Learning Point Associates logo.

Learning Point Associates Contact Us Privacy Policy Search

Great Lakes East
Comprehensive Center

Annual Plan of Work

The Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center, a five-year contract funded by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), is working closely with other technical assistance providers, regional comprehensive centers, national content centers, and regional educational laboratories. Great Lakes East focuses its technical assistance and support to address topics identified by the Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio Departments of Education and the priorities of ED related to the implementation of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

2009–10 State Goals


Overview of Planned Work

The context surrounding the technical assistance work has changed dramatically since November 2008 and will continue to do so into this next technical assistance year. Several events have occurred in Indiana that may affect the work of Great Lakes East in the state: new administration and new relationships, and new administrators’ requests for Great Lakes East.

New Administration and New Relationships

In November 2008, the citizens of Indiana elected Tony Bennett, Ed.D., as the new superintendent of public instruction to serve a four-year term. Prior to the election, Suellen Reed, Ed.D., had served in the position for 16 years. Dr. Bennett formed a transition team that resided within IDOE for most of November and December 2008. Upon taking office on January 12, 2009, Dr. Bennett named his top-level staff, replacing many of the former assistant superintendents in the department. In his inauguration speech, Dr. Bennett announced his goals as follows (Indiana Department of Education, 2009a):

  • To set high standards for students
  • To continually determine how Indiana schools are serving their students
  • To recruit and train the best teachers and administrators
  • To create flexible structures for schools to meet the needs of their students

The director of the Office of Title I and her staff, with whom Great Lakes East has worked extensively throughout the past 3½ years, retained their positions in the department during the January 2009 transition. The retention of this group was critical because the majority of the technical assistance of the past four years has been in building the capacity of the Office of Title I staff to support schools and districts in improvement. Several new administrators have informally noted the high quality of the Title I staff and the assistance that they provide to schools and districts; Great Lakes East also was recognized for its role in assisting the Office of Title I in these efforts.

The previous director of the Office of Title I, Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, is now the director of differentiated learning. This new area includes Title I; Title III; special education; high ability; and neglected, delinquent, and institutionalized students. Kwiatkowski’s repositioning should allow for Great Lakes East’s continued collaboration in Title I school and district improvement and should enable closer involvement of the staff for learners with special needs and ELLs. Job descriptions, roles, and responsibilities are being developed, and additional elimination of staff is occurring. During this transition time, Great Lakes East has continued to implement its plan of Year 4 technical assistance.

New Administration’s Requests for Support From Great Lakes East

On February 13, 2009, Great Lake East met with senior members of the new IDOE administration: Dr. Tony Bennett (superintendent of public instruction), Todd Houston (chief of staff), and Maureen Weber (chief operating officer). This meeting was followed by a meeting in Indiana on April 17, 2009, with Maureen Weber, Robert Marra (assistant superintendent for student learning), Lee Ann Kwiatkowski (director of differentiated learning), and Judy Jenkins (director of elementary, middle, and high schools). In a follow-up phone call on April 24, 2009, Maureen Weber requested support from Frank De Rosa (Great Lakes East state manager for Indiana) in the following topics:

  • ELLs
  • Response to intervention (RTI)
  • Reading summit and reading framework
  • Mathematics summit and mathematics framework
  • Formative assessments

IDOE also has requested assistance from Great Lakes East in the development of reading and mathematics summits and frameworks as well as formative assessments. Great Lakes East will work closely with IDOE staff as strategies to address these topics are formulated later this year. Judy Jenkins (director of elementary, middle, and high schools), Michael Roach (assistant director of curriculum and instruction), and Jane Cooney (elementary mathematics and science specialist) are the IDOE staff leading the reading and mathematics summits and framework development. Wes Bruce (chief assessment officer), Lee Ann Kwiatkowski (director of differentiated learning), and Robert Marra (assistant superintendent for student learning) are IDOE staff working on the professional development and implementation of formative assessments.

Conclusion: Ever-Changing Context

Given the recent events, the Indiana context is one of constant change. Additional staff changes are anticipated. The Indiana State Board of Education is making numerous changes in rules at each meeting. Great Lakes East must remain flexible and responsive to the needs of the state while encouraging the SEA to continue building upon the excellent processes and systems built during the past four years. Although the intention of Great Lakes East is to carry out the technical assistance plan as written for Year 5, the ever-changing context in Indiana may require some altering of the direction.

