Skip to Content

Identifying Stakeholders' Responsibilities for Closing Achievement Gaps: Stakeholder Actions

Discussion Guide 4

Many factors contribute to achievement gaps. Some are within the purview of NEA members individually, and collectively, to influence. Others are not and fall to other stakeholders.

This final quide in a series on closing achievement gaps, is designed for NEA members and others to use to identify stakeholders who share responsibility for closing local achievement gaps. Each of these stakeholders should be involved in, and accountable for, implementing programs and strategies that will close achievement gaps. Several stakeholders -- and a summary of actions each might take to close achievement gaps -- are listed below. Take a moment to review this information before moving to the discussion questions that follow.

Selected Stakeholder Actions that Will Help Close Achievement Gaps

1. Teachers

  • Use effective instructional strategies.
  • Maintain high standards for all students by providing a rigorous curriculum.
  • Understand and capitalize on students' diverse cultures.
  • Examine their expectations, beliefs, and practices through the equity lens.
  • Serve as "first responders" in identifying students who need additional instructional support.
  • Participate in professional development programs that provide them with strategies for working with students and their families who are not achieving success.

2. Teacher Unions

  • Collaborate with districts in organizing and funding instructional support programs for students who are not achieving.
  • Identify strategies to improve achievement.
  • Share information among the membership about effective practices.
  • Offer induction and professional development to attract and retain qualified teachers.

3. Education Support Professionals

  • Serve as links to families and the community.
  • Provide instructional support to students.
  • Serve as mentors for students.

4. District and School Leaders

  • Create a professional learning community to programs that will close achievement gaps.
  • Support teaching and learning through consistent priorities and actions.
  • Share responsibility for improving district and school operations.

5. Students

  • Take personal responsibility for their learning.
  • Engage with teacher(s), classmates, and others in the school and community.
  • Participate, as needed, in supplemental learning programs and opportunities.

6. Families

  • Provide a home environment that supports learning.
  • Share schools' and teachers' high expectations for students.
  • Communicate with teachers and other school personnel.
  • Participate in school decisionmaking.

7. National, State, and Local Policymakers

  • Enact policies that support educators' efforts.
  • Provide adequate resources to close achievement gaps.

8. Business and Community Leaders

  • Maintain active partnerships with schools.
  • Provide resources and opportunities that enrich school programs.
  • Create a local economy that provides employment, affordable housing, human and social services, and other investments that increase families' standard of living.

Discussion Questions

  1. By the list above, you can see that closing achievement gaps takes the concerted efforts of many stakeholders. Do you agree with the teachers' responsibilities? Would you like to add other responsibilities?
  2. If any of the stakeholders have not been part of our discussions, how can we include them in the future?
  3. What is the role of the local teacher association? That is, what can and should teachers and education support professionals do collectively to close local achievement gaps.

Related Content

» Identifying Achievement Gaps in Your School, District, and Community - Discussion Guide 1.

» Identifying Factors that Contribute to Achievement Gaps - Discussion Guide 2.

» Identifying Stakeholders' Responsibilities for Closing Achievement Gaps: District and School Based Strategies - Discussion Guide 3.