Gloria Ladson-Billings's blog

Inching Toward Equity

A few years ago, I was asked to be a plenary speaker at a conference of legal and educational scholars. In my typical fashion, I decided to give a speech that was designed to provoke. I had heard enough discussions about the differences in life chances between White and Black children, and between White children and the ever more visible Latina/o youth. I was especially tired of the “achievement gap” talk that far too often resulted in conversations about more tests, more short cuts to teacher preparation, and more charter schools (often via private corporation takeovers). I needed an audience that would get mad enough to look at the ugly reality of what is happening to too many children in this country.

A Letter to Our Next President

(A version of this paper will appear in the Journal of Teacher Education)

Dear Mister/Madam President:

The very fact that this letter begins with addressing either a man or woman in the office of President of the United States is in itself a cause for celebration and a tribute to the historic nature of this year's presidential contest. For this we all—regardless of political persuasion—should feel more deeply invested in the promise of democracy to include all Americans regardless of race, class, and gender.

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