Proposed SEA Technical Assistance Goals

Goal 1: District Improvement - To develop and provide additional technical assistance for districts in corrective action and, when feasible, for those in Years 1 and 2 of improvement

Scope of Services. This goal was the initial goal in Year 1 of Great Lakes East technical assistance and has largely been met. Even though more work in the area of district improvement is needed, the scope of work as initially described has been successfully achieved. As a result of the collaborative work during the past four years, the Office of Title I has a solid process of determining the needs of and providing resources to districts in Years 1 and 3 of improvement. Its annual March workshops for districts in improvement has a solid focus in (1) providing individual assistance to district teams, (2) analyzing student data, (3) comparing the district’s supports to its schools to the Office of Title I Theory of Action, and (4) developing a data-driven improvement plan. Districts in corrective action receive additional support for developing a new English language arts curriculum; this support consists of several workshops during the year and assistance with their plans. In Year 4, the supports for districts were reexamined, and minor changes were made as needed. The Office of Title I implemented these changes with minimal Great Lakes East support. Assistance from Great Lakes East was requested in the refinement of the district workbooks.

For Year 5 of technical assistance, the involvement of Great Lakes East in this area will be to provide support as needed. Due to changes in the Office of Title I staff, this assistance might include guidance in how to review district improvement plans, curriculum development implementation plans, and curriculum maps using the established templates and processes. The annual March workshops for districts in improvement will not occur in March 2010 due to the state’s standardized testing now being administered in the spring rather than the fall. The identification of the districts and the provision of the accompanying supports will not occur again until fall 2010.

Goal 2: School Improvement – (1) To articulate and implement policies for assisting focused and comprehensive schools in improvement according to Indiana’s Differentiated Accountability Model; (2) to review and improve the components of the model implemented in the previous year; and (3) to review the current status of and develop a strategic plan for improving statewide information and supports to schools in the requested areas of: (a) RTI and (b) ELLs

Scope of Services. The first two parts of this goal relate to Indiana’s Differentiated Accountability Model. IDOE senior staff, including the director of differentiated learning, have requested continued support for the review of and redesigning of several components of this model for schools in improvement under this goal. Some of the components of Indiana’s Differentiated Accountability Model were a part of Great Lakes East’s Year 4 technical assistance to IDOE. All components were developed under short timelines and were therefore considered to be field tests or pilots. In Year 5, Great Lakes East will assist in reviewing the strengths and challenges of the components, determining the degree of correspondence between the outcomes and the goals, and analyzing participants’ evaluations. This work will lead to redesigning the components as needed. This goal will provide critical modeling to the Differentiated Learning staff of the cyclical process of evaluation, reflection, redesigning, and implementation of supports to schools.

A third part of this goal is the additional assistance in reviewing and developing a strategic plan for providing information and supports to schools in improvement regarding RTI and English language learning.

  • RTI. Although RTI was not formerly a technical assistance goal prior to this year, Indiana has participated in a regional, collaborative event sponsored by Great Lakes East and its partners and has received information from the National Center on Response to Intervention through Great Lakes East. A Great Lakes East subcontractor works with the National Center for Response to Intervention and could serve IDOE well in this area. Indiana’s first step is to create a strong implementation plan with partners around the state. The director of Differentiated Learning is responsible for RTI.
  • English Language Learning. Under IDOE’s restructuring, the Office of English Language Learning is now supervised by the director of differentiated learning. The director’s experience is in Title I, and she has requested assistance in building her knowledge in this area. Other activities will include providing a review of the services and supports currently provided by the ELL staff and providing assistance in developing a system of support that aligns to that developed with the Office of Title I during the past four years.

Indiana Technical Assistance Work Plan (Adobe PDF Icon Adobe® Reader® PDF 138 KB) (2009–10)

Indiana District Improvement Impact Paper (Adobe PDF Icon Adobe Reader PDF 316 KB)

Indiana Technical Assistance Impact Paper (Adobe PDF Icon Adobe Reader PDF 300 KB)


During Year 4, the Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center at Learning Point Associates continued to provide assistance to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) as MDE built systems, structures, processes, networks, and partnerships in support of district and school improvement. The work of Great Lakes East has focused on MDE’s effort to build the department’s capacity and the capacity of its key partners, including the intermediate school districts (ISDs), to provide technical assistance and other support to local education agencies (LEAs). An integral theme within our scope of work has been fostering structures to promote MDE cross-office communication, coordination, and leveraging efforts to build coherence and reduce fragmentation.

Great Lakes East’s work with MDE has focused on three key: teacher quality, high school, and statewide system of support. Although the focus areas for Year 5 are identical to years past, the specific tasks within each goal are new or expansions and deepening of prior tasks.

To learn more about the goals and technical assistance plans for Michigan, please click on one of the headings below. And expanded list of the goals under each content area will appear.

