A picture of a group of people standing around and easel notepad in a conference room and talking.

Educators from across Kentucky discuss equity-related data on educators and students at a summer retreat hosted by the Kentucky Department of Education’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Team.
Photo by Nicole Fields, June 23, 2022

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) announced on July 7 the launch of its Equity Playbook with 70 public school districts across the Commonwealth opting into the project.

The KDE Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Team has partnered with engage2learn (e2L), an education consultant firm, and Kentucky’s regional educational cooperatives, to lead this work. The Equity Playbook provides district and school leaders with personalized coaching on evidence/research-based practices, content and resources to address opportunity gaps in one or more of the following areas:

  • Student achievement; 
  • Utilization of funding and resources; 
  • Disproportionality relative to student discipline; 
  • Culture and climate; and
  • Highly effective staff and high-quality instructional resources. 

“Our efforts to promote equity in Kentucky’s schools are essential if we are to realize our aspirations of providing a meaningful and quality educational experience for every child,” said Commissioner of Education Jason E. Glass. “We believe this playbook will be a valuable tool for our teachers and districts to have as they look to close the opportunity gaps that exist.”

Over the past year, districts and regional educational cooperatives were invited to participate in this professional learning opportunity. The researched-based engage2learn coaching model and feedback process is customized to meet the needs and challenges of each district or school based on their needs. Each school/district involved will have several educators, participating including classroom teachers, school counselors, instructional coaches and other district and school leaders.

“The partnership with e2L and the launch of the Equity Playbook will move equity in Kentucky’s public schools to a new level,” said Deputy Commissioner and Chief Equity Officer Thomas Woods-Tucker. “This work is the first of its kind in the Commonwealth and we are excited to see the impact it will have on our students.”

Participants in the Equity Playbook will examine the presence and strength of their current policies and practices related to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. They will also grow in the areas of self-awareness, cultural competencies and community building in order to support the school and district’s priorities, said Tami Dean, executive director of Partner Success for engage2learn. 

“Reaching across the state of Kentucky, our partnership will become a model for intentional and measurable growth in equity,” Dean said. “As an educator with 25 years grounded in equity, I cannot think of a more exciting and impactful opportunity than one that we have here.”

The Equity Playbook is a three-year project being funded with Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding through the American Rescue Plan Act. 

Check out this video about Kentucky’s Equity Playbook to learn more about this project.