Equity Index Overview
Equity Index Methodology:
We arrived at our Equity Index by looking at a series of data points that represent:
- school environment,
- staff preparedness, and
- student demographics.
For each individual variable (subcategory) in these big 3 "buckets", we calculated a simple ranking among all schools. We then averaged a school’s ranking across all variables to arrive at the final “ranking” of schools.
We have decided not to publish our analysis or the underlying data (which is all available to the public -- that is how we accessed it) because we are wary of the way that 'rankings' and 'scores' and data can be used to cast a negative light on schools and their students. We do want to call attention to the fact that MANY of our schools are facing significant stressors, and the difference between the Equity Index numbers of these other schools and the ones that received Equity Fund donations in March 2019 is very small.
1) School Environment
- Environmental Stress Factor is calculated by OUSD and, because it refers to the school neighborhood, is unlikely to offer dramatic changes year-over-year.
- We included the pre-calculated Environmental Stress Factor ranking from OUSD for 2016-2017 which includes variables such as crime levels, food security, and community health factors. All relevant variables can be found by exploring the OUSD rankings.
2) Staff Preparedness
- We looked at the percentage of teachers returning to the same site after 3 years. The data refers to a baseline year of 2016 so is the percentage of teachers returning in the 2019-2020 school year who were at the same site in 2016.
- We looked at teachers in the 1-5 step salary scale as a proxy for teacher experience.
- We looked at the average percentage of teachers in this category across the 16-17, 17-18, and 18-19 academic years.
3) Student Factors
For each of the demographic fields below, we looked at the percentage of students at each site who fall into the following groups for the 2018-2019 academic year:
- Students with a learning disability.
- We did not look at specific disabilities but only whether a student has some form of accommodation.
- Students classified as either (1) meeting eligibility for the National School Lunch Program, (2) homeless, or (3) an English Learner.
- Similar to the LCFF funding calculations, we look at an unduplicated count of students in these programs to calculate our percentage.
- Chronically absent students
- We use the same definition of chronic absenteeism as that used by California’s DOE: students are considered chronically absent if they are absent at least 10 percent of the instructional days that they were enrolled to attend in a school.