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Frequently Asked Questions

The E-W Framework is a public resource designed to promote data collection and use that advances educational and economic opportunity for all. The framework synthesizes leading thinking in the field to provide a coherent set of indicators that center equity and reflect the full pre-K-to-workforce continuum. The framework’s primary goal is to encourage greater cross-sector collaboration and alignment across local, state, and national data systems by promoting the use of a common set of metrics and principles to assess and address disparities from pre-K into the workforce.

See also: Framework at a glance

Whereas many existing indicator frameworks focus on a limited number of pre-K-to-workforce sectors or specific types of indicators, the E-W Framework draws on the strengths of 41 existing frameworks to recommend a comprehensive set of indicators spanning the full pre-K-to-workforce continuum across multiple indicator types (including outcomes and milestones as well as system conditions) and domains (including academic progress and completion; social, emotional, and physical well-being; and career readiness and economic success). The framework also offers guidance for ethical and effective data use, essential questions and measures that matter most, ways to disaggregate data to inform action, and evidence-based practices to drive positive change.

See also: Source frameworks at a glance

We began by reviewing 41 existing indicator frameworks to identify over 250 “candidate indicators.” We then reviewed existing research and prioritized indicators based on defined criteria in collaboration with researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and community advocates with diverse experience and from a wide variety of organizations. Based on input from these advisory groups, we selected 99 indicators for inclusion in the final framework, each of which are associated with one or more recommended metrics. For more information on indicator review criteria, see Appendix C of the framework report.

See also: Indicators at a glance, Source frameworks at a glance

The E-W Framework is designed for a broad group of policymakers, administrators and educators, community organizations and advocates, funders, and researchers who use education and workforce data to diagnose inequities, implement evidence-based decisions, and evaluate and monitor the impact of policies, programs, and investments to address those inequities. 

See also: Framework at a glance

The framework’s seven data equity principles offer guidance for how to minimize harm and promote greater equity in projects or initiatives involving data collection and use. Data can be a powerful tool for promoting equity when used ethically and effectively, but data are not inherently neutral. Like any tool, they require thoughtful use and careful handling. How we collect, access, analyze, and report data can have serious and potentially harmful impacts on individuals and communities. The principles are based on a synthesis of existing literature and were developed with a diverse range of partners, including education and workforce policymakers and data strategists, researchers, equity advocates, and parents and educators.

See also: Data equity principles at a glance

Although the framework does not provide comprehensive outcome data, each indicator is associated with a description of “why it matters” – that is, justification for the indicator’s inclusion in the framework, which often includes statistics about disparities among student sub-groups. For each indicator, we also provide information on “what to know about measurement,” which details any limitations or considerations users should be aware of related to the proposed measure(s), as well as information on where these data are currently collected and at what levels (e.g., state, federal).

See also: Indicators at a glance, “how to read an indicator profile” (p. 3)

Given the wide variation in data system needs and governance models across states and localities, the framework itself does not include technical guidance for linking and managing data systems. We encourage data system leaders to use the framework as a starting point to identify the essential questions and measures that matter most in their contexts, then explore additional technical resources from our partners, such as the websites for the Council of Chief State School Officers’ P20W Data Accelerator or WestEd’s P20W+ Planning for a Modern State Data System.

Yes! Our team can share a list of session options, ranging from short overview sessions to more intensive deep dives into specific components of the framework, such as framework indicators or the data equity principles. Contact us for more information.

This website was funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.