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Street Data

Street Data
A Next-Generation Model for Equity, Pedagogy, and School Transformation

First Edition

with Carrie Wilson, Foreword by Christopher Emdin, A Joint Publication with Learning Forward

March 2021 | 280 pages | Corwin

Radically reimagine our ways of being, learning, and doing

Education can be transformed if we eradicate our fixation on big data like standardized test scores as the supreme measure of equity and learning. Instead of the focus being on “fixing” and “filling” academic gaps, we must envision and rebuild the system from the student up—with classrooms, schools and systems built around students’ brilliance, cultural wealth, and intellectual potential. Street data reminds us that what is measurable is not the same as what is valuable and that data can be humanizing, liberatory and healing.  

By breaking down street data fundamentals: what it is, how to gather it, and how it can complement other forms of data to guide a school or district’s equity journey, Safir and Dugan offer an actionable framework for school transformation. Written for educators and policymakers, this book

  • Offers fresh ideas and innovative tools to apply immediately
  • Provides an asset-based model to help educators look for what’s right in our students and communities instead of seeking what’s wrong
  • Explores a different application of data, from its capacity to help us diagnose root causes of inequity, to its potential to transform learning, and its power to reshape adult culture

Now is the time to take an antiracist stance, interrogate our assumptions about knowledge, measurement, and what really matters when it comes to educating young people.

About the Authors
Prologue: Data in a Time of Pandemic
Chapter 1: Leading for Equity: Another World Is Possible
Guiding Principle: Reimagine our ways of knowing and learning.

Core Stance: Holism

Chapter 2: No Shortcut: Avoiding Equity Traps and Tropes, by Dr. Jamila Dugan
Guiding Principle: See the barriers; imagine what is possible.

Core Stance: Awareness

Chapter 3: Flip the Dashboard: Street Data Drives Equity
Guiding Principle: Center voices from the margins.

Core Stance: Antiracism

Chapter 4: Pound the Pavement: Digging Into the Levels of Data
Guiding Principle: Seek root causes over quick fixes.

Core Stance: Deep Listening

Chapter 5: Redefine “Success”: Street Data and the Pedagogy of Voice
Guiding Principle: Equity work is first and foremost pedagogical.

Core Stance: Agency

Chapter 6: Build Coherence: Focus, Holism, and Well-Being
Guiding Principle: Less is more; focus is everything.

Core Stance: Coherence

Chapter 7: Make Learning Public: Valuing Teacher Voices, by Carrie Wilson
Guiding Principle: Mobilize a pedagogy of voice for educators.

Core Stance: Symmetry

Chapter 8: Embrace Vulnerability: Moving Through Street Data Cycles
Guiding Principle: Break the cycle of shame.

Core Stance: Vulnerability

Chapter 9: Calling Folks In and Up to Equity: Street-Level Conversations
Guiding Principle: Every moment is an equity moment.

Core Stance: Warm Demander

Epilogue: The Journey Toward Liberation

"Street Data calls upon readers to 'flip the dashboard' from a focus on big data to a focus on the voices at the margins – those learners and their families who have been most affected by deep-rooted systemic inequities.  When we listen closely to these voices with curiosity, courage, and humility, we gain a greater understanding of the meaning and root causes of these inequities, as well as how they can be addressed in ways that transform and heal. Policymakers and educators at every level of the system need this book to forge a path to genuine equity."

Linda Darling-Hammond
Professor Emeritus at Stanford University and President of the Learning Policy Institute

"For far too long, education leaders have implemented reform strategies without engaging and centering those most impacted – the students. Shane Safir provides an energizing, anti-racist, actionable framework that centers the voices of the most marginalized students as the experts and co-conspirators that we need to create an education system worthy of their brilliance. Read this, share it, and be a part of ushering in this 'new normal' of street-level data to unlock racial justice in our schools."

