Skip to Main Content
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on National Statistics
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Monitoring Educational Equity
Educational_Equity_ImageThis new report from the Board on Testing and Assessment and the Committee on National Statistics calls for a centralized, consistently reported system of indicators of educational equity to shed light on disparities in the U.S. education system. Indicators - measures used to track performance and monitor change over time – can help convey why disparities arise, identify groups most affected by them, and inform policy and practice decisions to improve equity in pre-K through 12th grade education. These indicators would fall into two categories: (1) indicators that measure and track disparities in student outcomes such as kindergarten academic readiness, coursework performance, and on-time graduation; and (2) indicators that measure and track disparities in students’ access to resources and opportunities, such as high-quality pre-K programs, effective teachers, rigorous curricula, and non-academic supports. The purpose of the system of equity indicators is not to simply track progress toward educational goals, but to identify differences in critical outcomes and opportunities across key population groups. The report discusses differences based on gender, race and ethnicity, English-language fluency, family income, and disability status.

Read the summary | Read the full report | Read the press release


Statement of Task:

An ad hoc committee will develop a set of indicators related to equity in educational outcomes for students, ranging from 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 students 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 these 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.

Meetings of the Committee

Meeting 1- April 20-21, 2017 (Public Agenda)
Meeting 2- October 2-3, 2017 (Public Agenda
Meeting 3- January 29-30, 2018 (Closed)
Meeting 4- May 21-22, 2018 (Closed)
Meeting 5- September 18-19, 2018 (Closed)

Commissioned Papers

Measuring the Civic Participation of Adolescents by David E. Campbell
Vital Signs for the American Education System by Jennifer L. Jennings
Indicators of the Equity of School Readiness by Katherine Magnuson
Graduating from High School Ready for College by Jenny Nagaoka
Immediate Transitions: Common Pathways After High School Graduation by Lashawn Richburg-Hayes
Developing Equity Indicators for On-Time Graduation by Russell W. Rumberger and Jay Stratte Plasman
Real Needs and Real Resources: Identifying Indicators of School Funding Equity by Lori L. Taylor

Activity Information

Type: Consensus Study

Board: Committee on National Statistics



Staff Information

Judy Koenig, Study Director
Natalie Nielsen, Associate Program Officer



Committee Members

Christopher Edley, Jr. Chair, University of California, Berkeley
Elaine Allensworth, University of Chicago
Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Stella Flores, New York University
Nancy Gonzales, Arizona State University
Laura Hamilton, The RAND Corporation
James Kemple, New York University, Steinhardt
Sharon Lewis, Retired
Michael MacKenzie, Centre for Research on Children and Families, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Kent McGuire, Southern Education Foundation
Sara McLanahan, Princeton University
Meredith Phillips, University of California, Los Angeles
Morgan Polikoff, University of Southern California, Rossier
Sean Reardon, Stanford University
Karonlyn Tyson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Committee Biosketches



The American Educational Research Association, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Ford Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation



For more information, contact: Judy Koenig

Mailing Address

Keck Center

500 Fifth Street, NW

Washington, DC 20001



CNSTAT Home About CNSTAT CNSTAT Members CNSTAT Staff CNSTAT Mission Other Sites of Interest News and Events Upcoming Events CNSTAT News Public Seminars and Symposia Our Work Approaches to Estimating the Prevalence of Human Trafficking in the US Challenges and New Approaches for Protecting Privacy in Federal Statistical Programs Contingent Work and Alternate Work Arrangements Developing Indicators of Educational Equity Transparency and Reproducibility of Federal Statistics for the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics Using Models to Estimate Hog Production Workshop on Improving the American Community Survey Workshop on Social Science Modeling for Big Data in the World of Machine Learning Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency People, Projects, and Publications 2018-2019 Presentations from Meetings and Workshops Publications CNSTAT Reports Principles and Practices (P&P) Work With Us Our Study Process Study Process Brochure Getting to Know the Committee Process Overview for Sponsors Guide for Study Sponsors