Across the state, both K-12 schools and higher education institutions are increasingly committing to clear equity goals and policies to address educational disparities and systemic inequality. While these are important improvements, the question is often: How are they measuring progress of these new policies and practices to advance race equity?
One tool is an Equity Scorecard, which allows stakeholders and institutional leaders to work from the same set of data progress indicators to determine current improvements and envision long-term achievements in race equity goals.
As the school year approaches, it’s important to use these tools to better serve students and our communities, and to reflect on the importance of our equity work.
Below are some well-researched models of Equity Scorecards.
Higher Education – Equity Scorecards
One popular nationwide model is The Equity Scorecard™ process and tool research and application, by Dr. Estela Mara Bensimon and Dr. Alicia Dowd of the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California. This inquiry process requires data collection at a higher education institution, and an evidence team that oversees the process of uncovering where systemic issues arise and what practices should be implemented to build equity shifts.
For more, here is an extensive case study of this process used at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse: https://www.uwlax.edu/globalassets/offices-services/diversity-inclusion/uw-la-crosse-equity-scorecard-report-2007.pdf.
Another case study, at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus, can found here: http://www.uwosh.edu/acad-supp/equity-scorecard/equity-scorecard-report.
Both reports detail the importance of the evidence team, understanding systems changes that can address inequalities, and the key use of data and interviews in the process.
Public K-12 Education Equity Scorecards
It is very exciting to know that K-12 education institutions are increasingly utilizing an assessment like an Equity Scorecard to capture equity goals and activities. Tracking how a school system is trending on specific equity indicators is key information for the Superintendent and school board to understand what progress is being made or what areas need more focus and strategy improvement.
One great case study is in the Seattle schools, for year 16-17, where 31 measures in 5 categories were monitored, including such equity indicators as a proportionality gap in student in special education programs; free and reduced lunch students taught by a highly effective teacher; and positive family responses to a family engagement survey. Check out the Seattle public schools scorecard information at https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/17-18%20agendas/20171108/SPS%20District%20Scorecard%202016-17%20Board%20Presentation_ADA.pdf.
The equity scorecard and tools to measure progress on equity shifts should change the conversation from “what students or teachers aren’t doing” to “what barriers exist in the system, through policies or practices, that impede on equity progress.”
At MnEEP, we encourage leaders and teachers to do more research of how an equity scorecard or assessment tool can assist you to reach education equity and excellence goals.
For a comprehensive summary of more research on such tools, please review this paper: http://relsouthwest.sedl.org/ask_archive/8-17_aar_equity-index-scorecards.pdf.