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Data Strategies to Uncover and Eliminate Hidden Inequities The Wallpaper Effect by Ruth S. Johnson, Robin L. Avelar La Salle

Data Strategies to Uncover and Eliminate Hidden Inequities The Wallpaper Effect



Data Strategies to Uncover and Eliminate Hidden Inequities The Wallpaper Effect by Ruth S. Johnson, Robin L. Avelar La Salle

Most schools focus their data-based decision making efforts on standardized test score and other outcome-based, quantitative data. Outcome data have the potential to produce a misleading picture of actual conditions in schools and districts, thereby creating a wallpaper effect. Outcome data, like wallpaper, can cover up cracks or other unwanted blemishes. However, there are numerous sources of hidden data that have been shown to improve student achievement but are rarely analyzed and monitored. Some of these sources are non-academic, such as teacher and student attendance, school calendars, referrals, suspensions, disciplinary policies, and more. Data Strategies to Uncover and Eliminate Hidden Inequities shows educators what quantitative and qualitative data sources they should be looking at and provides activities to engage the reader. Johnson and Avelar-La Salle help educators identify the questions that get below the surface and demonstrate how powerful these data can be in answering important equity questions. With examples of schools that exemplify these data models, this book provides a springboard for explaining how to pull different data sources together into a continuous improvement plan aimed at raising the achievement of all students.


It serves as a valuable resource for educational leaders striving to be both fluent with accountability discourse and sophisticated in tackling educational inequities. Rather than denouncing what is weak, Johnson and La Salle provide guidance to help educators take seriously their obligation to craft effective teaching and learning environments and to do so with transparency and aplomb. -- Martin Scanlan * The Journal of Educational Research, 2012 * Schools can't make up for the fact that we as a society have left many of our children behind. But schools can make a difference for a lot more children than they currently do. Ruth Johnson and Robin Avelar La Salle provide a comprehensive overview of how to use data to provoke questions that lead to the kind of quality education that all students deserve. This book should be required reading in every school district. -- Gary Anderson, Professor Dr. Johnson brings together compelling evidence to create understanding and urgency around improving learning for ALL students. The book's case studies and charts provide undeniable evidence that disparities do exist, but also offer hope through powerful real-life success stories. -- Sara Arispe, Executive Director, Accountability and Data Quality My teachers and I have used Dr. Johnson's previous work to dramatically increase student outcomes at the elementary and high school level. Data Strategies recognizes the complexity of the context of student learning and how effective schools use more than just snap shot data sources to reveal what impacts student learning the most in your specific school. Data Strategies gives real-world examples and step-by-step strategies for involving students, families, teachers, and principals in culturally responsive leadership. Using data to uncover inequities in our schools is a powerful, transformative, and critical strategy for the long-term success of all our children. Data Strategies provides hope for all our schools in a compelling, thoughtful way. -- Deborah Peterson, Retired Principal This volume provides an energizing alternative to accounts that press for even more attention to numbers. The `wallpaper
metaphor offers powerful suggestions for uncovering inequities, and the rich portrayals offer words of advice to those who care about the education of our nation

's children. -- Robert Calfee, Professor Emeritus This easily digestible guide takes a real-world approach at revealing the truth behind student and school assessments. The 'Your Turn'
activities are elegant in their flexibility and simplicity. The Wallpaper Effect should be required reading for both novice and veteran educators.

-- Keisha L. Bentley, Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology This book provides numerous and explicit examples of ways to use hidden data to reveal the other truths behind student achievement and to inform decision-making processes. The authors spell out for practitioners the 'So what?

'What now?'
aspects that many practitioners find challenging after analyzing data. I highly recommend this book for teachers, counselors, site and district administrators, parents, and any other stakeholders interested in using data as a tool to identify gaps in access and opportunities for success in school and beyond.

-- Tonia Causey-Bush, Director of Research, Evaluation, and Accountability Systemic barriers inhibiting progress for culturally and linguistically diverse students do exist. The 'Other Data
found in this book will spark the necessary inquiry to surface the roots of these challenges and ultimately lead to the elimination of inequitable outcomes plaguing our schools. Equity warriors everywhere will find this useful resource packed with effective strategies, user

-friendly processes, and helpful tools. -- Jennifer Frentress, Director of Teaching and Learning

About the Author

Ruth S. Johnson is a professor emeritus at California State University, Los Angeles. She has served in a variety of educational settings in New Jersey and California. Ruth received her Ed.D. in 1985 from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her dissertation was titled An Exploratory Study of Academic Labeling, Student Achievement and Student Ethnographic Characteristics. At the K-12 level, she served as a classroom teacher, an instructional consultant, a director of elementary education, an analyst, an assistant superintendent of schools in the areas of curriculum and business, and as a superintendent of schools. She initiated efforts that resulted in raising academic standards and student achievement in low performing school districts. She served as an education consultant for the New Jersey Department of Education and as a director for two non-profit organizations in California which focused on raising student achievement in underserved student populations. Her major scholarly interests and publications focus on processes related to changing the academic culture of urban schools, with an emphasis on access and equity. In addition to her four published books, she has written numerous book chapters, articles, editorials, research reports, and manuscript reviews. As a recognized speaker, she has presented nationally to scholarly and professional audiences and serves as a consultant to schools and districts. Robin Avelar La Salle grew up in Echo Park, near downtown Los Angeles. Avelar La Salle holds a Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University with emphasis on Language, Literacy and Culture. She taught elementary, middle, high school and university students in Southern and Northern California. Avelar La Salle spent years as the Administrator for Curriculum, Staff Development and Assessment at a school district outside of Los Angeles. She has held numerous positions in research and consulting focused on advancing academic success for historically underperforming students. Currently, Avelar La Salle is co-founder and Chief Program Officer for PRINCIPAL's Exchange, a California State-approved external evaluation firm dedicated to improving schools and districts serving high-poverty, high-minority communities.

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Book Info

Publication date

29th September 2010


Ruth S. Johnson, Robin L. Avelar La Salle

More books by Ruth S. Johnson, Robin L. Avelar La Salle
Author 'Like for Like'


SAGE Publications Inc


312 pages


Educational strategies & policy



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