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Great Lakes East
Comprehensive Center

Indiana Record of Services

Summer 2010

State Manager: Frank De Rosa

State System of Support

District Improvement: State-Led Curriculum Mapping Initiative

The honor of being on this team and being able to discuss "school" with such great professionals was one of the most wonderful opportunities of my teaching experience. The powerful conversations and the work done for our state throughout the week was fantastic, and I feel fortunate to have been a part of it. This past week will be a highlight in my teaching career.

This was the response of multiple educators after a full week of working together. (See IDOE'S video "State Curriculum Mapping 2010" to hear from the participants.) These professionals had the opportunity to see how their work will make a difference in student learning, to utilize their professional knowledge and experience, and to spend uninterrupted time collaborating. They responded with great enthusiasm to this unique opportunity and produced mapped curricula of the Indiana state standards.

The participants unpacked (or deconstructed) Indiana state standards and indicators into smaller parts, called learning targets, to create the curriculum maps. During the week of July 11–16, 2010, more than 60 educators—teachers, university, district, and educational service center staff—determined the learning progressions and established learning targets for Indiana'S English language arts (ELA) standards K–12. Pairs of educators worked with a specific grade level of standards, and, then, at least once a day, cross-grade levels reviewed one another'S work. They sought clarity, cognitive rigor, building of cognitive demand, and consistency. The learning targets were entered into the "Build Your Own Curriculum" database and assigned to topics or headings from the Common Core State Standards. The topics and targets were assembled into quarterly units with accompanying vocabulary to be learned. The curriculum maps are now accessible through the Indiana Learning Connection website. (By clicking on the "Curriculum Maps" link, users can select ELA and mathematics by grade levels and examine the maps. More details of the implementation plan are provided in an IDOE video by Director of Curriculum and Instruction Schauna Findlay, Ph.D.)

This work is but the first in this area at the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) and is led by Dr. Findlay and supported by Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center staff member Jayne Sowers, Ed.D. IDOE plans to provide supports to schools this upcoming year to utilize the curriculum maps and adapt them for the school'S use. The role of collaboration among classroom teachers, school and district leaders, university staff, and regional providers will be key to the continued implementation and success of this initiative. As one participant noted, "It was great to see so many people with a shared vision working collaboratively in one room. I see great things happening in Indiana schools next year. Thank you all for making this a wonderful experience."

Instruction

Response to Instruction. Indiana's highly anticipated Response to Instruction (RTI) Pilot School Training was held in Indianapolis on July 22–23, 2010. IDOE offered this professional development event with technical assistance from Great Lakes East and the National Center on Response to Intervention (NCRTI). A total of 230 teachers, specialists, and administrators from 11 schools (representing five districts) participated along with select education advocates from across the state. The event provided a balance of high-impact information on RTI model components; the roles of school staff members, IDOE, Great Lakes East, and NCRTI; guidance on the formation of RTI pilot teams; and time for team collaboration and reflection.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, Ed.D., delivered the opening keynote address. He expressed his respect and support for participants' willingness to take on their RTI piloting responsibilities. Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, director of differentiated learners, and Alyson Luther, RTI coordinator, opened the event with a brief history and statement of the vision of IDOE's new RTI model, which focuses on scientifically based core curricula and instruction that is delivered with fidelity and is data driven to meet students' individual learning needs. The model addresses all students, including high ability, students with disabilities, and ELLs. (The complete version of the RTI guidance document and accompanying support materials can be viewed at www.doe.in.gov/rti.) The second keynote speaker was Phil Talbert, principal of Hawthorne Elementary School in the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township, Indiana. With his leadership and the implementation of the RTI model, Hawthorne Elementary School, a Title I, high-poverty school, moved from chronic underachievement to making adequate yearly progress (AYP) in each of the past three years. Talbert also delivered an inspirational lunchtime address to pilot principals and district administrators.

Great Lakes East collaborated with IDOE and planned two breakout sessions for the event: "Tier 1 Instruction" by Stacy Rush, Ph.D., research analyst, American Institutes for Research (AIR), and "Strategies for ELLs" by Sandra Gutiérrez, research associate at the Center for Applied Linguistics. The training also featured sessions on Tier 2 instruction, Tier 3 instruction, universal screening and progress monitoring, and a problem-solving model. The presentations and handouts can be accessed on the IDOE RTI website and the RTI Learning Connection Community.

