Using Literacy Equity Audits to Identify School Literacy Needs by District Literacy Coaches

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Leadership for Organizations


Department of Educational Administration


Elizabeth Essex


Grade-level proficiency for secondary literacy classrooms remains an area to probe for improved student achievement. Tools to measure effectiveness of classroom practices also do not exist in large quantities. Based on the findings of The Opportunity Myth (2018), equity in the literacy classroom can be identified as 1) grade level appropriate assignments, 2) engagement, 3) strategies for deeper understanding, 4) high expectations of student performance. Using these ideas, measuring classroom teaching approaches in an equity audit allows for literacy coaches and other literacy leaders the opportunity to identify areas of growth and areas for improvement in literacy classrooms. This case study takes the findings from The Opportunity Myth study as well as literacy best practices and observational tools in order to measure the effectiveness of a literacy specific equity audit tool. The case focuses on the analysis of two literacy coaches from a public charter network during an interview where they codify approaches to address the data collected from the equity audit tool. The findings showed that the equity audit tool clearly helped determine areas to explore further through professional development and other approaches. The findings included the need for the use of standards-based instructional components, differentiation to support the acquisition of grade level rigor through co-teaching, student intellectual engagement, the use of literacy strategies to drive understanding and exploring expectations for student output. The action plan to address these concerns arising from the analysis by the district literacy coaches focuses on building leaders to lead improvements on their campuses.


equity audit, literacy achievement, literacy, grade level proficiency

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