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NCTQ Releases Analyses of Educator Equity in ESSA Plans, Best Practices Guide

Washington, D.C. — Today, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its analyses of educator equity in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plans of 16 states and the District of Columbia. These analyses highlight the strengths and opportunities in states’ work to ensure that low-income and minority students are not disproportionately taught by ineffective, out-of-field, or inexperienced teachers. NCTQ designed these analyses, along with our ESSA Educator Equity Best Practices Guide, to support states’ educator equity work under the ESSA.

“We hope that each state we analyzed will consider its analysis to be a commendation for the good work to date and a catalyst for the important work ahead,” said Elizabeth Ross, Managing Director of State Policy at NCTQ. “States’ ESSA state plan work is particularly worthy of recognition given the dynamic environment in which these plans were developed and submitted, and we are therefore especially pleased to highlight strengths in each state’s work in this space. However, the opportunities for improvement are, in some cases, significant, and we hope that states will carefully review and consider these opportunities to strengthen their plans.”

These analyses examine four key areas of educator equity under the ESSA -- definitions, data, timelines and interim targets, and strategies — in each of the following states:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont

Across the 17 state plans we analyzed, we were pleased to find that a majority of states are defining the term ineffective using teacher evaluation systems that include objective measures of student growth, which research demonstrates are critically important to measuring teacher quality. However, we also found that there is significant opportunity for improvement in many state plans, particularly in the area of timelines and interim targets for eliminating identified educator equity gaps. Including timelines and interim targets for eliminating educator equity gaps is important to help ensure that states and stakeholders are monitoring and assessing these gaps over time and, ultimately, eliminating any existing gaps.

“The ESSA’s educator equity requirements are designed to ensure that certain subgroups of students are not systemically disadvantaged; this is a basic tenet of the ESSA that all states must address with rigor and urgency,” said Ross.

NCTQ has also developed a Best Practices Guide that outlines effective ways to improve educator equity in several key areas with specific state examples. This Guide is designed to support all states in developing and implementing strong plans to meet the ESSA’s educator equity requirements.

“The goal of our reviews is to illuminate states’ commitments to eliminate teacher inequities,” said Kate Walsh, President of NCTQ. “We want to recognize the best aspects of their plans and encourage further improvements.”

These analyses are available at nctq.org.

About the National Council on Teacher Quality:

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) is a nonpartisan research and policy group, committed to modernizing the teaching profession and based on the belief that all children deserve effective teachers. NCTQ is the nation’s expert on the quality of teacher preparation programs and evaluates national teacher education against evidence-based criteria. More information about NCTQ can be found on our website, www.nctq.org.

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