Reducing Educational Inequity in New York: Supporting Disadvantaged Students in an Era of Virtual Learning.
Virtual learning has exposed unequal structural barriers: the less well-off cannot afford to spend thousands on education pods and often require dual-income support, making parental supervision untenable. While New York City has recently implemented a childcare plan that utilizes community spaces like libraries, which is a crucial step for students, many both in the city and across the country still fall through the cracks due to limited spaces and outreach.
Our long-term goal was initially to create an educational community where college students can volunteer to tutor underprivileged school children. However, realizing that similar communities exist, we have shifted our focus to connecting parents with resources and to advocate for larger scale government assistance where it is needed. Through further study, we hope to better understand the challenges that parents will face as a result of virtual learning.
To begin this endeavor, we have created advocacy and resource documents and distributed them via Facebook groups and LinkedIn. The advocacy document provides parents with a template to email representatives about their education-related concerns. The resource document provides a list of online communities and services in New York City that can help alleviate the burden of home-based learning. Additionally, we have distributed a survey to 125 schools identified as low-income in the five boroughs and contacted Teacher’s College to learn more about parent concerns for this academic year. On this survey, we provided an option to leave contact information for us to connect them with potential solutions.
Emily Eget CC’22
Bernadette Gostelow GS’21