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A Data Inquiry Guide for Exploring Equity Issues and Solutions

A Data Inquiry Guide for Exploring Equity Issues and Solutions


In this guide you will learn to:

  • Understand the criteria of an equitable school and classroom;
  • Use data to identify and address equity issues;
  • Engage in conversations about how your school or district is
    serving all students;
  • Develop action plans for increasing equity.

About the Data Inquiry Guide:

  • In order to meet the diverse needs of all students in public schools, teachers and administrators need to use data to identify and address equity issues. A Data Inquiry Guide for Exploring Equity Issues and Solutions supports stakeholders who want to make positive changes in their schools to increase equity. This comprehensive guide includes three unique tools: MAEC’s Equity Audit as a framework for exploring and assessing educational equity; a nine-step data inquiry cycle through which stakeholders can create action plans to increase equity and awareness of how well schools are working for all students; and case studies that describe common equity issues encountered in schools and examples of solutions to address them.
  • Systems-level change happens through thorough examination of systems, practices, and policies: the Data Inquiry Guide will walk you through how to do it. 

This guide was developed for the Center for Education Equity at MAEC through a partnership between MAEC and WestEd. Writers and developers of the materials were: Susan Villani, Susan Mundry, Velma Cobb, and Susan Henry, WestEd; and Phoebe Schlanger, Susan Shaffer, and Maria del Rosario (Charo) Basterra, MAEC.

  • We appreciate the insightful and specific feedback on the pilot version of this guide from:
    The Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, MA Data Inquiry Team: Dawn Bentley, Assistant Superintendent for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and District, Parent; Deborah Bookis, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning; Andrew Shen, Principal, Junior High School; Larry Dorey, Principal, High School; Dana Labb, Principal, Blanchard Memorial School; Heather Haines, Mathematics Curriculum Specialist/Coach and District Parent; Mike Balulescu, Social Studies Educator, Junior High School and Acton-Boxborough Education Association Co-President; Brigitte Seeley, Data Specialist; I’Esha Thomas, Counselor, High School; Sara Mann, English Teacher, High School; Sarah Mosher, General Education Teacher, Conant Elementary; David Green, Social Studies/History Department Leader, High School; Vin Wallack, General Education Teacher, McCarthy-Towne Elementary
  • Marc I. Bernstein, Supervisor IDEA Services Bucks County Intermediate Unit # 22, Doylestown, PA
  • Steve Hamilton, consultant, for his deep knowledge and advice about inclusively addressing the needs of students who are LGBTQIA+
  • Barrett Wilkinson, MPPS, Equity Specialist, Portland Public Schools, Portland, ME

More on Data Inquiry from the Center for Education Equity at MAEC

  • Using Data Inquiry to Advance Equity
    This webinar demonstrates the benefits of putting equity at the center of data use in schools and shares the publication that the Center for Education Equity (CEE) created to support districts and schools to engage in data inquiry. Presenters include members of a data inquiry team in Massachusetts who are using CEE’s Data Inquiry Guide for Exploring Equity Issues and Solutions in their school district.
  • Educators Use Data and Find Solutions to Improve Equity
    This paper provides an overview of how education leaders collect and use data to address questions related to equity, identify the root causes of their problems, and make decisions to implement change.
  • One “High-Performing” District’s Path Towards Equity
    Dawn G. Bentley, Ed.D. and her colleague from Acton-Boxborough Regional School District, MA, were charged with creating an equity audit for their district. In her blog she walks us through their journey and involvement in the piloting of CEE’s Data Inquiry Guide for Exploring Equity Issues and Solutions.

Download MAEC's Data Inquiry Guide

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