Evidence-Based Instruction, Intervention and Supports

Equitable Access & Opportunity


Kentucky’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (KyMTSS) is a framework that organizes the systems, data and practices to promote positive, equitable and inclusive learning experiences for all students. According to the Council of Chief State Schools Officers (CCSSO, 2017), educational equity “means that every student has access to the educational resources and rigor they need at the right moment in their education across race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, sexual orientation, family background, and/or family income.”

Why It’s Essential…

A commitment to equitable access and opportunity is essential to improve outcomes for every learner. For all students to achieve at high levels, they must be able to access the full range of opportunities and resources that contribute to student success. Leadership teams intentionally address unacceptable outcomes for historically underrepresented populations through a strategic use of evidence-based practices, analysis of data and data-based problem solving.

Key Features


  • Leadership teams are representative of the students and community they serve and include key stakeholders such as students, family and community partners who advocate for and contribute to creating culturally responsive policies and values for the district and school.

  • Leadership teams ensure every student has access to grade-level appropriate learning experiences aligned to the Kentucky Academic Standards, a guaranteed and viable curriculum, highly qualified teachers, high-quality instructional resources and tools and the full range of supportive services that ensure their health and well-being.

  • Leadership teams use a consistent data-based decision-making process to remove barriers to learning and allocate funding and resources (people, materials, training, time, etc.) that are equitably distributed based on identified student and school needs.
  • Districts and schools provide ongoing professional learning opportunities so educators become aware of how their unique life experiences and assumptions about ability and potential based on gender, race, ethnicity, social class, disability and/or English language proficiency can create barriers to success in classrooms and schools.
  • Professional development and coaching are intentional and ongoing to help teachers evaluate, explore and expand their instructional practices to meet the needs of diverse learners.


  • Data is analyzed at the district and school level to identify and address inequities in funding, student access to highly effective teachers, access to high quality curriculum and instructional practices, school disciplinary practices and other supportive resources such as technology.
  • Multiple sources of data are gathered and disaggregated to evaluate and monitor equity in student outcomes at the systems and student level. For example:

    • Office referrals;
    • Suspensions;
    • Universal screening;
    • Academic achievement and growth;
    • Early warning systems;
    • Surveys;
    • Graduation rates; and
    • Students enrolled in advanced or dual credit courses.


  • Current policies, programs and practices are examined for underlying assumptions and beliefs based on ability, gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, disability and English language proficiency.

  • District and schoolwide plans are developed that address academic, behavioral and social-emotional learning expectations, access to learning opportunities, high-quality instruction, resource allocation and/or accountability to achieve educational equity

  • Schools intentionally create a positive school climate that encourages inclusion and promotes respect of the identities and cultures of the learners and families served.
  • Practices, instructional resources and the environment purposefully reflect the images and experiences of all students.
  • Instruction and intervention practices are designed to be responsive to the diverse backgrounds represented by the students and the community.

Resources and Tools

Visit the Resources for Equitable Access & Opportunity webpage for key resources to help in the implementation of this component!


Barthe, P. (2016). Educational equity what does it mean?  How do we know when we reach it? Center for Public Education. Retrieved from https://www.nsba.org/-/media/NSBA/File/cpe-educational-equity-research-brief-january-2016.pdf?la=en&hash=A0F139B97D13C589CE00F186E594BEF1C3396F93

The Aspen Education & Society Program and the Council of Chief State School Officers. (2017). Leading for Equity: Opportunities for State Education Chiefs. Washington, D.C.

Villani, S. (2018). Exploring equity issues:  Educators use data and find solutions to improve equity.  Center for Education Equity. Retrieved from https://maec.org/resource/educators-use-data-find-solutions-improve-equity/