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Great Lakes West
Assistance Center

Record of Service

The Great Lakes West Comprehensive Assistance Center works collaboratively with representatives from state education agencies in Illinois and Wisconsin to provide capacity building technical assistance around current state initiatives regarding No Child Left Behind (NCLB) implementation. State managers provide regular updates on the progress of these initiatives; following is the latest record of services for each state, carried out in collaboration with Great Lakes West staff members, subcontractors, Advisory Council members, and state department of education staff members. (Last updated April 2007)


Great Lakes West State Manager: Monique Chism, Ph.D.

On March 6, 2007, Dr. Monique Chism, Illinois state manager, and Ted Stilwill, Great Lakes West lead chief officer, met with Chris Koch, Ed.D., Illinois interim state superintendent, to narrow and focus Great Lakes West technical assistance activities for the next three months and into Year 3 of the cooperative agreement. The Great Lakes West future technical assistance activities in Illinois will center on work related to high school renewal, systemically noncompliant districts, and integrated compliance monitoring.

High School Renewal.The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) continues to engage in conversations about its vision for high school renewal and seeks to critically answer the essential questions, “What is the fundamental purpose of
high school in our state?” and “What would it look like if we were successful in preparing all students to be successful in the future?” Focusing the conversation on high school renewal efforts in the state is a top priority for Dr. Koch. To assist him and other key stakeholders in making decisions informed by data, Great Lakes West will provide summative data on patterns and trends of high school graduates in Illinois, looking specifically at postsecondary enrollment and entrance into postsecondary two- and four-year institutions and postsecondary success rates.

Systemically Noncompliant Districts. The ISBE has identified systemically noncompliant districts as a critical issue. Systemically noncompliant districts are those with extensive compliance problems that do not relate solely to the district’s academic
or financial status or a single agency division. Instead, these districts’ compliance issues involve fiscal or operational mismanagement, failure to abide by state or federal requirements, or concerns across multiple divisions. The prolonged status of poor management in these districts has a negative effect on student
progress. Great Lakes West will provide a wide array of technical assistance in this area to help state
staff plan intervention strategies for working with systemically noncompliant districts.

Integrated Compliance Monitoring System. State education agencies across the country are charged with monitoring their individual school districts’ compliance with the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act as well as any number of programs for which the state receives funding from the federal government. Each state uses appropriate metrics to determine whether schools are meeting federal requirements (e.g., instructional, fiduciary, accountability). While the ISBE has extensive system resources with as many as 200 separate systems in house, the agency wants to move toward an integrated compliance monitoring system model to help streamline data collection and improve how data are used at the agency.

As a technical assistance provider, Great Lakes West is positioned to support systemic change, assist in building collaborative relationships that result in integrated services, and coordinate change so it furthers the shared goals and vision of the agency. Great Lakes West looks forward to working with the ISBE on the three areas mentioned in order to influence systemic changes that will improve education in Illinois.



Great Lakes West State Manager: Al Hovey

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) work teams and the Great Lakes West team continue work around the focus areas of the Statewide System of Support, supplemental educational services (SES), and teacher quality.

Statewide System of Support. Great Lakes West compiled supporting research that appears in the publication Characteristics of Successful Districts (dpi.state.wi.us/ssos/pdf/characteristics.pdf) recently released by the Wisconsin DPI (2006). This research supports the five characteristics and accompanying standards in the rubrics that are tools for school districts to better understand their needs.

Supplemental Educational Services. Great Lakes West has provided the Wisconsin DPI feedback on its Supplemental Educational Services in Wisconsin website that included provider application and related documents. This effort, along with one completed in October 2006 by the Center on Innovation and Improvement, helps support Wisconsin’s efforts around SES as mandated by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. In February 2007, Wisconsin sent a team to the SES Institute, which included eight states. At the institute, each state was able to explore the evaluation, legal, data, and rural aspects of SES.

Teacher Quality. Wisconsin had good representation at the REL Midwest Research to Action Forum in January 2007, where states were able to investigate areas of need along the lines of teacher quality. Wisconsin took a hard look at teacher induction and mentoring. As a result, the Wisconsin DPI–developed Initial Teacher Educator Survey and Mentor Survey are being critiqued in collaboration with REL Midwest. Great Lakes West will be assisting with survey distribution and analysis that will lead to a Data Retreat this summer. The intention is that after data are gathered, more emphasis can be put on the initial teacher educator programs in local districts and schools.


Record of Services from July-August 2006


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