Throughout the pilot training, participants utilized a personal "reflection tool" in order to assess their understanding of the essentials of RTI and their readiness to move forward with implementation. IDOE will use the reflective tools to customize professional development and technical assistance that the pilot teams will receive throughout the 2010–11 school year. The pilot schools include the following: Blue Ridge Primary School and Suncrest Elementary School of the Community Schools of Frankfort; Hawthorne Elementary School, Mongor Elementary School, and Roosevelt Elementary School of Elkhart Community Schools; Bridgeport Elementary School and Chapel Hill Elementary School of the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township; Meredith Nicholson School 96 of Indiana Public Schools; Henry Evans Elementary School, John Meister Elementary School, and River Forest Elementary School of the River Forest Community School Corporation.

College and Career Preparation. With technical assistance from Great Lakes East, IDOE conducted a successful Math-in-CTE professional development workshop at the J. Everett Light Career Center in Indianapolis on July 12–16, 2010. IDOE used an evidence-based model developed by the National Research Center on Career and Technical Education to strengthen instruction of mathematics concepts in Career and Technology Education (CTE) courses so that secondary students improve their mathematics performance in the classroom and on state assessments. The Math-in-CTE program also provides an opportunity for mathematics teachers to develop and incorporate examples of mathematical concepts in real life within their mathematics courses. Sixty-four high school teachers, including mathematics teachers and teachers of building trades, automotive systems, and health sciences curricula, partnered to identify mathematics concepts embedded in the CTE courses and design lessons and assessments to enhance the teaching and learning of these concepts. Throughout the workshop, teachers practiced the five core principals of Math-in-CTE: (1) develop and sustain a community of practice, (2) begin with the CTE curriculum and identify the mathematics topics within, (3) address the mathematics in CTE as essential workplace skills, (4) maximize the mathematics in the CTE curricula, and (5) support CTE teachers as teachers of Math-in-CTE, not mathematics teachers.

IDOE staff facilitated the workshop, and each of the three Math-in-CTE content areas (health careers, automotive systems, and building/construction trades) was facilitated by a veteran of IDOE's 2009 Math-in-CTE program. With their leadership, participating teachers learned to use Seven Elements of Math Enhanced CTE Lessons. By the end of the workshop, each participant had designed at least one new lesson; many designed multiple lessons. In the upcoming months, CTE teachers will consult with their partnering mathematics teachers and present their new lessons. "It's an eye-opening experience for both math and CTE teachers to learn how many of the same math concepts are covered in both classrooms but often without any collaboration between the teachers," said Davis Moore, career and technology specialist at IDOE, in his e-mail on August 2, 2010, and added, "This process helps teachers in both content areas use a common language so that students actually see the connection between math concepts and real life."

Throughout the professional development workshop, IDOE facilitators, CTE veterans, and Great Lakes East staff met to assess workshop progress, to begin designing program assessment tools, and to plan for the fall and spring workshops. IDOE and Great Lakes East will convene all of the July participants on November 4–5, 2010, and on March 10–11, 2011, to assess progress, review their lesson designs, and design additional lessons.

Classroom Innovation in Mathematics. As Indiana schools open this fall, 13,000 students from 35 secondary schools in 18 districts will experience new forms of instruction through technology in their mathematics classes, according to Zach Foughty, secondary mathematics specialist at IDOE (personal communication, July 9, 2010). This change is happening through IDOE's Classroom Innovation in Mathematics Grant Pilot Program. Great Lakes East assisted IDOE in identifying the pilot districts and writing and implementing the pilot program; participating districts chose their instructional technology vendors. As Foughty stated on August 12, 2010 (personal communication), "Teachers and administrators are anxious...to begin using these programs.... Although some have expressed concerns about leaving behind many of their former practices, they are excited about the positive impact that these programs will have on student learning."

As new forms of instruction are introduced this fall, IDOE (with Great Lakes East's assistance) will conduct monitoring activities, including classroom observations, student surveys and focus groups, teacher surveys and interviews, administrator interviews, and student performance assessments. The focus on compliance will shift to a focus on evaluation in spring 2011. IDOE will issue an interim report on the progress of the pilot in December 2010 and a final report in June 2011, which will include ISTEP+ results. The pilot supports IDOE's goal to "create and promote a statewide culture of academic excellence, in which 90% of students pass both math and English/Language Arts sections of ISTEP+ and End-of-Course Assessments."

