Photo Credit: Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages

Improving Educational Equality in New York State

Children across the United States have widely different access to educational opportunities in their homes, communities, and schools. These inequities in opportunity stem from deep-rooted societal inequalities between, among, and across racial and economic groups; these inequities contribute to group differences in educational outcomes before children even enter the classroom. Still, school systems control important decisions that have the power to remediate such educational disparities - for example, through decisions regarding resource distribution, availability of prekindergarten programming, and access to advanced coursework. In order to effectively combat inequality, states, districts, and schools need system-level research that shows how and at what level of the education system equity-focused policies and interventions can be targeted to improve outcomes.

The Educational Opportunity Impact Lab (EOP) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) are working as partners to measure, monitor, and analyze the landscape of educational equity across the New York State education system. Together, they will leverage NYSED’s detailed longitudinal data on students, teachers, classrooms, and schools to study how education systems influence disparities in educational opportunities and outcomes from kindergarten through high school graduation.

The lab’s work will support NYSED policymakers as they work to address the priority outlined in their Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiative to “examine and address the root causes of the persistent disparities that impact student and life outcomes.” Specifically, the equity indicators developed by the lab will be included in equity reports, used to enhance NYSED’s data collection, and shared with key policymakers and stakeholders throughout the system. The long-term vision is a partnership that serves as a model for other research partnerships with state boards of education focused on educational equity.

Partners:

  • Erin Fahle, Research Scientist, Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA)
  • Allison Armour-Garb, Special Advisor to the Executive Deputy Commissioner, NYSED
  • Rose Le-Roy, Director of Educational Data and Research, NYSED
  • sean reardon, Stanford Graduate School of Education
  • Andrew Ho, Professor of Education, Harvard
  • Ben Shear, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Ben Domingue, Assistant Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Education
  • Alvin Pearman, Assistant Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Education

Advisory board:

For more information, please contact:

Thalia Ramirez, operations manager, at tceleste [at] stanford.edu. Learn more about and follow our lab’s work at the Educational Opportunity Project website or on twitter @seda_data and @NYSEDNews.

 

Related research:

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2019). Monitoring educational equity. National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25389

Matheny, K. T., Thompson, M. E., Townley Flores, C., & Reardon, S. F. (2021). Increasing school segregation widens White-Black achievement gaps. [Data Discovery by The Educational Opportunity Project] https://edopportunity.org/discoveries/segregation-leads-to-inequality/

Reardon, S. F., Weathers, E. S., Fahle, E. M., Jang, H., & Kalogrides, D. (2021). Is separate still unequal? New evidence on school segregation and racial academic achievement gaps (CEPA Working Paper No. 19-06). Retrieved from Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis https://cepa.stanford.edu/wp19-06   

Drescher, J.C., Podolsky, A., Reardon, S.F., & Torrance, G. (2022). The geography of rural educational opportunity. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 8(3),  123-149. https://doi.org/10.7758/RSF.2022.8.3.05  

Fahle, E.M. Reardon, S.F., Kalogrides, D. Weathers, E.S., & Jang, H. (2020). Racial segregation and school poverty in the United States, 1999-2016. Race and Social Problems, 12(1), 42-56https://doi.org/10.1007/s12552-019-09277-w.

Bloom, H.S., Unterman, R., Zhu, P., & Reardon, S.F. (2020). Lessons from New York City's small schools of choice about high-school features that promote graduation for disadvantaged students. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 39(3), 740-771. https://doi.org/10.1002/pam.22192.

Jang, H. & Reardon, S.F. (2019). States as sites of educational (in)equality: State contexts and the socioeconomic achievement gradient. AERA open, 5(3). https://doi.org/10.1177/2332858419872459.

Reardon, S.F., Fahle, E., Kalogrides, D., Podolsky, A., & Zarate, R.C. (2019). Gender achievement gaps in U.S. school districts. American Educational Research Journal, 56(6), 2474-2508https://doi.org/10.3102/0002831219843824.

Reardon, S.F. (2019). Educational opportunity in early and middle childhood: using full population administrative data to study variation by place and age. RSF: The Russell Sage Journal of the Social Sciences, 5(2), 40-68. https://doi.org/10.7758/RSF.2019.5.2.03.

Reardon, S.F., Kalogrides, D., Shores, K. (2019). The geography of racial/ethnic test score gaps. American Journal of Sociology, 124(4), 1164-1221https://doi.org/10.1086/700678.