As I prepare to enter into my fourth and final year at Wake Forest University I can’t help but reflect on the opportunities I have been awarded due to my education, which makes me think about what other individuals miss out on due to a lack of access to education. This inequity of access to education continues to propel the achievement and opportunity gaps persistent in many communities throughout the nation, not just in my home state of North Carolina.
This obvious inequity made apparent the need to use policy and politics to better the state of education, not just teacher practices confined to the classroom. Through my time spent in the education department at Wake Forest I have learned ways to work to diminish the achievement and opportunity gaps through teacher practices in the classroom. Although there is a discussion of these persistent problems, there is little discussion of the policies that work to diminish these discrepancies outside of the classroom. I do not discuss this missing component to condemn the education department at Wake Forest, but rather as a springboard to discuss my motivation to spend my summer with CER.
This missing component of my education is the reason why I am spending my summer interning at CER. I hope to gain an understanding of what policies are being enacted at the federal, state, and local levels to make access to quality education available to all, not just those with a coveted address. As well, I hope to learn more about reform initiatives implemented in several schools to see what works and what does not work and hope to continue these initiatives in my future as an educator.
Elizabeth Kennard, CER Intern