…In mathematics, the term “equal” is used when things are “equal in value,” and being equal in value is what was intended with those daring strokes of 1776. It meant that the man sweeping the floor and the merchant running the business were of equal value – equal in the eyes of the law, equal in their value as humans, equal in their right and opportunity to pursue their happiness. This radical-for-its-time idea had essentially never before been implemented, and the “grand experiment” that followed has wrought massive struggles and remarkable successes. Some of those struggles have found us grappling with (what we thought at the time were) big questions. Are black men equal, too? What about women? Of course they are. “Men” means all of mankind, not just the ones who are actual [white] men. Clarifying this point took a lot out of us, but we reached a just conclusion: that each of us is equal in our value as a being.
(Frustratingly, in many ways and in many places across our globe, each one of us being of equal value is still a bold statement even today…)
Yet in spite of our reverence for all humans being of equal value, I think we are terribly confused about what that actually means in practice, notably in the world of Education. <Read more.>