National Academies Press: OpenBook

Monitoring Educational Equity (2019)

Chapter: Front Matter

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Monitoring Educational Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25389.
×

Monitoring
Educational Equity

Committee on Developing Indicators of Educational Equity

Christopher Edley, Jr., Judith Koenig, Natalie Nielsen,
and Constance Citro, Editors

Board on Testing and Assessment
and
Committee on National Statistics

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

A Consensus Study Report of

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Monitoring Educational Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25389.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

This activity was supported by the American Educational Research Association (unnumbered), the Atlantic Philanthropies (Award No. 23223), the Ford Foundation (Award No. 0145-1710), the Spencer Foundation (Award No. 201500103), the U.S. Department of Education (Award No. R305U150002), the William T. Grant Foundation (Award No. 184262), and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (Award No. P3033235). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-49016-0
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-49016-2
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/25389
Library of Congress Control Number: 2019947474

Additional copies of this publication are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2019 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2019). Monitoring Educational Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25389.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Monitoring Educational Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25389.
×

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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president.

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.

The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Monitoring Educational Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25389.
×

Image

Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.

For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Monitoring Educational Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25389.
×

COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPING INDICATORS OF EDUCATIONAL EQUITY

CHRISTOPHER EDLEY, JR. (Chair), School of Law, University of California, Berkeley

ELAINE ALLENSWORTH, UChicago Consortium on School Research, University of Chicago

ALBERTO CARVALHO, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami, FL

STELLA FLORES, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

NANCY GONZALES, College of Liberal Arts and Statistics, Arizona State University

LAURA HAMILTON, RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA

JAMES KEMPLE, The Research Alliance for New York City Schools and Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

SHARON LEWIS, Council of the Great City Schools, Washington, DC (retired)

MICHAEL J. MACKENZIE, Centre for Research on Children and Families, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

C. KENT MCGUIRE, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Menlo Park, CA

SARA MCLANAHAN, Department of Sociology, Princeton University

MEREDITH PHILLIPS, Departments of Public Policy and Sociology, Luskin School of Public Affairs, University of California, Los Angeles

MORGAN POLIKOFF, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California

SEAN F. REARDON, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University

KAROLYN TYSON, Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

JUDITH KOENIG, Study Director

NATALIE NIELSEN, Senior Program Officer

CONSTANCE CITRO, Senior Scholar

KELLY ARRINGTON, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Monitoring Educational Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25389.
×

BOARD ON TESTING AND ASSESSMENT

DAVID J. FRANCIS (Chair), Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics, University of Houston

MARK DYNARSKI, Pemberton Research, LLC, East Windsor, NJ

JOAN HERMAN, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, University of California, Los Angeles

SHARON LEWIS, Council of the Great City Schools, Washington, DC (retired)

BRIAN STECHER, Education Program, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA

JOHN ROBERT WARREN, Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota

PATTY MORISON, Acting Director

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Monitoring Educational Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25389.
×

COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS

ROBERT M. GROVES (Chair), Office of the Provost, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and Department of Sociology, Georgetown University

ANNE C. CASE, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

JANET M. CURRIE, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

DONALD A. DILLMAN, Department of Sociology and Social and Economic Sciences Research Center, Washington State University

DIANA FARRELL, JPMorgan Chase Institute, Washington, DC

ROBERT GOERGE, Chapin Hall, The University of Chicago

HILARY HOYNES, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley

DANIEL KIFER, Department of Computer Science, The Pennsylvania State University

SHARON LOHR, Statistical Consultant and Writer, Tempe, Arizona

THOMAS L. MESENBOURG, U.S. Census Bureau (retired)

SARAH M. NUSSER, Department of Statistics, Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology, Iowa State University

JEROME P. REITER, Department of Statistical Science, Duke University

JUDITH A. SELTZER, Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles

C. MATTHEW SNIPP, Department of Sociology, Stanford University

JEANETTE WING, Data Science Institute, Columbia University

BRIAN HARRIS-KOJETIN, Director

CONSTANCE CITRO, Senior Scholar

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Monitoring Educational Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25389.
×

