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Project Information

Project Information

Developing Indicators of Educational Equity

Project Scope:

An ad hoc committee will develop a set of indicators around equity in educational outcomes and relevant inputs for pre-K through the transition to post-secondary education. To develop the indicators, the committee will examine existing indicator systems in education and child well-being. The committee will review a wide range of research related to these systems and the types of outcomes that are important for the education system to achieve (e.g., readiness for the next level of schooling, opportunities to learn, academic performance, persistence, and engagement). The committee will also examine research on school and non-school inputs that are related to those outcomes, the extent of inequality in these inputs and outcomes, and interventions that have been shown to improve outcomes. The committee will prepare a report that: 

  • presents the indicators that it recommends for use in education; 
  • uses the available data on those indicators to describe the nation's status in terms of improving such outcomes as achievement, graduation rates, college and career readiness, and postsecondary educational attainment for students whose characteristics or circumstances put them at risk of school failure; 
  • highlights potentially promising points of intervention for policymakers;  
  • identifies gaps in existing data and research; and 
  • identifies future directions for monitoring and improving progress on the indicators, including the major considerations in developing such a system and sustaining it over time.  

Status: Current


Project Duration (months): 30 month(s)

RSO: Citro, Connie


Committee on National Statistics



Committee Membership

Committee Post Date: 01/17/2017

Dr. Christopher F. Edley, Jr. - (Co-Chair)
Christopher Edley is the honorable William H. Orrick, Jr. distinguished professor, and faculty director at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at the University of California Berkeley School of Law. He was dean of the U.C. Berkeley School of Law from 2004 to 2013, after 23 years as a Harvard Law professor. His academic work is in administrative law, civil rights, education policy, and domestic public policy generally. Professor Edley has moved between academia and public service, each enriching the other and together giving him broad familiarity with many areas of public policy. He served
in White House policy and budget positions under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. In Clinton’s
OMB, he oversaw budgets and legislative initiatives for five cabinet departments and over 40 independent agencies, with budget responsibility totaling in the hundreds of billions of dollars. As senior counsel to Clinton, he directed a government-wide review of affirmative action programs. Edley held senior positions in five presidential campaigns, including senior policy adviser for Barack Obama; he then served on Obama’s Transition Board with responsibility for Education, Immigration and Health. More recently, Edley co-chaired the congressionally chartered National Commission on Education Equity and Excellence
(2011-2013). The Commission’s charge was to revisit the 1983 report, A Nation at Risk, and recommend future directions for reform; he chairs the follow-on effort, For Each & Every Child. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, National Academy of Public Administration, Council of Foreign Relations, Gates Foundation’s National Programs Advisory Panel, and has served on many panels for the National Research Council. He has served on numerous NRC panels, most recently as co-chair of the Committee for the Five Year (2009-2013) Summative Evaluation of the District of Columbia Public Schools. He holds a B.A. in mathematics from Swarthmore College, an M.A. from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Dr. Lorraine M. McDonnell - (Co-Chair)
Lorraine McDonnell is a professor of political science at the University of California Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on the politics of student testing, the design and implementation of educational reform initiatives, and the institutions of educational governance. She was the 2008-09 president of the American Educational Research Association. Dr. McDonnell was co-vice chair of the NRC's Board on Testing and Assessment, and has served on numerous NRC committees. She served on the Division Committee for the Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, and the Committee on Independent Evaluation of DC Public Schools. She also served as the chair of the steering committee on State Standards in Education, co-chair of the Committee on the U.S. Naturalization Test Redesign and the Committee on Goals 2000 and Students with Disabilities, and co-chair of the Committee for the Five Year (2009-2013) Summative Evaluation of the District of Columbia Public Schools. She has a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University, and was named a National Associate of the National Academies in 2003.

Dr. Elaine Allensworth
Elaine Allensworth is the Lewis-Sebring director of the Consortium on Chicago School Research, where she conducts studies on what matters for student success and school improvement. Her research on early indicators of high school graduation has been used to create student tracking systems used in Chicago and districts across the country. In addition to studying educational attainment, she conducts research in the areas of school leadership and school organization. She has been the principal investigator on research grants from funders such as the Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Allensworth has received a number of awards from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) for outstanding publications, including the Palmer O. Johnson award for an outstanding article in an AERA journal, Division H awards for Outstanding Instructional Research and Planning Research, and a Policy and Management Research award. Dr. Allensworth has previously served on the National Academies Committee on Workshop on
Key National Education Indicators, and the Committee for Improved Measurement of High School Dropout and Completion Rates: Expert Guidance on Next Steps for Research and Policy Workshop. Dr. Allensworth received her M.A. in sociology and urban studies, and her Ph.D. in sociology from Michigan State University.

