U.S. DOE Takes a Big Step on Equity

We are thrilled to share the news that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education just released new guidance on resource equity for our elementary and secondary schools.  The step is critical for closing the achievement gap, and their approach is comprehensive and well targeted. As laid out in OCR’s guidelines, resource equity goes beyond funding. Ensuring equitable access to quality education for all students means allocating all resources, from dollars to people to time, intentionally and strategically to meet the varying needs of all students. 

Schools and districts can take concrete steps toward resource equity by first measuring and understanding their current allocation of resources. Our School System 20/20 policy and resource rubrics (to be released year-end) offer a comprehensive set of metrics that will help districts assess and target ways to improve equity. In the immediate term, we have our Resource Check online assessment that can help with an initial resource use assessment and worksheets (listed below) that will guide you through some deeper analyses of your current resource use, including the distribution of effective teachers, spending on individualized attention and instructional time, across and within schools. 

Our Executive Director, Karen Hawley Miles, served on the DOE Executive Commission for Equity and Excellence and had a big role in designing and influencing this action. We are grateful that she had the opportunity to contribute.

ERS tools to measure resource use and resource equity: 

Resource Check: Assess your district's resource choices

School Funding Systems Resource Guide

Worksheets to help calculate equity and transparency across your district:

Strategic School Design Resource Guide

Worksheets to help measure effective school design and school portfolio management:

The Teaching Job Resource Guide

Worksheets to help measure teaching effectiveness across your district: