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Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center

Indiana Record of Services

Summer 2011

State Manager: Frank De Rosa

State System of Support

School Improvement: A Process for Scoring School Improvement Grants. In early spring 2011, the U.S. Department of Education announced that the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) would receive $9.24 million to turn around persistently low-performing schools through federal school improvement grants (SIGs). IDOE received applications from 14 districts for the SIG funding and asked for assistance from the Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center to establish a process to review the applications. Great Lakes East’s lead for school improvement and turnaround, Jayne Sowers, Ed.D., provided training on July 20, 2011, to five IDOE staff members on scoring the applications. The rubrics and protocols codeveloped by Great Lakes East and IDOE were used to score sections of the submitted applications. The reviewers determined their scores individually and then discussed them as a group, reaching consensus as a means to increase interrater reliability. After the training, the reviewers scored their assigned applications individually; a group of three specialists then scored all of the applications to ensure consistency and to make final awarding decisions.

When applying for funds, school districts must select one of four school intervention models that they believe will create the greatest increase in student achievement, as measured by factors such as student attendance, graduation rates, state test scores, and discipline incidents. Of the four models, Indiana districts selected either a transformation or a turnaround model this year. The transformation model requires changes such as replacing the principal who led the school prior to implementing the model; increasing student learning time; granting the school control over staffing, calendars, and budgets; and implementing rigorous evaluation systems. The turnaround model’s requirements are more extensive and are to be used by districts that are aware of the need for extreme change. Some of the requirements include adopting a new governance structure (such as establishing a turnaround office or hiring a turnaround leader), replacing the principal, screening all existing staff and rehiring not more than 50 percent, and providing high-quality, job-embedded professional development.

On August 3, 2011, a press release from IDOE named the four funded districts and their corresponding schools. IDOE will provide support in implementing their changes. Great Lakes East’s role will be to assist IDOE in learning about supports from other states and in developing those supports. The schools awarded SIGs were the Challenge Foundation Academy ($1.6 million), Indianapolis Metropolitan High School ($2.2 million), Glenwood Middle School (Evansville, $5.8 million), and Hammond High School ($5.9 million).

School Improvement: School Turnarounds. In August 2010, IDOE embarked on a journey to improve its failing schools in Year 5 of Academic Probation, as outlined in Indiana’s Public Law 221. The initial stages of that effort are now nearing completion. On July 22, 2011, IDOE announced seven schools that will move into Year 6 of probationary status.

These schools—six in Indianapolis and one in Gary—will learn of their final status and the selected intervention at the Indiana State Board of Education meeting at the end of August. Eleven additional schools that were potentially slated for interventions improved their student scores by the required 3 percent or greater and will remain under district (local) control. Indiana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, Ed.D., noted, “The 11 schools that were able to move out of Academic Probation this year are proof that accountability works; by setting high expectations and holding schools accountable, we have seen tremendous results—not just in our underperforming schools but in schools around the state.”

IDOE also released the names and descriptions of the three Turnaround School Operators (TSOs): EdPower, Charter Schools USA, and EdisonLearning. The TSOs will take over management of the schools from the districts if the state board selects this intervention. Instead of a TSO, some schools may receive lead partners who will work in cooperation with the district to manage the school. The TSOs and lead partners will be appointed to specific schools on August 29 and 30, 2011. IDOE is pursuing a bold and innovative idea in its desire to ensure that all students achieve academically. Few states have directly taken over schools, except in cases of financial mismanagement. Thus, the research regarding the success of state takeovers is not well developed, although some positive benefits have been seen in the New Orleans Recovery School District. Great Lakes East assisted in the development of processes and provided materials for the Indiana initiative, as noted in previous newsletters, and will likely continue to provide assistance to IDOE in finding and summarizing research, developing protocols and rubrics, and creating processes as the schools enter the 2011−12 transitional year.

Instruction

College and Career Preparation: Career and Technology Education (CTE) Course Standards Revision. Throughout June 2011, approximately 180 Indiana career and technology educators participated in nine workgroup meetings to review more than 100 course frameworks. Using the Rigor and Relevance Framework by Bill Daggett, Ed.D., the Common Core State Standards Initiative, and IDOE’s standards definitions as the basis for their work, each workgroup split into smaller groups based on subject area expertise to review and revise current course standards. Workgroups met from one to three days, depending on the number of courses needing review and the level of revision necessary. IDOE staff members Matt Fleck (assistant director of Career and College Readiness), Mark Cosand, Lloyd Garrison, Chris Kaufman, Kelli McGregor, Davis Moore, Eric Ogle, and Peggy Wild (all CTE specialists) and Great Lakes East staff members Tori Cirks (project lead) and Beth Ratway cofacilitated each workgroup meeting, with IDOE content specialists taking on more facilitation responsibilities as the month progressed.

The CTE course standards revision project began in March 2011 with internal planning and discussions, leading to a review of national standards of subject concentration areas to (1) inform the work of teacher teams as they reviewed course standards and (2) develop tools for teacher teams to use during the course revision process. Great Lakes East conducted a scan for national standards in major content areas, provided links to and descriptions of national standards, and shared select national standards documents via SharePoint. The national standards review was followed by the development of a common standards format and common course framework format that would align CTE course standards with all other state course standards and also be suitable for future IDOE frameworks. Great Lakes East conducted scans for CTE framework examples and facilitated meetings to develop and refine definitions and elements of standards, course content, and curriculum. Following the workgroup meetings, Great Lakes East formatted and reviewed more than 80 course frameworks, provided feedback on the levels of rigor, and assisted with final preparations for IDOE to take its CTE course revisions to the Indiana State Board of Education for approval.

The IDOE CTE standards work is clearly setting the pace on a national scale. The work was introduced in the July 14 meeting of the Midwest Common Core Consortia (in collaboration with the Great Lakes East and Great Lakes West Comprehensive Centers), where members expressed praise, appreciation, and the desire for more information and guidance as they pursue related initiatives.

In spring 2011, Indiana passed legislation directing the Indiana State Board of Education to create a CTE advisory committee. Chaired by Dr. Bennett, the new committee will meet bimonthly. Its first meeting will be held in fall 2011.

Archive

Record of Services from Winter, 2011

Record of Services from Summer, 2010

Record of Services from Spring, 2010

Record of Services from Winter, 2010

Record of Services from Fall, 2009

Record of Services from Summer, 2009

Record of Services from Spring, 2008

Record of Services from Winter, 2008

Record of Services from Fall, 2007

Record of Services from Spring, 2007

Record of Services from Winter, 2007

Record of Services from October, 2006

Record of Services from July, 2006

Record of Services from April, 2006