Preface

The challenge of monitoring disparities in educational achievement and opportunities shares some characteristics with other complex regulatory problems. For example, when Congress adopted the Clean Air Act (1970) nearly 50 years ago, it emphasized the importance of public health but provided no clear line for distinguishing clean air from dirty air. Most fundamentally, regulating pollution has required choices about what indicates that air is “polluted” for regulatory purposes, how to measure and monitor those indicators, and when the measured level of an indicator should trigger enforcement or other intervention. The statute provided few answers, or even a definitive list of “pollutants” to be regulated. Nor were there definitive answers in the Constitution, economics, the biological sciences, or epidemiology. Instead, definitions and decisions have been a continuous enterprise involving interpretations of vague statutory language, promulgation of hundreds of federal and state regulations, enforcement experience, research in multiple disciplines, and the turbulence of politics.

So it is with “regulating” educational equity and inequity—distinguishing between the good and the problematic in a system that powerfully shapes socioeconomic opportunity, outcomes, and mobility. For a century following the Civil War, the issue was largely a matter of antidiscrimination litigation, based on the U.S. Constitution. This is what can be thought of as constitutional equality. Beginning with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965, however, Congress and the executive branch built a broader, complementary framework for an evolving social policy construct of regulatory equity. Given the extensive disparities that still exist in the nation’s

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Monitoring Educational Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25389.
×

educational system, what can policy makers do to better support goals for a just and prosperous society? What evidence can best inform their decisions? Specifically, if an educational equity construct is to have practical use, policy makers must choose indicators and measures.

This report provides the architecture for a system to help policy makers address questions of educational equity. It not only lays out a system of indicators of educational equity, but also describes some of the follow-on work needed to advance such a system through public consensus, engineering, construction, and continuous maintenance. The closest analogy in the education realm is probably the history the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), whose planning began in the early 1960s, was first fielded in 1969, has become a trusted measure of the knowledge of U.S. students, and continues to evolve.

This report would not have been possible without the contributions of many people. On behalf of the committee, I extend our deepest appreciation to the sponsors of this work: the American Educational Research Association, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Ford Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Without their support, this study would not have come to fruition.

We also thank the experts who volunteered their time to share their knowledge with us: Ilene Berman, the Annie E. Casey Foundation; Betsy Brand, American Youth Policy Forum; Catherine Lhamon, Chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; Nat Mulkas, American Enterprise Institute; David Murphey, Child Trends; Amber Northern, Fordham Institute; Jennifer Park, Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics; Douglas Ready, Columbia University Teachers College; Natasha Ushomirsky, Education Trust; and Stephanie Wood-Garnett, Alliance for Excellence in Education.

The committee commissioned a set of experts to author literature reviews to help us identify indicators. We thank those writers for their invaluable input: David Campbell, University of Notre Dame; Jennifer Jennings, Princeton University; Katherine Magnuson, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Nicholas Mark, New York University; Jenny Nagaoka, University of Chicago Consortium on School Research; Jay Plasman, University of California, Santa Barbara; Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, R. Hayes & Associates, LLC; Russell Rumberger, University of California, Santa Barbara; and Lori Taylor, Texas A&M University.

The committee also extends its gratitude to members of the staff of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, for their significant contributions to this report. Kelly Arrington, senior program assistant, provided key administrative and logistical support, made sure that committee meetings ran smoothly, and provided critical support in managing the manuscript. Constance Citro, former director of the Com-

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Monitoring Educational Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25389.
×

mittee on National Statistics and now its senior scholar, leant to this project her vast knowledge about federal agencies and the data they maintain. Natalie Nielsen, former acting director of the Board on Testing and Assessment, was instrumental in making this project a reality, guiding it from its initial inception to this final report. Kirsten Sampson Snyder and Yvonne Wise masterfully shepherded the report through the review and production process, and Eugenia Grohman provided her always-sage editorial advice.

