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Great Lakes East
Comprehensive Center

Record of Services

Fall 2009

State Manager: Frank De Rosa

Migrant Education Title I, Part C and English Language Learners, Title III

How can we best serve our migrant students with high mobility and gaps in continuity of instruction whose parents work in the agricultural industries in Indiana from March to October? And how can we support our schools and districts in providing appropriate curriculum and instruction for their English language learners?

These were the two questions the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) asked themselves and Great Lakes East in September 2009. In addressing them, Great Lakes East expanded its technical assistance goal of building a statewide system of support for schools in improvement to include two additional groups of students: migrant students and English language learners (ELLs). Although one might assume that this group is one in the same—migrant students also are not yet proficient in English—this is not necessarily the case in Indiana.

In 2007–08, 85 percent of migrant students arrived from within the United States; 14 percent arrived from Mexico. Most (95 percent) of those students were home-based in the United States; of those students,
41 percent considered Indiana their home-base state (Title I Part C: Indiana Migrant Education Program (IMEP) School Year 2008–09 and Summer 2009 Summer Evaluation Report). In addition, Lauren Harvey, coordinator of IDOE English language learning and migrant education, stated that many migrant students are second- and third-generation Americans who are proficient in English (L. Harvey, personal communication, October 10, 2009). However, she also noted that these students face the challenges of moving from school to school, living in inadequate housing, and needing to work alongside their parents—conditions that affect their academic achievement.

To begin to address the two questions, a planning team was established of IDOE staff: Harvey, coordinator of English language learning and migrant education, Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, director of Differentiated Learners, and Great Lakes East staff member, Jayne Sowers, Ed.D. The planning team decided that the first step was to bring together the two sets of staff—English Language Learners and Migrant Education; prior to August, their offices had been located in two different cities, although the same coordinator managed both staffs. The migrant staff moved to the IDOE in Indianapolis, which greatly improved their ability to coordinate and collaborate with others. The planning team and staff agreed that focusing on their own internal professional development would be critical in order to establish policies, procedures, and materials to support schools in improvement. They needed to come together with their knowledge and experience, with the mission and vision of the new IDOE leadership, and with research and best practices to evaluate the effectiveness of their current practices and develop goals, timelines, and materials to support the schools.

In this effort, Great Lakes East is providing monthly day-long professional development for the combined migrant and ELL staff. Professional development was conducted on September 24 and October 23, and several more are planned for the future. The professional development focuses upon several data-driven essential questions:

  • Where do we need to be with ELL and migrant education?
  • Where are we with ELL and migrant education?
  • What needs our attention first?
  • How do we manage and implement change?
  • What does research and best practices say about the components of high-performing schools, effective professional development, and curriculum and instruction for migrant students and ELLs?
  • How will we provide our schools with the support they need?

Addressing these questions will lead to improved services to schools and districts and, in turn, to the implementation of stronger instructional programs for migrant students and ELLs. Through a professional development curriculum that focuses on addressing these questions, IDOE with Great Lakes East’s assistance, is creating systems and processes to meet the needs of migrant students and ELLs and those who teach them.

Response to Intervention. Great Lakes East is assisting IDOE to create the department’s vision of Response to Intervention (RTI), including a guidance document, leadership team, and implementation policies and practices. The RTI initiative is aligned with several statements in the IDOE Vision and Plan document:

  • “Create and promote a statewide culture of academic excellence in which at least … 90% of students pass both Math and English/Language Arts sections of ISTEP+ and End-of-Course Assessments … and 90% of students graduate from high school” (p. 1).
  • “Integrate Title I, English Language Learners (ELL), High Ability, and Special Education programs seamlessly into the learning environment by focusing on meeting the needs of the child and complementing the learning experience” (p. 1).
  • “Develop learning support systems that facilitate academic achievement” (p. 3).

An organizational meeting was held September 1, 2009. Participants included Todd Huston, IDOE chief of staff; Heather Neal, chief operating officer; Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, director of differentiated learners; Stacy Rush, senior research analyst at the American Institutes of Research; and Frank De Rosa, Great Lakes East—Indiana state manager. In follow-up meetings, the team was expanded to include Alyson Luther, ELL specialist, and Anna Shults, literacy specialist of IDOE; and Bruce Passman, technical assistance liaison, North Central Region, National Center for Response to Intervention.

