Equity INDEX


We arrived at this first version of the Equity Index by looking at a series of data points that represent (1) a school’s environment, (2) staff preparedness, and (3) 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 ultimately decided to use this ranking approach instead of utilizing a “z-score analysis” (as OUSD did for their Environment Stress Factor rankings) in order to reduce the impact of outliers on the overall average.

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.

Data USED + sources:

1) School Environment

  • Environmental Stress Factor Rank:

    • Environmental Stress Factor is calculated by OUSD (most recently calculated in 2016-2017) 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 which includes variables such as crime levels, food security, and community health factors. All relevant variables can be found using the OUSD rankings. Since this pre-calculated rank is made up of these other variables, its weight is essentially decreased. This makes sense because it does not necessarily refer to the students so we decided to weigh the overall Environmental Stress Factor less than the individual variables that comprise it.


2) Staff Preparedness

  • % of Teachers Retained (3-year)

    • We looked at a summative average percentage of teachers returning to the same site after 3 yearsThis is a pre-calculated average and, for most schools, spans 10+ years

  • % of Teachers in Salary Step Category 1-5

    • We used teachers on the 1-5 step salary scale as a proxy for teacher experience

    • We looked across the 16-17 and 17-18 academic years since there is no previously data available and averaged the percentage across the two years.


3) Student Demographics


For each of the demographic fields below, we looked at the average percentage of students across the 15-16, 16-17, and 17-18 academic years.

  • % of students with a learning disabilityWe did not look at specific disabilities until we can gather more information

  • % of students enrolled in the National Student Lunch Program (a proxy for low-income status)

  • % of students classified as English Learners



If you would like to learn more or provide feedback, please reach out to us: equityalliesforousd@gmail.com