This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Alice Merner Agogino, Mechanical Engineering and Development Engineering Graduate Group, University of California, Berkeley; Dianne Chong, Assembly, Factory & Support Technology (retired), Boeing Research and Technology; Jamel K. Donnor, Holmes Scholars Program and Interdisciplinary Educational Studies Minor, College of William and Mary; Edward H. Haertel, School of Education, Stanford University; Kristen Harper, Policy Development, Child Trends; John Hattie, Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Australia; Brian W. Junker, Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University; Jennifer O’Day, Institute Fellow, American Institutes for Research; Ricki Price-Baugh, Director of Academic Achievement, Council of the Great City Schools; and Deborah J. Stipek, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University.

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Lauress L. Wise, Education Policy Impact Center, HumRRO (retired), and Deb A. Niemeier, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.

I have been a member of many committees of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and chaired a handful. I have been privileged again to work with Judith Koenig, our study director, whose talent and contributions exceed all superlatives that come to mind. As for

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Monitoring Educational Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25389.
×

my fellow panel members, I have never worked with a more capable and inspiring set of colleagues. They gave generously of their time and worked tirelessly to ensure that the final product accurately represents our consensus findings, conclusions, and recommendations. These efforts manifested the panel members’ deep dedication to improving equity across the country. Our work has been the most difficult and humbling I have encountered at the National Academies. And no subject has been as important.

Christopher Edley, Jr., Chair

Committee on Developing Indicators of Educational Equity

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Monitoring Educational Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25389.
×

3 Contextual Influences on Educational Outcomes: Families and Neighborhoods

Family Resources

Financial Resources

Family Structure

Supports for Learning

Neighborhood Resources

Segregation and Economic Context

Environmental Quality

Safety, Trauma, and Chronic Stress

Conclusions

4 Indicators of Disparities in Student Outcomes

Domain A: Kindergarten Readiness

Indicator 1: Disparities in Academic Readiness

Indicator 2: Disparities in Self-Regulation and Attention Skills

Proposed Measures for Indicators 1 and 2

Domain B: K–12 Learning and Engagement

Indicator 3: Disparities in Engagement in Schooling

Proposed Measures for Indicator 3

Indicator 4: Disparities in Performance in Coursework

Proposed Measures for Indicator 4

Indicator 5: Disparities in Performance on Tests

Proposed Measures for Indicator 5

Domain C: Educational Attainment

Indicator 6: Disparities in On-Time Graduation

Proposed Measures for Indicator 6

Indicator 7: Disparities in Postsecondary Readiness

Proposed Measures for Indicator 7

Review of Existing Data Sources and Publications

5 Indicators of Disparities in Access to Educational Opportunities

Domain D: Extent of Racial, Ethnic, and Economic Segregation

Indicator 8: Disparities in Students’ Exposure to Racial, Ethnic, and Economic Segregation

Proposed Measures for Indicator 8

Domain E: Equitable Access to High-Quality Early Learning Programs

Indicator 9: Disparities in Access to and Participation in High-Quality Pre-K Programs

Proposed Measures for Indicator 9

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Monitoring Educational Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25389.
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B-2 Principles Used to Derive Indicators in Is School Funding Fair?

FIGURES

1-1 Percentage of children in economically disadvantaged families by race and ethnicity, 2017

1-2 Percentage distribution of public school students enrolled in prekindergarten through grade 12, by race and ethnicity: fall 2000, 2015, and projected for 2027

1-3 Percentage of children aged birth to 17 with household languages other than English, 2004-2013

2-1 Potential uses of educational equity indicators by different stakeholders

2-2 Steps in the educational progress: Preschool to high school graduation and the transition to postsecondary pursuits

4-1 Percentage distribution of fall 2009 9th-grade students who had completed high school, by fall 2013 postsecondary enrollment status and race and ethnicity, 2013