Teacher Quality. Great Lakes East and the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality (TQ Center) have joined forces with IDOE to assist in the creation of a plan for Indiana’s highly qualified teachers to meet the expectations of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Title II. This initiative is aligned with several statements in the IDOE Vision and Plan document:

  • “Improve instructional quality and enhance school governance and leadership” (p. 2).
  • “Use Title II and related funding strategically to support relevant, effective professional development opportunities” (p. 2).
  • “Ensure that Department-sponsored professional development opportunities promote innovative strategies for instruction and are designed to impact instructional quality in a sustainable and measurable way” (p. 2).

IDOE, Great Lakes East, and the TQ Center team came together during the Fourth Annual What Works Conference, “Beyond Highly Qualified: The Development and Distribution of Highly Effective Teachers and Leaders,” at the Fairmont Washington Hotel in October 2009. IDOE representatives included Veronica Wilson, senior evaluation specialist for the Educator and Licensing Development Division, and Terri Banks, coordinator of Educator Licensing and Development. They were joined by Cortney Rowland, coordinator of policy products and services at TQ Center, and Frank De Rosa, Great Lakes East–Indiana state manager. Reflecting upon the overall quality of Indiana’s teachers, Banks said:
In keeping with Indiana’s mission that ‘Indiana students will be the best in the United States and on par with the most competitive countries in the world,’ we continue to plan, implement, evaluate, and revise strategies to insure our students have equal access to highly qualified teachers in their core academic subjects. We believe every student deserves a qualified and competent teacher and look forward to continued results in improved student learning (T. Banks, personal communication, November 9, 2009).

Professional Development Mathematics Pilot. IDOE recently has agreed to be the pilot state for Russell Gersten’s, Ph.D., new instrument for identifying professional development needs in mathematics. Dr. Gersten is director of the Instruction Research Group, professor emeritus in the College of Education at the University of Oregon, and director of the Mathematics Strand of the Center on Instruction (COI). His new instrument, published by the Center on Instruction and titled Identifying Professional Development Needs in Mathematics: A Planning Tool for Grades 3–7, provides a set of questions to help guide state education agencies in evaluating their existing programs and identifying professional development activities that meet their needs. Organizational conversations in late September 2009 involved Ben Clarke, deputy director of the Math Strand of COI; Becky Newman-Gonchar, senior research associate for Instructional Research Group; Michelle Walker, director of student assessment at IDOE; Dr. Gersten; and Frank De Rosa, Great Lakes East–Indiana state manager. IDOE will make grade-level and participant selections and prepare for pilot implementation later this year. Lisa Palacios, senior program associate at Learning Point Associates will add her expertise in mathematics to the effort.

The professional development mathematics pilot aligns with the following statements in the IDOE Vision and Plan document:

  • “Create and promote a statewide culture of academic excellence in which at least … 90% of students pass … Math section of the ISTEP+” (p. 1).
  • “Ensure that Department-sponsored professional development opportunities promote innovative strategies for instruction and are designed to impact instructional quality in a sustainable and measurable way” (p. 2).


State Manager: Gary Appel

Teacher Quality

State Individual Professional Development Plans. With the individual professional development plan having been completed in June 2009, MDE staff from the Office of Professional Preparation Services are now nearing completion of an electronic version of the individual professional development plan template and associated support materials. Great Lakes East, with support from the American Institutes of Research, is assisting MDE and Western Michigan University staff in designing a field study of the individual professional development plan in three regions that reflect the demographic differences among Michigan districts. Concurrently, Great Lakes East amd MDE are designing professional development to support mentors and beginning teachers in the field study. The field test will be conducted beginning in September of the 2009–10 school year.

