ERIC Number: ED231906
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: N/A
Excellence, Equity, and Equality.
Green, Thomas F.
This chapter examines the relationship among three central values that have figured significantly in educational policy-making: excellence, equity, and equality. Arguing that these ideals may conflict with one another as to meaning, levels of aggregation implied, and implementation requirements, the author stresses that all these ideals can be honored through policy that resolves the conflicts. It is pointed out that inequalities in educational achievement or attainment which result from choice, ability, or virtue, are different from those attributable to differences in such characteristics as sex, social class, race, or geography, and that only the latter inequalities are inequitable. In practice, it is emphasized, these factors are difficult to disentangle, but large inequalities generally constitute evidence of inequity. Acknowledging that at different times and in different conditions, one or the other of the three ideals will prevail, the author nevertheless suggests that in educational policymaking, excellence often has priority over equity. While it is admitted that pursuit of excellence is difficult, it is also maintained that such a pursuit offers the best guarantee of equity in the long run, insofar as criteria for excellence are applicable to all. (MJL)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Access to Education, Educational Attainment, Educational Objectives, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Higher Education, Public Policy, Social Influences
Longman, Inc., 19 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036 (ISBN-0-582-28375-2, $30.00 for book).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Shulman, Lee S., Ed. and Sykes, Gary, Ed. Handbook of Teaching and Policy. New York, Longman, Inc., 1983. Chapter 13, p318-341.