[Skip to Content]
Top Story

The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) Hosts First Advancing Equity Symposium

Posted on 11/30/2016

LINCS Logo

On Oct. 31, the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education hosted its first Advancing Equity Symposium to support the increased emphasis the Obama Administration is giving to equity for all populations across the education spectrum. The symposium featured a keynote address by Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr., a discussion with senior Department of Education officials on advancing equity through federally funded initiatives, a variety of smaller sessions addressing issues and concerns regarding equity, a discussion of “implicit bias” and “systemic inequities,” and a panel of students on their experiences with equity.

A number of central themes were presented; beginning with Secretary King’s opening remarks emphasizing the need for enhancing equity of access, quality, and results in order to help more Americans achieve their academic, career, and civic goals. This, the secretary acknowledged, is a formidable challenge because equity concerns affect many diverse groups of students—first generation and low-income students; students of color; older students facing the challenge of juggling jobs, families, and education; and returning students intent on completing their education goals.

The symposium also focused on how best to serve these various groups of students. Several speakers acknowledged that while much has been done to promote equity in access, quality, and results, much more remains to be done. Inequity persists in many dimensions of education. Students in poverty attend high-poverty schools at a much higher rate than their more affluent peers. Less experienced and less qualified teachers often are concentrated in schools and districts serving low-income students. High-poverty schools tend to offer less well-rounded curricula and fewer advanced courses. It therefore is no surprise that affluent students attend and graduate from college at significantly higher rates than their lower-income peers. Access is not enough. Access without quality perpetuates the inequity that low-income students encounter.

Matters that affect low-income students overlap with those facing first generation students; students with limited English language proficiency; students with disabilities; older students; and other groups that struggle to achieve the same access, quality, and results as their more-advantaged peers. The disparities persist beyond schooling. Employer-provided training tends to focus on college graduates, with much less training provided to those employees with limited college experience or only a high school diploma, or those who did not complete secondary schooling. Adult education, while available to a limited number of those needing assistance, does not have the capacity to make up the large differences that exist.

Symposium participants pointed to efforts that are being made to overcome the equity gap, but as a whole, these efforts remain inadequate in both scope and quality. Both the need and the challenge are great. Achieving equity of access, quality, and results are key goals to our success as a nation and to the success of all Americans.

For more information, visit the LINCS Community Advancing Equity website External link opens in new window or tab .

Source: OCTAE Connection 524 External link opens in new window or tab , November 17 2016

Training
Calendar
Find and register for training and conferences at the California Adult Education and Professional Development Web site.
 Upcoming Events External link opens in new window or tab
Administrators' Digest
Teachers' Digest
Brief articles of interest to California adult education administrators, and links to more information.
 Current Issue
 Past Issues
Announcements of OTAN online and face-to-face workshops and links to new teacher resources on OTAN.
 Current Issue
 Past Issues

Other News...

California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project (CALPRO): Mentoring for Adult Education Instruction Resources
CALPRO has expanded its online Video Library to include a collection of videos and multi-media...

Our office will be closed Wednesday, November 23 – Friday November 25 to celebrate Thanksgiving

OTAN is on Social Media
When on OTAN’s home page, click on the icons for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn...

OTAN activities are funded by contract CN160223 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.