Measuring Progress

Measuring progress in moving toward equity includes not only examining the extent to which improvement has occurred but also learning which interventions worked well, for whom, and why. The following strategies and resources should be considered as you measure the effectiveness of your actions to ensure equity, which will in turn inform next steps.

What Can I Do to Support Equitable Access to Great Teachers and Leaders?

Strategies to Consider

  • Collaborate With Technical Assistance Providers

    Seek assistance from the federal technical assistance network for this work (i.e., your regional educational laboratory [REL], regional equity assistance center, or regional center).

  • Collect and Analyze Equitable Distribution Data

    Review equity data from districts across the state, and consider the following questions:

    • Which district is the furthest behind in terms of its equitable access to great teachers?
    • Which district seems to be a front-runner, from which other districts can learn? When making connections, be sure to consider how district context (i.e., demographics, poverty level) might impact strategies used to address inequitable access to great teachers and leaders.
    • Where are your identified high-need schools in terms of equitable access? 
  • Establish Benchmarks for Success

    Establish benchmarks for success based on your new or existing action plans (e.g., equity plan, Race to the Top, Elementary and Secondary Education Act flexibility waiver). 

  • Regularly Analyze Metrics

    Adopt a regular schedule and process for analyzing teacher and leader effectiveness data across schools to determine whether effective teachers and leaders are distributed equitably within and across districts and schools. 

  • Seek Out Ideas for Best Practices From School Districts Addressing Equity

    Conduct a focus group of front-runner local education agency (LEA) leaders, and ask the following questions:

    • Which districts have promising strategies for addressing inequitable access to great teachers and leaders?
    • What state policies, regulations, and practices hinder or support attracting, developing, or retaining effective teachers?
    • How does an LEA work with the local teachers association to support equity work? Can this partnership be strengthened to better support equity work? 


  • Federal Data Shed Light on Education Disparities

    Education Week reported the following: Although the data available online are on individual schools and districts and are not aggregated by state, the department’s own crunching of the numbers offered a glimpse of the extent of some educational inequities at the national level. Among the findings: “At schools where the majority of students were African-American, teachers were twice as likely to have only one or two years of experience compared with schools within the same district that had a majority-white student body.”
  • Leveraging State Longitudinal Data Systems to Inform Teacher Preparation and Continuous Improvement: A Data-Sharing Template to Prompt Discussion and Strategic Planning

    This resource developed by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education illustrates how data from state longitudinal data systems could be combined with data collected by educator preparation programs to provide a rich source of information for program evaluation and improvement and district hiring decisions.
  • Office of Civil Rights Data Collection

    The Civil Rights Data Collection provides data on key education and civil rights issues in the nation’s public schools for use by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, other Department of Education offices, and other policymakers and researchers. This data collection provides information about students in public elementary and secondary schools on a variety of indicators, including enrollment; access to educational programs or services; and academic proficiency results disaggregated (i.e., broken out) by race, ethnicity, sex, and disability. You can search by school district or school to find teacher certification data, teacher experience levels, and other data.
  • Ohio’s Teacher Equity Plan and Equitable Distribution of Highly Effective Educators Analysis Tool

    Under Ohio’s Teacher Equity Plan, Ohio districts are required to collect and publicly report the following types of data:

    • The percentage of highly qualified teachers in each content area
    • The percentage of highly qualified teachers in schools not meeting adequate yearly progress
    • Descriptions of teacher turnover and mobility
  • Providing Effective Teachers for All Students: Examples From Five Districts

    This report demonstrates steps that districts can take and the challenges they face in assessing teacher effectiveness as a first step toward equitable access to great teachers. The report has three main areas of focus: identifying effective teachers, using information about teacher effectiveness in human resource policies, and using information about teacher effectiveness to ensure equity. Drawing on experiences from five districts, it provides examples for state and district policymakers considering action.
  • Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps Between Groups: Lessons From Schools and Districts on the Performance Frontier

    Although the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders does not necessarily endorse the point of view expressed in this presentation (by The Education Trust) and the conclusions drawn from the data, it is a good example of advocacy for equity work using data.
  • Tennessee Research on Teacher Equity and Effectiveness

    As discussed in the 2009 biennial  report of the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, the Tennessee Department of Education collected and analyzed data on teacher patterns and identified disparities in the state’s high-poverty and high-minority schools in 2006. See Chapter 3 in the report for additional information.
  • The Distribution of Teaching and Learning Resources in California's Middle and High Schools (REL West)

    Access to important educational resources in California’s middle and high schools is not equal among schools that serve different student populations. Overall, the most disadvantaged populations of middle and high school students are likely to have the least access to the resources necessary for learning.
  • Understanding the Distribution of Teachers in Delaware

    In collaboration with the Delaware Department of Education and the Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center, the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality (TQ Center) developed interview protocols to study access to great teachers in the state. State education agencies and districts can modify these protocols to conduct similar needs assessment work. See Chapter 3 in the report for additional information.