School & District Management

National Academies: Measuring Equity Can Inform School Accountability

By Sarah D. Sparks — June 18, 2019 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

When education leaders look for “other indicators” of school quality, a national panel argues tracking equity could provide a clearer picture for school improvement.

Identifying test scores alone doesn’t tell education leaders enough about the causes of racial and socioeconomic gaps or the best ways to fix them, according to a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The group calls for federal, state, and local education leaders to monitor the disparities not just in students’ outcomes, but also in their access to educational opportunities and supports.

“We imagine public education to be America’s great engine of upward mobility and, ultimately, equality,” said Christopher Edley Jr., a professor at the University of California, Berkeley Law School, and chair of the National Academies’ Committee on Developing Indicators of Educational Equity, which wrote the report, in a statement. “A good system of indicators can help measure how much we repair—or reinforce—the great divides in opportunity.”

The book-length report lays out 16 different ways to measure educational equity, across seven areas:


  • Kindergarten readiness, including early math and reading skills, but also attention and self-regulation;
  • K-12 learning and engagement, including test performance and growth, school grades and credits earned, and school attendance and engagement;
  • Educational attainment, including on-time high school graduation and entry to postsecondary schools and the workforce;
  • Segregation, including the concentration of poverty in schools and racial separation both within and among schools;
  • Access to high-quality early learning programs, encompassing both the availability of programs and different groups’ participation;
  • School climate, including students’ perceptions of safety and an academic focus; and
  • Access to high-quality curricula and instruction, including teacher qualifications and diversity, participation in rigorous courses and gifted enrichment programs, and formal academic supports such as special education and tutoring.

“The system we envision would have the same level of priority as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, with annual reports that allow the country to monitor progress in making education more equitable from pre-K to grade 12 to the transition to postsecondary education,” the rreport noted.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Opinion Best Ways for Schools to Prepare for the Next Pandemic
Being better connected to families and the community and diversifying the education workforce are some of the ways to be ready.
14 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
School & District Management From Our Research Center Educators' Support for COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates Is Rising Dramatically
Nearly 60 percent of educators say students who are old enough to receive COVID vaccines should be required to get them to attend school.

4 min read
Mariah Vaughn, a 15-year-old Highland Park student, prepares to receive a COVID-19 vaccine during the vaccine clinic at Topeka High School on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021.
Mariah Vaughn, 15, a student at Highland Park High School in Topeka, Kan., prepares to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at her school in August.
Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP
School & District Management 10 Ways to Tackle Education's Urgent Challenges
As the school year gets underway, we ask hard questions about education’s biggest challenges and offer some solutions.
2 min read
Conceptual Image of schools preparing for the pandemic
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management Reported Essay Principals Need Social-Emotional Support, Too
By overlooking the well-being of their school leaders, districts could limit how much their schools can flourish.
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week