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ERIC Number: EJ898897
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1555-5062
Schools of Excellence and Equity? Using Equity Audits as a Tool to Expose a Flawed System of Recognition
Brown, Kathleen M.
International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, v5 n5 p1-12 2010
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how equity audits can be used as a tool to expose disparate achievement in schools that, on the surface and to the public, appear quite similar. To that end, the researcher probed beyond surface-level performance composite scores into deeper, more hidden data associated with state-recognized "Honor Schools of Excellence." How is "excellence" defined and operationalized in these schools? Are these schools "excellent" for "all" students? Can a school really be classified by the state as "excellent" and yet still have significant "gaps" and disparities? If so, is the state's formula used to identify exemplary schools too simple, dogmatic, and institutionally flawed? Through the use of equity audits, quantitative data was collected to scan for systemic patterns of equity and inequity across multiple domains of student learning and activities within 24 elementary schools. The intent was to document and distinguish between schools that are promoting and supporting both academic excellence (small gap schools; SGS) and systemic equity and schools that are not (large gap schools; LGS). Results reveal that although demographic, teacher quality, and programmatic audits all indicated a fair amount of equity between SGS and LGS, the achievement audit between both types of schools indicated great disparities. By controlling for or eliminating some of the external variables and internal factors often cited for the achievement gaps between white middle-class children and children of color or children from low-income families, the findings from this study raise more questions than answers. Results do indicate that equity audits are a practical, easy-to-apply tool that educators can use to identify inequalities objectively. (Contains 5 tables.)
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, and College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. Web site: http://journals.sfu.ca/ijepl/index.php/ijepl
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001