For this paper, you’ll be utilizing the following three texts: “Schools, Prisons, and Social Implications of Punishment,” by Pedro Noguera; “The Complexity of Identity,” by Beverly Tatum; and chapters 1 and 2 of Whistling Vivaldi, by Claude Steele. Consider how the arguments of those texts might be applied to the educational system, specifically as it pertains to equity. Additionally, please reflect on your own personal experiences and observations.

Based on your readings, experiences, and observations, do you believe school is an equitable place? Has what you read, seen, and experienced supported or disproven the ideas presented in Noguera, Tatum, and Steele’s texts?

Ultimately, there are two questions to address for this paper.

1) Is school an equitable place? (That is, is school a place that gives all students, regardless of identity and categories of identification, a fair and equal chance at educational and future workplace success?)

2) Ultimately, do the same power structures that are prevalent in society influence the way students, from kindergarten through college/university, are educated in the United States?


  • Your paper must be 4.5-6 pages in length.
  • Your paper must be in MLA format.
  • Your paper must integrate the three texts discussed above as well as your own experiences and/or observations.
  • You must make (and support) your own, original argument

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