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Universities have a serious data gap on race

An op-ed co-authored by Sociologist Karen Robson explores the need to collect and understand statistical data required to monitor discrimination, identify and remove systemic barriers, and track progress towards substantive equality.

May 19, 2017

How can we tell if there’s a problem if we don’t measure it?

By Carl James, Karen Robson, Kelly Gallagher-MacKay | Original article published by University Affairs 

Last month two reports based on data from the Toronto District School Board have highlighted the insights that might be gained from giving attention to how race operates in the educational experiences and achievement of students. Carl James’s study (PDF) shows that Black students in the Greater Toronto Area are more likely to be streamed into non-academic programs, and a study by Ruben Gaztambide-Fernandez showed schools for the arts disproportionately serve wealthy white students. This data gives an indication of the kinds of students who eventually make it to university.

In fact, other data from the TDSB – analyzed by Karen Robson’s Gateway Cities team – show that Black students are much less likely to access post-secondary education. This should be a matter of direct concern to universities and colleges, and raises questions about their policies and practices for outreach and admission as well as issues in secondary school...

Full article on the University Affairs website.