Delaware's Educator Equity Data
Delaware's Commitment to High-Quality Data - Background Information
The data presented in Delaware's Plan to Ensure Equitable Access to Excellent Educators for All Students (Educator Equity Plan) builds on almost a decade of dedicated efforts to improve data quality as it pertains to educator effectiveness in Delaware. In 2006, the Department submitted an educator equity plan to USED that detailed the steps that the state would take to ensure that students were instructed by a "highly-qualified" teacher (HQT). At that time , roughly one quarter of Delaware schools and more than a third of classes were instructed by teachers who did not meet the federal definition of HQT. Today, the vast majority of educators in core academic subjects meet that definition. Via Race to the Top (RTTT) , a new statewide plan for building a more complex understanding of the state’s educator effectiveness landscape was charted in 2009-2010 (see Section D of Delaware's RTTT Plan).
In 2012, the Department partnered with Harvard University's Strategic Data Project to increase the state's analytic understanding and capacity relating to issues of educator effectiveness. This three-year partnership has allowed Delaware to conduct sophisticated analyses relating to equitable access (educator equity). In April 2013, the state released the Educator Effectiveness Diagnostic after more than a year of data analysis. The Diagnostic, which covered topics ranging for educator experience to retention to performance, provided the foundation for the educator equity gap data found below.
Delaware's Priority Equity Gaps
Teacher Experience, Teacher Turnover, and Teacher Effectiveness
Numerous considerations went into choosing the outcome measures in the priority metrics. First, many discussions took place with community members across the state. During this dialogue, teachers, administrators, and local education leaders were given the opportunity to voice what they believed to be the most important factors to examine. They were also informed by internal and external research (detailed in the plan). This research underscores that the chosen outcome measures offer variability across the state (and thus are practically useful to examine) and are widely seen as important indicators of educator quality. Three priority equity gaps – teacher experience, teacher turnover, and teacher effectiveness – emerged from this work which are elaborated upon in our report.
Note about the data:
As part of the state's stakeholder engagement process, school quartiles were constructed based upon student subgroup population (students from low-income families & students of color). Delaware presented equity gap data to local stakeholders and federal officials utilizing these school quartiles. While there are limitations to this approach, it helped illuminate the critical educator equity gaps that exist statewide. For example, for the purposes of this plan when considering educator equity gaps based upon socioeconomics, a school would be in the first quartile (Q1) if its rate was in the lowest quartile (i.e., comprised of students from the most affluent families). Conversely, a school would be in the fourth quartile (Q4) if its rate was in the highest quartile (i.e., comprised of students from the least affluent families). Additional information and data analysis can be found in Section 2: Equity Gaps (pages 6-19) of Delaware's Equity Plan.