Racial, socioeconomic, and gender disparities in academic performance and educational attainment are stubborn features of the U.S. educational system. These disparities are neither inevitable nor immutable, however. They have been produced by—and so may also be reduced by—a welter of social and economic policies, social norms and patterns of interaction, and the organization of American schooling.
The Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA) is an initiative aimed at harnessing data to help scholars, policymakers, educators, and parents learn how to improve educational opportunity for all children. SEDA includes a range of detailed data on educational conditions, contexts, and outcomes in school districts and counties across the United States. It includes measures of academic achievement and achievement gaps for school districts and counties, as well as district-level measures of racial and socioeconomic composition, racial and socioeconomic segregation patterns, and other features of the schooling system. The data are publicly available here, so that anyone can obtain detailed information about American schools, communities, and student success. We hope that researchers will use these to generate evidence about what policies and contexts are most effective at increasing educational opportunity, and that such evidence will inform educational policy and practices. The construction of SEDA has been supported by grants from the Institute of Education Sciences (R305D110018), the Spencer Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Overdeck Family Foundation, and by a visiting scholar fellowship from the Russell Sage Foundation. Some of the data used in constructing the SEDA files were provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The findings and opinions expressed in the research reported here are those of the authors and do not represent views of NCES, the Institute of Education Sciences, the Spencer Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Overdeck Family Foundation, or the U.S. Department of Education. For questions or more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.