What does ‘equity for all’ mean for New Jersey’s students?

BY Raven Santana, Correspondent |

About 1,300 educators from across the state, from pre-school teachers to college professors, attended the New Jersey Department of Education’s first ever “Equity for All” conference at The College of New Jersey.

“When we think about equity it’s been around for a long time but no one called it. Equity is you have a student that needs to take a test more than one time because they need extra help or they need more resources to be successful in a subject matter,” said Tonya Breland, director of the Office of Professional learning at the New Jersey Department of Education.

Educators were able to attend more than 50 different workshops, TED talks, and panel discussions on how they can improve equity both in and out of the classroom on a variety of topics that impact children’s ability to learn and build relationships with teachers. Those challenges are wide ranging, everything from sexuality to nutrition.

The educators said equity also includes fostering a diverse workforce so that teachers can address students’ social and emotional needs.