Proposed SEA Technical Assistance Goals

Teacher Quality

Goal 1: State Individual Professional Development Plans: Increase teacher quality by identifying and implementing a process for educators to use for individual professional development plans that support the state’s school improvement process

Scope of Services. With a focus on implementation of Michigan’s Professional Learning Strategic Plan, Great Lakes East will continue to conduct and cofacilitate regular face-to-face meetings and teleconferences with MDE’s Professional Learning team. The team engages a diverse stakeholder group including representatives from unions, professional associations, ISDs, and LEAs in guiding the field test in fall 2009 and subsequent development of a plan for roll-out of the individual professional development plan, an essential component of the state Professional Learning Strategic Plan.

The Professional Learning team will finalize field test sites and the structure of the field test. It will prepare the individual professional development plan process, template, tools, and training for the field test and future use. Following the field test, the team will analyze results, collected and interpreted by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), in collaboration with the stakeholder group. Based upon this data, final revisions will be made to all components of the individual professional development plan and an electronic version will be created. Then the team will draft a plan to be used by the Office of Professional Preparation to introduce the individual professional development plan to districts statewide. As part of the statewide roll-out, Great Lakes East will conduct ongoing literature reviews to identify effective professional learning strategies to support effective teacher use of individual professional development plans.

Goal 2: State Teacher Preparation System Revision: To improve coordination and alignment of teacher preparation to the current teacher workforce and provide available research to inform teacher preparation and teacher preparation policy based on recommendations of the Teacher Preparation Redesign Task Force

Scope of Services. A team from Great Lakes East, MDE, and key partners will continue the design of a “Framework for Excellence in Teacher Preparation” by further analyzing the review data from examining standards documents (e.g., standards for teacher preparation institutions, Professional Standards for Michigan Teachers, standards for every subject area of teacher preparation, Certification Standards for Elementary Teachers). The team will work with MDE to revise the framework based on public input and will submit to the State Board of Education for approval. Later in the year, Great Lakes East will provide assistance to MDE in creating a three-tiered teacher licensure system. Great Lakes East will provide assistance to MDE in integrating the findings from the standards review into Michigan’s “Framework for Excellence in Teacher Preparation.”

High School

Goal 1: High School Redesign: To build the capacity of MDE and key stakeholders in the state to support all students in order to meet the state’s rigorous high school graduation standards (Michigan Merit Curriculum), with particular attention to the academic achievement of student subgroups

In April 2006, Michigan adopted rigorous and demanding high school graduation requirements for all students. Research indicates that the educational experiences students have prior to high school and the level of academic readiness they bring have a significant effect on their rate of success in high school. Studies have shown that the predictors most indicative of dropout include whether a student has repeated a grade in elementary or middle school (Viadero, 2006). Most future dropouts can be predicted as early as Grade 6 by studying academic and engagement issues among students (Balfanz & Herzog, 2005). By the time these at-risk students reach high school, poor behavior and course failure are common and eventually can cause them to drop out of school (Balfanz & Herzog, 2005).

MDE has requested technical assistance from Great Lakes East as it works to support the state’s LEAs—especially those with large populations of student subgroups and those that are in corrective action for failure to meet the adequate yearly progress (AYP) measure—to ensure that all students in the state meet graduation requirements.

Scope of Services. Continuing through Year 5, Great Lakes East will assist MDE in facilitating communication across offices in the department and leveraging the substantial resources of the ISDs, regional educational service agencies, and other key stakeholders in order to increase academic achievement and ensure graduation by all students.

In order to increase the coherence of the technical assistance work to raise academic achievement in Michigan’s high schools and to ensure that students come to high school prepared to meet high academic standards, Great Lakes East and MDE will continue to facilitate the core team with representatives from the National High School Center, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest, and MDE’s offices of School Improvement, Special Education and Early Intervention Services, Professional Preparation, and Career and Technical Education. The team also has additional representation from ISDs and professional associations, including the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, MAISA, and Michigan Education Association. In Year 5, the core team will continue to meet regularly for discussion, assessment, planning, and implementation sessions designed to build the capacity of MDE and its partners to improve student achievement and ensure that all Michigan students graduate. Systems to build capacity across agencies will be refined in order to share information, skills, and services. Additional policies and procedures will be developed to sustain cross-agency collaboration.

The core team will convene two regional high school summits to share research-based best practices and gather information from ISDs, districts, and schools regarding challenges they face and the support they need to meet the requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum. In addition, it will collect information on promising and emerging practices in schools across the state.