Mr. Albert Carvalho
Alberto Carvalho is superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Mr. Carvalho leads the nation’s fourth largest school system, which has more than 350 schools with 400,000 students. Mr. Carvalho has served the school system in several capacities since 1998, including as chief communications officer, administrative director and as both associate and assistant superintendent. Under Mr. Carvalho's leadership, the district won the 2014 College Board Advanced Placement Equity and Excellence District of the Year and the 2012 Broad Prize for Urban Education. Mr. Carvalho was selected as the National Superintendent of the Year in 2014 and has received honors from both Mexico and Portugal. He currently serves on the National Assessment Governing Board. Carvalho earned a B.S. in Biology from Barry University in 1990.

Dr. Stella Flores
Stella Flores is an associate professor of higher education at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She is also director of access and equity at the Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy at New York University. In her research she employs large-scale databases and quantitative methods to investigate the effects of state and federal policies on college access and completion rates for low-income and underrepresented populations. Dr. Flores has written about Minority Serving Institutions, immigrant students, English Language Learners, the role of alternative admissions plans and financial aid programs in college admissions in the U.S and abroad, demographic changes in U.S. education, and Latino students and community colleges. In 2010, she was named a National Academy of Education/Spencer postdoctoral fellow. Her research has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Academy of Education, the Spencer Foundation and the Educational Testing Service. Prior appointments before NYU include Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University as well as positions as a program evaluator for the U.S. General Accountability Office and a program specialist for the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Dr. Flores holds an Ed.D. in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University, an Ed.M. from Harvard University, an MPAff from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. from Rice University.
Dr. Nancy Gonzales
Nancy Gonzales is associate dean of faculty at Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. Gonzales' primary research interests focus on cultural and contextual influences on adolescent mental health. Her work includes research on the role of neighborhood disadvantage and acculturation on children's mental health and on how these influences are mediated or moderated by family processes within Mexican American and African American families. She also is involved in the development and evaluation of culturally sensitive interventions for Mexican American and African American families. Her areas of research include: culture/ethnic issues in prevention research; prevention of Mexican American school dropout and mental health problems; acculturation and enculturation of
Mexican American children and families; and contextual influences on adolescent development. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

Dr. Laura Hamilton
Laura Hamilton is a senior behavioral scientist and research quality assurance manager at the RAND Corporation, a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and an adjunct faculty member in the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Sciences and Policy program. Her research addresses educational assessment, accountability, the measurement and evaluation of instruction and school leadership, the use of data for instructional decision making, and evaluation of technology-based curriculum reforms. She has led several large-multi-site studies and has expertise in the collection and analysis of interview, focus group, survey, and student outcome data. Recent projects include an investigation of how districts and charter management organizations are implementing new teacher and principal evaluation and compensation reforms and an evaluation of personalized-learning initiatives. She serves on several state and national panels on topics related to assessment, accountability, educator evaluation, and data use. She recently served as a member of the committee that revised the Standards for Educational and
Psychological Testing and as chair of a What Works Clearinghouse panel on data-driven decision making. She is currently on the NRC Committee on the Evaluation of NAEP Achievement Levels. She holds an M.S. in statistics and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Stanford University.

Dr. James J. Kemple
James Kemple is the executive director of the Research Alliance for New York City Schools and
research professor at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. Dr. Kemple is particularly well known for his work examining high school reform efforts, assessing performance trends in NYC’s educational landscape, and designing rigorous impact evaluations. He also serves as the principal investigator on a range of Research Alliance studies
including those examining the efficacy of on-track indicators for different grade levels; performance trends in New York City (NYC) high schools; and the effects of school closure. He collaborates with the NYC Department of Education, private foundations, and other stakeholders to identify research priorities and develop new lines of inquiry. Dr. Kemple began his career as a high school math teacher. He also managed the Higher Achievement program, which serves disadvantaged youth in Washington, D.C. Dr. Kemple holds an Ed.D. and Ed.M. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, with a concentration in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy for Community and Urban Education, as well as a B.A. in Mathematics from the College of the Holy Cross.