State Teacher Preparation System Revision. Beginning in summer 2008, Great Lakes East staff worked with three MDE consultants (summer interns) to assist in a standards alignment project. The task was to examine alignment between Michigan's Grade Level Content Expectations, High School Content Expectations, Certification Standards for Elementary Teachers, and Professional Standards for Michigan Teachers. With this work now complete, Great Lakes East and the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality will begin to work with MDE and the Professional Standards Commission for Teachers to design a Michigan framework for excellence in teacher preparation in fall 2009.

High School

High School Redesign. In collaboration with MaryAlice Galloway, director of the MDE Office of Education Improvement and Innovation, Great Lakes East continues to cofacilitate MDE's cross-office, collaborative high school core team. During the May 2009 core team meeting, Great Lakes East shared the results of the March 2009 survey of the team and facilitated small- and large-group discussions to identify possibilities for use of the survey data and to determine next steps. As one of its goals, the survey identified team members' top priorities for high school redesign.

Subsequently, the June meeting focused on reviewing the most recent high-priority high school data. Based on the priorities identified, four subcommittees have been formed: the high school redesign strategic planning committee, the high school core team planning committee, the high school summit planning committee, and the high school work group committee. Great Lakes East will work with MDE to organize and cofacilitate these subcommittees in the upcoming months. In addition, at the June meeting, Linda Hecker, NCLB consultant for high-priority schools, provided an overview of Michigan's Statewide System of Support in order to increase core team members' understanding of the supports currently in place for all schools, including Title I high schools. Great Lakes East will work with the team members to explore opportunities to leverage the collaborative work of the Statewide System of Support Core Team and the High School Core Team to increase student achievement in Michigan's high schools.

Alternative High Schools. Great Lakes East and MDE worked with members of the Alternative Education Work Group to plan sessions for an Alternative Education Summer Institute on June 23, 2009. The institute was attended by 150 alternative education administrators and teachers from districts across the state. Deputy Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer Sally Vaughn welcomed the participants and shared information regarding the accomplishments of the work group during the past year. Bersheril Bailey, Great Lakes East senior state consultant, facilitated a panel discussion on "Maximizing Your Options for Alternative Ed Students."

Other speakers represented a variety of MDE offices. Sam Sinicropi, consultant from the MDE Office of Education Improvement and Innovation, spoke to the group about MDE's alternative education waiver application and approval process. MaryAlice Galloway, director of the Office of Education Improvement and Innovation, discussed seat time waivers, independent study, and online learning options, as well Michigan's Ed Yes/MI-SAS accreditation changes. Paul Bielawski, special assistant at the Office of Educational Assessment and Accountability, presented AYP and test reporting, including Superintendent Flanagan's recent policy change related to test scores and alternative schools. Barb Fardell from MDE's Office of Educational Technology provided participants with a wealth of information about free online resources that alternative high schools can use to differentiate instruction.

Great Lakes East will reconvene the Alternative Education Work Group meetings in September 2009 to further assist MDE in developing solutions to address the needs of alternative high school in the state.

Statewide System of Support

On May 17–18, 2009, Gary Appel, Great Lakes East state manager for Michigan, and Bersheril Bailey, Great Lakes East senior state consultant, participated in a Statewide System of Support retreat hosted by MDE and the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA). The purpose of the retreat was to celebrate the successes of the current SSOS and to begin to reimagine the delivery model. Among the participants were representatives from MDE's Office of the Improvement and Innovation, MAISA, Michigan State University, five intermediate school districts, and three high-priority school principals and their coaches. At the retreat, Great Lakes East shared information highlights from a recent Center on Innovation & Improvement publication titled Coherence in Statewide Systems of Support. The publication provides many state examples around the country that focus on building the capacity of districts to work with their schools in corrective action. To help MDE reimagine its SSOS delivery model, Great Lakes East emphasized this coherence and provided information on what other states are doing. The two-day retreat ended with a list of 12 recommendations from the group that will be shared with the SSOS Core Team for discussion and further consideration.

