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How are states ensuring equitable access to excellent educators?

Analyzing state educator equity plans

Challenge

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is working to ensure that all students have equitable access to a quality education, including equitable access to excellent educators. As part of this effort, ED required all states to submit plans to help states and school districts increase access to excellent educators for the students who need them most.

These educator equity plans describe how states will ensure that students—particularly students from low-income families and students who represent racial/ethnic minorities—have equitable access to excellent educators. Each state’s plan conveys its commitment to achieving this goal.

ED tapped Westat to analyze the states’ approved plans.

Solution

Westat examined all core components of the educator equity plans, including engaging stakeholders, defining key terms, identifying equity gaps, analyzing root causes, proposing equity strategies, and measuring and reporting progress. We used a 4-step process:

  • Conducted an initial review of the plans to identify areas of analysis
  • Created a review framework spreadsheet for extracting and grouping data from the plans
  • Identified cross-cutting themes, outliers, and potential exemplars by areas of analysis
  • Produced an analysis report, documenting the results and summarizing each state’s plan

Results

Westat published a report that reviews and analyzes state educator equity plans. The report includes summaries of each state’s plan: Equitable Access to Excellent Educators: An Analysis of States’ Educator Equity Plans (PDF).

The report identified trends and commonalities and highlighted promising initiatives or practices. Most root causes of inequity were related to 3 broad categories:

  • Conditions or challenges particular to working in high-need schools or communities
  • Insufficient educator preparation
  • Ineffective human capital management systems

Most strategies to address inequities fell into 15 broad categories, including making partnerships with educator preparation programs and making better use of data to inform human capital decisions. All plans included general commitments to measure gap reduction over time.

This report can assist stakeholders in:

  • Understanding what states are doing to address inequities
  • Highlighting promising practices that may be adopted by states and districts

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