SLDS Equity Index

SLDS Equity Profiles


How can the RI Department of Education (RIDE) use student longitudinal data to provide better information to districts on key equity challenges?

Overview: As part of Rhode Island’s Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) grant program, RIDE, DataSpark, and the Annenberg Institute are collaboratively developing an “equity index” to identify patterns around equitable student access to resources and provide better insight to schools and districts about interventions and opportunities that are likely to make a difference. The equity index will leverage student data across multiple dimensions from the RI SLDS, leading to networks of schools and districts working on shared equity challenges and opportunities.

Background: Through Rhode Island’s first SLDS grants in 2009 and 2012, the RI SLDS, managed by DataSpark at the University of Rhode Island, was developed, expanded, and leveraged as the state’s SLDS to support the state’s policy and research agenda. The current project aims to enhance the capability of Rhode Island’s existing SLDS to share data directly with local stakeholders at the district and school level, in order to help them make data-informed decisions to improve student learning and outcomes.

Methods: Building on national examples of equity indicators and interviews with Rhode Island education stakeholders, we first outline and operationalize key indicators of educational equity, including Engagement in Schooling, Postsecondary Readiness, and Access to and Enrollment in Rigorous Coursework. Using K-12 SLDS data, we then calculate school-level metrics on each indicator for each of Rhode Island’s schools, correlate the metrics with other indicators and outcomes of interest, and calculate a composite score for each indicator. These approaches will allow schools to view their equity and opportunity data in a new way, and to form communities of practice for learning and sharing practices with peer schools for each equity indicator.

Learn more about the SLDS Grant Program here