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Inequitable Distribution of Teachers

Wisconsin Equity Plan

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) submitted to the U.S. Department of Education the Teacher Equitable Access Plan for Wisconsin  that has been developed to address the long-term needs for improving equitable access to great teachers and leaders in Wisconsin.  

This plan responds to Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s July 7, 2014 letter to State Education Agencies (SEA), as augmented with additional guidance published on November 10, 2014 and April 10, 2015.

Wisconsin’s plan complies with (1) the requirement in Section 1111(b)(8)(C) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that each state’s Title I, Part A plan include information on the specific steps that the SEA will take to ensure that students from low-income families and students of color are not taught at higher rates than other children by inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teachers, and the measures that the agency will use to evaluate and publicly report the progress of the agency with respect to such steps; and (2) the requirement in ESEA Section 1111(e)(2) that a state’s plan be revised by the SEA, if necessary.

This plan details our approach to achieving our objective of improving access to excellent educators for our state’s students of color and low-income youth. This plan represents targeted strategies to eliminate disproportionalities based on a detailed analysis of teacher qualifications in Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin plan is focused on strategies related to the nine school districts who represent almost the entirety of our gaps in teacher experience and preparation.  View the Teacher Equitable Access Plan for Wisconsin.

As a part of ESSA, all districts that receive Title I funding, will now be asked to include in their local plan, how they will ensure that their poor students and students of color are not disproportionately taught by new and out of field teachers.  Every year in the spring, DPI will upload individual district reports into SAFE, to assist with data analysis. Districts are encouraged to take into account local data (such as effectiveness, attendance, or other data) in their analysis.  The reports from DPI will include information about which schools are identified, how the data was used, and what the district needs to do in their ESSA plan.  Below is a sample district report, the technical guide for these reports, and the 2017-18 ESSA staff report .

What do districts/schools need to do?

Everyone that receives federal Title I funding needs to begin by answering the question, “How do you ensure that students living in poverty and students of color are not disproportionately taught by new, out of field, or ineffective teachers?” DPI has provided some information in individual school reports to help you answer that question. You should also use your own local data, such as EE data, attendance data, teachers on improvement plans, value added data, etc. to answer the above question.

If your answer is that you aren’t sure, or that students of color and students in poverty ARE being taught disproportionately by new, out of field, or ineffective teachers, then you need to answer the question, “What steps are you going to take to change this?”

Plans generally include two types of action steps.

The first, and most important part is about placement of students and teachers. What steps are you going to take in order to make sure the kids that need the best teachers get the best teachers. Or minimally don’t get the worst, which is what is happening in disproportionate places. This can be accomplished with action steps such as

  • training principals on class placement and the research behind this,
  • having central office oversight to review placements,
  • creating student profiles that follow a student over time so that people are looking at the placements year over year,
  • giving hiring preference to high poverty/high students of color schools.

The second type of action steps generally include things that try and mitigate the effects of poor placement—ie: in our school students in poverty have a disproportionate chance of getting a brand new teacher, so (in addition to fixing that) we take some of these action steps:

  • add extra mentoring for new teachers,
  • provide extra professional development for new teachers,
  • ensure that these brand new teachers have high quality instructional materials that are aligned to the standards, and provide professional learning on how to use those materials in an ongoing way (data in one research study showed that doing this eliminated the effect of being a brand new teacher).

Action steps in this second category are great to do, but are not sufficient to close this equity gap.

Below you will find some webinars created to help you dig into root causes, to help develop plans for eliminating your inequitable distribution.

Connecting ESSA

Connecting to ESSA

On Demand Learning

Data Behind the Equity Plan

Data Behind the Equity Plan