How data can be used in service of equity


Now that your team has identified an Equity Challenge and created an Equity Imperative, it is important to consider how you know if you’ve made progress towards addressing your equity challenge. While using data to measure your progress can be a helpful tool, many of the well-worn data routines in schools end up reinforcing inequities rather than disrupting them. Some precautions when using data include:

  • Data being an inequitably distributed resource that historically have been used against people with the least power in schools
  • Data dehumanizing people, obscuring the full range of human experience by focusing on averages and reducing people’s complex experiences to easily-quantifiable metrics
  • Data being susceptible to interpretation without contextualization

This chapter includes resources that shift thinking in ways that humanize data and re-imagine the ways in which data can be used in service of equity rather than perpetuating preconceived assumptions people may hold about students.