The Title IIA equity multiplier

By Paul Fleming and Melinda George
February 2021

 Learning Forward’s Professional Learning State and District Planner ( is a guide to help state, district, and school leaders implement professional learning to support high-quality curriculum and instructional materials.

Grounded in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) definition of high-quality professional learning as intensive, data-driven, job-embedded, and classroom-focused, the planner provides a system framework for planning professional learning.

It includes tools for states and districts to engage in five interconnected stages:

  1. Define the vision.
  2. Examine evidence to drive improvement.
  3. Design and implement the learning plan.
  4. Support and monitor.
  5. Scale and institutionalize.


Decision-makers can use the activities and tools to prioritize selection and implementation of high-quality instructional materials, as well as curriculum-anchored professional learning. The tools and resources also offer related guidance to ensure compliance with professional learning requirements embedded in Title II, Part A (Title IIA).

Expected benefits and outcomes from using the planner include:

  • Support for classroom- or team-based and curriculum-anchored content professional learning that prepares educators to select and use high-quality curricula and instructional materials;
  • Greater attention to equity-based professional learning to positively impact all students;
  • Strengthened use of Title IIA funds on evidence-based strategies that result in more effective teaching and improved student outcomes;
  • Tighter alignment of federally funded activities with state priorities; and
  • Alignment of expenditures with the ESSA definition of professional learning.


Here we share some of the tools from stage 1 (define the vision). For local education agencies (LEAs), we include a diagnostic assessment. For state education agencies (SEAs), we include a tool for building a shared vision. For both LEAs and SEAs, we include a set of reflection questions that can be used at the completion of stage 1.

Because the five professional learning stages in the planner are fluid, and the tools therefore do not need to be completed in a chronological sequence, these tools can be used on their own or in conjunction with the other tools, which are available at

The planner was created with support from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. State departments of education and selected districts in Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, and Oklahoma provided feedback and piloted tools.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Paul-fleming-250x300-1

Paul Fleming serves as chief learning officer at Learning Forward. His current areas of focus include leading the effective implementation of the revised Standards for Professional Learning and corresponding tools, the expansion of our professional services and leadership and learning series teams, and multiple consulting projects with states and districts to increase educator and leader effectiveness through equity-focused, high quality professional learning.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Melindageorge-web

Melinda George is Learning Forward’s chief policy officer, serving on the Learning Forward leadership team and overseeing Learning Forward’s policy and advocacy work. Melinda has been integral to developing strategy and facilitating networks as well as leading the Learning Forward fundraising team.

The Learning Professional

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