Strong teachers are key to raising achievement and closing gaps, but not all children have the same access to those teachers. Low-income students and students of color are less likely than their white and middle-class peers to have experienced, in-field, and effective teachers.

Federal law requires states to end these disparities. But as most hiring, compensation, and promotional decisions — not to mention choices about school working conditions — are made at the district or school levels — what can states really do? Ensuring Equitable Access to Strong Teachers: Important Elements of an Effective State Action Plan is our answer to that question.

Drawing on salient themes and questions that emerged in reviewing a number of state plans, talking with state officials, and reviewing our longstanding work and advocacy in this area, this guide suggests concrete steps for states to:

  • Analyze data in ways that build understanding and urgency;
  • Disseminate results to build stakeholder buy-in and connect identified gaps to underlying root causes; and
  • Create policies to spur action and progress