School Improvement: English Language Learners. The number of English language learners (ELLs) in Indiana has increased during the past decade and then recently stabilized. To respond to the needs of this population of students and their teachers, the IDOE Division of Differentiated Learners: English Language Learning and Migrant Education met for a full day of planning on August 3, 2010. Great Lakes East staff member Jayne Sowers, Ed.D., and Sandra Gutiérrez from the Center for Applied Linguistics led the planning, which began with the state staff determining which schools would be selected to receive professional development through a criterion-based decision-making process. The criterion included schools whose ELLs were not making adequate yearly progress, schools in the same district, schools in the same part of the state, elementary schools, schools with a large percentage of ELLs, and schools with a recent influx of refugee students. Through this criterion-based process, two districts and four schools within them were selected and are currently being contacted to determine their desire to take advantage of this opportunity. The support from IDOE and Great Lakes East will include three or four visits to the school during the year and will culminate in a summer workshop or academy. The school visits will provide a day of content and skills development in the topic areas determined by IDOE's ELL staff members and Great Lakes East. These topics will include second language acquisition, knowing your students, comprehensible lesson delivery, language learning strategies and academic language or vocabulary development, differentiated practice and application, and cooperative learning.

The first day of content development is followed by a one-half day of IDOE and Great Lakes East staff modeling, observing, or coaching, depending on the teachers' requests. These methods correspond to research and best practices for professional development (Croft, Coggshall, Dolan, & Powers, 2010; Darling-Hammond, Wei, Andree, Richardson, & Orphanos, 2009). The target audience for the professional development is third- through fifth-grade teachers in recognition of House Bill 1367 passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Daniels in March 2010. The new law requires IDOE to " 'develop a plan to improve reading skills of students and implement appropriate remediation techniques' up to and including retention after third grade" (Indiana Department of Education, 2010, p. 1).

This first year of the ELL initiative will be a time for IDOE staff and Great Lakes East to develop the professional development curriculum, create the corresponding materials, and ensure the continuity of the message and the introduction and modeling of research- and evidence-based practices for ELLs. With the curriculum and materials developed, IDOE anticipates providing support to more schools each year to improve the learning ELLs.

References

Croft, A., Coggshall, J., Dolan, M., & Powers, E. (with Killion, J.). (2010). Job-embedded professional development: What it is, who is responsible, and how to get it done well (Issue Brief). National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center, and National Staff Development Council. Retrieved August 16, 2010, from http://www.tqsource.org/publications/JEPD%20Issue%20Brief.pdf

Darling-Hammond, L., Wei, R. C., Andree, A., Richardson, N., & Orphanos, S. (2009). Professional learning in the learning profession: A status report on teacher development in the United States and abroad. Oxford, OH: National Staff Development Council. Retrieved August 16, 2010, from http://www.nsdc.org/news/NSDCstudy2009.pdf

Indiana Department of Education. (2010). Supporting student success—Executive summary: Indiana's plan to ensure student literacy by the end of 3rd grade. Retrieved August 16, 2010, from http://www.doe.in.gov/super/2010/04-April/042310/documents/sb_grade_3_reading_plan.pdf

Michigan Record of Services

Summer 2010

State Manager: Gary Appel

Teacher Quality

Professional Development System and Policy Revision. As part of an emerging scope of work for Year 6, the Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center is supporting the work of a cross-functional team at the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to review and revise professional development policy and guidelines to create a more comprehensive system of high-quality professional learning. At a meeting of the cross-functional team on June 7, 2010, Great Lakes East shared the results of a review of professional development policies that included Michigan's current policy and guidelines, their proposed system as articulated in their federal Race to the Top application, and effective policy and practices in other states. Great Lakes East will continue to facilitate the work of the team as they assess the implications of the review for MDE, work with key stakeholder groups to revise and create professional development policy and guidelines, and develop and implement a communication plan and a monitoring and evaluation plan to ensure that high-quality professional development is embedded throughout the system. Preparations are under way for an October 2010 working meeting of the cross-functional team members and key stakeholder groups.

