Technical Assistance – Educator Equity
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) requires State educational agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) to consider the rates at which low-income and minority students have access to excellent educators. This webpage contains information about these ESEA requirements, work that States and districts have done to date to address disproportionate access, and resources to support States in ensuring access to excellent educators for all students.
Educator Equity under the Every Student Succeeds Act
ESEA, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, requires SEAs and LEAs to address whether low-income and minority students served by Title I, Part A are taught at disproportionate rates by ineffective, out-of-field, or inexperienced educators to compared to their peers. More specifically, the law requires each SEA receiving a Title I, Part A grant to describe in its ESSA State plan:
- “how low-income and minority children enrolled in schools assisted under this part are not served at disproportionate rates by ineffective, out-of-field, or inexperienced teachers,” and
- “the measures the [SEA] will use to evaluate and publicly report the progress of the [SEA]” in addressing any disproportionality. (ESEA Section 1111(g)(1)(B))
Further, the ESEA requires each LEA receiving Title I, Part A subgrant to submit plans that include a description of “how the [LEA] will identify and address . . . any disparities that result in low-income students and minority students being taught at higher rates than other students by ineffective, inexperienced, or out-of-field teachers.” (ESEA Section 1112(b)(2))
Finally, the ESEA explicitly indicates that SEAs (ESEA Section 2101(c)(4)(B)(iii)) and LEAs (ESEA Section 2103(b)(3)(B)) may use Title II, Part A funds to address identified disparities in access to excellent teachers.
ESSA incorporates many the of equitable access requirements from earlier authorizations of the ESEA. The next section of this page provides additional information about educator equity plans and requirements under the ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).
Educator Equity under the No Child Left Behind Act
Under the ESEA, as amended by the NCLB, every SEA that received a Title I, Part A grant was required to submit to the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) an educator equity plan describing the steps the SEA would take to ensure that poor and minority students were not taught at higher rates than other students by inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teachers and the measures that each SEA would use to evaluate and publicly report its progress in closing the equity gaps identified in its educator equity plans.
The Department required States to submit educator equity plans twice under NCLB: once in 2006 and, most recently, in 2015 and as part of the Excellent Educators for All initiative.
In July 2014, the Department launched the Excellent Educators for All initiative, which was “designed to move America toward the day when every student in every public school is taught by excellent educators.” This initiative had three major components:
- Educator equity data. To support States in the development of their respective 2015 educator equity plans, the Department, in November 2014, provided to each State (i) an educator equity profile, which provided an analysis of State-specific data, and (ii) data files, which contained State-specific data from the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) and other Department-managed data sets.
- Equity Plans. The Department released Frequently Asked Questions to inform States’ submission of educator equity plans. All States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico submitted and had approved educator equity plans in 2015.
- Equitable Access Support Network. In late 2014, the Department launched the Equitable Access Support Network (EASN), a technical assistance network designed to support States in the drafting and implementation of their educator equity plans.
Each of these resources, including States’ approved 2015 educator equity plans, is available on the Department’s Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies (Title I, Part A) webpage. Learn more about technical assistance resources available to States below.
The resources below are designed to help SEAs and LEAs in the development, implementation, and continuous improvement of their respective educator equity plans. If you require any assistance accessing any of these resources (or do not see a resource responsive to your needs), please contact your State contact in the Office of State Support
Planning and Processes for Eliminating Equity Gaps
Equity Plan Implementation Readiness Assessment
Equity Data Analysis: Getting Started on the Right Foot
Measuring, Monitoring & Reporting Progress
Implementation Tips Sheet #1: Setting Equity Goals
Taking Action: Using Strategies that Work
How SEAs Can Support District-Level Strategies
The Department and its partners provide technical assistance opportunities for States and LEAs related to the development and implementation of educator equity plans. The information below highlights some of these past and current technical assistance initiatives. For additional information about technical assistance initiatives or organizations, please contact your State contact in the Office of State Support.
The Equitable Access Support Network | December 2014 – April 2017
The Equitable Access Support Network (EASN) was established in 2014 to support States in the development and implementation of their 2015 educator equity plans. Further, after the reauthorization of the ESEA by the ESSA, the EASN supported States in understanding the educator equity requirements of the ESSA.
The EASN developed tools and resources to support State development of educator equity plans. In addition, the EASN provided individualized support and collective technical assistance to all 50 States, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the Bureau of Indian Education through the following peer-to-peer opportunities:
- EASN Communities of Practice offered SEAs ongoing opportunities to collaborate with peers and experts through online discussion boards and webinars focused on key topics related to ensuring equitable access to excellent educators, including: Data Use & Analysis, Policy & Programs, Rural Access Issues & Support, and Stakeholder Engagement.
- EASN Work Groups offered select States short-term opportunities to engage with peers to achieve a shared set of objectives to address common challenges related to the implementation of educator equity plans. EASN work groups included: LEA Equity Planning, Managing for Results, and ESSA Equity Data & Analysis.
- EASN Webinars provided States access to relevant research and tools developed and shared by EASN Consortium partners to support implementation of educator equity plans.
The EASN concluded its work in June 2017. For additional information about the work of the EASN, please contact OSS.TechnicalAssistance@ed.gov.
Technical Assistance Partners
States seeking support in implementing educator equity provisions may request assistance from a number of technical assistance partners who are members of the Equitable Access Consortium, including:
In partnership with the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office of State Support (OSS) and Office of School Support and Rural Programs (SSRP), the Equitable Access Consortium includes the EASN, the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center), Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and other ED-funded technical assistance centers: Regional Educational Laboratories, Regional Comprehensive Centers, and Equity Assistance Centers. Together, these partners support State education agencies SEAs and technical assistance providers with high-quality, responsive, and customized technical assistance as SEAs implement their equitable access plans. For additional information about the work of the Equitable Access Consortium, access the Equitable Access Consortium one-pager.
Statute, Regulations & Guidance
State Strategies for Engaging Stakeholders in Equity Planning and Beyond