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Great Lakes East
Comprehensive Center

Archive Record of Services

October 2006

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Record of Services

The Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center state managers work collaboratively with representatives from state education agencies in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio to provide regular progress updates of current state initiatives regarding No Child Left Behind (NCLB) implementation. Following is the latest record of services in each state, carried out in collaboration with Great Lakes East staff members, subcontractors, Advisory Board members, and state department of education staff members. (Last updated July 2006)


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

State-Provided Professional Development and Technical Assistance. One of the most important roles of state departments of education is to provide training and development for teachers, administrators, and other school personnel. Great Lake East is working with a team in Indiana to develop evaluation forms to be used departmentwide in measuring the effectiveness of state-provided professional development and technical assistance. The team—consisting of Linda Miller, Indiana assistant superintendent; Dwayne James, policy analyst; and Gary Wallyn, director of the Division of Accreditation, Assistance, and Awards; as well as Jayne Sowers, Great Lakes East state manager—has reviewed and discussed numerous forms and formats as they near creating a final draft to be field-tested by selected department divisions. The evaluation will correspond to the federal description of high-quality professional development. Suellen K. Reed, Ed.D., Indiana superintendent of public instruction, anticipates that the final version of the evaluation will provide her with overall and disaggregated data to present to the legislature as well as descriptive information regarding the state's provision of high-quality professional development and technical assistance.

Best Practices and Research. The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) views one of its roles as providing schools and school corporations (or districts) with cutting-edge educational research and best practices. IDOE's Best Practice website includes information and Web links for a number of topics to assist teachers and administrators. The current task of the team working on dissemination of best practices and research is adding data to this website for educators seeking information regarding English language learners (ELL). Members of the team include Darlene Slaby, director, and Lauren Harvey, assistant director, of the Indiana Division of Language Minority and Migrant Programs; Gary Wallyn, director of the Division of Accreditation, Assistance, and Awards; Linda Miller, Indiana assistant superintendent; and Jayne Sowers, Great Lakes East state manager. The team is working on formatting the current information available on the Language Minority and Migrant Programs website into a question-and-answer format to be placed on IDOE's Best Practice website. This approach will allow educators new to the ELL field to efficiently retrieve information in order to better serve their ELL students. The question-and-answer format regarding other student subgroups will be added in the future to the website as well as disseminated to educators throughout the state.

Corporations in Corrective Action. Similar to all states, in adhering to the NCLB requirements, IDOE is assisting schools that are in need of improvement and, most recently, corporations (or school districts) that are in corrective action. Of the 294 corporations in Indiana, nine currently are identified as being "in need of improvement" for the fourth year, which translates as the first year of corrective action. Following a working meeting with the state in June (see July 2006 News for the Region, p. 6, Special Report (Adobe® Reader® PDF 534 KB)), each of the nine corporations in corrective action submitted plans for improvement. The plans followed a state-provided template and included corporations' responses to topics related to Title I, including the specific subgroups of students for which the corporation did not make adequate yearly progress (AYP). Some corporations primarily focused their plans on examining instructional practices to increase the achievement of a single subgroup of students consistently not demonstrating AYP. The larger, more urban corporations needed to include research-based strategies to improve the achievement of students from numerous racial, linguistic, and economic groups, as well as students with disabilities, in their plans.

A team from IDOE and Great Lakes East recently has reviewed each of the nine plans. The team consisted of Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, director, and Jamie Miller, associate director, of the Division of Compensatory Education (Title I); several state consultants for the corporations from the Division of Compensatory Education (Title I); Doug Walker and Chuenee Boston from RMC Research Corporation, a subcontractor for Great Lakes East; and Jayne Sowers, Great Lakes East state manager. Currently, the team is developing individualized programs of technical assistance for each corporation. With the wide range of expertise available through Great Lakes East and IDOE, the corporations will receive assistance regarding student data analysis, districtwide planning, research-based practices, professional development, curriculum and instruction, and other identified areas of need. Particular emphasis in all assistance efforts will focus on students with disabilities, students learning English, students from poverty, and students from minority groups. In addition, this team also is reviewing the 14 corporations that may move into corrective action next year. Attention to their needs and ways to assist them this year is a proactive response that IDOE is initiating. IDOE is making a strong commitment to corporations in corrective action as it works to develop its capacity and resources through the development of policies and processes with the assistance of Great Lakes East.


State Manager: Gary Appel

High School Reform. The high school work team is collecting and analyzing the experiences of states that have moved from weak to strong graduation requirements. The team is looking closely at how state education agencies (SEAs) have supported intermediate school districts (ISDs) and local education agencies (LEAs) as they respond to new requirements. Knowing the changes made in policies, curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development at the LEA, intermediate, and SEA levels to help all students graduate will inform the next steps in Michigan.

Teacher Quality. The teacher quality work team is organizing a gathering of key professional development stakeholders from around the state to solicit their ideas on the most effective strategies for designing individual professional development plans. The experiences of other states in designing and implementing such plans will be shared and discussed. Representatives from higher education, LEAs, ISDs, teachers' unions, and professional organizations will participate. The same stakeholder group contributed to the design of the Michigan Professional Learning Strategic Plan 2006-2010 passed by the state board of education in the spring. The purpose of the strategic plan is to support and sustain Michigan educators as they work to change the culture of teaching and learning in the classroom. The individual professional development plans are central to the strategic plan. After a process is drafted, the Great Lakes East working team will pilot it with teachers in at least two districts in partnership with the Michigan Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan.