Goal 2: Alternative High Schools: To improve statewide capacity to accurately assess the improvement needs of the state’s alternative schools and programs and to develop solutions to address those needs to increase student achievement with a focus on subgroups not making AYP

Scope of Services. Technical assistance will focus on continuing to build statewide capacity to accurately assess the improvement needs of the state’s alternative high schools and programs and to develop solutions to address those needs to increase student achievement with a focus on subgroups not making AYP. Great Lakes East and MDE team members will meet with an Alternative Education Work Group that consists of stakeholders from across the state. Barriers to increased student achievement in alternative high schools and programs will be identified and the team will work with stakeholders to develop solutions to address those needs. The team will continue to work with stakeholders to identify state policies that may create barriers for alternative education student success and to craft proposals to reduce policy impediments. Great Lakes East will work with its subcontractors, RELs, the Center on Instruction, and the National High School Center to provide research about best instructional practices to use with struggling learners, as well as research about alternative education models from across the country. The team will work to develop a statewide system of professional development for alternative educators designed to promote increased student achievement.

Statewide System of Support

Goal 1: Michigan’s Statewide System of Support: To address MDE’s NCLB responsibilities to provide an effective system of support for districts and schools in the improvement process, especially those in corrective action

Scope of Services. During the past several years, MDE and ISDs have spearheaded assistance strategies to help districts and schools that do not make AYP. Since Year 3, Great Lakes East has been assisting MDE in exploring the impact of these strategies.

During Year 5, Great Lakes East will continue to collaborate with MDE in strengthening and building MDE’s capacity to provide effective services as part of its statewide system of support. Some of the strategies will include building systems, structures, processes, networks, and partnerships in support of schools in corrective action. Specifically, Great Lakes East will continue to support MDE’s Office of School Improvement and its partner, MAISA, in developing an aligned and coherent process to strengthen and improve Michigan’s statewide system of support.

Great Lakes East will cofacilitate meetings and teleconferences with a statewide system of support team representing MDE and MAISA. With assistance from the Center on Innovation & Improvement, current research on statewide systems of support and other states’ designs and processes for improving their statewide systems of support will be further identified and studied. Michigan’s statewide system of support will continue to be formatively studied with an emphasis on increasing alignment and coherence of the following key components of the current system:

  • Coaches. Specially trained coaches are assigned to principals in high-priority schools by ISDs. Coaches work to build the capacity of the principal in the focus areas of visionary, instructional, and operational leadership.
  • Principals Fellowship. The Michigan Principals Fellowship Program prepares principals of schools in corrective action to lead systematic instructional improvement with support from the coaches.
  • Auditors. Auditors review data and identify why schools did not meet AYP requirements. They also identify steps that schools are taking to address student achievement levels, increase the leaders’ awareness of the schools’ sanction status, and provide an independent snapshot of school strengths and challenges.
  • Mentors. Mentors to high-priority schools are three-person teams made of a district-level leader, an ISD facilitator, and a representative from MDE. Mentors help to remove barriers that prevent improving student achievement. They also coordinate services at the district and state levels to facilitate change, as well as monitor the process and ensure that the plan is being implemented.
  • (New) Instructional Coaches. Instructional coaches will be hired and trained to work with teachers in high-priority schools. Instructional coaches will build the capacity of teachers to implement with fidelity evidence based strategies in the areas of English language arts and mathematics.

The current statewide system of support provides intensive interventions for schools in corrective action in Phases 3 or above. Data review and training, the selection of evidence-based interventions, and the addition of instructional coaches to guide and support implementation with fidelity will be added to the statewide system of support for schools in corrective action Phases 1 and 2.

In addition, the important role of ISDs and MDE’s Office of School Improvement as central players in Michigan’s statewide system of support will be explored. The work will inform MDE as it works to strengthen Michigan’s statewide system of support and provide support to districts in any phase of the improvement status. The work also will inform MDE’s design of enhancements to the current SSOS (e.g., providing support to its non-Title I schools).

Great Lakes East will provide technical assistance to MDE’s Office of School Improvement and its key partners. It will assist the MDE team in exploring and understanding MDE’s role in providing technical assistance to LEAs with schools in corrective action within the SSOS structure to provide more direct service to support improvement in their schools and districts in corrective action. With the assistance of the Center on Innovation & Improvement, Great Lakes East also will assist MDE in exploring the ways in which other states work with districts to increase student achievement.

Goal 2: Response to Intervention (RTI): To help MDE develop an RTI initiative that will identify priority state issues, needs, and action plans to build a strong infrastructure of support for implementation of RTI in Michigan

Scope of Services. Great Lakes East will support MDE and its partners in the design and implementation of a statewide RTI initiative. Great Lakes East will facilitate an MDE/ISD cross-office RTI core team in identifying priority state issues and needs and developing action plans in support of RTI in Michigan.

Working with the National Center on Response to Intervention, Great Lakes East will synthesize the research base relating to RTI practices and design a structured approach to working with the RTI core team. Great Lakes East will assist the RTI core team to review and determine how such practices might be integrated into current state initiatives, especially the state’s School Improvement Framework and Process and the tools provided by MDE to LEAs in support of school improvement.

