Dr. Jarvis Sanford Chicago

Dr. Jarvis Sanford Chicago

Welcome to a website dedicated to the life’s work of Dr. Jarvis Sanford of Chicago. As an Educational Leadership Consultant Dr. Sanford works every day to achieve equity in public education. Dr. Sanford believes that all students should be given the same opportunities to reach their full academic potential. One of his largest concentration areas lies in turning around the efforts of failing elementary schools in Chicago. For students to succeed later in their academic careers, they need a strong academic foundation. Flailing elementary schools make it difficult for students to catch up and can lead to self-esteem issues that are likely to stunt academic and social growth. Since 2006, Dr. Sanford has a track record of closing the achievement gap in underperforming Chicago elementary schools at a rate that outpaces the district average by more than three times per year.

Dr. Jarvis Sanford of Chicago Background

To better understand Dr. Sanford’s passion for education, it is important to take note of his own academic journey. After graduating high school, Dr. Sanford went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Morehouse College; he then earned a Master’s in Business Administration and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Illinois University. These degrees helped him progress in his career at a rapid pace. In 1993, Sanford started his professional career as a Student Development Coordinator for the University of Wisconsin. Just a decade later, he was serving as the Principal at Dodge Renaissance Academy. Dr. Sanford then continued to earn accolades on the local and national level for the staggering growth of academic achievement by the school’s students. This lined him up for his role as Managing Director at the Academy for Urban School Leadership where he was instrumental in impacting the lives of many young students.

The Importance of Equity in Public Education

The best way to define educational equity is the assurance that all students regardless of their gender, ethnicity, race, disability, language, family background or family income be given access to the same level of quality educational resources. The need for educational equity starts as early as Pre-K.

Having worked with many educators throughout his career, Dr. Jarvis Sanford of Chicago believes most educators want all students to have the same educational opportunity. Unfortunately, this is not the case for far too many school districts in the United States.  Poorer communities have difficulty accessing the same level of public schooling as wealthier areas. This fundamentally stacks the odds against students, who by no fault of their own, are unable to receive the same level of education as their neighbors just a town or two away. This needs to change.

Factors That Can Lead to Educational Inequity

As data has become more easily accessible on learning disabilities like ADHD and dyslexia, students in wealthier communities are able to be diagnosed earlier. The diagnosis of a learning disability is a great moment for the student because it allows educators to shift how they educate these students. Identifying issues is the first step in moving towards a real solution. Unfortunately, school districts in poorer areas rarely have access to trained educators who can identify these issues and develop a gameplan that will best educate these individuals. It is rare that students can get the 1-1 access they need to educators during this time of their academic growth. Schools in wealthier communities will often have access to up to four assistant teachers in the classroom to ensure all students have easy access to educators who can assist them with their needs. Even the strongest educator is going to have a difficult time meeting the needs of 30+ six year-olds. It is also most important to detect warning signs of learning difficulties or address individualized education plans that can be executed appropriately.

What’s The Difference Between Educational Equality and Educational Equity?

Reading about educational equity online will often bring up articles on educational equality. However, these terms are not completely interchangeable. Equality in education refers to all students to be treated equally in their classroom. The difference with equity is that it calls upon all students to receive the resources they need to compete with students in other counties. It is a very subtle difference but one that is important to note.

The Damages of Inequity in Early Education

A lot of what is learned at an early age will shape a student’s entire future. Academic success has been linked to self-esteem in countless studies. A lack of confidence for a young student is dangerous. Not only can test scores suffer, which will make access to better high schools and colleges nearly impossible, but a lack of confidence can also lead to lashing out in destructive ways. Everything from depression and anger to juvenile crime can be linked back to a lack of self-confidence. When educators can put students on an even playing field, they can increase their likelihood for success and set them up for a lifelong love of learning.

All Students Deserve the Best

The challenges facing our youngest generations of Americans are numerous.  As digitalization shrinks the world and who can compete for the dollar of the average consumer, the strength of America’s educational services will go a long way in determining the country’s ability to compete within the global market. It is past due that all students receive the care and attention they need to fulfill their potential in and out of the classroom.

Future blog posts will cover everything from what educators can do to help boost the likelihood of educational equity in their school district to what parents can do to ensure their child is on the right academic path. Be sure to check back often for the latest from Dr. Jarvis Sanford of Chicago.