Data Equity Cohort - Digital Promise

Data Equity Cohort

Building Equitable and Actionable
District Data Systems

Join the Digital Promise Data Equity cohort to build a stronger data future for students and families in your district.

Data equity provides an equity lens into the ways in which districts collect, analyze, interpret, communicate and make decisions based on data, with the goal of acknowledging and addressing historic and systemic bias by building more equitable policies, practices, and systems. Data equity can’t happen without data interoperability, which provides a holistic view of students.

The COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted entrenched inequities within our education system. These inequities go beyond access to technology and devices. Equity gaps exist in students’ sense of belonging and connection, access to academic and extracurricular opportunities and social-emotional support, and in families’ ability to navigate the school system. Furthermore, implicit bias impacts the expectations educators have for student engagement and achievement, especially for Black and Latinx students.

In the Data Equity Cohort, participants will engage in an Inclusive Innovation R&D process to identify equity gaps within their data systems and districts and create a plan to use data interoperability to promote deeper understanding and more equitable outcomes. Participants will:

  • Conduct an equity audit to identify equity gaps and barriers. Complete a self-assessment to evaluate their readiness for implementing a data interoperability solution
  • Engage in collaborative inquiry using data to understand the root causes of existing inequities and identify gaps in data.
  • Work with peer coaches and a technical advisor and peers to create an actionable implementation plan for using data interoperability to design effective interventions that build on the strengths and the support the needs of students, particularly those who have been historically marginalized.

Learn more about Inclusive Innovation by reading about the Center for Inclusive Innovation, its mission, and model.

Ready to join the Data Equity cohort? Submit your interest by Friday, March 26, 2021.

The first cohort meeting will be held on the week of April 26, 2021.

Cohort Benefits

In this program, participants will receive:

  • Analysis based on a district equity audit and data readiness self-assessment 
  • Support from peer coaches (experienced leaders from peer districts), expert technology advisors, and a data equity advisor
  • Access to a digital Playbook with tools, resources, templates and facilitation guides
  • Professional developmentthrough peer consultations, group webinars, and personalized workshops
  • $3,000 district stipend 
  • Eligibility for additional funding to advance your data interoperability implementation to the next level

Participants in the Data Equity cohort will identify a high-need use case based on their own district’s context. Example use cases include:

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Attendance and Absenteeism

Achievement and Resource Gaps

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Grading and Assessment Bias

Family Engagement and Communication

Cohort Overview

Districts will receive direct support to take action on pressing data equity challenges. Upon the cohort’s conclusion, participants will emerge with:

  • An inclusive district data team that is equipped to make decisions about data governance
  • An actionable use case that solves a clearly identified data equity challenge
  • A high-level project plan for the implementation of a targeted data interoperability solution
  • Upon completion, districts will be eligible to apply to the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation for funding to support either (a) their implementation project or (b) conference registration and travel to support the district’s professional development and implementation plan.

Cohort Participants

Primary participants are district-level technology leaders with a strong commitment to effective and equitable management and use of data to support students. Technology leaders will be responsible for recruiting the participation of academic leaders (e.g. curriculum, assessment) and equity and inclusion (e.g., school culture) leaders within their district to form a larger team of 3-5 district participants. District teams are expected to collaborate closely with community stakeholders (i.e., students, parents, partners) to co-design innovative solutions.

This program is open to applicants from public school districts and charter schools networks.

Requirements and Expectations

Each district in the cohort must:

  • Have at least two leaders (one technology and one academic or equity and inclusion) with decision-making authority serve as primary participants and points of contact
  • Participate in the cohort by attending both virtual and in-person (if applicable) meetings
  • Engage in building relationships, trust, and a shared understanding with student, academic, and community stakeholders
  • Be willing to investigate existing equity gaps and barriers in order to co-design more equitable approaches to working with data and addressing inequity within the district
  • Commit to working on and sharing progress toward your district’s data equity use case and implementation plan

Schedule and Content

Districts will meet virtually on a regular basis with a team of peer technology coaches (technology leaders from peer districts) and subject matter experts, starting with a kick-off meeting during the week of April 26, 2021. Participants will be supported in completing work independently outside of the meeting periods.





  • Establish an internal team, build  relationships, and determine cadence for monthly meetings.
  • Complete an equity audit and data readiness self-assessment
  • Attend the cohort launch and monthly meetings with your peer coach and tech advisor
  • Complete  activities from the first few chapters of the Data Ready Playbook
  • Identify a clearly scoped data equity use case with your student, academic and community stakeholders via a needs assessment
  • Attend a summer workshop and monthly meetings with your peer coach and tech advisor
  • Complete activities from the middle set of chapters in the Data Ready Playbook
  • Virtually collaborate with district coaches and a technology advisor on a selected strategy during monthly meetings.
  • Attend a fall workshop to coordinate a selected strategy with an achievable data equity use case.
  • Complete activities from the final set of chapters in the Data Ready Playbook.
  • Finalize an implementation plan with continued support from peer coaches and a technology advisor during monthly meetings.
  • Attend a winter workshop and present during a final Celebration of Learning.
Total time commitment (estimated):
2-3 meetings
Total time commitment (estimated):
4-5 meetings
Total time commitment (estimated):
4-5 meetings
Total time commitment (estimated):
4-5 meetings

Submit your interest in participating by Friday, March 26, 2021.

The first cohort meeting will be held on the week of April 26, 2021.

Still not sure if this cohort program is for you? Email Apeksha Goonewardena ( with any questions.

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