Ms. Sharon J. Lewis
Sharon Lewis recently retired from the position of director of research for the Council of the Great City Schools in Washington, D.C. While there, she directed the council’s research program, which contributes to the organization’s efforts to improve teaching and learning in the nation’s urban schools as well as help develop education policy. She has previously worked as a national education consultant. Earlier, she was assistant superintendent of research, development and coordination, with the Detroit Public Schools. She has extensive experience with the NAS, most recently as a member of the Committee for the Five Year (2009-2013) Summative Evaluation of the District of Columbia Public Schools, the Board on Testing and
Assessment, and the Committee on the Evaluation of NAEP Achievement Levels. Lewis earned an M.A. in educational research from Wayne State University.

Dr. Michael MacKenzie
Michael MacKenzie is associate professor of social work and pediatrics chancellor's scholar for child wellbeing at Rutgers School of Social Work. Dr. MacKenzie is one of a very small number of Social Work researchers with advanced graduate training in molecular genetics and physiology, allowing him to incorporate work on the stress hormone system and gene expression into his transdisciplinary studies of early social deprivation and harsh parenting. Dr. MacKenzie’s focus is on the accumulation of stress and risk in early parenting and the impact on caregiver perceptions and subsequent parenting behavior, including the etiology of harsh parenting and the pathways of children into and through the child welfare system. Dr. MacKenzie was Principal Investigator on a UNICEF funded project in Jordan that represented one of the first formal implementations of foster care and juvenile diversion as alternatives to institutionalization in the region. Dr. MacKenzie was also recently honored as a W.T. Grant Foundation Faculty Scholar for 2014-2019 to support a project examining the biological and social underpinnings of serial placement instability in the foster care system. Dr. MacKenzie holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Western Ontario, and a MSW, MA, and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Kent C. McGuire
C. Kent McGuire is president and CEO of the Southern Education Foundation. From 2003-2010, he served as dean of the College of Education and professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Temple University. Previously, he was senior vice president at Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, where his responsibilities included leadership of the education, children, and youth division. From 1998 to 2001, Dr. McGuire served in the Clinton administration as assistant secretary of education, focusing on research and development. Earlier, he was an education program officer at the Pew Memorial Trust and at the Eli Lilly Endowment. Dr. McGuire's current research interests focus on education administration and policy and organizational change. He has been involved
in a number of evaluation research initiatives on comprehensive school reform, education finance and school improvement. He has written and coauthored various policy reports, monographs, book chapters, articles, and papers in professional journals. He was previously a member of the NRC Committee on Defining Deeper Learning and 21st Century Skills, and the Committee for the Five Year (2009-2013) Summative Evaluation of the District of Columbia Public Schools. Recently he was a member of the NRC Committee on Independent Evaluation of DC Public Schools and the Center for Education Advisory Board. He received his masters degree in education administration and policy from Teachers College, Columbia University, and his doctorate in public administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1991.

Dr. Sara S. McLanahan
Sara McLanahan is the William S. Tod professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University. She is the founding director of the Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing and the interim director of the Education Research Section. She is a principal investigator of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and editor-in-chief of The Future of Children, a journal dedicated to providing research and analysis to promote effective policies and programs for children. Dr. McLanahan currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Russell Sage Foundation. She is a past president of the Population Association of America and has served on the boards of the American Sociological Association and the Population Association of America. She served on the National Academies Board on Children, Youth, and Families. She is currently on the National Academies Committee on Population. McLanahan was elected to the American Academy of Political Science in 2005, the National Academy of Sciences in 2011, and the American Philosophical Society in 2016. Dr. McLanahan earned her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1979. She received an honorary degree from Northwestern University in 2016.
Dr. Meredith Phillips
Meredith Phillips is associate professor of public policy and sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles Luskin School of Public Affairs. Phillips studies the causes and consequences of educational inequality. Her research focuses in particular on the causes of ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in educational success and how to reduce those disparities. Her current research projects include a
random-assignment evaluation of the efficacy of two low-cost college access interventions and an
ethnographic longitudinal study of adolescent culture, families, schools, and academic achievement. Phillips and her colleagues also recently developed school and classroom environment surveys for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Phillips co-founded EdBoost, a charitable, educational non-profit whose mission is to reduce educational inequality by making high-quality supplemental educational services accessible to children from all family backgrounds. Phillips also cofounded, and serves as research advisor to, the Los Angeles Education Research Institute. Phillips recently served on the
National Academies Committee on the Evaluation Framework for Successful K-12 STEM Education. She is a past recipient of a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation postdoctoral fellowship as
well as a dissertation award from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. Phillips received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University and her A.B. from Brown University.

