An Equity-Centered Approach to Technical Assistance
The Western Educational Equity Assistance Center (WEEAC) at WestEd provides universal, targeted, and intensive technical assistance (TA) at the request of school boards and other responsible governmental agencies on issues related to equity in education to ensure that all children—regardless of race, gender, national origin, or religion—have equal access to a quality education.
WEEAC offers technical assistance to school districts, school boards, state education agencies, and others who seek to resolve civil rights conflicts and promote educational equity.
Typical activities include:
- disseminating information on successful education practices and legal requirements related to nondiscrimination on the basis of race, sex, national origin, and religion in educational programs;
- training designed to develop educators’ skills in specific areas such as identification of race and sex bias in instructional materials;
- TA in the identification and selection of appropriate educational programs to meet the needs of multilingual learners; and
- instructing school officials on how to prevent sexual harassment and combat biases.
WEEAC’s universal TA services are aimed at expanding the capacity of education systems to eliminate the disparities across race, national origin, sex, and religion. Through our universal TA, we promote resources that elevate voices that have been historically marginalized, illuminate the root causes of the disparities in educational outcomes, and offer practical solutions that can accelerate improved outcomes.
Our goal in universal TA is to make research accessible, relevant, and useful for purposes of increasing awareness and building knowledge and capacity across the region. Through universal TA, we address topics of interest to clients across the region, as indicated by our needs assessment, incoming requests, and guidance from our Advisory Council. Any subject that is relevant to ensuring civil rights for all students regardless of race, national origin, sex, or religion is addressed in our universal services.
Included in this commitment is this very website, to make a variety of our universal services available to the widest possible audience:
- Library: recordings of webinars and presentations, publications, podcasts, briefs, and more
- News: blogs and newsletters
- Events: webinars, presentations, and national conferences
- Social Media: Twitter and Vimeo
- “Ask WEEAC”: Contact us about ways we can support your work.
We purposefully partner with LEAs and SEAs to determine where they currently are and where they need to go next with their improvement work. In response to requests from LEAs, county offices of education, tribal schools, the BIE, SEAs, and community organizations, we provide targeted technical assistance customized to meet the specific needs, contexts, and assets of the requesters. The resulting targeted services aim to help build the human, resource, policy, and organizational capacities of clients.
A TA Facilitator is assigned to each subregion to assist with requesting TA services. Clients requesting services often seek assistance with conducting equity reviews; developing strategic equity or desegregation plans; and responding to OCR’s findings on specific issues of desegregation, equity, or civil rights. Clients also seek assistance with problems of greater complexity and severity and with systems change efforts to improve the core functions of schools (e.g., curriculum, instruction, assessment, social–emotional learning, human resource management).
Targeted services require more frequent contact with clients and include consulting, coaching, and training via virtual synchronous, asynchronous, and in-person events. Through targeted TA services, we foster/facilitate peer-to-peer learning exchanges that bring together multiple LEAs, schools, and other entities in sustained Communities of Practice and other collaborative communities to address common challenges. In delivering targeted TA services, the subregion TA Facilitators and the subject matter experts (SMEs) develop and employ culturally appropriate awareness and empathetic, inclusive, and collaborative skills to effectively understand and meet the needs of historically underserved and underrepresented populations.
Examples of our Targeted TA include:
- Peer-to-Peer Learning
- Problems of Practice
- Office Hours
- Communities of Practice
- Facilitated Workshops
- Targeted Webinars
- Online Courses
Intensive TA is intended to substantially change policies, programs, practices, and operations that contribute to state capacity and improve outcomes at one or more system levels. We provide five intensive projects (one for each subregion) per year, engaging diverse representatives from multiple districts and agencies in learning networks to focus on common issues within each region.
Intensive projects build human, policy, organizational, and resource capacities within each subregion and ultimately the entire region. When providing intensive TA services, WEEAC explicitly attends to equitable representation with clear protocols for establishing equity and voice for all interested parties in leadership, planning, and implementation teams and draws on the experience, expertise, and ways of knowing from diverse communities to gather data, interpret findings, develop remedies, and identify resources.
Because of the larger commitment and greater duration of our intensive TA services, we ask recipients to complete TA agreements outlining the specific issues to be addressed, the responsibilities of both WEEAC and the client, the deliverables, the timeline, and the expected short- and long-term outcomes.
Examples of our Intensive TA include:
- Implementation Support
- Long-Term Engagement
- Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
Contact Us to Get Started
Ask WEEAC for more information about how we might support your work.