State Teacher Preparation System Revision. Since the most recent meeting of the Michigan Professional Standards Commission for Teaching (PSCT) on May 20, 2010, Great Lakes East, the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality (TQ Center), and a PSCT subcommittee have made great progress in completing a Michigan Framework for Excellence in Teacher Preparation and its supporting documents. Since late 2009, Great Lakes East has been working with MDE, a subcommittee of PSCT, and the TQ Center to develop the framework. The purpose of the framework is to replace the multiple and sometimes overlapping and competing standards that currently inform teacher preparation in Michigan with a comprehensive conceptual map to aid in bringing coherence to the governance of teacher preparation. Currently, Great Lakes East, the TQ Center, and MDE are in the final phases of gaining approval from PSCT for the framework; the final documents will be available for use by MDE and other stakeholders in fall 2010.

The subcommittee, Great Lakes East, and the TQ Center created a matrix that articulates the continuum of teacher development in Michigan and that makes clear the intersections of the various state standards, policies, and processes along the continuum. They then worked with the full PSCT committee to make explicit the assumptions and policy drivers that underlie a teacher preparation accountability system for the 21st century. Together, they developed a set of teacher preparation standards based on the assumptions, policy drivers, and existing research. The framework, once approved, will form the basis for the following:

  • Assessing and improving teacher preparation programs responsible for helping teacher candidates produce performances demanded by the Professional Standards for Michigan Teachers Guiding key state functions related to teacher preparation, including institutional review, program review, licensure, mentoring and induction programs, individualized professional development plans, and assessment of beginning teachers
  • Identifying clearer connections among the diverse, individualized needs of students, the diverse contexts of schools, and the developmentally appropriate skills and knowledge of beginning teachers

The Michigan Framework for Excellence in Teacher Preparation consists of two documents: "The Teacher Preparation, Certification, and Professional Learning Continuum" and "The Michigan Framework for Excellence in Teacher Preparation—Foundational Assumptions." Great Lakes East provided technical assistance primarily on the framework document but also assisted in the design of the continuum. The continuum describes the system of requirements for teacher candidates, preparation institutions, and employing school districts in Michigan along the continuum of a teacher's career from preservice through induction and into the ongoing professional development of a teacher. This system ensures a high-quality teacher workforce in Michigan. The second document articulates the assumptions for teacher preparation as they align with the Professional Standards for Michigan Teachers and includes the main policy drivers supporting these assumptions. Implications for teacher preparation institutions in terms of ensuring that teacher candidates meet the Professional Standards for Michigan Teachers and where evidence of excellence for these institutions for candidates is demonstrated also are included.

High School

High School Redesign. Great Lakes East has continued its technical assistance to MDE in the design of a Michigan Framework for Re-Imagining High Schools. Great Lakes East consultants Bersheril Bailey and Victoria Cirks and senior research associate Doug Walker from RMC Research Corporation provided MDE with a review of research and current literature. The design team used these resources to draft Michigan principles for reimagining high schools. After the initial development, the principles were reviewed by stakeholders from professional organizations, intermediate schools districts, the MDE High School Unit, and various schools and districts. MDE High School Unit lead, Sam Sinicropi, MDE consultant, Office of Education Improvement and Innovation, compiled the feedback and worked with a small core group to finalize the draft of Michigan principles. The group included Diane McMillan, retired associate director, Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals; Kristine Gullen, high school consultant, Oakland Schools; Doug Walker; and Bersheril Bailey. In August 2010, the group shared the draft with Linda Forward, interim director of the Office of Education Improvement and Innovation; MaryAlice Galloway, deputy superintendent for the State School Reform and Redesign Office; Deborah Clemmons, assistant director of the Office of Education Improvement and Innovation; and Mark Coscarella, supervisor of the School Improvement Unit.

A culminating event this summer was a two-day Dropout Prevention Summit on August 11–12. Great Lakes East worked collaboratively with MDE, the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators, REL Midwest, State Farm, and Michigan's Children to plan and host the event. Among attendees were more than 300 representatives from local schools and districts, professional organizations, institutions of higher education, and community organizations. The event featured national high school dropout experts. Nettie Legters, Ph.D., Academy of Educational Development, reviewed the research related to high school dropout rates, the importance of the transition from middle school to high school, and the development of a comprehensive system of interventions and supports for dropout prevention. Martha Mac Iver, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, presented research about early warning systems and the Diplomas Now pilot in Philadelphia.

Following her presentation, facilitators, including Great Lakes East staff, guided small-group discussions of the research and resources that were presented to help participants reflect on how to systematically apply the research in their school or district context. Portions of America's Promise Grad Nation Toolkit were used to explore solutions and tools that schools and communities can employ to engage and support young people through high school in order to prepare them for college and careers. Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan recognized schools and districts that have participated in the state's Dropout Challenge at a reception at the end of the first day.

