Reporting: Why is subgroup data important?

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    Kristin Town

    Why do we look at subgroup data?

    We look at subgroup or student groups for the purpose of ensuring that students have equitable outcomes and access. We want to make sure that our practices (as measured by assessments or other data points) are having a positive effect.  And when they are not, we want to analyze why and then see what we can do about it. In addition, Every Student Succeeds Act includes provisions that will help both students and schools succeed. The law specifically addresses subgroup performance. For example, the law:

    • Advances equity by upholding critical protections for America's disadvantaged and high-need students.
    • Maintains an expectation that there will be accountability and action to effect positive change in our lowest-performing schools, where groups of students are not making progress, and where graduation rates are low over extended periods of time.

    In the most recent California State Board of Ed. meeting minutes,  "Crosscutting Theme: Equity Lens—the State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Advisory Task Force on Accountability and Continuous Improvement" developed the following definition of equity:

    Educational equity exists where students, particularly from vulnerable student groups, are guaranteed the culturally appropriate and linguistically accessible supports and resources needed to take advantage of educational opportunities and succeed in school at the same level as other students.

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