Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: February 22, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412957403 | Print ISBN: 9781412956642 | Online ISBN: 9781412957403| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Barbara M. De Luca
Open and widespread discourse regarding equity in education has occurred for well over a century in the United States. Much of the dialogue has been contentious and has focused on the definition itself. Many have viewed equity as fairness. Others have argued, however, that because “fair” is interpreted differently by different people, there could never be consensus on the meaning of an equitable education. Although dissension over the definition of equity continues, many researchers and other scholars have resolved to look at equity in education as equal, simply because fairness is not measurable. In defining equity as equal, two types of equity are identified: horizontal and vertical equity. Horizontal equity refers to treating likes alike, while vertical equity means treating unlikes unlike. Early dissenters rejected the notion of equality on the basis that all students are not equal; therefore, treating them equally would be unfair. Vertical equity addresses this concern. ...