The second day focused on using evidence-based practices to improve student outcomes and help school and district teams link application of evidence-based practices to research as a means of developing or refining school improvement plans to increase student achievement. School, district, and community teams had the opportunity to choose a session on the following topics:

  • Using student achievement data to support instructional decision making
  • Assisting students struggling with mathematics: RTI for elementary and middle schools
  • Assisting students struggling with reading: RTI and multitier intervention in the primary grades
  • Dropout prevention
  • Improving adolescent literacy: Effective classroom and intervention practices
  • Effective literacy and English language instruction for English language learners in the elementary grades
  • Helping schools to navigate the path to college and what high schools can do

In the afternoon, school teams dialogued with other practitioners and developed or refined school improvement plans to increase student achievement.

Alternative High Schools. On June 24, 2010, Great Lakes East facilitated conversations among MDE, the Michigan Association of Community and Adult Education, and members of the Alternative Education Focus Group during a professional development day. The event took place in Lansing, Michigan, where educators in alternative high schools across the state convened to increase their capacity to work with students in alternative education high schools and programs. Participants learned how to prevent dropout, support struggling students, and understand adequate yearly progress (AYP).

There were a number of presenters to inform conversations. Linda Forward, MDE interim director of the Office of Education Improvement and Innovation, provided welcome and opening remarks. Sam Sinicropi, MDE consultant, Office of Education Improvement and Innovation, shared results of a student survey listing the top eight needs students felt they needed support for. Later, Sinicropi and Bersheril Bailey facilitated table-group discussions to help participants identify strategies currently being used in their schools and districts to address identified student needs. They also helped participants explore additional possibilities for meeting student needs. To inform and support these conversations, Great Lakes East provided all participants with Exemplary Practices in Alternative Education: Indicators of Quality Programming, developed by the National Alternative Education Association, to review, discuss, and use the document with their school leadership teams. Additional materials that Great Lakes East shared with the participants included five IES Practice Guides: (1) Using Student Achievement Data to Support Instructional Decision Making, (2) Helping Students Navigate the Path to College: What High Schools Can Do, (3) Dropout Prevention, (4) Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices, and (5) Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning.

Another session highlighted a new MDE policy in development. Chris Janzer, analyst, MDE Office of Educational Assessment and Accountability, provided an update on MDE's plans to develop a policy to send the scores of students attending alternative education programs from other districts back to the sending districts. Janzer previously attended an Alternative Education Focus Group meeting on June 10, 2010, to gather input from alternative educators in order to help shape the policy that is being developed. Additional sessions included the following topics:

  • Strategies to support struggling students in algebra and an update on MDE's Personal Curriculum policy
  • Information about resources available to increase college access for all
  • Early warning systems to identify students at risk of dropping out and strategies for keeping students in school

During this professional development event, participants collaborated and continued to dialogue; explored current data, resources, and policies; developed strategies to increase graduation rates; and discussed how to expand community and school partnerships for student success.

Statewide System of Support

Michigan's Statewide System of Support (SSOS). The Center on Innovation & Improvement held the Academy of Pacesetting States summer institute on June 14–17, 2010, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Michigan is one of the nine participating states and represents Great Lakes East. The participating states received professional development, multiple opportunities to collaborate, and various tools to build capacity to redesign their statewide systems of support. The goal of the redesign work in states is to more effectively build local capacity to create and sustain school improvement that increases student achievement. On the team from Michigan were Mark Coscarella, school improvement supervisor; Bill Witt, consultant; Diane Joslin-Gould, consultant (Office of Education Improvement and Innovation); and Bersheril Bailey, Great Lakes East senior consultant. In preparation for the academy, Great Lakes East worked collaboratively with the MDE pacesetter team to draft a Michigan Statewide System of Support Operations Manual that describes the current statewide system of support. Great Lakes East will continue to provide technical assistance to revise the draft manual as the statewide system of support is redesigned. The redesign plan will be phased in during the 2010–11 school year.