Throughout Year 5, Great Lakes East will assist MDE in convening the RTI core team and designing and facilitating monthly face-to-face core team meetings. Initially, the work will include defining roles and responsibilities for the scope of work and to create timelines. Great Lakes East also will study states that are supporting effective RTI practices and share findings with the RTI core team.

Goal 3: English Language Learners: To implement an ELL program strategic plan that will identify priority state issues, needs, and action plans. This five-year plan will build a strong infrastructure of support for all Michigan ELLs and their teachers

Scope of Services. Based on the five-year ELL strategic plan finalized and adopted during Year 3, continued implementation of a strong infrastructure of support for all Michigan ELL students and their teachers will continue to take place during Year 5. Great Lakes East will continue to work with the ELL work team and the statewide ELL Advisory Committee to provide technical assistance as the ELL strategic plan is put into action. Technical assistance will focus on program administration, assessment and standards integration, and preservice and inservice ELL professional development. At least four ELL Advisory Committee follow-up meetings will be conducted to guide the implementation of the ELL strategic plan.

MDE wants to develop an enhanced technical assistance structure to create effective, quality programs that support ELL academic growth in English language proficiency and academic content. Great Lakes East will cofacilitate meetings and provide targeted support to assist MDE in addressing implementation and refinement of the state’s ELL programs. It also will assist MDE in the development of a statewide structure that clarifies and synthesizes MDE’s position on how local districts respond to the needs of ELLs based on current state and federal legislation.

The newly formed MDE’s ELL core team in Year 4 will continue to meet (preliminary, six times a year). Great Lakes East will codesign and cofacilitate the team’s meetings to address the integration of ELL needs and resources throughout MDE focusing on leveraging and expanding cross-departmental initiatives and coordination. In an effort to expand statewide ELL capacity, support will be provided to develop MDE’s capacity to better serve ELL students in mainstream classes. A model promoting statewide training of trainers integrated within the existing state structure, including ISDs, will facilitate this plan.

In addition, one goal for Year 5 is to create an ELL Capacity-Building Professional Development Initiative with MDE to provide Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) training of trainers and technical assistance across the state in order to improve the achievement of ELLs. The ISD system will provide the primary structure for this implementing capacity building training. ISDs will identify key ELL individuals for training, provide the professional development sites for initial regional training, and provide recruitment and ongoing SIOP training for regional schools’ mainstream staff. In order to accomplish this goal, MDE will partner with Great Lakes East to do the following:

  • Develop state ELL leaders’ capacity (primarily located in ISDs) to provide high-quality and systematic SIOP professional development to teachers of ELLs.
  • Assist state ELL leaders (ISD ELL leadership) in the development of professional development plans that meet the particular needs of each of their regions.
  • Provide technical assistance to state ELL leaders, provide SIOP professional development, and integrate follow-up support to teachers working with ELLs in their regions.
  • Establish instruction in participating teachers’ classrooms in order to increase the academic achievement of ELLs.

Further, Great Lakes East and MDE will continue to refine a statewide ELL preservice and inservice plan that is consistent with the state Professional Learning Strategic Plan. Great Lakes East will help identify best practices to enhance ELLs’ acquisition of English language skills and academic achievement in the content areas through effective teaching and learning. Assistance also will be provided in the development and refinement of a needs analysis and climate survey among building and district staff to determine current instructional practice, measures of success, and perceived challenges. Great Lakes East plans to identify and model research-based teaching and learning strategies that work best to meet the needs of the state’s ELL population. To help build the state infrastructure in professional development, Great Lakes East will assist MDE in refining and building the role of the ISDs and professional associations to support field-based teacher learning.

Michigan Technical Assistance Plan (Adobe PDF Icon Adobe Reader PDF 199 KB) (2009–10)

Michigan Teacher Quality Impact Paper (Adobe PDF Icon Adobe Reader PDF 300 KB)

Michigan Disproportionality Impact Paper (Adobe PDF Icon Adobe Reader PDF 304 KB)


Ohio’s Differentiated Accountability Model

The U.S. Department of Education approved Ohio as one of six states to implement a different model for distinguishing between those districts that require intense interventions and those that need less intervention. This new model places districts and schools into three risk categories: low-, medium-, and high-support, based upon a measure of student subgroups not making AYP in reading and mathematics. Each category brings with it those interventions required by law (e.g., provision of supplemental educational services) as well as a requirement to move through the Ohio Improvement Process. Within this model, districts and schools are treated as one connected entity that must move through the Ohio Improvement Process together. The Ohio Improvement Process work facilitated and guided by Great Lakes East in Year 5 aligns well with the requirements outlined under Ohio’s Differentiated Accountability Model. (Read more)

