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Success Gaps Toolkit

The Success Gaps Toolkit presents a process for using data and the Success Gap Rubric to identify root causes of gaps in districts or schools between groups of children.  These success gaps occur when the education system is not meeting the needs of all groups of children and the outcomes for some groups are different than for most groups. The toolkit, including the process and the materials, provides a manageable and defined way for districts or schools to identify and address the root causes of success gaps that are present.  The success gaps may be the graduation rate of students who are English Learners compared to all other children; the out of school suspension rate of children who are black compared to all other children, or the identification of children who are Hispanic as children with specific learning disabilities.  The toolkit includes materials and resources to assist a school or district to conduct the root cause analysis and make a plan for reducing success gaps. Materials included are:

  • Defined process with facilitator tips and directions to take the team through the success gaps process
  • Videos that explain concepts or important points of the success gaps process;
  • Customizable agendas, handouts, and presentation shells for each meeting; and
  • Other support materials such as improvement planning forms, meeting evaluation forms, reading materials to use with teams, and others.

The Success Gaps materials were developed for schools and districts to use if they have been identified through their state's accountability system as a school or district in need of improvement, as low performing, or having a gap in performance or achievement that needs to be addressed. Districts can use the tools to take a closer look at their educational system to prevent "success gaps" and ensure an equitable education for all students. A state can use the materials with a district to identify success gaps and their causes within the LEA. Some states will use the materials as part of their work with districts that are underperforming academically, have school climate challenges, or have identified disproportionality.


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Companion Resources

These are resources that supplement the resource above.

This rubric allows a team of users from a school or district to systematically examine the root causes of success gaps among groups of students by focusing on equity, inclusion, and opportunity. The rubric has been updated recently and now includes considerations for children as young as preschool. A complementary white paper provided the research-based background that supported development of the rubric.

The presentation provides a self-assessment rubric that can help states and local districts view their school/district programs and practices with an "equity" lens and help states and LEAs understand the reasons for discrepancies in outcomes between certain groups of students. Helpful handouts are included.

  • Resource Image:
    Success Gaps Toolkit
  • Published:
    Feb 25, 2021
  • Authors:
    Nancy O'Hara, Kristin Reedy
  • Organizations:
    IDEA Data Center
  • Format:
    Toolkits and Templates
  • Topics:
    618 Data, Disproportionality and Success Gaps, Part B
  • Tags:
    Success Gaps, Disproportionality, Significant Discrepancy, Root Analysis, IDC Significant Disproportionality Resources

For more information about this resource, contact your IDC state liaison.