (academically, socially and emotionally), to contribute to society, and have voice in decisions that affect them.

Q: What is the difference between inequity and inequality? Are they interchangeable? 
A: In social and political terms, equality is a concern for “sameness” with respect to access to public goods, rights, and social status. 

Equity is concerned with accepted norms of “fairness.” They are neither the same nor interchangeable, but are both critical components of a democracy. Because they are values that are both socially determined and often in tension, they require social and political commitments (acceptance).

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Q: Can you describe the difference between the "achievement gap" and "opportunity gap"? 
A: An achievement gap describes the measurable distance between what one person or group attains relative to other individuals or groups. An opportunity gap describes an often difficult to measure distance created by unequal and/or inequitable conditions that mediate individual effort and achievement.

Q: Can you describe the book you are editing on equity and expanded learning programs? 
A: The book and its authors explore innovative school-community partnerships that demonstrate how time can be expanded and reorganized to provide better learning opportunities in schools serving the nation’s most vulnerable young people. They are finding compelling evidence that expanded and redesigned learning time has real benefits for student achievement and growth, offers teachers more time to collaborate and to personalize instruction, gives working families a better match between their busy lives and their children’s school lives, and provides community organizations more opportunities to participate in youth development. The authors also advance compelling ideas about how to generate public support for these reforms, and how to promote changes in federal, state, and local education policy that will enable these reforms to become normal practice. It is scheduled for publication by the Harvard Education Press in the Fall of 2017.

You can read other blogs by the LIAS project by going to: 

  • Expanded Learning 360°/365 Project website
  • LIAS Blog Written for the California Afterschool Network

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