Wednesday, August 03, 2011

If only all equity data were this easy to find

T9B "Tip of the Hat" to web-savvy Kentucky citizen, Dick Richards. Leveraging the state's open records law, Richards got copies of high schools reports to the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, and then reported them online in a very searchable, user-friendly website. Thanks to these efforts, anyone in Kentucky can check on participation and spending data for girls' and boys' sports at any high school. He also developed a grading rubric that takes into account participation rates, added participation, spending per athlete, coaches salaries, and other factors. You can look up any school or district to find out how it rates.

Richards' website also provides answers to bigger picture questions like what is the gender breakdown in athletic participation statewide? (Answer: 56.3% boys, 43.7% girls) And funding? 41% on girls' sports, 59% on boys sports. Also, that the participation and spending gap is larger in the the state's largest school districts.

This tool could be invaluable to Kentucky citizens seeking empirical support to discrimination claims. It could also provide a model for activists in other states!