Ohio is developing coherent statewide systems of support for district and school improvement that include the following: development and support of district and building leadership teams; improvement processes that are applied with fidelity; system support structures that deliver high-quality training to regional providers; and data, planning, and monitoring/implementation tools that are accessible and used effectively to support the improvement process. The work of Year 5 includes the continual enhancement of existing efforts regarding the following: improvement processes; support structures; data, planning, and monitoring/implementation tools; and the completion of the Ohio Improvement Process (Stages 3 and 4 processes, structures, and tools). Much of the work will focus on developing a state system of support that functions as a regionally based system of training for Ohio Improvement Process facilitators of high-, medium-, and low-support districts. Another strand of Year 5 work will include supporting new models of assessment and accountability at the high school level through information gathering of international systems as well as technical assistance in implementing a credit flexibility plan for Ohio.

Data Support Systems and the Ohio Improvement Process

The completion of data tools and professional development modules enables a transition into planned implementation of the tools in the field and evaluation of how they are being used within the broader context of district and school improvement. A next step in this transition is translating these tools into Web-based versions accessible to all potential users. The D3A2 professional development committee will now focus on those tools and processes essential to effective implementation and monitoring of focused improvement plans (Stage 3 of Ohio Improvement Process). (Read more)

Classrooms and buildings must be able to monitor adult implementation of teaching strategies as defined by their improvement plans and to monitor student progress along a progression of student learning. To meet these challenges, a working group facilitated by Great Lakes East and external to the D3A2 committee will be formed to develop processes and guidelines for the design and alignment of different forms of assessment (formative, common interim, benchmark, and state achievement) with new state content standards. Great Lakes East is proposing that Module 4 of the Ohio Data Primer, which is designed as a tutorial to track student learning throughout the school year, become a data analysis tool for classrooms and buildings. Once connected to a data system through this tool, common interim assessment data within a building can be aggregated up to the district level and provide a broad look at student progress across a district over time. This approach allows district and building leadership teams the time to make midcourse corrections to their plans and to offer focused high-quality professional development.

Credit Flexibility Implementation

The adoption of a credit flexibility plan by the Ohio State Board of Education in March 2009 has set the stage for implementation of the plan by early-adoption districts and planning for implementation on a larger scale. One of the first steps will be to work across ODE centers to remove systemic barriers, such as how attendance is recorded or how credits are reported. Great Lakes East will support state implementation planning efforts as early-adoption districts begin to adopt and put into practice credit flexibility measures. These districts should reflect the diversity of the state (geography, size, and minority representation) in order to better understand challenges to implementation of credit flexibility attributed to size, geography, and other factors. Credit flexibility will happen in many different ways across Ohio; therefore, it will be essential to capture examples of how districts and schools have met the systemic challenges of credit flexibility. Great Lakes East will assist ODE in capturing Ohio models and strategies of credit flexibility implementation along with models used by other states; these models will be universally accessible through a shared work site. Another way in which Great Lakes East will support this work is through the design of quality criteria for demonstrations of competency, such as performance assessments, internships, service learning projects, or senior projects.

Ohio Performance Assessments and International Assessment and Accountability Systems

This new goal supports current high school work in Ohio to develop and use performance assessments across the state. It also is consistent with emerging state priorities to reform how high schools are held accountable. Great Lakes East will support Ohio’s efforts to inform improvement of its high school assessment and accountability system through focused and systematic information gathering of systems from Finland, Sweden, Singapore, Australia ( Queensland), and the United Kingdom (Cambridge Exams).

Completion of Processes, Support Structures, and Tools for Stages 3 and 4 of the Ohio Improvement Process

Great Lakes East will continue working with a subcommittee of the state-level design team to articulate the processes, structures, and tools needed for district and building leadership teams to effectively implement and monitor their focused improvement plans. Similarly, the Ohio Improvement Process Evaluation Framework is nearing completion, and it has common indicators identified for levels of the system and stages of the Ohio Improvement Process. The focus will be on articulating processes and measures that can be used to provide evidence of the effective functioning of the system to improve districts and buildings. Great Lakes East will continue to serve as part of an external working group and help ODE align this evaluation work with the larger statewide systems of support work.

Design of Sustainable, Statewide Training Model for Regional Providers

Year 5 work will focus on the design of a sustainable, statewide training model that builds the capacity of regional providers to deliver high-quality facilitation, technical assistance, and support to districts and buildings implementing the Ohio Improvement Process. Such a model will depend on a highly trained cadre of trainers who are regionally based and who will design and facilitate ongoing training for both state support teams and ESC staff. This model also will need to be consistent with the Model of Differentiated Accountability approved by the U.S. Department of Education for use in Ohio. The end result will be seamless, continuous training available for these providers to facilitate both district and building leadership teams as they move through the four stages of the Ohio Improvement Process. The redesign and repurposing of the credentialing process from Year 2 will be applied to training, evaluation, and support of regional staff in this regionally based system.

