Harnessing Data in Pursuit of Equity-Minded Redesign: Utilizing Equity Indicators to Interrogate Policy, Practice, and Social Constructs in preK-12 Education
MetadataShow full item record
CitationGrainger, Rebecca. 2020. Harnessing Data in Pursuit of Equity-Minded Redesign: Utilizing Equity Indicators to Interrogate Policy, Practice, and Social Constructs in preK-12 Education. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractEducation serving as a lever for increased access to opportunity, in theory, is implicit within the design of the U.S. education system. However, disparities in achievement across demographic groups continue to be apparent as measured by traditional means of accountability such as standardized tests, graduation rates, and enrollment in Advanced Placement courses. These results raise question as to whether or not the education system indeed serves all equitably. One means of holding this charge to account is through the development of a system of data presentation with the explicit purpose of measuring for equity.
Somerville Public Schools (SPS) is a small urban district serving a diverse community of learners. In partnership with innovative educators, Superintendent Mary Skipper is leading SPS in the examination of their policies and practices to redesign the system to serve equitably across demographic groups. After passing a district wide Equity Policy bolstered by the formation of equity focused School Committee Goals, the next step in the district’s evolution is the formation of a data collection system to examine current practices, provide evidence of movement, and guide informed decision-making through an intentional equity lens.
This capstone explores the idea of using indicators designed to explicitly measure equity within Somerville Public Schools, such as those put forth in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine 2019 report, Monitoring Educational Equity, to serve as a starting point from which to examine policies and practices that result in disparate achievement levels and inequitable access to opportunity across demographic groups. With deliberate focus on race and ethnicity, this capstone calls for data and the collection systems in which data is housed to drive interrogation of our current system of education. This occurs through the examination of the effects of policies and practice, and identifies and challenges social constructs on which such policies and practices are built and continue to perpetuate inequities. With intentional equity lensed data collection, educational organizations are more prepared to adapt practices and pursuit purposeful, equity-minded redesign.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37364848