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When Equity Is Optional: Students of Color More Likely to Attend Low-Rated Schools

In our When Equity Is Optional series, we analyzed data from the first year of ESSA implementation in 10 states (Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, and Washington) and found that states have used ESSA’s flexibility to take wildly varied approaches to school ratings and school improvement.

School ratings can reveal disparities in the quality of education different groups of students receive. Based on the enrollment of students by race in schools with the highest and lowest ratings under ESSA, students of color do not have equitable access to an excellent education. Black and Latino students were more likely to attend low-rated schools than White students.

Black and Latino students are much more likely to attend low-rated schools and be underrepresented in high-rated schools. Equity shouldn’t be optional for states. Read #WhenEquityisOptional report from @All4Ed. Click To Tweet

When Equity Is Optional Series

November 18, 2020

Publication | Accountability and Support, Every Student Succeeds Act

When Equity Is Optional

Our data on ESSA implementation show how states have used ESSA’s flexibility to take wildly varied approaches to school accountability and support—and the consequences of these choices for students of color.
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November 18, 2020

Publication | Accountability and Support, Every Student Succeeds Act

When Equity Is Optional: How State Choices Affect Ratings and Identification for Support under ESSA

Students in low-performing schools—who are much more likely to be students of color or from low-income families—in different states have very different odds of receiving the support they need to improve.
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November 18, 2020

Publication | Accountability and Support, Every Student Succeeds Act, High Schools

When Equity Is Optional: Low-Graduation-Rate High Schools and the 67% Threshold

ESSA requires states to identify high schools where fewer than 67% of students graduate for comprehensive support and improvement (CSI). This might seem like a bright-line rule that would affect states similarly, but the likelihood that high schools were identified varied widely.
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January 14, 2020

Publication | Accountability and Support, Every Student Succeeds Act

When Equity Is Optional: Do School Ratings and Accountability Systems Send Consistent Signals?

Across 10 states, many schools with low ratings were overlooked to receive additional help and supports from their state and school district.
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Anne Hyslop

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