The Education Equality Index (EEI) is a comparative measure of the achievement gap between students from low-income families, as measured by participation in the free and reduced price lunch (FRL) program, and their peers. The EEI compares the proportion of students from low-income families who are proficient on a state assessment to all students across the state who took that same grade or subject level assessment.

This proportion-based methodology allows for comparisons between states, even though they use different assessments and set different standards for achievement. Learn more

Using New Mission High School as an example, here is how an EEI score for an individual school is calculated.

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STEP 1:

Look at the percent of FRL students at one school who are “proficient” on a specific assessment.

86% of FRL students at New Mission were proficient on the state assessment for 10th grade math.

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STEP 2:

Compare the percent of FRL students who reached proficiency at that school to ALL students in the state who took that assessment.

The 86% proficiency rate at New Mission is above average when compared to ALL students in Massachusetts who took the 10th grade math assessment. That rate of proficient low-income students equals a standardized score of 67.7 on a scale from 0-100.

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STEP 3:

Repeat Steps 1 and 2 to get a score for every subject/grade assessment at that school.

The scores reflect FRL student proficiency at New Mission compared to ALL students in the state. For example, FRL students outperformed the state average in 10th grade math but underperformed the state average in 10th grade science.

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STEP 4:

Take an average of all subject/grade scores to arrive at a school’s raw EEI score.

The average score at New Mission is 63.0. It is weighted based on the number of students tested in each subject/grade.

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STEP 5:

Adjust the school’s score to more fairly compare schools serving a high percentage of FRL students.

New Mission serves a much higher percentage of FRL students than the national average so the score is slightly increased by 8.8.

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STEP 6:

Each school’s adjusted percentile is its Education Equality Index score.

Out of 1,669 schools in Massachusetts, New Mission’s adjusted score puts it in the 71.8th percentile. The school’s EEI score is 71.8.

Questions? For more details on the methodology, please download our Education Equality Index technical document.

Download Technical Document


How to Calculate City and State Scores

To determine a city’s score, the Education Equality Index averaged scores for every school with an address in the city boundary. Each school’s score is weighted based on total enrollment as reported by the state’s department of education. It is important to note that a city boundary is not the same as a school district boundary.

State scores are created using the same method. Each school in the state is weighted based on total enrollment as reported by the state’s department of education.

State-level EEI scores are provided as context for interpreting the city-level EEI scores. State-level scores should not be used in isolation, as they are correlated to the percentage of students in the state who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch. We have removed the rankings of states based on the EEI score and pace of change pending further review. Going forward, we plan to further develop the EEI state scores by exploring the possible incorporation of additional national measures.


What Do the Education Equality Index Scores Mean?

68-100 = No Achievement Gap
Students from low-income families in a given school, city or state reach proficiency at a higher rate than their peers, on average.

50-67.9 = Small Achievement Gap
Students from low-income families in a given school, city, or state reach proficiency at a similar rate as all students, on average.

38-49.9 = Large Achievement Gap
Students from low-income families in a given school, city, or state reach proficiency at a higher rate than most students from low-income families, but at a lower rate than all students, on average.

0-37.9 = Massive Achievement Gap
Students from low-income families in a given school, city, or state reach proficiency at a lower rate than students from other low-income families, on average.