TA Partners in Action!

TA Partners in Action! is a series that highlights successful partnerships at the local and state level. This series examines the nature and breadth of the technical assistance the MAP Center provided to these partners. The purpose of the series is to provide an example of how potential partners can work with the MAP Center to define and pursue the equity goals for their organization.


Michigan Department of Education: Building Organizational Capacity

The overall focus of the technical assistance the MAP Center provided to Michigan Department of Education (MDE) was to provide thought partnership in order to ensure more equitable policies and practices for all public school students within the state of Michigan. MAP Center leadership and staff provided thought partnership, research, and practice-based information to MDE related to the design and implementation of a state-wide approach to advance educational equity. The MAP Center provided research-based and practice-informed documents, equity tools, and resources related to ensuring educational equity in state agency policies and practices, data analysis, and data usage.

Minnesota Department of Education: Achievement Integration Program

The state of Minnesota has approximately 500 public school districts and over 2,000 public schools with a demographic composition of 66.5% White, 11.0% Black or African-American, 9.3% Latinx, 6.8% Asian, 1.6% American Indian, and 4.7% two or more races. There was an increase of students of Color in suburban areas, but not corresponding racial and socioeconomic integration statewide. The Office of Equity and Innovation at Minnesota Department of Education (MNDOE) requested technical assistance from the MAP Center in order to address the federal priority of race and the U.S. Department of Education’s emphasis on Socioeconomic Integration and Minnesota legislation.MAP Center staff acted as thought partners and critical friends to support the MNDOE Office of Equity and Innovation in the development, execution, and evaluation of the Achievement Integration plan, as well as to support the development of the Educator Effectiveness grant rubric and associated training materials for grantees. In this video, Pam Booker and Anne Parks from the Minnesota Department of Education discuss how they have worked with the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center as a part of the department's Achievement Integration program, providing technical assistance through this multi-year, evolving state education agency partnership.

Ferndale Public Schools: MAP Center 2019 Equity Innovator

The city of Ferndale is a predominantly white inner-ring suburb of Detroit, Michigan. Ferndale Public Schools (FPS) has a history of challenging desegregation efforts and was under a desegregation order until 1995. FPS received technical assistance (TA) at the Center’s top tier (Tier III) of services for 2 years.  The overall focus of the technical assistance provided to LCS was to build the capacity of school board members to develop and support an equity-centered strategic plan.  Given that the partnership activities have resulted in the development of a district equity vision and core definitions that informed the development of the district’s strategic plan, MAP Center technical assistance had the potential to affect every student (approximately 3,000) and staff (approximately 243) in the district. This partnership illustrates the importance of an intentional focus on building the capacity of school board members alongside district-level administrators in order to enact transformational change toward equity.

Lebanon City Schools: Fighting Discrimination & Harassment

Lebanon City Schools is situated 30 miles north of Cincinnati and 30 miles south of Dayton in a county that is experiencing significant population growth and changes in economic, racial, and ethnic demographics.  Lebanon City Schools (LCS) entered into a Resolution Agreement with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in August 2017 resulting from an investigation of racial harassment prompted by a complaint filed by parents of a Black student. LCS requested technical assistance from the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center (MAP Center) to promote “racial sensitivity” and to address race-based harassment.  LCS received technical assistance at the MAP Center’s top tier (Tier III) of services for 3 years.  As a result of partnership, Lebanon City Schools defined four district equity goals and 21 strategic actions that will affect school and district level policies, redressing discriminatory structures and practices, as well as the development of a 3-year comprehensive district-wide professional development and monitoring plan. The technical assistance provided to the district has the potential to impact each of the district’s five schools, with an estimated 500 adults and 5,483 students.