There are chronic and frustrating inequalities that affect students’ opportunities to learn and develop. One in four students in the U.S. live in poverty, for example, while one in 10 are identified as English language learners. The ability to receive an excellent education is challenged by migration, homelessness, poverty, and racism. At the same time, children struggle to find identities that escape stereotypes and enable them to work across differences to thrive in the future.
Under-resourced and marginalized children and adults do not have equal access to learning opportunities. To address and rectify persistent inequities, research will be critical in understanding the causes, while also developing and testing potential solutions. The disparate impacts of race, inequality, and language span academic disciplines and institutions. We need an interdisciplinary scholarly focus on the major societal, cultural and historical factors that influence educational attainment, especially for underserved populations. Further, we need intentional strategies for diversifying the student and faculty populations working on these issues to create an inclusive environment that meets the needs of diverse learners.