Michigan was one of nine states attending the Center for Innovation & Improvement's Academy of Pacesetting States, held July 19–24. Other states participating in the academy were Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma, and Virginia. Each state team included a representative from the regional comprehensive center serving its state. Participants representing Michigan included Bersheril Bailey, Great Lakes East; Linda Hecker, Michael Nauss, and Abigail Hilgendorf, MDE Office of Improvement and Innovation; and Elizabeth VanDeusen-MacLeod and Laska Creagh, MAISA. The purpose of the academy was to provide training, consultation, and support for state teams to develop skilled experts in the areas of system leaders, change agents, and instructional specialist. State teams left the academy with specific plans and recommendations to take back to state superintendents for approval. Great Lakes East will help MDE facilitate follow-up session with the Michigan SSOS Core Team to work on the plans and recommendations.

English Language Learners. As part of wrapping up the implementation of the supplemental ELL work in Michigan, the MDE cross-office ELL Core Team, representing multiple MDE offices, convened for its second follow-up meeting on May 13, 2009. At this meeting, the core team clarified its overall goals and selected ELL issues to address in its upcoming quarterly meetings. Even though the supplemental funding ended on June 30, 2009, the core team continues its efforts through the ongoing support from MDE Office of Field Services (Linda Forward) and Great Lakes East. The team met again on July 10, 2009, to discuss the results of a recent MDE assessment study and its implications for the state's ELL population. Great Lakes East and its subcontractor, the Center for Applied Linguistics, facilitated each of these meetings. The ELL Core Team will continue to meet quarterly. The upcoming September meeting will focus on the state's budget process and its impact on policy and program development.

Aside from the ELL Core Team efforts, Great Lakes East continued to support and facilitate the joint ELL Advisory Committee, representing the Office of School Improvement (now the Office of Field Services) and the Office of Educational Assessment and Accountability (OEAA). The committee consists of members representing ELL programs throughout the state. On May 18–19, 2009, the committee met to address three priority topics within its ongoing work groups: institutions of higher education, professional development, and the English Language Proficiency Assessment (Michigan's ELL assessment instrument). Candace Harper, Ph.D., associate professor of ESL/Bilingual Education at University of Florida, was the guest speaker. She provided an overview of Florida's extensive and in-depth experience in providing ELL credentialing and professional development to teachers throughout the state. Two months later, on July 19–21, 2009, MDE convened a summer retreat of the ELL Advisory Committee to develop the next steps for the current MDE five-year strategic ELL plan. This plan will provide MDE with a framework for addressing ELL issues related to three categories: professional development, assessment, and administration through 2014. Dennis Terdy, a Center for Applied Linguistics consultant representing Great Lakes East, facilitated this event. A total of 14 committee members and three MDE staff representing the Office of Field Services and OEAA participated in this 2-day retreat.

Last, as a major MDE ELL capacity-building effort and planned during much of this past year, Great Lakes East subcontractor the Center for Applied Linguistics provided Sheltered Observation Instruction Protocol (SIOP) training-of-trainers to 15 Michigan educators. The event took place from June 28 through July 2, 2009, with Center for Applied Linguistics representatives Sandra Gutierrez and Dennis Terdy providing the training. The trained participants will assist the Center for Applied Linguistics in three regional SIOP sessions taking place in July and August 2009. Coordinated through MDE, this capacity-building professional development activity has the long-term goal of providing expanded SIOP training locally through this newly created network of Michigan SIOP trainers.


State Manager: Mark Mitchell

Assessment and Accountability

Data Support Systems and the Ohio Improvement Process. The Ohio Improvement Process depends upon connected and aligned tools across its four stages. This alignment is now very close to reality with the conversion of the tools to a Web-based environment. With this conversion, the Decision Framework moves from an Excel spreadsheet to a Web-based tool. As an online tool, available data will automatically flow from the Data Driven Decisions for Academic Achievement (D3A2) data warehouse into the Decision Framework. The use of these tools enables fidelity to the improvement process and supports consistency in using data to generate decisions about how districts should spend their time, energy, and resources to make improvements in student performance. Users will be able to view this data in the form of colored graphs; for example, reading proficiency data by grade level is presented this way. District leadership teams will be able to move through this online environment and make decisions about levels of concern. In the end, a profile that reflects decisions made becomes the needs-assessment portion of the Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP).

