Teachers are key agents for racial equity in school systems.
As the MTSS framework shows, what happens in classrooms connects to high-stakes policies and practices at higher levels in the educational system. However, teachers—especially White teachers—rarely have opportunities to learn how to teach for racial equity. This study explores a teacher professional development model organized around EQUIP (https://www.equip.ninja/), a research-based classroom observation tool that generates quantitative data on equity patterns in students’ classroom participation. In analyzing the impact of a yearlong EQUIP-based professional development, researchers found that teachers were more likely to engage in social marker talk (i.e., talk about race, gender, and other social markers) when engaging with EQUIP data, as opposed to only watching and discussing video of lessons they had taught. This is significant because if teachers are not comfortable with naming how race matters in their classrooms, they will be unlikely to change how they teach to address racial inequity. The brief concludes with recommendations for policymakers and professional developers.