The Education Quality topic examines school-level responsibilities in providing equitable quality learning environments for children
The eight indicators in this topic quantify racial disparities in education quality, and suggest ways we can make progress toward equitable outcomes. The indicator reports that follow will allow the City of St. Louis and all stakeholders to evaluate policies from a fact-based, verifiable perspective. We’ll be able to learn from the data, see what’s working and what’s falling short, and use these insights to double down on good investments and experiment with new policies.
The Education Quality topic examines school-level responsibilities in providing equitable quality learning environments for children.
Black children are less likely to be enrolled in higher performing K-12 schools. There are few schools in St. Louis where it is the norm for students to meet state standards for both Math and English. Black children are less likely than white children to be students at these higher performing schools. Black children are also more likely to attend schools where more teachers are chronically absent and schools where more than 30% of teachers are in their first or second year of teaching.
Black children are less likely to be enrolled in the most rigorous coursework available at their school. There are 14 high schools in St. Louis City that offer Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses. At these schools, white students are more than twice as likely as black students to be enrolled in these challenging courses.
Black children are less likely to be in school at all. Black children are less likely to be enrolled in early childhood education programs such as pre-kindergarten. In addition, black students are being removed from school via out-of-school suspensions for disciplinary issues more often than white students.
Black children are less likely to be learning what they need to succeed. At key milestones such as third grade for reading and sixth grade for math, black students are less likely to demonstrate proficiency. The basic skills students fail to learn early on make every additional learning milestone more difficult to achieve.
For the Equity Indicators Project, the measures chosen focus on racial disparities. The indicators are reflective of the Ferguson Commission’s calls to action around education quality, but not all education quality related calls to action are addressed within the scope of this project.
What is our equity score for this topic?
The higher the score on a scale from 1 to 100, the closer we are toward achieving equity. The lower the Equity Score, the greater the disparity.
Which Calls to Action from the Ferguson Commission report are reflected in this topic?
The Ferguson Commission report calls for supporting quality education, from early childhood through 12th grade. Specific calls to action include:
- Invest in Early Childhood Education by ensuring sufficient early childhood development and education programs to meet demand, and aligning all efforts around a high-quality model that produces measurable child outcomes.
- Create an Innovative Education Hub to serve as a developmental laboratory for diverse stakeholders to experiment, collaborate, and innovate, and to tackle critical education issues such as designing effective classroom strategies, creating engaging and safe school cultures, integrating new learning technologies, strengthening teacher workforce, and developing new school board models.
- Create an Education Design and Financing Task Force to study and propose changes to the current education landscape in the St. Louis region as it relates to structure, systems, and financing.
- Revise the State of Missouri’s School Accreditation System, with a revision team that includes broad representation from K-12, higher education, parents and students, and the business, philanthropic, and social support communities, and aims to develop a system that is simple, equitable, mastery driven, timely and transparent, and best in class.
What institutions and organizations were assessed to understand Education Quality?
Education Quality assesses all public and charter schools in the City of St. Louis. While city students attend public schools outside the city through the Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation (VICC) program, these districts were not included in the city assessment. Private schools were not assessed.
Where did the data come from?
The data used in this topic comes from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the federal Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Program.
What stakeholders were consulted?
Stakeholders consulted include public and charter school district leaders, the Missouri Equity Lab, the Regional Early Childhood Council and Forward Through Ferguson.
What metrics are missing and why?
There is no broad consensus among researchers and key stakeholders on the most important metrics of education quality—and even for those few consensus metrics, there is limited availability of data disaggregated by race. While the Missouri Equity Lab, an initiative of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, has begun identifying potential measures of equity in education, they have not yet made their data available disaggregated by district.
Based on a focus group we held with high school students, students consider engaged and caring teachers an important measure of education quality. There are several data limitations we face in trying to develop metrics around teachers.We do not have access to data on direct measures of teacher engagement. Ideally, we would measure access to effective teachers. However, we do not have yet have data on student performance disaggregated by teacher, nor do we have demographic information of students assigned to individual teachers.
The State of Missouri’s Missouri Equity Lab has started collecting and analyzing data from schools on teacher retention rates, which would help us better understand the challenges faced by schools in retaining experienced and effective teachers. This data is not yet regularly available to researchers. It is also not clear when or whether schools have enough support staff, such as counselors, to address student needs.
Education Quality Indicators
|1||EQ1: School Test Scores
White students are more than five times as likely as black students to be enrolled in a school where it is the norm for students to meet state standards in both Math and English.
|2||EQ2: Teacher Attendance
Black students are 37% more likely than white students to be enrolled in schools where teachers are chronically absent.
|3||EQ3: Teacher Experience
Black students are 70% more likely than white students to be enrolled in schools where more than half of the teachers have fewer than three years of teaching experience.
Black students are more than three times as likely as white students to receive out-of-school suspensions.
|5||EQ5: Pre-Kindergarten Enrollment
White children are 38% more likely than black children to be enrolled in pre-kindergarten.
|6||EQ6: Advanced Placement Enrollment
White students are twice as likely as black students to be enrolled in Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes.
|7||EQ7: Third-Grade Reading Proficiency
White students are more than twice as likely as black students to demonstrate reading proficiency in the third grade.
|8||EQ8: Sixth-Grade Math Proficiency
White students are nearly three times as likely as black students to demonstrate proficiency in sixth grade math.
|2018 Equity Score||43.75|