Learning Point Associates logo.
Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center

Michigan Record of Services

Summer 2011

State Manager:
Gary Appel

Teacher Quality

Michigan System of Highly Effective Professional Learning: Policy Revision. Great Lakes East continues to support the work of a Michigan Department of Education (MDE) cross-functional stakeholder team that convenes regularly for the purpose of creating a more comprehensive system of highly effective professional learning. The team has completed revisions of Michigan’s Professional Learning Policy and submitted a full draft of the corresponding guidelines to MDE. Both documents are expected to be presented to the State Board of Education (SBE) in the fall for feedback and public comment. Following the review, the team will make appropriate revisions and prepare communications and resources to support rollout of the policy. MDE will send the policy to SBE for final approval.
High School

High School Redesign. MDE reissued the Dropout Challenge to all schools in Michigan in August 2011 after reviewing data analyzed by Great Lakes East subcontractor RMC Research Corporation. Data indicated that Dropout Challenge schools performed consistently better than nonparticipating schools on the two outcomes: graduation and dropout rates. Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan’s original challenge was issued in summer 2009 to (1) identify 10–15 students in elementary, middle, and high schools who are in or near a transitional year and exhibiting dropout risk factors and (2) provide additional supports and interventions to these students.

Great Lakes East cofacilitated meetings with MDE’s cross-office and stakeholder Dropout Challenge team to develop the 2011–12 dropout prevention vision, mission, and goal:

Vision: All students in Michigan will graduate career and college ready.
Mission: To reduce the dropout rate, increase graduation rate, and raise the number of career- and college-ready students in Michigan.
Goal: To increase the number of districts that join and participate in the Dropout Challenge, and build their capacity to reduce the dropout rate, increase graduate rate, and raise the number of career- and college-ready students in Michigan.

Subcommittees were formed with three specific goals:

1. Develop and implement a communication plan to disseminate dropout prevention information to all MDE offices, schools, districts, intermediate school districts (ISDs), community and professional organizations, and other key stakeholders.
2. Provide support and resources to Dropout Challenge schools, districts, ISDs, community and professional organizations, and other key stakeholders.
3. Develop a system and plan for capturing results and recognizing successful Dropout Challenge schools.

To support the Dropout Challenge Team’s efforts, Great Lakes East provided the team with two National High School Center resources: What Matters for Staying On-Track and Graduating in Chicago Public Schools: A Focus on Students With Disabilities and Approaches to Dropout Prevention: Heeding Early Warning Signs With Appropriate Interventions. In addition, a list of selected school, district, and state contacts using early warning systems was provided to encourage cross-state communication and collaboration.

Barb Fardell, former manager for education technology in the Office of Education Improvement and Innovation, became MDE’s new 21st Century Instructional Redesign manager. She will manage the high school redesign team, whose work will be aligned with other K–12 redesign efforts. Bersheril Bailey with Great Lakes East met with Fardell on July 14, 2011, to review Great Lakes East’s technical assistance for high school redesign from 2007 through 2011 and to discuss high school redesign priorities for the upcoming year. Great Lakes East will continue to provide support to engage MDE offices and key stakeholders in aligning organizational structures and building systemic support to increase student achievement in Michigan, with a focus on high schools in need of improvement.

Statewide System of Support

Michigan’s Statewide System of Support (SSOS)—MI Excel. From 2008 through 2010, a school audit was an integral component of the MI Excel system. Recently, MDE chose to replace the audit with a new School Improvement Review Visit (SIRV) process. SIRV was piloted in nine schools from December 2010 through May 2011. After reviewing school improvement plans and other pertinent data, an SIRV team spent three days in each school gathering descriptive data that are directly aligned to Michigan’s School Improvement Framework. Staff, student, and community focus groups were conducted in addition to classroom observations. The data gathered were shared with administrators and faculty, along with school support team leads, to be used to develop or refine school improvement plans.