English Language Learners (ELLs). Working closely with the MDE Office of Field Services and the Office of Education Improvement and Innovation, the successful Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) capacity-building effort continued into its second year. Great Lakes East coordinates the effort with MDE and the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), which provides the SIOP training of trainers. Twenty Michigan trainers were identified through an application process to participate in the second Cohort 2 training-of-trainers workshop on June 21–30, 2010, in East Lansing, Michigan, held by CAL consultants Emily Evans and Dennis Terdy. Sandra Hagman from MDE provided assistance with recruitment and local logistics. After the training of trainers, participants will cofacilitate or assist at one of three regional rollout trainings scheduled geographically in the state through late August. It is anticipated that 150 Michigan teachers will participate in these regional SIOP training activities.

During June and July, Cohort 1 trainers, who participated in the SIOP training of trainers last year, facilitated four localized, miniregional four-day SIOP trainings with support from CAL and Great Lakes East. Through the extension of this initial capacity-building effort, an additional 120 Michigan teachers were trained in the SIOP Model. A review of training evaluation data and planning to monitor training impact are both short- and long-term goals of this initiative.

The cross-office ELL core team, composed of directors and staff members from most MDE offices, met on July 27, 2010. Terdy facilitated the meeting, which focused on the role of ELLs across MDE departments and internal initiatives reflecting ELL professional development and credentialing. The core team's purpose is to coordinate and leverage ELL-related activities at MDE in the interest of better serving Michigan's ELL population.

Response to Intervention (RTI). The MDE and Great Lakes East RTI team met on June 24, 2010, to continue work on an RTI Critical Features Framework, which includes RTI essential elements, definition, principles, and examples. The framework is intended for practitioners to guide RTI implementation in their schools and districts. Planning began for a second statewide RTI conference for school and district leaders to build on the first statewide conference held in May. The conference will include an overview of the framework, school improvement and RTI integration, and breakout sessions. The sessions fall into several strands: Getting Started, Data Collection and Use, Identification, Core Program Analysis, Parental Involvement, and Program Evaluation and Leadership. An additional focus of several sessions will be on integrating RTI with the Continuous School Improvement Process for the annual statewide School Improvement Conference scheduled in November.

The team has several tasks at hand. It is working to clarify RTI and eligibility for special education and to identify resources to build an RTI website that will organize guidance materials, tools, and other resources to support RTI implementation. The team also is planning regional training for district and intermediate service district leaders to provide clarification on the framework, guidance, tools, and the integration of the Continuous School Improvement Process and RTI. Finally, the team will identify exemplary Michigan high school RTI models to provide Michigan secondary educators with models of effective RTI practice.

OhioRecord of Services

Summer 2010

State Manager: Mark Mitchell

Assessment and Accountability

Credit Flexibility Implementation. School districts in Ohio must provide students the option to earn credit through means other than seat time beginning in the 2010–11 school year. The Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center continues to provide significant support for statewide implementation of credit flexibility through its work with the internal Ohio Department of Education (ODE) credit flexibility work group. As districts head back to school, they are looking for additional guidance and support for implementation from ODE and Great Lakes East.

ODE's credit flexibility work group and Great Lakes East are planning another Web conference series beginning in August 2010 and continuing through the fall. (Read about the spring Web conference series in our spring 2010 Great Lakes East e-newsletter.) On August 17, 2010, ODE and Great Lakes East hosted a Web conference focused on credit flexibility and guidance counseling. This event will be followed by a live chat with Bill Wagner, principal of Lakewood High School, on August 31. Additional topics in this new credit flexibility series will include instructional considerations; communications; and parents, family, and the community.

Based on experiences gained from previous Web conferences, Great Lakes East consultant Victoria Cirks and the credit flexibility work group have designed a new process for disseminating information. This process will include a one-hour Web conference followed by an e-mail to all participants with links to related resources and tools. Each Web conference also will be followed by a live chat to address additional implementation questions. Opportunities to ask follow-up questions also will be available to participants on the SharedWork discussion board.

Great Lakes East is working with Linda McDonald of RMC Research Corporation to develop additional case studies of credit flexibility implementation. A meeting was held in Columbus, Ohio, on August 10, 2010, with Joanne Cashman from the IDEA Partnership to discuss plans to continue support of credit flexibility communities of practice. Credit flexibility resources, including audio recordings and transcriptions of Web conferences, guidance documents, and case studies can be accessed through ODE's Ohio's Credit Flexibility Plan website.