Dr. Morgan Polikoff
Morgan Polikoff is an associate professor of education at the University of California, Rossier School of Education. His areas of expertise include K-12 education policy; Common Core standards; assessment policy; alignment among instruction, standards and assessments; and the measurement of classroom instruction. Dr. Polikoff uses quantitative methods to study the design, implementation, and effects of standards, assessment, and accountability policies. Recent work has investigated teachers' instructional responses to content standards and critiqued the design of school and teacher accountability systems. Ongoing work focuses on the implementation of Common Core standards and the influence of curriculum materials and assessments on implementation. He is an associate editor of American Educational Research Journal and on the editorial boards for AERA Open and Educational Administration Quarterly. His research is currently supported by the National Science Foundation, the WT Grant Foundation, and the Institute of Education Sciences, among other sources. Polikoff received his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education in 2010 with a focus on Education Policy and his Bachelors in Mathematics and Secondary Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign in 2006.
Dr. Sean F. Reardon

Sean Reardon is professor of poverty and inequality in education and is professor of sociology at Stanford University. His research focuses on the causes, patterns, trends, and consequences of social and educational inequality, the effects of educational policy on educational and social inequality, and in applied statistical methods for educational research. In addition, he develops methods of measuring social and educational inequality (including the measurement of segregation and achievement gaps) and methods of causal inference in educational and social science research. He teaches graduate courses in applied statistical methods, with a particular emphasis on the application of experimental and quasi-
experimental methods to the investigation of issues of educational policy and practice. He is a member of the National Academy of Education, and has been a recipient of a William T. Grant Foundation Scholar Award, a Carnegie Scholar Award, and a National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellowship. He previously served on the NRC Steering Committee for a Workshop on Developing a New National Survey on Social Mobility. Sean received his doctorate in education in 1997 from Harvard University.

Dr. Karolyn Tyson

Karolyn Tyson is associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Tyson joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in July 2001 after two years as a University of North Carolina minority postdoctoral fellow in the department. She specializes in qualitative research focused on issues related to schooling and inequality. She is particularly interested in understanding the complex interactions between schooling processes and the achievement outcomes of black students. Currently Dr. Tyson is collaborating with a team of researchers
on a multi-method, multi-site study examining issues centered on the law, rights consciousness, and legal
mobilization in American secondary schools. She has recently completed a book examining how and why black students have come to equate school success with whiteness. Dr. Tyson is also working on a study tracing the history of racialized tracking in a suburban school district and the consequences for the district’s black students. She received a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1999 and a B.A. from Spelman College in 1991.



Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center
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Is it a Closed Session Event?


Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
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9:30 Welcome, Introductions, Review of the agenda
Lorraine, Chris

Moderated Discussion with Commissioned Panelists


Outcome 1: Pre-K Readiness
• Katherine Magnuson, U of Wisc.

Outcomes 2 and 3: K-12 strong achievement and academic progress; engagement in schooling

• Lori Taylor, Texas A&M

• Douglas Ready, Columbia Teachers'College

• Stephanie Jones, Harvard

Outcome 4: On-time Graduation
• Russ Rumberger, UCSB; Jay Plasman, UCSB doctoral candidate

Outcome 5: Graduating College Ready

Outcome 6: Transition to Postsecondary Education & Training

9:35-10:45 Prepared remarks from panelists (10 minutes each, power points aren’t necessary)

10:45 to 12:15 Q and A with panelists

10:45 Pre-K readiness (discussant: Sara)
11:15 K-12 achievement and progress (discussant: Laura)
11:45 K-12 engagement in schooling (discussant: Sean)

12:15-12:45 Lunch in Meeting Room

12:45 to 2:15 Continued Q and A with panelists

12:45 On time graduation (discussant: Sharon)
1:15 Graduating college ready (discussant: Stella)
1:45 Postsecondary transition (discussant: Jim)

2:15 Adjourn open session
Is it a Closed Session Event?