In addition to joining the SIRV team on several visits to observe the process and offer recommendations for refinement, Great Lakes East surveyed MDE SIRV team members to capture feedback on the SIRV process and assist MDE with refining and improving the system. Great Lakes East provided MDE with a complete report in June 2011, which included team members’ recommendations for what to keep, stop, and start in the SIRV process. According to Karen Ruple, SSOS manager, many of the schools expressed appreciation after going through the SIRV process, and they incorporated the findings into their school improvement plan revisions. Based on the feedback from schools and the SIRV teams, MDE plans to scale up and prioritize the SIRV as a component of the SSOS for the Year 1 schools.

Michigan was the first state to submit a memorandum of understanding to participate in the Center on Innovation & Improvement’s Academy of Pacesetting Districts. Great Lakes East will send a Michigan team to Philadelphia on October 19–20, 2011, to receive training on how to conduct the academy in Michigan. After the training, MDE will select districts to participate in the yearlong opportunity for central office staff to explore their current policies, programs, and practices that support school improvement. MDE will guide the districts as they develop a system of support for schools in need of improvement. According to the Center on Innovation & Improvement handouts shared with MDE, the expected outcomes of the Academy are that “District Pacesetter Teams will formalize a system of support reflecting district-level practices proven successful at promoting and supporting positive change at the school and classroom level; [and that] the major work product of the Academy experience is an Operations Manual for a District System of Support.”

English Language Learners (ELLs). On June 20–23, 2011, the first of three regional Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) rollout training sessions was held in Lansing. The meeting was facilitated by Great Lakes East subcontractors from the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) Emily Evans Fanaeian and Dennis Terdy. Participants from the spring training of trainers provided additional support and facilitation during this four-day event. More than 50 mainstream, ELL, and other service area teachers representing programs primarily from the Detroit metropolitan area attended this training hosted by the Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency.

Two additional SIOP rollout sessions were held in August 2011, with a capacity-building goal of providing hands-on SIOP training experience for the spring training-of-trainers participants. One session was held August 8–11, 2011, and hosted by the Macomb Intermediate School District (ISD) with more than 50 participants attending. Van Buren ISD in the western part of the state hosted the second August session. Cofacilitated by Great Lakes East, Terdy, and spring training participants, this session trained more than 30 mainstream and other service area teachers from neighboring school districts.

On September 7, 2011, MDE, Great Lakes East, and CAL are planning to convene the MDE ELL Core Team to continue coordinating and leveraging ELL-related activities at MDE. MDE Office of Field Services Manager Shereen Tabrizi, Ph.D., and Terdy will cofacilitate this meeting.

Response to Intervention (RTI). In order to streamline schools’ efforts and resources to maximize improvement for all students, the Michigan RTI Guidance Team has outlined how a school or district can break down barriers and work collaboratively to develop one common plan for improvement. Its belief is that schools and districts must make improvement planning decisions based on their own data, always targeting improved learning for all students.

The Michigan Continuous School Improvement (MI CSI) process serves to organize school or district staff to analyze their data (achievement, perception, process, and demographic) to develop a comprehensive continuous improvement plan. A comprehensive data analysis will lead to the identification of the school’s improvement needs and to the development of school improvement goals. Through the development of a school improvement plan, staff may recognize that their school is missing key systems, resulting in a negative impact on student achievement. This realization may lead them to recognize that implementing a system of RTI would help to fill these voids. In addition to identifying the need for an RTI system, the school improvement process can assist in the development and implementation of such a system.

When braided together, as opposed to being planned and implemented in silos, the MI CSI process and the system of RTI will enhance and strengthen each other, resulting in a mutually beneficial relationship. Silo plans compete for staff time and resources, leading to a dysfunctional and sporadic implementation of improvement strategies. A system of RTI that is well implemented and designed collaboratively will enrich and enhance the MI CSI.