From the CCIP, district goals and strategies move electronically to populate the Implementation Management and Monitoring Tool used by buildings to develop specific action steps at the building level. The tool also is used to create a plan for monitoring adult implementation indicators and progress indicators of student performance.

The Ohio Improvement Process tools—the district and building Web-based Decision Framework Tools (stage 1), CCIP (stage 2), and Implementation Management and Monitoring Tool (stage 3)—are now undergoing a quality assurance process by state-level design team members, Great Lakes East, and others at ODE. These tools were demonstrated to the state-level design team on July 22 and should be ready for use by districts and buildings this fall.

Collaborative Assessment System Work Group. The Collaborative Assessment System work group (composed of ODE staff, regional providers, district and building staff, and Great Lakes East) is operating under the following assumptions:

  • A single annual assessment of student performance is not sufficient to improve instructional practice and student achievement.
  • An aligned and coordinated assessment system that can be used to guide, inform, and improve instructional practice and decision making on a districtwide basis is needed.
  • A collaborative assessment system should permit shared learning and improve instructional practice among and between teacher-based teams, building leadership teams, and district leadership teams.

The work group has had two meetings: May 18, 2009, and July 2, 2009. The objectives for these meetings were as follows: continue developing a shared understanding of how collaborative assessment systems can be designed and implemented; reach consensus on a working framework and nomenclature for the Ohio Improvement Process collaborative assessment systems; and finalize priority activities to leverage implementation of such a system. The team has reached consensus on a working framework and has finalized some priority activities that can focus the work of this group. RMC Research Corporation representative Karen Sanders (Great Lakes East subcontractor) facilitates these meetings. The National Center on Educational Outcomes serves as an advisor to the group as does the Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing.

Credit Flexibility Implementation. The numerous stakeholder engagement meetings, facilitated early in the year by Great Lakes East, informed Ohio's credit flexibility policy as well as the credit flexibility plan adopted by the Ohio State Board of Education. These stakeholders (like the Ohio School Board Association) will continue to inform and support credit flexibility implementation. The credit flexibility plan calls for state guidance to early-adoption districts. This guidance may come in the form of model policy language that could be adopted by local boards, new rules that help overcome systemic barriers, and approved assessments to demonstrate competence. Guidance from the state, support from stakeholders, and sharing of what works among early-adoption districts require a platform and an approach to building a community.

Tori Cirks (Great Lakes East) recognized that the communities of practice approach and shared work platform used by the IDEA Partnership also would support credit flexibility implementation. As a result, on May 29, 2009, Cirks organized a conference call with Joanne Cashman of the IDEA Partnership, ODE, and Great Lakes East to begin exploring how the communities of practice approach might work for credit flexibility implementation. This conversation led to several phone conferences with greater cross-office coordination at ODE. As a result, ODE plans to proceed with the development of the communities of practice approach to support implementation of its credit flexibility plan. Great Lakes East will work with ODE, the IDEA Partnership, and other partners to form this community.

Ohio Performance Assessments and International Assessment and Accountability Systems. In June 2009, Nick Pinchok (Great Lakes East) with assistance from Arie van der Ploeg (Learning Point Associates) has completed a draft of a technical research brief titled A Brief on Performance-Based Assessment: Technical Considerations From an International Perspective. The purpose of this research brief is to provide Stan Heffner, associate superintendent of the Center for Curriculum and Assessment at ODE, with a technical rationale for using performance assessments as part of a reshaped assessment and accountability system in Ohio. Together with Ray Pecheone (Stanford University School Redesign Network) and Stephen Dackin (superintendent of Reynoldsburg City Schools), Pinchok and Heffner gave a panel presentation (moderated by van der Ploeg) at the Council of Chief State School Officers' national conference on student assessment held June 21–24, 2009, titled "Building Performance Assessments to Lead the Rebuilding of Ohio's Assessment and Curriculum." As a follow-up, Great Lakes East has been invited to attend a Performance Assessment Pilot Project Site Leaders meeting on August 4, 2009, in Columbus, Ohio.

