The Redding Consortium expects its equity data dashboard to be completed and open for use by the public in spring 2024.
The dashboard, which has been in the works for months, will include both student and educator data, broken down by several metrics.
The Consortium creates and recommends policies and practices to the governor and General Assembly that will help achieve educational equity and improve educational outcomes for all Pre-K to grade 12 students in Wilmington and north New Castle County.
Its definition of educational equity is: “Educational equity requires safe, secure and student-focused learning environments where every student is intentionally provided access to the support, resources and opportunities they need to reach their full academic and social potential, in and out of the classroom.”
The database is being created by the Delaware Data Service Center, and they briefed Consortium members Wednesday night about their progress.
“I am excited about the Equity Dashboard because of its ability to provide data specifically for students who reside in the city of Wilmington, something that hasn’t been done before,” said Jeff Menzer, consortium member and superintendent of Colonial School District. “I strongly believe this data will help parents, community members, educators and civic leaders make more informed decisions that will support more positive outcomes for Wilmington students.”
The information will include:
- Demographic: enrollment, gender, race, ethnicity, special programs
- Behavior: in-school suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, in-school suspensions by days, out-of-school suspensions by days
- Proficiency: English language arts for grades three through eight and grade 11, math for grades three through eight and 11 – this data comes from the Smarter Balanced Assessment
- Absenteeism: chronic absenteeism (missing 10% or more of school days throughout the school year), excused absences, unexcused absences, tardies
- Other Academic: course rigor, career and technical education courses, related arts courses
- Student/educator ratio
New Castle County Vocational Technical School District Superintendent Joe Jones, who is a member of the consortium, suggested it would be helpful to include data on whether students are moving from school to school or district to district.
Creating the equity dashboard was one of the points in the consortium’s December 2020 recommendations.
“I am very excited about the development of an Equity Dashboard,” said Laura Burgos, executive director of the Wilmington Learning Collaborative.. “This will allow for increased transparency around how we are using data to drive decision-making,”
The Wilmington Learning Collaborative is an agency with similar goals to the Redding Consortium, but focusing only on nine city elementary schools. The Collab also gets millions of dollars in state money to operate.
Some of the organization’s programs may overlap and the two groups are talking about how best to work together.
“Our coordinated efforts toward this and other projects will redefine teaching and learning for Wilmington students,” Burgos said.
The collaborative also hopes to connect families with social services to address issues that can affect education such as homelessness, poverty and hunger.
The Wednesday night meeting of the Redding Consortium included brief discussion of making sure the Redding Consortium and the Wilmington Learning Collaborative are on the same page.
Recently hired, Burgo sat in to introduce herself to the consortium’s members.
“The Redding Consortium and the WLC have a shared priority in the actualization of educational equity for Wilmington families,” Burgos said after the meeting. “It will be critical for us to continue to collaborate in ensuring that we are identifying and addressing root causes, and not solely the symptoms, of disparities in educational outcomes.”
Burgos said she’s begun meeting regularly with Sen. Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman, D-Wilmington, who is vice-chair of the consortium and a longtime advocate of better education in the city..
One of the initiatives the consortium is working on is creating a professional development coordinated plan with the learning collaborative.
“The WLC will be conducting a landscape analysis of the nine WLC schools in the coming months,” Burgos said. “This analysis will highlight both the assets and priority needs of our schools, allowing us to be strategic in deploying our resources and monitoring the progress of our efforts.”
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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