Taryn Ishida, Youth Organizer and Executive Director
Californians for Justice

"With Street Data, Shane and Jamila have built a conversation more than a framework, wherein students, their communities, teachers, leaders and systems are interconnected parts of a family unit. As a Professor and Psychologist, I found myself drawn to the work’s human and family centered focus. Throughout the work, these are linked to an emphasis on building approaches to the art of teaching grounded in listening, making and holding room for all members of the learning family, and setting goals and evolving approaches that begin with the student as their core. Shane and Jamila are engaging us all in a critically important conversation, where the data we gather and share around learning spaces is shaped and centered on the voices and beings of students. It is family systems centered teaching and learning. It is holistic, and it is necessary."

Napoleon Wells , Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Social Sciences, Claflin University, SC

"Shane Safir and Jamila Dugan have given us a vivid and immensely readable account of what public education could and should be. Rather than quick fixes, the book is rich with real-life examples and immediately actionable equity practices that educators and leaders can use to tackle root causes. The authors have also issued an unspoken but clear challenge to all of us who care about children's learning and development: 'What if policy decisions were anchored in the lived experiences of students, their families, and their educators?' Their call to action is clear and urgent: we must reverse-engineer and radically reimagine our resources, policies, and practices to support the broad conditions in which students can authentically thrive, and most particularly students who are the most marginalized by the current system. The vision of educational justice laid out in the book will not be more widely practiced if we simply rely on individual teachers and principals to push forward alone into the headwinds. It must be supported at systems and state levels, so that it becomes the rule and not the exception."

Sophie Fanelli, President
Stuart Foundation

"Street Data issues an urgent, timely provocation to listen to, honor, and be informed by the experiences, wisdom, fears, and aspirations of children and families who have been forced to the margins by our schools and institutions. Rich with stories that affirm our shared humanity and connectedness, Safir and Dugan offer a humanistic approach and practical guidance for embedding love, equity, curiosity, and courage in our efforts to manifest learning spaces where every young person learns, develops, and thrives.

"Safir and Dugan call on us to free ourselves from old constructs about data for improvement that are rooted in Whiteness as normative and, instead, model ways to integrate concepts of wholeness, justice, deep culture, personal mastery, and agency into our school transformation efforts. This book is an important contribution to all of us who are working to create a world that works for all of us."

LaShawn Routé Chatmon, Executive Director
National Equity Project

"In this absolutely path-breaking book, Shane Safir uses the concept of 'street data' as an entry point to a fundamentally different paradigm for schooling. Foregrounding listening, understanding, and loving over counting, measuring, and classifying, Street Data illustrates what it would truly mean to develop a humanizing and liberating approach to school transformation. Startlingly fresh in its prose, clear in its convictions, and moving effortlessly between theory and practice, we can only hope Street Data will mark the beginning of a new and different era for American education. A spectacular book!"

Jal Mehta, Professor of Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education

"Old systems are crumbling before our eyes as new ones are being built. Street Data offers key insights about how to transform data and explore indigenous knowledge creation for a new world. Shane Safir and Jamila Dugan give us new ways to analyze, diagnosis, and assess everything from student learning to district improvement to policy. This book is a must read for researchers and practitioners searching for a fresh and deeply authentic model for school transformation."

Shawn Ginwright
Professor of Education & Africana Studies, San Francisco State University and Chief Executive Officer, Flourish Agenda, Oakland. CA

"Street Data gives us a vibrant picture of what it means to do school when we authentically center our students. Shane and Jamila provide inspiration and clear examples of how we can humanize our classrooms and create a more just education system. Critically for change agents, we also find practical advice for supporting adults across the system as they begin to shift their approach to a new normal that builds with and for students. There is no doubt that we need a new way forward and Street Data is a trusted map for charting a course for maximum impact."

Shanna Peeples
Teacher of the Year (2015) and Author of "Think Like Socrates"

There is some good content in the text surrounding issues of equity and being cognizant and proactive surrounding issues of data with culturally and linguistically diverse learners. The text strays too far from the paradigmatic framework in which we train teachers.

Professor Corey Peltier
Educational Psychology Dept, University Of Oklahoma
June 14, 2021

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