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Using Data to Identify Equity Gaps in Education

Midwest | August 11, 2023

Time: 9:15 a.m. Eastern

Location: NCES STATS-DC Data Conference 2023, Bethesda, Maryland

Description: Students learn best when they feel physically and emotionally safe, connected to school, academically challenged, and respected by adults; however, many students, especially students of color, report that they do not feel safe and supported at school. REL Midwest is partnering with Ohio school districts to develop, test, and refine the Making Equitable Schools Audit (MESA) approach. This data-informed approach for high schools focuses on improving student sense of belonging by reducing the use of exclusionary discipline policies and practices that inequitably affect students of color and students receiving special education services. The MESA approach supports teams of school leaders in using data to identify potential sources of disparate discipline referrals and to implement policies and programs that equitably address student needs. Through the MESA approach, REL Midwest, school staff, and community members engage in an equity audit to review school-level data, examine and interpret data to identify equity gaps, develop key findings across different data sources, and prioritize findings to inform action planning.

In this presentation, the team will discuss successes and challenges related to requesting and obtaining equity data. The team will also discuss strategies to bring a diverse group of partners together to discuss equity-related data.


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