Educational Opportunity

This Dashboard compares disparities in access to educational opportunity for high school students in all 50 states and in the nation as a whole. The analysis is based on 14 indicators from the 2015-16 federal Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), which are used to create three composite indices on the following domains: (1) Quality Educators Index, (2) College/Career Readiness Curriculum Index, and (3) Positive School Climate Index. Users can rank states by each indicator, by each index, and by an “Average Opportunity Score.” Rankings are available by both overall opportunity and by the size of gaps in opportunity between student race/ethnic and poverty subgroups. The findings can also be limited to high schools of high-, mid-, and low-poverty.

ACCESS: A First Step to Opportunity. For this study, students are presumed to have “access” to an educational opportunity if they merely attend a high school that provides that opportunity. By examining this threshold question, we can compare how well policymakers are taking the basic first step to providing adequate and equitable opportunities regardless of race or poverty.


Support for the Educational Opportunity Dashboard was provided by The Heinz Endowments and the William Penn Foundation. The contents of this Dashboard were developed by RFA and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders. Many members of the RFA team contributed to this project, including: Jason Fontana, Anna Shaw-Amoah, Dae Kim, David Lapp, Samantha Slade, and Kate Shaw. Special thanks to Anna Shaw-Amoah who led development of the Dashboard and to Jason Fontana who led RFA’s data analysis.