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Great Lakes East
Comprehensive Center

Record of Services

Spring 2007


State Manager: Jayne Sowers

Assisting Districts and School Corporations in Corrective Action. Assisting districts in corrective action has been a primary focus this year for the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) as it takes a national lead in fulfilling its responsibility under NCLB to the students of struggling school districts. IDOE—through the Division of Compensatory Education and Title I and with Great Lakes East's support—recently began its second year of providing resources and technical assistance to the districts. With a new set of student achievement data available for the 2005–06 school year, IDOE invited 42 school corporations or districts to attend a daylong workshop on March 7 and 8.

Rather than limiting the workshop to the eight new districts in corrective action, IDOE invited an additional 36 districts that are entering Year 1 or Year 2 of improvement. Providing technical assistance and resources early on has the potential of assisting districts in moving out of "in improvement" rather than into corrective action status in Year 3. During the day, 245 administrators and teachers began to develop their Local Education Agency (LEA) Improvement Plan (as required under NCLB) with the aid of a new template developed by Great Lakes East that assists districts in aligning the student subgroups not meeting AYP to research, extended learning opportunities, parent involvement, and teacher professional development. As with the June 2006 and January 2007 meetings, Great Lakes East continued to provide table facilitators to work individually with each district. Having seen the work modeled in previous workshops, two of the Title I staff were ready to facilitate a district group. Materials from the day are available at: http://www.doe.state.in.us/TitleI/welcome.html and by clicking on "LEA Improvement Resources: Materials from March Meeting."

What are the "next steps" in assisting struggling school districts? By early summer, IDOE will be evaluating the submitted 2007–08 LEA Improvement Plans and assisting districts, as needed, in aligning the plans to the subgroups not meeting AYP. In addition, Great Lakes East will provide training to IDOE Title I staff on evaluating curricula and then will assist them in reviewing the current English language arts curriculum of the eight districts in corrective action. The evaluation will lead to the determination of the required process for each district to ensure a well-aligned written and taught curriculum: conducting a curriculum audit, mapping and aligning a new curriculum, or surveying the taught curriculum.

Additionally, IDOE plans to provide individual assistance to school districts through teams from Title I, Exceptional Learners (special education), Language Minority and Migrant Programs, and Great Lakes East. The teams will focus on the specific needs as determined by the district, to create a research-based learning environment for all students.

Evaluating State-Provided Professional Development and Technical Assistance. The work to develop and implement a departmentwide evaluation tool is now in the field-testing phase. Web-based field tests were used to evaluate several professional development trainings and technical assistance offerings provided by IDOE. In addition, a paper-pencil format will soon be implemented as a scanning machine is made available. Field testing will continue through May and June with reviews of the instruments being compiled by IDOE and Great Lakes East this summer. The implementation of the evaluation tool will allow IDOE to measure and increase the quality of its NCLB-required assistance to schools and districts in improvement.


State Manager: Gary Appel

Increasing Teacher Quality. Great Lakes East is supporting the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) in the implementation of the State Professional Learning Strategic Plan. The beginning of this work has been the design and implementation of Individual Professional Development Plans (IPDPs) for Michigan educators. A series of professional development stakeholder meetings were designed for February and March with key state organizations. On February 21, the Great Lakes East and MDE team conducted the first stakeholder meeting attended by more than 50 leaders from throughout the state. At the meeting, representatives from Iowa, Ohio, and Vermont shared their respective state's approach to IPDPs. The work continued with a two-day stakeholder work session on March 29–30 to design a Michigan IPDP process. Participants defined roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in the IPDP process, made recommendations for purposes, benefits, structures and supports for the process, and reviewed Michigan's proposed plan for the restructure of the teacher credentialing system and the role of the IPDP in that plan. Small working groups were formed to continue the work.

Special Education. Great Lakes East is continuing to provide assistance to MDE in the design of a strategic plan to support school districts identified with disproportionate representation of student subgroups in special education programs. As an initial step, the state is working with the districts that have a Weighted Risk Ratio greater than 2.5. The Disproportionality Community of Practice—a core team composed of MDE staff members, school district representatives, and Great Lakes East staff—has provided assistance to the MDE Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services in the revision of a self-assessment rubric originally designed by the National Center for Culturally Responsive Systems. After several working meetings, the team selected priority focus areas and identified essential guiding questions for the self-review process that the districts are engaging in during the meetings in March and April. Data sources and examples of evidence were added to the rubric to assist the districts in the self-review process. After analyzing the data, the districts will be guided by the core team toward formulating hypotheses regarding potential causes of disproportionality. Following this analysis, they will select appropriate strategies aiming at eliminating the disproportionate representation of minority student groups in special education. The core team will assist MDE in structuring technical assistance to the districts as they implement their plans throughout the 2007–08 school year.

Supporting English Language Learners (ELLs). Exploratory conversations with the MDE Office of School Improvement: Curriculum and Instruction continue regarding a development of more focus in the area of building the capacity of ELL directors and providing technical assistance in the design and implementation of statewide professional development. In late January, members of the state's ELL Advisory Committee representing geographic and program diversity throughout Michigan participated in a two-day retreat.

