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Do You See What I See?: A Case for Data Literacy in Advancing Equity Outcomes


by Kandi Bauman - August 07, 2019

Across the country, colleges and universities are engaging in transformational change and reform initiatives to address race-based disparities in student success and completion. A critical step in equity-minded strategies to address institutional policies, practices, and mindsets that ensure equitable outcomes is to regularly review and analyze disaggregated data. With the insight and expertise of cross-divisional teams, educational leaders use disaggregated data to illuminate racial equity gaps and to further identify effective response strategies. This commentary notes the importance of, and oft-overlooked, competencies and capacity concerning data literacy when utilizing disaggregated data to advance equity outcomes. The author suggests that in order for staff, faculty, and administrators to fully and meaningfully engage in discussions and activities of equity inquiry, they must have the requisite data literacy skills to critically examine the evidence and metrics provided. To create positive changes in equity outcomes and advance data literacy, leaders must provide the conditions for practitioners to examine data intentionally through the provision of professional development opportunities on the technical concepts of data use, selection of appropriate data tools for data proficiency, and facilitation of iterative cycles of reflection that require practitioners to effectively use data to hold equity as a standard of practice.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: August 07, 2019
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 23021, Date Accessed: 12/13/2019 7:33:39 PM

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