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Module in Allocating Resources Based on Data and Student Needs

Allocating Resources Based on Data and Student Needs >>

Powerful Learning Experience 6: Conducting an Equity Audit

Purpose:

There are a number of ways for participants to engage in an equity audit. In its most pure form, an equity audit is a data collection activity that spans all areas/facets of a school or district environment. Participants analyze the body of data collected to identify areas for improvement (in the most unbiased way possible). When multiple weaknesses are identified, participants must prioritize and make decisions (based on personal ethics, school/district goals, available resources, etc.) about which areas to target for improvement plans.

Equity audits may also be conducted on pre-identified issues (however, participants should be cautioned that pre-determined issues should have been identified through some type of data collection activity and should not be based on assumptions). In these cases, pieces of an overall equity audit (rather than the full data collection activity) may be used that are in direct alignment with the pre-identified issue(s). Additionally, equity audits may be conducted that are in alignment with specific course content (i.e. school community relations, school finance, instructional leadership, etc.). Course participants may conduct a full equity audit (collecting data on all areas below) or choose areas depending on their course needs/instructions.

Essential Questions:

Are there inequities in the school/district analyzed? In what areas? For which students? Why?

Activities:

The activities below can be conducted individually for targeted needs or together for a more complete picture of a school/district.

1. Teacher/Instructional Quality Equity - The purpose is to determine how teacher quality is distributed within a school or district. Disaggregate the following indicators by courses taught, level of courses taught, academic levels of students taught, etc. Gather these data for multiple years if possible to understand patterns across time.

            Teacher Education

            Teacher Experience

            Teacher Mobility

            Teacher Certification

2. Programmatic Equity - The purpose is to look at quality of programs and access/exclusion for certain students/groups of students. Prior to collecting data on the areas below, determine the total school enrollment and disaggregate by gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. Then, find out the number of students served in each area below and disaggregate by gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic status (provide both number and percentages). Gather these data for multiple years if possible to understand patterns across time.

            Special Education

            Gifted and Talented Education

            Bilingual Education/Limited English Proficiency

            Student Discipline Actions/Programs

3. Achievement Equity - The purpose is to look at student achievement across multiple achievement indicators. Disaggregate the following achievement data by gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic status (provide both number and percentages). Gather these data for multiple years if possible to understand patterns across time.

            State Achievement Tests

            Dropout Rates

            High School Graduation Tracks

            SAT/ACT/AP/IB Results

4. District-Level Equity - The purpose is to determine whether differences exist across individual schools within a district according to ethnic composition and/or economic conditions. Participants interested in conducting a district-wide equity audit should collect information on any/all of the categories above in each school and compare the data.

5. School Communication Equity

6. School Finance Equity