TIES Inclusive Education Roadmap RETIRED

State Guidance: Information Specific to the STATE Equitable Inclusive Leadership Teams

While Equitable Inclusive Leadership Teams operate at all levels of the system, they do not look identical due to the complexity of their work and the size of the organization. Given the general Guidance for Equitable Inclusive Leadership Team (EILT), what are the membership “look fors” and potential members at the STATE level?

Membership, Knowledge and Skills

Member "Look Fors"

Potential Members on the State EILT (estimated size range between 10-12)

Decision makers

Special education and general education administrators or designees who have the authority to make decisions regarding changes to policy, procedures and practices.

State Superintendent or designee

Curriculum and Teaching Leaders

State Alternate Assessment Coordinator

Professional Development Leaders

Teacher Evaluation & Licensure representative

Institutes of Higher Education representative

State Parent Group representatives, including parent with child with significant cognitive disabilities


District Representatives  (consider geography)


Personnel who will implement inclusive educational practices including district special education directors and principals.

Evidence-based practices in inclusive education for students with significant cognitive disabilities

Expertise and experience regarding inclusive education for all students, being explicit to include students with significant cognitive disabilities

Evidence-based practices in instruction for students with significant cognitive disabilities

Expertise and experience regarding instruction of students with significant cognitive disabilities

Evidence-based practices in general education

Expertise and experience in general education instructional and classroom management strategies including Universal Design for Learning and/or differentiated instruction

Best practices in implementation and systems change

  • Knowledge of local policies, systems, and supports. Access to relevant data systems.
  • Expertise and experience in school reform and/or systems change in education.

STATES organize their EILTs differently depending on their needs and organizational structures currently in place. However, the general Guidance for Equitable Inclusive Leadership Teams (see below) applies regardless of how states organize their system. 

Here are three examples to consider about how states organize their Equitable Inclusive Leadership Teams based on their specific context. No one way is correct as long as the focus of the work moves forward. 

Examples of State Guidance

This is an example of a state that has a central state Equitable Inclusive Leadership Team (EILT) to guide and prioritize the work. The large EILT includes multiple stakeholders from across the state agency as well as representatives from the district level. It uses smaller EILT Workgroups to move more detailed planning and implementation for the priorities forward. These smaller teams can be more nimble in targeting the priorities. They are created as new priorities arise and sunset as the work progresses and pieces are moved into ongoing structures and processes. 

This is an example of a state that is organized into regions. The school districts in the state are organized into regions and supported by the regional system. 

  • The state Equitable Inclusive Leadership Team (EILT) leads the inclusion work in the state, sets the scope of work, discusses data and progress, and identifies next steps.
  • The State Inclusive Education Advisory committee acts as a “critical friend” to the EILT throughout the process by providing feedback on the priorities and the work, assuring the comprehensiveness and depth of the implementation plan, and assuring that multiple voices that are representative of state stakeholders are included in the process.
  • Based on the priority, the EILT organizes workgroups to move priorities forward. These workgroups include both members of the EILT, content specialists from outside of the EILT, and other regional or district members who have a specialty in the focus of the workgroup. Workgroups are fluid and report to the EILT. They are formed and end their work based on their specific charge.
  • The state EILT works directly with the regions. Each region has an EILT to lead the work of inclusive education in its region. By doing this they can take state priorities and customize their supports to meet the needs of districts in the region related to increasing inclusive education for all students.

Washington has prioritized increasing inclusive education statewide through its Inclusionary Practices Professional Development Project (IPP) since 2019. The TIES Center partnered with Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in their work during 2019. This statewide work is focused on all students with disabilities, including students with significant cognitive disabilities. 

  • Washington has a Core Leadership Team (CLT) that leads the IPP work at the state level.
  • It formed a State Advisory Leadership Team to act as a “critical friend” throughout the process to guide the work and assure the comprehensiveness and depth of the implementation plan.
  • The TIES Center and Haring Center at the University of Washington support a district and several of its schools to implement and learn about systems change related to the inclusion of students with significant cognitive disabilities as part of the IPP.
  • The CLT addresses professional development through an array of professional and community organizations that provide professional development state-wide to support the diverse needs of each district. This professional development cadre supports the learning for any district (including the pilot districts who chose to prioritize inclusive education into their strategic planning, the demonstration sites who are districts or schools that have aspects of inclusive education that are high quality, as well as any other district that opts in for improving their data related to education in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).