What is a Data Equity Walk?
A Data Equity Walk is a 45-90 minute activity for any size audience – high school and college students, teachers, district leaders, community members, or others – to engage with education data and discuss equity issues. Participants dive into data that shows education outcomes and exposes gaps between groups of students. The data usually show district or school performance across different measures like student achievement and school climate.
Participants explore the data individually before collectively discussing implications and identifying solutions to address disparities and improve outcomes.
Data Equity Walk participation does not require prior experience with data and is geared toward all audiences.
Create Your Own Data Equity Walk
Depending on what resources you’re looking for, click on the links below to access editable planning documents as well as ideas to inspire the creation of your own Data Equity Walk. Remember, these are just optional resources to help you – there’s no right or wrong way of doing this!
Data is a powerful tool! It can do the following:
- Help identify patterns in how well schools and districts are serving students
- Build capacity of community members by creating a common understanding of the challenges students and school systems face
- Support and enhance local advocacy efforts focused on closing achievement and opportunity gaps
- Visual data displays paint a powerful picture of disparities in outcomes
- It provides space for participants to reflect individually and collectively
- It shows data that underscores the experiences of community members
- Participants gain common grounding in the data in order to identify solutions
Data Equity Walks help activate people and create urgency around educational equity. For example, The Education Trust-West created and facilitated a Data Equity Walk with two teacher recruitment organizations on a college campus. Through collaboration with other nonprofits and student-led organizations that helped draw participants to the event, college students engaged with data around achievement and opportunity gaps as well as teacher shortage issues. The conversations that followed prompted students to consider ways they might work to address the issues raised by the data, from campus conversations to tutoring to pursuing teaching as a career.
We also facilitated Data Equity Walks with over 800 high school and community college students as part of a Black Minds Matter rally in Sacramento. One byproduct of the rally was that the spirit of the day carried into classrooms in multiple school districts after that event, where students engaged in ongoing projects and events to support Black student success.
What is the history of the Data Equity Walk program?
The Education Trust-West launched the Data Equity Walk program in 2015. To date, Ed Trust-West has conducted Data Equity Walks up and down the state, for and with organizations ranging from county offices of education, to foundations, to community-based organizations. Thousands of participants have gone through the Data Equity Walk process, in groups of 20 to hundreds of participants.
Why did Ed Trust-West create this toolkit?
Data Equity Walks were designed to bring data directly to the stakeholders most impacted by educational inequities. Our goal is to reach as many people as possible in California in order to empower stakeholders with the knowledge needed to hold school, district, and the state leaders accountable for better student outcomes—and to support them in getting there. In addition to the Data Equity Walks Ed Trust-West has helped create and facilitate, this toolkit is designed to expand the power of the Data Equity Walk program by helping organizations plan similar experiences with their local stakeholders. Ultimately, we hope that by bringing data to local stakeholders, communities can create change at the local level.
What is the target audience for a Data Equity Walk?
The program is for civil rights groups, education advocates, educators, parents, students, community leaders, and anyone who is interested in learning more about data! Data Equity Walk participation does not require prior experience with data and is geared toward all audiences.
Who should I contact if I have questions about these tools?
Please contact Anthony Chavez, External Relations Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I thought this was a fantastic way to get folks engaged with the data and talking together about concrete needs and potential solutions for our students to promote equity.” -Southern CA participant
“I learned how to advocate for the work that needs to be done in our community.” -Central CA participant
“This is a great method for allowing participants to absorb and react to equity data in an interactive way – better than a sit-down presentation.” -Southern CA participant
“The Data Equity Walk … was eye opening and elicited a thoughtful discussion about education policy, practice, and the role we can all play in improving outcomes for more students in California…it was exciting to hear passionate personal stories of what brings us all to this work despite the challenges.” -Northern CA participant
“I learned where to obtain data from different sources.” -Central CA participant
“It can be difficult to fully engage participants in the research process and this method was safe, inviting, and had a community-building component to it.” -Southern CA participant
“It was truly inspirational to be among organizations and students interested in learning more about the educational inequity that proliferates within California schools. As a teacher, I was motivated by the interest I saw from [students] through the deep and critical conversations during the equity walk.” -Northern CA participant