The Michigan RTI Team has defined the essential elements of an RTI system to guide districts through selection and implementation. The team, in collaboration with Great Lakes East and the National Center on Response to Intervention, is in the process of identifying research-based resources and statewide initiatives that align with the essential elements. Success stories of RTI implementation from the field are being compiled through interviews and written submissions. These stories will become a part of the RTI guidance document on the Michigan RTI website. During this quarter, the RTI team worked in subgroups to refine the following sections of the guidance document:

• Alignment with School Improvement and Comprehensive Needs Assessment Tools
• State Initiative Alignment and Research-Based Resources
• Matrix of RTI Essential Element Implementation at Classroom, School, District, Regional, and State Levels
• Stories From the Field
The team will next meet as a whole on September 9, 2011, in Lansing to assess progress and refine the work of the subgroups.

Emerging Work: Common Core. On June 1, 2011, the MDE Common Core cross-office team requested assistance from Great Lakes East to help establish internal structures and a strategic plan that merge the work of the Common Core State Standards with current MDE work without duplication, and that engage appropriate stakeholders both from within and outside of MDE. MDE is interested in connecting the implementation of Common Core to the larger reform initiative in Michigan. The team is seeking to create new systemic structures that merge and coordinate with current MDE initiatives such as SSOS and high school redesign in a rapidly changing policy environment.

Gary Appel, Bersheril Bailey, and Beth Ratway of Great Lakes East began to outline the work with Abigail Groff, interim supervisor of curriculum and instruction at MDE, in June to discuss how Great Lakes East could add value to the work. The following areas were identified:

• Share examples of other states regarding implementation of the Common Core State Standards.
• Share tools that have been developed to assist with implementation, facilitation, and thought partnering around identifying key leverage points for the strategic plan that will provide “early wins” to engage shareholders.
• Assist with establishing workgroups that support ongoing implementation work that digs deep into the core issues and avoids the “mile wide, inch deep” approach.

Ratway met with the Core Team on June 23, 2011, to create a plan for the work. The team discussed how to build off of the multistate work of the Midwest Common Core Consortia and the Implementing the Common State Standards Collaborative of the Council of Chief State School Officers. The key components of the work will include the following:

• Defining career and college readiness
• Creating work teams that will develop a plan for MDE
• Creating a communication plan for the work
• Developing a tool that can be used by MDE and local education agencies (LEAs) to build systemic plans
• Developing a website to support the work
• Planning for fall rollout meetings

The MDE Core Team is in the process of defining career and college readiness and will use planning meetings in July and a retreat in August to further clarify the definition, create a mission and vision for the work, and outline a communication plan. They also will plan for the fall workgroup meetings.

At the same time, MDE is creating workgroups to develop a systemic plan for connecting the work of MDE. There will be workgroups in each of the following areas: effective instruction and intervention for all learners, balanced assessment, supports for quality educators, accountability and transparency, infrastructure, and P–20 transitions. These workgroups will be led by MDE and will include external stakeholders. Great Lakes East worked with MDE to help identify external stakeholders that should be involved in the work. MDE also asked Great Lakes East to facilitate a train-the-trainers session and to design tools to help prepare for the workgroup meetings.

The workgroups will analyze the current state of the work, determine future outcomes, and develop action plans for moving the work forward. MDE hopes to build a Michigan online planning tool, similar to a tool developed in Illinois based on work of the Midwest Common Core Consortia. MDE would use the tool to collect the action plans from these meetings and use them to communicate plans and progress throughout the state, as well as potentially engaging LEAs through similar planning processes for systemic implementation.

MDE is currently planning to conduct another round of statewide regional meetings that will focus on instruction for career and college readiness this November. These meetings will be planned and conducted by MDE in collaboration with ISDs, institutes of higher education, Michigan ASCD, the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators, the Michigan Institute for Educational Management, and Great Lakes East. Each regional meeting will include a general overview session of the components of the implementation system and breakouts focusing on how the work of the Common Core aligns to current initiatives. All of the breakout sessions will demonstrate how to connect the work of the Common Core to the MDE Teaching for Learning Framework. There will be a separate strand for administrators to help them begin to develop a comprehensive, systemic implementation plan. MDE is planning to work with the ISDs to offer monthly webinars that build on the regional meetings.

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