Wisconsin Record of Service
Great Lakes West State Manager: Al Hovey
Great Lakes West has a collaborative, consultative approach to technical assistance. Work within identified focus areas often develops over time. As work develops or state and national priorities change, Great Lakes West may need to adapt its work to meet state needs. Following is an update on recent work with the Illinois State Board of Education.
Improving Educator Quality Steering Committee
The steering committee for the 2008 and 2009 Wisconsin Improving Educator Quality
Research Seminars is discussing possibilities for continued work in 2010. Great Lakes West has
participated as a member of the steering committee since 2008 and has provided additional support to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for this initiative, including the website http://www.learningpt.org/greatlakeswest/witq/.
The steering committee is considering options for advancing the Wisconsin educator quality agenda that could have a lasting impact. One possible strategy is conducting a third Research Seminar in 2010, which would serve as a follow-up to the previous two years. A second option would be a forum to support other existing efforts. Specifically, the committee proposes developing a preliminary strategic plan for a forum on advancing educator effectiveness in Wisconsin. Unlike a single annual event, the forum would be a multiple-year, jointly sponsored, and co-led forum, which would focus specifically on answering the following question:
What are the signature features of state and local education systems that maximize the continuous improvement of instructional and educator effectiveness?
Among other activities, the forum team could plan and deliver effectiveness dialogue sessions and research-based promising practice and policy sessions at the annual meetings of Wisconsin professional associations as well as other state conferences.
Great Lakes West staff attended the “Quality Matters” conference for the Wisconsin Institutions of Higher Education, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin system. During the past three years, the “Quality Matters” series has intended to achieve the following ongoing outcomes:
- Explore issues associated with accountability in educational preparation (i.e., policies, practice, and research methodology).
- Build community around the creation of a culture of evidence.
- Identify strategies for gathering relevant data to inform educational preparation and professional development practices.
Details on the conference can be found at http://tqi.uwsa.edu/qm.htm.
What Works Conference
A team from Great Lakes West attended the Fourth Annual What Works Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference, “Beyond Highly Qualified: The Development and Distribution of Highly Effective Teachers and Leaders,” was held at the end of October and sponsored by the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality. The 2009 conference focused on helping regions and states further their efforts to address critical areas of educator quality, including educator effectiveness, the equitable distribution of teachers, developing teacher leaders, and individualizing teaching for struggling students.
Response to Intervention
With technical assistance from Great Lakes West, the response to intervention (RTI) internal work group at DPI continues to move forward with work to refine Wisconsin’s vision of RTI and develop a new RTI Technical Assistance Center. In fall 2009, the RTI Technical Assistance Center hired a director. Planning is currently under way for the initial implementation of the Technical Assistance Center, which is slated for the new fiscal year starting on July 1, 2010.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Forum
Great Lakes West cohosted an invitational forum for state education agencies, “Building Coherence Across ARRA Funds.” Details on the proceedings are provided in Highlights of the Quarter on p. 2. Wisconsin was one of eight states that attended the forum to receive information from the U.S. Department of Education on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding streams and ways to build coherence between these funds. DPI staff found the information in the presentations to be relevant and directly applicable to planning efforts in the state. Following the forum, DPI used the information to develop strategies for ARRA related to reform efforts. Wisconsin participated and is using information and guidance from the U.S. Department of Education in planning for ARRA funds and reform priorities. The proceedings from this event can be found at http://www.learningpt.org/greatlakeswest/ARRA/arraCoherence.php.