Proposed SEA Technical Assistance Goals

Assessment and Accountability

Click on the specific goal to learn more about its scope of services.

Goal 1—Data Support Systems and the Ohio Improvement Process: To enable the effective use of data by all levels of the educational system to improve schools and student performance,


  • 1.A—Quality Criteria and Process for Design and Alignment of a Collaborative Assessment System— To use the data support system to house formative assessments and common interim assessments that are aligned to new content standards as well as ensure that these assessments offer some coherence with statewide summative assessments.

Scope of Services. ODE will have in place coherent statewide systems of support to districts, as described in the Ohio Improvement Process. As more and more districts load their data into the statewide data system (known as D3A2), the data warehouse requirements of this system will need to accommodate the data required by the Decision Framework. Much of the work until now has supported the development of data tools used in Stages 1 and 2 of the Ohio Improvement Process. Year 5 work will focus on data tools and technology needed for Stages 3 and 4.

Trained regional service providers will be able to guide district and building leadership teams in the use of a Web-enabled Decision Framework tool to identify their most critical needs and in building aligned action steps, which then become part of the focused improvement planning process. Data needed to address essential questions within the Decision Framework will move electronically from the D3A2 warehouse. The needs-assessment portion of the online planning template, known as Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plans (CCIPs), will be reconfigured to accept the new version of the needs assessment from the Decision Framework process. Principals will access the Ohio Data Primer on the Web and use it to support building-based professional development of teachers. Module 4 of the Ohio Data Primer will be used by building and district leadership teams to track student progress on learning goals identified through improvement plans. Finally, an Ohio Improvement Process website designed by Great Lakes East will be available to both regional providers and to districts and buildings and will include tools and research-based resources linked by Ohio Improvement Process stages. Ultimately, this coherent constellation of data tools, processes, and professional development will help educators at all levels of the system to make better choices for students.

A collaborative assessment system will be one that is focused and aligned from the local formative assessment to the statewide achievement test. In addition, a quality criteria process facilitated by Great Lakes East will guide the design of formative assessments and common interim assessments accessible through the D3A2 website. Formative assessments and common interim assessments will be developed and connected to learning progressions articulated through the new Ohio content standards scheduled for completion in June 2010. Common interim assessments will be used in Stage 3 of the Ohio Improvement Process to monitor student progress toward a defined learning goal. Formative assessments will inform instruction and serve as a focal point for data team conversation at the building level. The collaborative assessment system workgroup will focus on aligning and focusing all forms of assessment across levels of the system: classroom, building, district, and state.

Goal 2—Credit Flexibility Implementation: T o provide technical assistance and support to ODE as it plans for implementation of credit flexibility plans in early-adoption districts and scale-up to other districts.


Scope of Services. During Year 4, Great Lakes East assisted ODE in the design, facilitation, and summary of 15 stakeholder engagement meetings. A summary of these meetings became part of a credit flexibility report to the Ohio State Board of Education. The State Board formally reviewed and adopted the credit flexibility plan, and ODE will begin designing supports and guidance to districts for implementation of innovative approaches to demonstrating competency other than seat time.

During the stakeholder engagement process, many challenges were identified, including systemic barriers that must be addressed at the state and local levels in order for students to demonstrate competency in flexible ways. Many of these barriers, such as reporting requirements through the Educational Management Information System, exist at the state level and require conversations and problem solving across centers at ODE. Great Lakes East along with other partners will help to broker these conversations through the ODE Leadership Council. Beginning in September 2009, some districts will step forward as early adopters of credit flexibility policy and will begin to operationalize strategies that enable students to earn credit through demonstrations of competency. Guidance to early-adoption districts will come in the form of documents and model policy language on credit flexibility opportunities that local school boards can adopt. Great Lakes East will support ODE through the design of a shared work site that can serve as an incubator of effective strategies tested through the early adoption network and as a repository for successful national models. Great Lakes East also will continue the design and facilitation of stakeholder engagement meetings especially focused on the business community, with an emphasis on articulating some potential models for internships and other opportunities for students. Finally, to promote consistent assessment quality and other measures of competency, ODE will identify a list of approved assessments as well as establish a platform in which locally generated assessments can be peer reviewed.

Goal 3—Ohio Performance Assessments and International Assessment and Accountability Systems: T o gather information and artifacts of assessment and accountability systems in high-performing countries in order to inform performance assessments, curricula and course syllabi, and accountability in Ohio.

