Data inform our progress toward equity

By Elizabeth Foster
June 2021
Acting to dismantle structural racial inequities begins with identifying and clearly naming the challenges we face. Data play a powerful role in this process. Several recent publications synthesize data sources, research findings, and expert recommendations to inform and guide equity improvement efforts. They can make a sizable contribution to our understanding of where we are, why we need to make change, and how far we need to go to ensure access to opportunity for all students. Understanding inequities One of these syntheses is a five-part Statement of the Evidence volume produced by the Society for Research in Child Development in September 2020. It includes two-page summaries of research on students from each of five demographic groups — American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian American, Black,

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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2019). Monitoring educational equity. The National Academies Press.

The framework for monitoring equity was featured in a panel discussion at the May 2021 AERA Annual Conference. The video can be found at:

Yip, T. (Ed.) (2020, September 9). Addressing inequities in education during the COVID-19 pandemic: How education policy and schools can support historically and currently marginalized children and youth. Society for Research in Child Development.

Vice President, Standards & Research | + posts

Elizabeth Foster ( is vice president, research & standards at Learning Forward. In each issue of The Learning Professional, Foster explores recent research to help practitioners understand the impact of particular professional learning practices on student outcomes.

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