TA in Action: Youth Empowerment Services, Inc.

News Type: 
TA in Action
Publication Date: 
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Westat equity expert Wesley Williams II recently conducted a customized equity training for Youth Empowerment Services and its 15 LEAs in San Marco, Texas. The 11/2-day training was attended by 15 LEA teams made up of teacher leaders, school leaders (principals and/or assistant principals), a data expert, a diversity coordinator (if applicable), superintendents, and other district or school personnel who are responsible for the development and implementation of the equity plan.

To set the context on day 1, participants viewed the And How Are the Children video, followed by a reflective activity for each participant using a whole-group share-out process. Throughout the rest of the day, participants were guided, facilitated, and coached as they journeyed through the protocols and processes to draft an equity plan, using the template, tools, and resources that Mr. Williams developed and provided to each team in hard copy and on a flash drive.


The draft equity plan answers four critical questions:

Focus Area

Critical Questions

Identifying equity gaps and root causes


Why are our children not well and falling through the cracks?


Selecting effective strategies to eliminate identified equity gaps


How can the development and implementation of our district equity plan help our children be well and excel?


Setting performance measures


How do we know that the selected strategies we will implement are working to ensure that our children are well and excelling?


Assessing progress and public reporting


How do we know whether the equity indicators implemented were effective based on the performance measures and targets?



Each team identified its equity gaps using qualitative and quantitative student data, teacher data, demographic data, survey date, and/or anecdotal data. Teams also used guidance in the equity template to discover root causes for their equity gaps, select effective strategies to eliminate the identified gaps over time, set performance measures to monitor progress in eliminating the gaps, and describe ways to assess and publicly report progress.

On the afternoon of day 1, once the teams had completed the sections outlined in the equity template, they were paired to conduct a Problems of Practice activity; this protocol was developed by Mr. Williams and approved by the U.S. Department of Education in 2015. This activity gave the teams the opportunity to discuss equity issues and challenges and collaboratively explore solutions, strategies, resources, and tools to address them.

On the afternoon of day 2, the teams came back together, reviewed their draft equity plans, and engaged in more in-depth discussions to refine and enhance their plans using a series of detailed questions. The teams also volunteered to share components of their plans to demonstrate to their colleagues how a strategy, its action steps, and its performance measures aligned with one or more gaps and might eliminate the gap(s) over time.  If this type of training is of interest to you and your team, please contact our TA team.  You will also have an opportunity at the TQP Summit to participate in two different sessions that Mr. Williams is leading.