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Spotlights Archive


Ask the Expert: Dropout Prevention
The National High School Center is hosting an online dialogue about dropout prevention with Nettie Legters, Ph.D., from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Social Organization of Schools. Dr. Legters will be available for online dialogue February 2–28. To post a question or join this conversation, visit the Ask the Expert website.

Wisconsin Launches New Designing High Schools for Success Website
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has launched its new Designing High Schools for Success website. The site was created to coordinate and highlight high school initiatives, resources, tools, and partnerships. The new website, which can be accessed at, is now live.

Forum on Final National Mathematics Advisory Panel Report
The U.S. Department of Education and the Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences hosted the first national mathematics panel forum on October 6–7, 2008, in Washington, D.C. The forum was held in response to the final report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, Foundations for Success, which came out in March 2008.

Two major outcomes of the forum were action plans created to further the recommendations of the report and the unveiling of "Critical Foundations for Algebra," a new section of the Doing What Works website dedicated solely to teacher application of the recommendations. The full report, conference materials, action plans, and more resources are available from the U.S. Department of Education National Advisory Panel at:

A Network for Educational Change in the Great Lakes Region: A View Through the Lens of Educational Service Agencies (Adobe PDF Icon Adobe® Reader® PDF 1.5 MB)
Building state capacity often means tapping into the readily available statewide networks to leverage the appropriate support and resources for educational change. Great Lakes East and Great Lakes West frequently work to help state education agencies identify potential partners within their statewide systems of support. This report describes the structure and the role of educational service agencies (ESAs) in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin in their statewide systems of support with a specific focus on their potential capacity to assist districts and schools in the work of educational improvement as reported by state ESA leaders. To gather this information, Great Lakes East and Great Lakes West worked closely with the Association of Educational Service Agencies—the national professional organization of ESAs—to conduct a survey in the region. The findings are based on data as reported through the perspective of ESAs.

A Broader View of Educational Needs and 21st Century Learning: A Regional Discussion, Presentations
In May 2008 Great Lakes West Comprehensive Center and Great Lakes East Comprehensive Center at Learning Point Associates hosted a regional discussion on high schools and 21st century skills.

New Resource to Support Teacher Preparation from the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality
The National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality has released a new online resource, TQ Connection, to provide current strategies and research-based practice and policy to teacher preparation programs. Resources are currently available in the following areas: assessment, classroom management/behavior, inclusive practices, instructional strategies, and reading/literacy.

Beginning February 4, 2008, an online discussion forum will be opened, and the first discussion will be based on Effective Classroom Management: Teacher Preparation and Professional Development. Discussions about the other areas will take place in the upcoming months. (PDF Icon Adobe® Reader® PDF 390 KB)


Upcoming Webcast from the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality (NCCTQ)
On Thursday, October 11, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Time), NCCTQ will sponsor a live interactive webcast, to introduce its new biennial report, America’s Challenge: Effective Teachers for At-Risk Schools and Students. The report focuses on information NCCTQ has collected on availability, recruitment, and retention of teachers during the last two years. Register now for the free online event.

GAO Reports Recommendations for NCLB Reauthorization
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a release on recommendations to congress on reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The report Education Should Clarify Guidance and Address Potential Compliance Issues for Schools in Corrective Action and Restructuring Status (Adobe® Reader® PDF) recommendations focus on providing guidance to schools in corrective action, when current corrective actions should be continued or changed, and more direction for states to report information on and ensure support is be provided to districts in corrective action.

New Resource from the National High School Center
Recently the National High School Center released an Issue Brief titled "State Approaches to More Reliable and Uniform Dropout and Graduation Data (Adobe Reader PDF)." The brief focuses on the importance of obtaining accurate data on dropout and graduation rates for developing effective strategies to keep more students in school through graduation.

New Resources From the Center on Instruction
The Center on Instruction has released two new resources. A meta-analysis intended for instructional decision makers focuses on struggling adolescent readers. Interventions for Adolescent Struggling Readers: A Meta-Analysis with Implications for Practice (Adobe® Reader® PDF) provides research-based interventions.

Also recently released is a synopsis of research on students struggling to learn mathematics. A Synopsis of A Synthesis of Empirical Research on Teaching Mathematics to Low-Achieving Students (Adobe Reader PDF) summarizes the referenced article by Scott Baker, Russell Gersten, and Dae-Sik Lee, as published in the Elementary School Journal in 2002.

New Resource From the National High School Center
A new report from the National High School Center examines response to intervention (RTI) at the high school level. Meeting the Needs of Significantly Struggling Learners in High School: A Look at Approaches to Tiered Intervention (Adobe Reader PDF) is a practitioner-friendly resource that specifically looks at the considerations and challenges of implementing RTI in high schools.

New Special Report From Learning Point Associates Senior Advisor Paul Kimmelman
Great Lakes East e-newsletter News for the Region Winter 2007 issue featured a new Special Report from Learning Point Associates Senior Advisor Paul Kimmelman, Ed.D., titled, State Education Agencies: A Different Future and Their Role in Building Organizational Capacity. This report highlights the role of the state education agencies (SEAs) in the capacity building of local education agencies and schools. According to Dr. Kimmelman, knowledge acquisition, knowledge management, and knowledge implementation are the keys to SEAs realizing greater success in their capacity building as education moves into the 21st century. To read Dr. Kimmelman's article, visit greatlakeseast/newsletters/Winter2007.pdf.

Secretary Spellings Launches Priorities for NCLB Reauthorization On January 24, 2007, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings launched Building on Results: A Blueprint for Strengthening the No Child Left Behind Act. It was designed to provide additional tools to help America's students read and do mathematics at grade level by 2014. To Learn more about Building on Results, visit

Response to Intervention (RtI) Resource Guide
The RtI Resource Guide provides policymakers, administrators, and other educators with relevant information for developing and implementing an RtI model that best suits the unique needs of their educational organizations and states. It presents resources in the following areas: articles, papers, and publications relating to RtI; informative RtI websites; and RtI efforts in various states.


Webcast Presentation (Adobe® Reader® PDF 393 KB)
Great Lakes West held its first webcast September 27, 2006. The event, "Adding Value to the Work of Illinois and Wisconsin" updated advisory council members on the recent comprehensive assistance center network directors meeting.

Please contact us if you would like more information on the event or directors meeting.

2006 National Forum—Community Schools: Creating the Conditions for Learning
The 2006 national forum of the Coalition for Community Schools will highlight how community schools create the conditions for learning through changes in leadership, policy, systems, and practices. read more

Raising Student Achievement Through the Equitable Distribution of Teachers was conducted on
Thursday, March 30, 2006. Learn more.

Final Comprehensive Center Award Announced
The U.S. Department of Education office of Elementary and Secondary Education announced the final Comprehensive Center award on January 3, 2006. Learn more.