Standards, Assessment, and Accountability. In the spring, Great Lakes East supported a series of stakeholder meetings focused on the Common Core State Standards and the revised Ohio academic content standards in science and social studies. (Read the spring 2010 Great Lakes East e-newsletter for a description of these meetings.) Several members of the Ohio State Board of Education attended these meetings, and, in June 2010, the board formally adopted the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics. The board also formally adopted the revised state academic content standards in science and social studies. Board action helped to set in motion the formation of model curricula teams across Ohio. Model curricula will provide examples for how to design curricula aligned to these new standards, including the integration of 21st century skills. Representing Great Lakes East, Beth Ratway addressed 21st century skills during a presentation at the Ohio ASCD conference in June. Her presentation, "Moving From Standards to Instruction: Integrating 21st Century Skills," focused on the integration of skills identified in the Framework for 21st Century Learning.

On June 17, Ratway, Nick Pinchok (Great Lakes West), and Mark Mitchell (Great Lakes East) participated in an Ohio Performance Assessment Pilot Project planning meeting. At the meeting were representatives from Stanford University, the ODE Center for Curriculum and Assessment, and Office of Exceptional Children staff. Part of this meeting focused on how to include the assessment work that will likely come out of the assessment consortia with the performance assessments, tasks, and rubrics developed through the Ohio Performance Assessment Pilot Project. At the meeting, Great Lakes East offered to help ODE summarize the research available regarding the use and validity of one- to two-day performance tasks or assessments. Great Lakes East also offered to be a thought partner in designing a research agenda that would consider the relationship between one- to two-week tasks and one- to two-day tasks, impact on instruction, relative benefits, and other factors. As a response to the technical nature of the support needed, Great Lakes East is forming a small team with one or two staff from REL Midwest, which will be better positioned to move forward with some of this work.

With travel support from Great Lakes East, Stan Heffner, associate superintendent, ODE Center for Instruction, both presented and served as a discussant for the Council of Chief State School Officers' "National Conference on Student Assessment" on June 20–23, 2010, in Detroit.

State Systems of Support

Building a Sustainable, Statewide Training Model for Regional Providers. A primary focus of state-level design team work at the end of Year 5 and continuing through Year 6 is building the capacity and long-term sustainability of Ohio's system of support to deliver high-quality, consistent professional development and technical assistance to districts through the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP).

With growing accountability for results, there is even greater urgency to demonstrate change across the system as a result of OIP. To that end, ODE has requested assistance from Great Lakes East to design a progress review of Ohio's statewide system of support. A framework for this review is complete, and on August 5, 2010, a diverse group of stakeholders from ODE and the state-level design team met to identify available data to address questions focused on systems change. Examples of data included performance reports from state support teams, student achievement data, and district improvement plans reviews. This might have been a one-time progress review, but it will establish a foundation for future reviews and will inform the data-gathering process for annual monitoring of the state system of support.

Consistent with capacity building of the state system of support, ODE recently articulated a vision for further regionalization of OIP facilitator and district leadership training in Statewide OIP Professional Development and Technical Assistance for 2010–2011. Within this document, primary roles supporting professional development and technical assistance have been defined for the state-level design team, state support teams, regional training teams, and other teams. In Year 6, Great Lakes East will continue to play a collaborative role with ODE and the state-level design team as Ohio transitions from a centralized and quad-level training structure to a regionally based training structure. Roughly one third of more than 900 districts and community schools in Ohio have engaged in OIP. Building the capacity of each of the 16 support regions within Ohio to deliver consistent, high-quality professional development and technical assistance will help bring improvement and leadership practices and processes to scale in Ohio.

Completion of Processes, Support Structures, and Tools for Stages 3 and 4 of the Ohio Improvement Process. At the end of Year 5 of Great Lakes East technical assistance (September 30, 2010) processes, support structures, and tools will be complete for Stage 3 (implementation and monitoring of the plan at the district and building levels) and Stage 4 (evaluation of the impact of the plan and process on adult practice and student achievement). A draft Stage 4 evaluation document has been integrated with other stages described in the OIP Facilitator's Guide. The Stage 4 work includes two aspects: evaluation of the impact of OIP and process and ongoing evaluation of the overall health or effective functioning of the statewide system of support. (Read the spring 2010 Great Lakes East e-newsletter, which describes Stage 4 in some detail.)

One of the few centralized trainings for OIP internal and external facilitators will occur on September 13–14, 2010, in Columbus, Ohio. The focus of this training will be Stages 3 and 4 processes and the role of facilitators in supporting evaluation of the plan and process. The training will be provided by the statewide system of support in collaboration with ODE.

