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Monitoring Educational Equity

Resource type: Research Report

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine |

Disparities in educational attainment among population groups have characterized the United States throughout its history. Education is sometimes characterized as the “great equalizer,” but to date, the country has not found ways to successfully address the adverse effects of socioeconomic circumstances, prejudice, and discrimination that suppress performance for some groups.

Measures of educational equity often fail to account for the impact of the circumstances in which students live. Some of the contextual factors that bear on learning include food and housing insecurity, exposure to violence, unsafe neighborhoods, adverse childhood experiences, and exposure to environmental toxins.

This report proposes a system of indicators of educational equity and presents recommendations for implementation. It also serves as a framework to help policy makers better understand and combat inequity in the United States’ education system.

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National Academy of Sciences is an Atlantic grantee. Atlantic commissioned this report.