Discussing and developing equity strategies can lead to significant improvements in student performance, and as Dr. Tyrone Howard of UCLA explained during a recent edWebinar, starting the process by looking at data on both students and teachers is a crucial first step toward mutual understanding and effective solutions.
Dr. Howard, who is an associate dean for equity, diversity, and inclusion and a professor in UCLA’s Graduate School of Education, pointed out that a focus on the data and the ways learning occurs in the classroom provide a factual basis for constructive conversations that build agreement about systemic improvements. And while the process may be challenging at times, it is increasingly important as schools become more diverse, and as performance gaps persist between different subgroups.
Analyzing and discussing
Data presented by Dr. Howard shows how high school graduation rates vary among different ethnic groups, and between males and females within those groups, resulting in wide disparities with African-American and Hispanic males as being especially at risk. Data on fourth-grade NAEP proficiency showed similar patterns but also included low results for students with disabilities or limited English proficiency, as well as those receiving free or reduced-price lunches.