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Equity Data & Measurement

The data and analysis presented on this page represents a subset of the data and analysis in the Fundamental 5 Monitoring Report.

Student Demographics:
The District’s racial and ethnic demographics are evolving and changing. The diversity of the students and their families adds value to the community and our schools. The data suggests that two of the federal categories, those of “white” and “two or more races,” have changed more significantly than others over the past several years. The percent of students/families who identify as “white” is on the decline, while the percentage of those who identify as “two or more races” is steadily increasing.

The change noted above is reflected and supported by comparing the race/ethnicity of kindergarten and Grade 1 students with the race/ethnicity of the Grade 11 and 12 students (below). Fewer students who identify as “white” are entering our schools in elementary school than those preparing to exit as 11 and 12 graders. One might predict that over the course of the next decade the percentages in early elementary will more closely resemble students in high school. Similarly, the differences between the demographics of our elementary schools, particularly our younger students, and the high school offers evidence that the District is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse.



Highly Capable Demographics:|
The District has been monitoring the gender and race/ethnicity distribution within students accessing Highly Capable services. Aligned to Fundamental 5, the District is presently and has been committed to ensuring equitable access to this district program. Data includes students ranging from kindergarten to grade 12. 

Highly Capable participation was investigated with the use of proportionality metrics for a variety of student groups. The proportionality index compares the percent enrollment in a specific course with the overall percent of that ethnicity/race, gender or special population in the school. A value of one means that the proportion of students in a specific course matches the overall proportion of the students in the general population. Numbers above or below one represents over representation and under representation respectively.

When analyzing the ethnic/race demographics, the 2019-2020 data reveals that Asian students continue to be slightly overrepresented, while white students are slightly underrepresented. The percentage of Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Black/African American, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, and two or more races have been combined because of OSPI suppression rules. Although ‘19-’20 data showed a slight decline in proportional representation, students accessing HiCap services who identify with one or more of these races and ethnicities closely reflect the overall demographics in these federal categories to the overall percentage of students within the District.

The current gender distribution for the district is 53.1% male and 46.8% female. The District is committed to identifying the most highly capable students in the District and recognizes that perfect proportionality is not the goal, although monitoring is essential to ensure equitable access for highly capable students.

Note: Data are combined because of the small numbers of students in student categories representing Hispanic/Latino; American Indian/Alaskan Native; Black/African American; Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander; Two or More Races.

Academic Course Access:
Academic course access data are analyzed utilizing the proportionality metrics of ethnicity/race and gender subgroups. Proportionality was investigated at the course level at MIHS with AP, Honors and Fine Arts courses and at IMS with Fine Arts courses. The following proportionality indices are based on a sample set of all Honors classes together or all AP classes together.

In reviewing these data, it is noted that gender enrollment is generally proportional to the overall school population.   

With regards to ethnicity/race, there is underrepresentation of Black/African American in both AP and Honors courses. 504 students are proportionally represented in AP and Honors courses, while bilingual students and students who receive special education are underrepresented in 2019-2020. The high school continues to examine these numbers, the students they represent, and how to remove barriers. Additionally, the high school encourages all students to seek academic rigor and access honors and AP courses in areas of interest.  

* Missing data indicates N is less than 10 students.

Educational Effectiveness Annual Survey:
Guided by the Mercer Island School District Values, Vision, and Mission and the Superintendent’s Focus Priority, the District continued to focus on equity, access, and inclusion of all stakeholders - students, staff, administrators, teachers, parents, and community members. The Educational Effectiveness Survey provides perceptual data about the impact the District is having. For the first time in the 2018-2019, the Center of Educational Effectiveness offered more specific demographic breakdowns for the various data points. The previous School Board asked that staff report out on several indicators using race and ethnic demographics.  

Student Perspective: We need to maintain a continued effort to improve students’ perceptions of our schools having activities to celebrate differences (cultures). We will continue to seek student input about how we can better address their needs. With the newly added benchmark demographic data for responses, we hope to address specific areas of necessary growth.  

Staff Perspective: We continue to see growth in staff indicating we provide diverse materials and curriculum that reflects the diversity of our community; however, with only 64% of staff indicating this is always/almost always true, it remains a necessary area of focus. The staff indicated a continued area of improvement in the activities in the schools to celebrate diversity. We also see steady improvement over time in the training provided to meet the needs of our diverse student population and that schools are addressing issues of diversity in a timely and effective manner.   

* Question not included on ‘18-’19 survey.

Parent Perspective: With the new demographic data provided, there is one alarming parental response: 0% of parent respondents agree that their student’s school “has activities to celebrate different cultures, including mine.” We are working with students and parents about how we can best address this startling number.