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:


The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

Discuss definitions of equity
Discussion of Indicators and Criteria for Them
Discussion of the Fleshed-Out Report Outline
Next steps

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
December 09, 2017


Keck Center
500 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Event Type :  

Registration for Online Attendance :   

Registration for in Person Attendance :   

If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Kelly Arrington
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:  202-334-3776


Committee on Identifying Indicators of Education Equity
Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT)

Meeting 1: April 20-21, 2017
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Keck Center
500 Fifth St., NW
Washington DC


Thursday, April 20, 2017, Room 201

9:30 – 3:15 OPEN SESSION

9:30 Tab C Welcome, Introductions

Mary Ellen O’Connell, Executive Director, DBASSE
Constance Citro, Director, CNSTAT

9:45 Tab D Sponsors’ Goals and Priorities (45 min)
Discussion Leader: Laura Hamilton

Each sponsor should talk about the goals they have for the project: What expectations do they have for the project? What impacts would they like to see? How can we start building momentum and political will for the adoption of equity indicators?

• Vivian Tseng, W.T. Grant Foundation
• Howard Walters, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
• Chris Chapman, US Department of Education, IES
• Spencer Foundation
• Atlantic Philanthropies
• Ford Foundation

10:30 Tab E Take-away messages from the October 5, 2015 planning meeting (30 min.)
Discusstion Leader: Michael McKenzie
[10 min per panelist, 10 min for discussion]

• Richard Murnane, Harvard – by phone
• Natalie Nielsen, BOTA staff – in person

11:00 Break

11:15-3:00 Moderated Conversations with Researchers and Stakeholders

11:15 Tab F Panel 1: Considerations when Adopting Indicators (30 min.)
Discussion Leader: Jim Kemple
[10 min per panelist, 10 min for discussion]

Panelists will discuss the processes and criteria that are used to ensure that indicators represent valid, reliable, and useful measures of the status of the education system. Panelists will draw from two concrete examples that are illustrative of ones that have moved from research use to policy use – graduation rates and achievement test results.

• Elaine Allensworth, Consortium of Chicago School Research (committee member): High School Graduation Rates

• Sean Reardon, Stanford (committee member): State Achievement Test Results

11:45 Tab G Panel 2: Government Affiliated Data Collections (40 min.)
Discussion Leader: Sharon Lewis
[15 min per panelist, 10 min for discussion]

Panelists from two levels of government – federal and district--will discuss uses of civil rights/equity data collected by government agencies. Ms. Lhamon will discuss the ways the US Commission on Civil Rights uses the data. Mr. Carvalho will talk about the data his district is required to collect for different levels of government and the extent to which it is useful for informing policy and practice at the local level

• Catherine Lhamon, US Commission on Civil Rights, Chair

• Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade County Schools, Superintendent (committee member)

12:25-1:15 Lunch in Meeting Room (50 mins)

1:15 Tab H Panel 3: Use of Indicators for Policy Purposes (50 min.)
Discussion Leaders: Meredith Phillips, Karolyn Tyson
[10 min per panelist, 10 min for discussion]

This panel includes individuals from several organizations that advocate for improvements in education for all students. Panelists will address the following questions: (1) Of the equity indicators that the committee might focus on, what types would be most useful to the aims/mission of your organization? (2) How would you use them in your work?
• Natasha Ushomirsky, Education Trust
• Nat Mulkas, American Enterprise Institute
• Amber Northern, Fordham Institute
• Stephanie Wood-Garnett, Alliance for Excellence in Education

2:05 Tab I Panel 4: Disseminating and Interpreting Indicators (50 min.)
Discussion Leaders: Stella Flores, Morgan Polikoff
[10 mins per panelist, 10 min for discussion]

The panel includes individuals from organizations that disseminate and interpret information related to education equity. Panelists will share samples of reports published by their organization and address the following questions: (1) What equity indicators do you currently report? (2) What feedback do they receive from users of your reports?
• David Murphey, Child Trends
• Betsy Brand, American Youth Policy Forum
• Ilene Berman, Annie E Casey Foundation
• Jennifer Park, OMB, Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics: National Indicators of Well Being
3:00 Summing Up (15 mins.): Chris Edley and Lorraine McDonnell

3:15 Adjourn the Open Session
Is it a Closed Session Event?

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Christopher Edley
Lorraine McDonnell
Michael MacKenzie
Sara McLanahan
Stella Flores
Sharon Lewis
Karolyn Tyson
James Kemple
Morgan Polikoff
Nancy Gonzales
Alberto Carvalho
Kent McGuire
Elaine Allensworth
Laura Hamilton
Meredith Phillips
Sean Reardon

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

Overview of the Charge and Goals for Open Session
Defining Terms: What is an Indicator?
Discussion of Indicators and Evidence
What Information Do We Need?
Preliminary Ideas for Our Report
Next steps

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
December 09, 2017


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