MDE invited Great Lakes East, along with subcontractor Center for Applied Linguistics, to refine the needs sensing and to assist with the design and facilitation of this discovery retreat. The goal of the retreat was the initial conceptualizing of a statewide ELL strategic plan. The participants identified three targeted areas for this plan: professional development, assessment, and technical assistance (administrative). The tentative goal is to provide general direction with guidance from the field to make Michigan's ELL program among the strongest in the country.

Monitoring and Evaluating SES Providers. Another emerging area in Michigan's work is supplemental educational services (SES). In order to support MDE in meeting NCLB requirements related to SES, including building provider monitoring and evaluation systems, Great Lakes East sponsored an MDE Office of School Improvement/Great Lakes East team's participation February 22 and 23 at a two-day SES Institute in Wisconsin. The Institute was conducted by three regional comprehensive centers in the Midwest region and national experts in this area. As a result of that meeting, MDE requested Great Lakes East's assistance in working with the Center on Innovation and Improvement to design and conduct a workshop to prepare its LEAs to monitor and evaluate SES providers.

High School Reform. On April 15–17, the Michigan state manager participated in the Michigan Summit on Model High Schools, convened by the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, MDE, and a number of sponsors to stimulate thinking about high school redesign, to share strategies of model high schools, and to foster a network among secondary education stakeholders in Michigan. Great Lakes East continues to be part of the network supporting MDE in designing systems to support LEAs meeting the state's new rigorous high school graduation requirements. Based on a request by MDE's Office of School Improvement, Great Lakes East is preparing a report on states and districts that have effectively aligned general education and career and technical curriculum. In addition, Linda McDonald from RMC Research Corporation attended the Secondary School Redesign National Meeting, held April 1–3 in Texas and hosted by Council of Chief State School Officers. Because the MDE representatives were was not available for travel, Great Lakes East will share information and resources with MDE from the meeting.


State Manager: Mark Mitchell

Special Education Licensure and Preparation. On March 16, the Special Education Task Force met to think through how to proceed with the notion of special education licensure and steps toward making special educators highly qualified under IDEA and NCLB. Licensure options for intervention specialists are being considered. This work is targeted to provide highly qualified teachers for students with disabilities (and will meet the Highly Qualified Teacher provisions of NCLB).

Statewide Data System. The Information Technology Centers are working with beta districts in Ohio to load their data into the statewide data system known as D3A2 (Data Driven Decisions for Academic Achievement). More than 200 school districts across Ohio have registered to be early users of D3A2. Currently on the D3A2 website and accessible to every teacher now is the Content Repository, a collection of high-quality educational resources.

From the beginning, the D3A2 committee has advocated universal access to the training and supporting materials, including online courses and train-the-trainer approaches to delivery. The teacher subgroup responsible for the initial development of the professional development modules will be turning over the work to a contractor. Requests for proposal (RFPs) will be released soon by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to the Educational Service Center network. These RFPs will call for plans to fully develop and publish training materials and to prepare content for online delivery of professional development. The purpose of training is to enable teachers to use D3A2 and data in a way that guides instructional and curricular decisions.

On March 11–12, the central office subgroup met to determine the next steps based on the "Using Data to Improve Student Performance." This resource consists of two parts: Part I is an informal self-rating instrument that provides central office staff with an assessment of where the district is in establishing a data culture that promotes the use of data to improve student performance; part II is a guide for district leadership that includes questions and resources that can be used to strengthen those aspects of establishing a data culture that are self-assessed as having low or average impact. The end goal of this work is to help build district leadership for a data culture. The plan is to have this rubric available to districts by the beginning of the 2007–08 school year.

Work continues on the Ohio Data Primer. On March 15, the Data Primer was shared with the D3A2 professional development committee for comment. Both the content and design were widely accepted by this committee. Future work includes programming to make the practice screens functional and to write narrative for Module 3. Another piece of this work will be to determine what kinds of support are needed to enable people in the field to use the Data Primer, especially support for principals using the Data Primer with staff.

Linked to data contained in the D3A2 system, the needs assessment section of the district comprehensive continuous improvement plan (CCIP) will guide district leadership teams by using tiered questions to determine problems and root causes. This group met on March 8. These questions in turn will be connected to relevant data sources and point to research-based strategies to address problems. The core questions are in final draft. The next step is computer modeling to attempt to automate the process. If that is successful, the tool will be Web-enabled and connected to the CCIP/D3A2 systems. NCLB has required educational systems to use data both for accountability and reporting purposes as well as the rigorous use of data to improve achievement for all students. The statewide data systems and the constellation of data tools being developed are designed to help educators at all levels of the system to make better choices for students.

Professional Development Credentialing. On March 26, a design team composed of some members of the Professional Development Credentialing Task Force met to discuss roles and responsibilities of the task force and large stakeholder group and to design the first meeting together. On March 27, a full day was devoted to a task force charged with designing a professional development credentialing process focused on mathematics coaches, literacy coaches, and school improvement support teams. The process of credentialing will focus initially on school improvement coaches and school improvement teams that work closely with Tier 1 school districts (intensive need of support).

Under NCLB, SEAs are to identify and provide technical assistance to districts in improvement and in corrective action that will enable districts to improve achievement of students and subgroups not making AYP. Professional development credentialing will help ensure that the technical assistance districts receive is of high quality and aligned with and supportive of the Ohio Professional Development Standards and the Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession.


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