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Vital Signs for the American Education System


"In this paper, we propose a set of indicators to track between-group inequalities in K-12 educational outcomes and experiences. We begin by providing a conceptual framework for indicator system design and use. We classify indicators into four types (outcome, direct, enabling, and diagnostic indicators) and discuss their strengths and weaknesses for making particular types of inferences. By identifying multiple user types (policymakers, researchers, practitioners, and the public) and considering the manifold potential uses of indicators (evaluative, descriptive, and predictive), we argue that an important first task for indicator system designers is to clarify the system's end users, purposes, and theory of change."