Oakland's Early Development Instrument Results

In 2017, Oakland Unified School District and Oakland Starting Smart and Strong (OSSS) released a new and powerful neighborhood-level data set on children’s developmental outcomes using the Early Development Instrument (EDI). In early 2020 we collected a second round of EDI data. This website explains the EDI questionnaire and provides tools for exploring the data.

What is the EDI?

The EDI is a community snapshot of Kindergarten children’s health, development, and school readiness. The results inform place-based planning to optimize healthy development for all young children. Stakeholders can use the results to look back and assess how the Oakland early childhood community can better prepare children for school. The results can also help us look forward to address the needs of students in Kindergarten as they progress through school in OUSD.

​Importantly, the EDI is not a diagnostic tool or screener for individual children. Additionally it will not be used to evaluate individual teachers, nor will student-identifying data be shared.

How to Interpret the EDI Data

All data collection tools are limited and there is no tool that can tell the full story of a neighborhood and its children. The EDI is no exception and we fully recognize its potential limitations. We understand the possibility that implicit bias may have affected EDI results. We also recognize that the EDI's English-centric literacy questions may not fully measure the language achievements of our dual language learners. As a unique, neighborhood-level measure, The EDI is meant to spark more robust conversations on how to leverage data to best serve family and community priorities. The EDI data can provide us with insight into how community investments in Oakland relate to the developmental outcomes observed for children and help us identify potential service gaps as well as the areas where investments appear to be working.

How we are using the EDI Data

As a community we can use the EDI data to advocate for policy changes, inform community conversations about Kindergarten readiness, and better understand childhood development in Oakland. Stay tuned for more details on how we have already used the data to support children and families!

If you would like to get involved or just want to learn more about the EDI please email Trisha Barua at trisha@oaklandsmartandstrong.org or Keith Welch at keith.welch@ousd.org.

Click the links below to learn more about the EDI:


We would like to thank the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and UCLA’s Center for Healthier Children, Families & Communities for their support in the collection and analysis of Oakland’s EDI data as well as their contributions to the information presented on this website. We are also grateful to the Erikson Institute for helping us to think through how to engage the community and translate this data into action. Lastly, we would like to thank Raise DC’s Our Children, Our Community, Our Change campaign, a partnership with the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education, as this website was originally inspired and informed by their work.