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ELL. IEP. EOG. PTA. ESEA. IDEA. NCLB. AYP. RttT. ESSA.

Education is rife with acronyms — inside the schoolhouse and the statehouse. But at the heart of each of these acronyms are real students with real goals and aspirations. And behind each of these acronyms is a clear intent that education should be an equalizer and that all students should have an equal opportunity to succeed.

Unfortunately, we know that in North Carolina and across the U.S., equal opportunities do not guarantee equal outcomes and equality is not the same as equity. Fifty-two years ago, the original ESEA aimed to level the playing field by providing additional funding to schools serving low-income students; 16 years ago, NCLB shined a light on pervasive achievement gaps. And, yet, despite the significance of these landmark laws, the national conversations they spurred, and the education policies they inspired, inequities persist.

To keep this conversation front and center, The Hunt Institute asked some of our partners and friends in the education policy world to share what educational equity means to them and the opportunities they see as states move into implementation of ESSA plans. We are delighted to expand this conversation onto the pages of EdNC and hope that you will help us to continue this important discussion in the weeks and months ahead.

Javaid Siddiqi

Former Virginia Secretary of Education, Dr. Javaid Siddiqi is the President and CEO of The Hunt Institute. Most recently, he served as the Director of the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows, which partners with senior-level political leaders who have the knowledge, skill, and will to be effective, reform-minded education policymakers at the state level. Under his leadership, the national, nonpartisan Fellowship has garnered praise from former governors and generous financial support from major funders across the country.