Scope of Services. Information gathering and analysis of international assessment and accountability systems will inform the performance assessment pilot project work in Ohio. The pilot project work includes 15 high school teams from across the state charged with developing course syllabi in mathematics, science, and English/language arts. Performance assessments are designed and embedded into these syllabi.

ODE is interested in gathering information about assessments and accountability systems in high-performing international countries on such measures as Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Specifically, Great Lakes East will gather information about how 21st century skills are embedded in their assessments; how teachers are prepared to use these assessments; what units or syllabi look like in these countries; who or what institutions are responsible for setting standards, designing assessments, scoring assessments, and monitoring performance; and whether and how these assessments are tied to accountability measures. Great Lakes East also will look to see how these countries ensure reliability, validity, scalability, and comparability within their assessment systems. All of this information will be synthesized and become part of a written brief that will inform how ODE shapes its assessment and accountability system.

Statewide Systems of Support

Goal 1—Completion of Processes, Support Structures, and Tools for Stages 3 and 4 of the Ohio Improvement Process: To continue working with the state-level design team to articulate processes and structures for Stages 3 and 4 of the Ohio Improvement Process and to assist an external team in operationalizing the measurement of indicators within Stage 4 across levels of the system

Scope of Services. In Year 5, Great Lakes East—in collaboration with a state-level design team and an evaluation workgroup—will complete the design of processes, collaborative structures, and tools needed for implementation and monitoring of focused improvement plans (Stage 3) and the evaluation of the improvement process (Stage 4).

Stage 3 is characterized by adult implementation of strategies and actions identified at Stages 1 and 2 of the Ohio Improvement Process and monitoring to gauge the degree of implementation and impact on student progress toward a learning goal. In many ways, this stage is the most challenging for districts and buildings because it depends on changes in adult behaviors and practices in the ways that district leadership teams and building leadership teams do the following: collaborate, use common interim assessments and formative assessments to monitor student progress and inform instruction, and enable data about student progress and adult implementation to flow up and down the system. The implementation management and monitoring tool is the major tool in Stage 3 and will be transformed into an electronic tool in Year 5. Another tool project for Stage 3 is a redesigned Module 4 of the Ohio Data Primer. This redesign will enable tracking of individual student growth in learning and facilitate the aggregation of data across buildings to the district level.

Stage 4 is defined by evaluation of the Ohio Improvement Process. Great Lakes East was an active participant in the external working group that identified common indicators for each stage of the Ohio Improvement Process and for each level of the system: state, region (state support teams and ESCs), district, and building. At the beginning of Year 5, these indicators will be completed and the focus of the work will turn to designing processes for the systematic and systemic analysis of the effective functioning of the system. Much of the work of Year 5 will be in making these processes and measures within the system fully functional. Great Lakes East is uniquely positioned, because of ongoing facilitation of Ohio Improvement Process design work, to ensure that the completed Ohio Improvement Process will function as a coherent and systemic approach to improvement of education throughout Ohio.

Goal 2—Design of a Sustainable, Statewide Training Model for Regional Providers: ODE is redesigning its district and school improvement support system to ensure higher quality of district and building improvement support by regional providers and to develop a regionally based training system that builds the competencies and skills of regional providers such as state support teams and ESC staff

Scope of Services. Ohio and other states must provide or arrange for the provision of technical or other assistance to school districts identified for improvement. Ohio needed to establish statewide systems of intensive and sustained support and improvement for its local districts and schools receiving funds under Part A of Title I. ODE responded to this imperative through the design and implementation of the Ohio Improvement Process, which is intended not only for Title I districts and schools but for all districts and schools.

The sustainability and impact of the Ohio Improvement Process depends not only upon the coherence and connectedness of the tools, structures, and processes across the four stages but also upon high-quality facilitation, technical assistance, and support to districts and buildings from trained state support teams and ESC staff. In Year 5, Great Lakes East will focus on assisting regional leaders to develop a statewide training center concept. Under this concept, a highly trained cadre will be responsible for training and coordinating the training with other regional providers. Up to this point, much of the training has been initiated by ODE. A sustainable training model is envisioned that will push responsibility for training of Ohio Improvement Process facilitators out to the regional level.

Ohio Technical Assistance Plan (Adobe PDF Icon Adobe Reader PDF 159 KB) (2009–10)

Ohio Regional Service Provider Impact Paper (Adobe PDF Icon Adobe Reader PDF 304 KB)

Ohio Data Systems Impact Paper (Adobe PDF Icon Adobe Reader PDF 308 KB)


State Goals for Other Years

2009–10 State Goals

2008–09 State Goals

2007–08 State Goals

2006–07 State Goals

2005–06 State Goals


Photo of teacher with student.

Sign up to receive the Great Lakes East e-newsletter.

Please help us by taking a brief survey regarding your experience on the Great Lakes East website.