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Educator Effectiveness

Educational Equity Professional Learning Network (PLN)

What is a PLN?

ESE's Educator Effectiveness Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) provide opportunities for districts to engage in a deep partnership with other districts and with DESE to develop and/or refine strategies on targeted topics. In 2014-15, DESE supported two PLNs: the Teacher Leadership PLN with 11 districts focusing on the development and implementation of high quality teacher leadership opportunities (see Teacher Leadership webpage), and the PLN for Supporting Evaluator Capacity with 8 districts exploring strategies to build evaluator capacity (see district resources ).

The nine members of the Educational Equity PLN met in December to share strategies for addressing local equity gaps. These strategies focus on: teacher evaluation calibration; cultural proficiency; partnerships with Educator Preparation Programs; inclusive practices; and disproportionate disciplinary practices, among other topics. The members of the PLN - Amherst-Pelham, Boston, Everett, Lawrence, Milton, Randolph, the Springfield Empowerment Zone, Taunton, and the UP Network - will be sharing lessons and progress from their strategies in the spring and summer of 2016.

What is the purpose of the Educational Equity PLN?

The 2015-16 PLN on Educational Equity reflects MA's commitment to addressing persistent disparities in certain student subgroups' access to effective educators. The Educational Equity PLN brings together eight to ten districts to explore the following problem of practice: students in specific high-needs subgroups (low-income, racial/ethnic minority, ELL, special needs) are less likely to have access to excellent educators than their higher-income or white peers.

  • Goal: The Educational Equity PLN supports districts in identifying and formulating plans to address local equity gaps through implementation of strategies articulated in the 2015 Massachusetts State Equity Plan , as well as the development of new strategies.

  • Expectations: PLN district teams engage in a one-day guided self-assessment during Fall 2015, facilitated by the Education Delivery Institute (EDI), to (1) identify local equity gaps specific to their students and educators, (2) home in on possible root causes for the gap(s), and (3) identify two to four strategies to address these gaps. Districts adopting similar strategies will then work together throughout the 2015-16 school year to learn from one another and share experiences related to implementation.

  • Outcomes: In partnership with the Northeast Comprehensive Center, DESE and participating districts will share promising/emerging practices and strategies to overcome inequities in students' educator experiences at the 2016 DESE Spring Convening and through resources available on this page.

Resources for Schools and Districts

Partnerships with Educator Preparation Programs

Read advice on how to plan and implement deeper, more effective partnerships with Educator Preparation Programs.

Leveraging Partnerships Webinar

Learn how to strategically leverage partnerships with educator preparation programs to strengthen your employment pipeline.

Calibration and Inclusion Toolkit

View approaches, lessons learned, and resources from districts' work to calibrate educator evaluators' understanding of best practices for inclusion.

Cultural Proficiency

Read about districts' experiences with strategies to improve educator cultural proficiency, including challenges faced and lessons learned.

Last Updated: June 3, 2020

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