State Systems of Support

Ohio Improvement Process (OIP)—Stage 3. The Stage 3 subcommittee, facilitated by Sheryl Poggi (Great Lakes East consultant), has met two times (May 20 and June 17, 2009) in the last quarter to ensure that implementation and monitoring processes and collaborative structures are clearly described and aligned with Stages 1 and 2 of the OIP and also are aligned to the Ohio Leadership Development Framework.

Some questions emerged within Stage 3 about how to build the capacity of the state system of support to create the necessary collaborative structures and implementation and monitoring processes at the district, building, and data team levels (teacher-based teams):

  • How does the state system of support help districts and buildings create structures and processes for collective work that enables a culture where adults work, learn, and solve problems together?
  • What should the regional providers do to help districts and buildings institute and maintain a culture of collective discussion and problem solving focused on teaching and learning?
  • What does a highly functional data team look like?
  • How are data used at each level of the system to monitor the degree of implementation and to make decisions about what is and is not working in changing adult practice and student performance?

As a follow-up to the Norfolk, Virginia, site visit in April 2009, ODE will work with Cathy Lassiter, Ed.D., executive director of middle schools at Norfolk Public Schools, to lead data team training on August 27–28, 2009, designed for regional facilitators. This training focuses on how teacher-based teams function and how they use data, especially common formative assessments. Regional facilitators will spend time thinking concretely about their role in instituting and maintaining the necessary structures and ongoing support of teacher-based teams. The training also intersects with the focus of the Collaborative Assessment System Work Group, which grapples with how best to move the system toward a systematic use of collaboratively developed common formative assessments and quarterly or interim assessments to improve instruction and monitor student progress.

The other major focus of Stage 3 and the OIP has been ongoing planning and preparation by the State-Level Design Team to facilitate the training of more than 500 State Support Team members and educational service center (ESC) staff on September 1–3, 2009. The State-Level Design Team has taken the lead in planning this training with the leadership of Sheryl Poggi (Great Lakes East consultant) and Claudette Rasmussen (Great Lakes East). This team met on June 18 and July 22–23, 2009, to help develop a working agenda for September and to plan presentations and activities around five core training components within Stage 3: overview, principles, and roles; systemic and systematic plan implementation; monitoring systems; collaborative structures; and monitoring indicators. On August 18–19, 2009, the State-Level Design Team will meet along with recommended individuals from ESCs who will form the training team for September.

One of the ongoing challenges of building the capacity of the state system of support to effectively facilitate the OIP with districts and buildings has been to ensure consistent quality and fidelity to the process among all regional providers and to build a more sustainable infrastructure across the state that supports capacity building. In response to this challenge, ODE is transitioning training and ongoing support of OIP facilitators from centralized trainings to regionally based trainings led by State-Level Design Team members and quad leads. Great Lakes East will help to monitor this transition to ensure fidelity to the process and a level of consistent quality across regions.

Overall, the OIP is coming together with its many moving parts: The Decision Framework, comprehensive continuous improvement process (CCIP), and Implementation Management and Monitoring Tool will automatically move data and decisions made by districts and buildings along the stages of the OIP; resources like the OIP Facilitator Guide and OIP website are nearly complete and aligned to the Leadership Development Framework; and the state system of support (OIP facilitator network) is growing and plans are in place to ensure a sustainable, high-quality system of support. In addition, assessment work and data team training will be critical assets in transforming teaching and learning as well as building cultures. Year 5 of the Great Lakes East work with ODE will be critical in making these moving parts function well together and to realize the working theory of change that systemic and systematic use of data tools, collaborative structures that support effective leadership practices, and focused and aligned planning, implementation, and monitoring processes will yield significant and ongoing changes in adult practice and student performance across Ohio.

A Special "Thank You" Note

With this newsletter update, Great Lakes East would like to say "farewell" to Stephen Barr as he retires from ODE. Stephen is the self-described "conscience of the OIP." As important as his role was in keeping the development of this process moving in the right direction, Stephen also was visionary in his conception of how this process might work and was a remarkable systems thinker and planner. We will miss his leadership and sense of humor. At the same time, we look forward to continued work with Deb Telfer and other highly talented and dedicated people at ODE and across the regional network.


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