The Dangerous Concept of Equity in Spotsy Schools

Spotsylvania County Public Schools’ strategic plan lists one its core values as equity.  Equity is the act of distributing resources based on specific needs for the purpose of achieving a greater fairness of outcome because everyone starts from a different place.   This sounds nice on the surface. When you dig deeper, equity is a nefarious concept because it focuses on equality of outcomes instead of equality of opportunity.   

Proponents of equity look at outcomes of different groups.  If there is a disparity between outcomes of different groups, proponents of equity see a problem with the “system”.   Proponents of equity discount the impact of individual decision making.  This is the main problem with equity.  Individuals are lumped into groups.  Groups are typically defined in terms of race.  

There is nothing more racist than grouping people together, associating a statistical disparity collectively, and avoiding the merit of the individual. Equity is a very dangerous concept because it removes personal responsibility from individual decision making and blames the “system” for why one can not succeed.  When it applies to education, this is the wrong message to send to kids.

No one benefits with an equality of outcome situation because everyone ends up the same. Should everyone go to the same family doctor because they want the same outcome?   Do people go to specialist doctors because they want the same outcome as a family doctor ?  Obviously, the answer is no. Specialists are purposely “different” and know more about a particular organ than a family doctor.   In a life-or-death situation, we want the best doctors and not an average doctor that is the same as other average doctors.  

Equity is reliant upon the government to determine arbitrarily which group is more worthy than other groups in determining “needs”. The government determines where tax dollars go. If one “group” falls behind, equity proponents require more tax dollars go towards the one group so that everyone ends up the same. Its an endless cycle that does not address the core issue. The core issue is the decision making at the individual level which ultimately determines success.

Strategic Plan for Spotsylvania County Schools

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