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Adequacy Vs Equity - Research Paper Example

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The essential principle that have been guiding the American school system is that all the citizens must have an unobstructed and ready access to free education so as the be able to gain knowledge…
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Adequacy Vs Equity
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Adequacy vs. Equity of the Education of the Concerned July 14, Adequacy vs. Equity Introduction Since the times immemorial, equality has been the bedrock of American democracy and education system. The essential principle that have been guiding the American school system is that all the citizens must have an unobstructed and ready access to free education so as the be able to gain knowledge, which may not only help them guide and manage their personal lives, but must also enable them to be able to serve as productive members of a free society. However, since the last few decades, an intense debate has gained grounds as to what levels of knowledge are sufficient to achieve such envisaged goals, and which agencies and institutions could be and should be attributed the responsibility to furnish resources for these purposes (Marzano & Kendall, 1999). School funding is a topic that has achieved the immense attention of parents, tax payers and policy makers across the length and breadth of the United States (Marzano & Kendall, 1999). Since the 70s, there has been a deluge of the law suits filed in the law courts of almost all the states of America. Therefore, equity versus adequacy debate is of apt relevance in this context. Equity The equity issue in the sphere of school funding came into light with the filing of Serrano vs. Priest case in California in 1971 (Odden & Picus, 1999, p. 129). In 1976, the California State Supreme Court extended the judgment that California school funding arrangements violated the guarantee to equal protection under law enshrined in the United States Constitution. The equity concept highlighted by this case professed that all the school districts in a state should have access to same and equal resources to extend education to their students (Odden & Picus, 1999, p. 131). In the domain of educational finance, equity means the placement of provisions to assure equality in the distribution of educational resources by a state across districts, and to put in place a system for fairness, so far as the allocation of available resources for funding school education are concerned. The equity principle has its advantages in the sense that it allows for the placement of uniformly enforceable educational standards across a state. However, the big problem with the equity principle is that it does not take into consideration the variegated nature of American demography. There are some sections of the American society that have been traditionally marginalized and sidelined, and hence need access to more than average resources for educational purposes. Equity principle simply ignores the different costs of providing education to different communities and districts. Adequacy Considering the recent litigations related to school education in the United States, the thrust has been primarily on assuring sufficient resources to extend adequate education to all the students in a state, rather than laying stress on a homogeneous equity (Scharg, 2003, p. 9). The stress is being laid on mustering the resources required to assure constitutionally guaranteed standards of education to students in varied school districts in a state (Scharg, 2003, p. 5). The primary positive aspect of the adequacy principle has been that it avoids giving way to counterproductive conflicts between varied school districts and aspires to secure optimum funding for most of the students. The adequacy principle is about placing responsibility on the education systems of varied states to extend opportunities to all the students in every school district to get education that has a discernibly defined level and quality. The adequacy principle allows the policy makers and academicians to make allowances for the special costs associated with extending school education in some districts and communities. Adequacy principle gets over the cost factor to look at the actual quality of the school education and its resultant impact on the specific students. Personal Position In a personal perspective, adequacy principle is more relevant to the democratic aspirations of the nation. Certain sections of the school students in some communities, owing to the incumbent limitations and shortcomings that could be attributed to their socio-economic background, may need greater resources to achieve same levels of academic accomplishment and proficiency, that could be secured by students from other regular school districts with much less resources. Adequacy principle allows for a just distribution of educational resources and opportunities, without depriving any student of the requisite levels and quality of school education. Conclusion It is a fact that no two individuals are alike. Some may achieve the desired educational proficiency with much less resources as compared to others. So adequacy principle allows the education system to take into consideration the requirements of the students with special needs, without cutting on the optimal quality of school education accessible to the regular students. References Marzano, RJ & Kendall, JS. (1999). Essential Knowledge: The Debate over what American Students should Know. Aurora, CO: Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory. Odden, Allan R & Picus, Lawrence O. (1999). School Finance. New York: McGraw-Hill. Scharg, P. (2003). Final Test: The Battle for Adequacy in America’s Schools. New York: The New Press. Read More
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