State-Level Design Team Cadre Work. The state-level design team has been meeting monthly (June 10–11, July 22–23, and August 10–11) in Columbus, Ohio, to evolve the cadre work in response to scale-up, sustainability, and quality assurance challenges associated with broad and rapid implementation of OIP. At each of these cadre meetings, staff from other ODE centers and external experts presented and contributed pieces of work that will ultimately strengthen OIP. At the August meeting, Mary Peters from Battelle for Kids presented draft visuals that use value-added data to show student progress and achievement by district and by building. In the near future, the value-added data and visuals will become a part of the Decision Framework Tool. Following is a list of the cadres and a description of their current work. Great Lakes East is providing technical assistance to each of the cadres as well as facilitation of communication and planning across the cadres.

  • Stage 4 Cadre. A draft of the Stage 4 evaluation of impact of the plan and process is complete and under review. As noted earlier, it is currently being integrated into the OIP Facilitator's Guide. Work continues on the ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the statewide system of support. A subset of this cadre met and further defined and articulated data-gathering processes as well as additional measures of key indicators; some of this work has been informed by the progress review. A small group of state-level design team members met, led by Karen Sanders from RMC Research Corporation, on August 10–11 to further operationalize this significant, long-term work.

  • Facilitator Competencies Cadre. This cadre reviewed the facilitator competency assessment tool to ensure that results of the field study of representative regional users were incorporated. Plans were made for the introduction of the tool, specifically the development of PowerPoint slides and a small group introductory activity. The purpose of this introduction is to enable facilitator self-assessment at the September OIP training. Pre- and postassessment data collection as well as follow-up training sessions will be planned for the regions during Year 6.

  • Regional Professional Development Parameters and Fidelity Checklist Cadre. This cadre has developed a draft checklist to be used by all regions to ensure consistent, accurate, and valid content specific to the Ohio Leadership Advisory Council and OIP and aligned to Ohio's High-Quality Professional Development Standards.

  • Statewide Facilitator Professional Development Cadre. This cadre is charged with the ongoing design of an educational service center and state support team facilitator and internal facilitator training including agendas, presentations, handouts, evaluations, and any other materials. It is focused on designing a working agenda and plan for the OIP Facilitator Training for September 13–14. The one outcome of these two days is for facilitators to learn to assist a district in evaluating the impact of the OIP plan and process (Stage 4). As part of the general session, Ohio State Superintendent Deb Delisle will open and close the training, and Cynthia Lemmerman, associate superintendent, ODE Center for School Improvement, and Jane Wiechel, associate superintendent, ODE Center for Students, Families, and Communities, will copresent a large-group session.

  • OIP Facilitator's Guide and Resource Revision Cadre. This cadre is charged with reviewing related OIP documents that should be considered for inclusion in a revised version (third edition) of the OIP Facilitator's Guide. Another aspect of this work is the development of a Quick Guide, based on key portions of the larger facilitator's guide and resources to enable easy access and understanding of the process for new external and internal facilitators. Great Lakes East consultants Sheryl Poggi and Claudette Rasmussen are playing a key role in integrating new work into the existing OIP Facilitator's Guide. A draft of the revised guide is currently under review by ODE staff and others on the design team.
  • Building-Level Administrator Training Cadre. This cadre designed and planned a working agenda that includes a review of the research base, tools, and a video of district-, building-, and teacher-based teams from the Lima School District (Ohio). A panel of principals, representing elementary, middle, and high school, will share what this role within the OIP looks like in practice. Four quad-level building administrator trainings will be held this fall.

A Thank-You Note

Deborah Telfer, former executive director for School Improvement in the Center for School Improvement at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), has taken a new position with the Center for the Teaching Profession. As Deb moves on to other work within ODE, she leaves a rich legacy of work to improve districts and schools in Ohio. Deb has been an instrumental figure in facilitating and guiding the Ohio Improvement Process work and has been the driving force behind the work of the Ohio Leadership Advisory Council. We will miss working with you, Deb, and admire your focus on and passion for improving outcomes for all students in Ohio and your belief that a systemic and coherent system of support will lead to improved districts and schools. We look forward to working with Cynthia Lemmerman, PhD., associate superintendent, ODE Center for School Improvement, and others at ODE as this work continues to evolve and mature.

Archive

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