The Canadian Education Association just published its recent Theme 2011 issue which is titled “Achieving Equity Through Innovation: Canadian and American Perspectives.” The opening article has many interesting points. Among them:
- 13% of Canadian children were “living below the low-income cut off generally taken as a proxy for low socio-economic status.
- An OECD analysis of literacy levels found that a 1% gain in adult literacy produced a permanent 1.5% increase in GDP. In Canada, that is a permanent increase of 18 billion dollars per year.
“We know that success in education confers both individual and societal benefit: higher earnings, better social and health outcomes, and greater participation in civic life. Societal benefits include reduction in the need for public services – reduced reliance on social welfare, lower health care costs, reduced demands on the justice and correctional systems – and lower unemployment rates.”
“Part of our response to the question of how to achieve both excellence and equity in and through education requires the identification of existing promising and/or effective policies and practices with accompanying attention to how to strengthen, spread, and sustain their implementation.”
“The importance of equity is clear: existing inequalities are unacceptable and have widespread negative consequences for collective society as well as for individuals. Evidence is also mounting about what is required to close the equity gap: building professional capacity and improving education overall, alongside targeted strategies and innovations for lower performing and disadvantaged groups. However, such calls for equity need to move beyond rhetoric and recipes; educators need to wrestle with the challenges of combining excellence and equity through policies, professional capacity, and practices that balance proven strategies with innovation. This will require a commitment to transparency of practice and results, drawing on evidence and experience to spread improvement.”
This article and more on the theme issue on CEA’s Home Page.