Student data can and has served as an equalizer, but it also has the potential to perpetuate discriminatory practices. In order to leverage student data to move toward equity in education, researchers, parents, and educators must be aware of the ways in which data serves to equalize as well as disenfranchise. Common discourse surrounding data as an equalizer can fall along a spectrum of “yes, it’s the fix” or “this will never work.” Reality is more complicated than that.

Points: “Does data-driven learning improve equity?” That depends, says Mikaela Pitcan in this Points original. Starting assumptions, actual data use practices, interpretation, context context context — all complicate the story around education data and must be kept in mind if equity is our objective.