Special Education. According to researchers Donovan and Cross (as cited in García & Ortiz, 2004):

Disproportionate representation of students from diverse socio-cultural and linguistic backgrounds in special education has been a persistent concern in the field for more than 30 years. To date, in spite of continued efforts by educators and researchers to identify contributing factors and develop solutions, student enrollments in special education range from over-to under-representation, depending on the disability category and the specific racial/ethnic group, social class, culture, and language of the students. (p. 3)

At the beginning of the summer, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) identified the issue of disproportionate representation of student subpopulation in special education as a priority area in need of improvement. Using quantitative indicators, MDE identified a problem of disproportionality in 30 school districts. MDE's strategy is to rectify the situation by responding to this issue at the root cause. The ultimate goal is to eliminate disproportionate representation of subpopulations in special education programs. Great Lakes East initiated needs-sensing conversations with MDE's leadership team, led by Fran Loose of the Office of Special Education, on disproportionality. 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. Initial technical assistance may focus on identifying programs, resources, and general approaches in Michigan and nationwide intended to address the problem of disproportionality (e.g., the causes of disproportionality, identification and referral processes, monitoring). As a result of the needs sensing, a new goal for Year 2 has emerged. The MDE team has expressed the need for technical assistance on the revision of existing culturally responsive self-assessment tools, specifically the National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems self-assessment rubric and its implementation.

García, S. B, & Ortiz, A. A. (2004). Preventing disproportionate representation: Culturally and linguistically responsive prereferral interventions (Practitioner Brief Series). Denver, CO: National Center for Culturally Responsive Educational Systems.


State Manager: Mark Mitchell

Special Education Licensure and Preparation. The current Ohio special education licensure for K-12 intervention specialists is organized by mild or moderate and moderate or intensive. Early this summer, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) organized a special education task force with representatives from licensure, teacher preparation, special education, higher education, special education resource centers, and Great Lakes East. Ohio is the only state that uses the term intervention specialist to include special education as well as gifted, visually impaired, and hearing impaired. The goals guiding the work of this group are to ensure that new graduates of intervention specialist licensure programs meet the highly qualified teacher provisions of NCLB; to increase the pool of highly qualified intervention specialists for Ohio; and to promote multiple pathways to meeting the requirements for intervention specialist licensures. The task force group met on July 25 and August 23, 2006, to continue the work. Lou Staffilino, associate superintendent of the Center for the Teaching Profession from ODE now heads the work of this group. Great Lakes East subcontractors Beverly Mattson and Chuenee Boston (RMC Research Corporation) have taken an active role and received research support from the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality in identifying how other states are approaching the redesign of special education licensure, providing information on dual preparation and alternative certification programs in other states and contacts for special education licensure and preparation models. On November 1, 2006, representatives from this task force will be taking a draft of their current thinking to the Center for Improving Teaching Quality National Forum to invite feedback from other states and to learn how other states are tackling special education licensure and preparation.

Statewide Data System. The professional development working group for Data Driven Decisions for Academic Achievement (D3A2) met on July 20, August 17, and September 14 and 21, 2006, to further develop systems of support and a plan for professional development for both teachers and central office staff. Under NCLB, emphasis is placed on using data at all levels of the educational system to make decisions about instructional choices, effectiveness of curricula and programs, school and district improvement, and state support of districts. Most importantly, under NCLB, data-driven decision making helps schools and districts respond in effective ways to subgroups that may not be achieving. The teacher subgroup has articulated standards for teachers using D3A2 to improve instruction and student achievement. These standards include both knowledge and skills to use the system effectively and are aligned with existing professional development standards and Ohio teaching standards. At the August and September meetings, significant headway was made in designing professional development modules for teachers. Recommendations for completing the modules by December 2006 were proposed at the end of the September 14 meeting. Further progress has been made to define the kinds of activities that central office staff will undertake to promote a culture of inquiry using D3A2 and to offer the necessary opportunities for development of skills among staff. Linda McDonald of RMC Research Corporation is researching leadership training models that Ohio might incorporate regarding D3A2. She is working closely with Deborah Telfer, administrator of Leadership Development Initiatives for ODE. A series of fall regional workshops has been set across Ohio in which D3A2 will be introduced to local districts and regional entities. Great Lakes East staff and subcontractors who have been a part of the ongoing work will participate in these regional workshops.

Great Lakes East hosted a Web conference on September 20, 2006, led by Mark Mitchell and Arie van der Ploeg of Learning Point Associates, to introduce the Learning Point Associates Data Primer to a key group of Ohio statewide data system leaders. The Web conference highlighted the Data Primer's capabilities to meet the professional development needs of Ohio's superintendents, principals, and teachers in effectively using the state's new data system. The next steps for this group are to examine existing Ohio data—such as achievement data, value-added data, and Surveys of Enacted Curriculum (SEC) data—and then determine how the Data Primer modular design might be adapted to meet specific data-user needs.

Professional Development Credentialing. Under NCLB, the focus is on helping all students achieve. As a part of this effort, professional development credentialing will help build capacity within regional service providers to deliver professional development to local schools and districts that is grounded in research-based practice in mathematics, language arts, and school improvement. This fall, ODE and Great Lakes East will cooperate to work with a statewide group to develop a process for credentialing regional professional development providers to local schools and districts.


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