4-2 Percentage distribution of all 2009 9th-grade students who had completed high school, by fall 2013 postsecondary enrollment status and socioeconomic status (SES): 2013

5-1 Comparison of proportion of students in poverty and proportion of students in low-income schools, by race, 2014

5-2 Student suspensions by race, sex, and disability status, school year 2013-2014, K–12 public schools

TABLES

S-1 Proposed Indicators of Educational Equity

4-1 Proposed Indicators of Disparities in Student Outcomes

4-2 Educational Attainment of the Population Aged 25 and Older by Race, Ethnicity, and Nativity Status, 2015: in percent

4-3 Potential Data Sources and Measures for Domain A, Kindergarten Readiness

4-4 Potential Data Sources and Measures for Domain B, K–12 Learning and Engagement

4-5 Potential Data Sources and Measures for Domain C, Educational Attainment

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Monitoring Educational Equity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25389.
×

5-1 Proposed Indicators of Disparities in Access to Educational Opportunities

5-2 Enrollment of 3- to 5-Year-Olds in Preschool and Pre-K Programs by Race and Ethnicity, Parental Education, Immigrant Status, and Household Income, 2013: in percent

5-3 Schools with No Access to Core Math Courses, by Percentage of Racial/Ethnic Minority Students

5-4 Schools with No Access to Core Science Courses, by Percentage of Racial/Ethnic Minority Students

5-5 Schools with No Access to Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or Dual Enrollment Courses, by Percentage of Racial/Ethnic Minority Students

5-6 Schools with No Access to Core Math Courses, by Percentage of Economically Disadvantaged Students

5-7 Schools with No Access to Core Science Courses, by Percentage of Economically Disadvantaged Students

5-8 Schools with No Access to Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or Dual Enrollment Courses, by Percentage of Economically Disadvantaged Students

5-9 Potential Data Sources and Measures for Domain D, Extent of Racial, Ethnic, and Economic Segregation

5-10 Potential Data Sources and Measures for Domain E, Equitable Access to High-Quality Early Learning Programs

5-11 Potential Data Sources and Measures for Domain F, Equitable Access to High-Quality Curricula and Instruction

5-12 Potential Data Sources and Measures for Domain G, Equitable Access to Supportive School and Classroom Environments

B-1 Organizations and Their Reports with Indicators of Educational Equity

B-2 Education Indicators in the KIDS Count Index

B-3 Indicators in Academic Key Performance Indicators: 2018 Report

B-4 Indicators in Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card on Funding Fairness

B-5 Education Indicators in America’s Children

B-6 Indicators in the Condition of Education

B-7 Indicators in Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups

B-8 Indicators in the State of Preschool Yearbooks

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Disparities in educational attainment among population groups have characterized the United States throughout its history. Education is sometimes characterized as the “great equalizer,” but to date, the country has not found ways to successfully address the adverse effects of socioeconomic circumstances, prejudice, and discrimination that suppress performance for some groups.

To ensure that the pursuit of equity encompasses both the goals to which the nation aspires for its children and the mechanisms to attain those goals, a revised set of equity indicators is needed. Measures of educational equity often fail to account for the impact of the circumstances in which students live on their academic engagement, academic progress, and educational attainment. Some of the contextual factors that bear on learning include food and housing insecurity, exposure to violence, unsafe neighborhoods, adverse childhood experiences, and exposure to environmental toxins. Consequently, it is difficult to identify when intervention is necessary and how it should function. A revised set of equity indicators should highlight disparities, provide a way to explore potential causes, and point toward possible improvements.

Monitoring Educational Equity proposes a system of indicators of educational equity and presents recommendations for implementation. This report also serves as a framework to help policy makers better understand and combat inequity in the United States’ education system. Disparities in educational opportunities reinforce, and often amplify, disparities in outcomes throughout people’s lives. Thus, it is critical to ensure that all students receive comprehensive supports that level the playing field in order to improve the well-being of underrepresented individuals and the nation.

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