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Great Lakes East
Comprehensive Center

Archive Record of Services

July 2006

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Great Lakes East State Manager: Jayne Sowers, Ed.D.

Evaluating Professional Development. Indiana is working toward developing a consistent system of collecting, storing, and interpreting the results from the professional development and technical assistance that they provide. Utilizing the Five Levels of Professional Development Evaluation, the team plans to reach beyond Level 1 of assessing the participants' reactions to Level 2 of examining the participants' learning and development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. This team currently is researching evaluation models from other educational entities.

Providing Best Practices and Research. A second team in Indiana is investigating ways to provide teachers and administrators with best practices and current research regarding students with disabilities, students learning English, and principal instructional leadership. While initially focusing on presenting the information on the state's website, the team recently has expanded its work to consider multiple pathways to communicate the information, such as through the principals' organizations, videoconferencing, and educational service centers. The multiple communication pathways would ensure that more educators would receive this important information.

Assisting Districts (or Corporations) in Corrective Action. Substantial work by this team led to a productive and well-received meeting with the nine Indiana school corporations in corrective action on June 12, 2006. See the Special Report in the Great Lakes East July 2006 News for the Region e-newsletter, pp. 6–7. (Adobe® Reader® PDF 534 KB)


Great Lakes East State Manager: Gary Appel

Teacher Quality. In May, the State Board of the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) approved the Michigan Professional Learning Plan 2006–10. More than a year in the making, the plan is comprehensive and includes establishing a system that supports and implements effective professional learning for the state's educators. A key piece of the system will be Individual Professional Development Plans (IPDPs). Great Lakes East has put together a team of staff members from Learning Point Associates, RMC Research Corporation (RMC), and the American Institutes for Research who are working with Flora Jenkins and Cheryl Poole from MDE. The team is looking closely at how other states developed and implemented IPDPs and what was learned in the process.

In early June, the team met with key leaders from Michigan's two largest teachers unions and representatives from the state intermediate school districts (ISDs). Two members of the Great Lakes East Advisory Board, Malverne Winborne and John Graves, contributed to the conversation. The meeting resulted in strong support from the unions and ISDs as well as a plan to pilot IPDPs in at least two districts selected by the unions. MDE and the unions will partner in the pilot.

High School Reform. In late April, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed legislation into law requiring, among others, two credits of instruction in a language other than English for high school graduation. Based on this new law, MDE requested assistance planning for the new foreign language graduation requirement. In early June, staff members from Learning Point Associates and the Center for Applied Linguistics met with Betty Underwood, assistant director of the Office of School Improvement at MDE, to help her team develop recommendations for addressing the new requirement and establish criteria for foreign language instruction (beginning with kindergarten) that then would qualify for high school foreign language graduation credit.

Special Education. Michigan has identified the issue of disproportionate representation of student subpopulations in special education as a priority area in need of improvement. Great Lakes East is initiating conversations with MDE's leadership team on disproportionality, led by Kathy Barker, acting supervisor of the Quality Assurance Unit at the Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services. Beginning conversations are taking place to provide technical assistance in the area of disproportionality and sustain the state's efforts to promote culturally responsive education.


Great Lakes East State Manager: Mark Mitchell

Special Education. Ohio has convened a working group to make progress on one of its goals: reforming special education licensure and preparation to increase content knowledge. The group, led by Marilyn Troyer, met on May 30 at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). Great Lakes East's subcontractors Beverly Mattson and Cheunee Boston from RMC are providing technical assistance to this group. Bill Bogdan, Southwest Ohio Special Education Regional Resource Center, is a Great Lakes East Advisory Board member who is a participant in the group as well. During the meeting, the working group identified goals and desired outcomes for special education licensure, possible licensure structures, and nonnegotiables. The group met again on June 14 in Columbus to continue the effort. Great Lakes East staff assisted ODE by identifying resources on the current approaches other states are using for special education alternative certification, summarizing the research on alternative certification special education programs, identifying preservice preparation programs across the country with dual preparation in general and special education content, analyzing the features of four to five dual-preparation programs, and identifying the research on effective features of general and special education preparation programs. Great Lakes East staff will continue to support ODE's efforts during the next quarter. The next meeting of this group was July 25 in Columbus.

Statewide Data System. The professional development committee for Data Driven Decision for Academic Achievement, a statewide data system, met on June 15 in Columbus. This group, led by Stephen Barr, is charged with developing a professional development plan that includes a statewide system of support for local districts and schools as they begin to use a data system to drive instructional choices. Mark Mitchell, Ohio state manager, and Arie van der Ploeg, Learning Point Associates, are involved in the work of this group as are Linda McDonald and Chuenee Boston from RMC. The group is organized around the following three subareas:

  • A data engagement subgroup to describe and plan for approaches that help educators at all levels better understand how data can enhance planning, instruction, and learning
  • A superintendent/central office professional development subgroup to describe the data knowledge and skills that administrators need to interpret data and make data-driven decisions
  • A teacher professional development subgroup focused on identifying the skills, competencies, dispositions, and knowledge necessary to use data effectively to make sound instructional decisions

The discussion and the ideas generated within these groups were shared, and they provided an anchor for further articulation of a professional development and marketing plan. The next meeting of this committee was July 20 near Columbus.


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