Wisconsin Record of Service
Great Lakes West State Manager: Al Hovey
Great Lakes West has a collaborative, consultative approach to technical assistance. Work within the priority 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 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
The 2009 Wisconsin Research Seminar on “Improving Educator Quality: Improving Practice and Expanding Collaboration in Challenging Times” will be held June 29–30, 2009, in the Wisconsin Dells. The purpose of the seminar is to broaden participants’ knowledge about the implementation and impact of Public Instruction (PI) 34 on educator effectiveness and student learning in Wisconsin. The seminar Steering Committee sent out a call for proposals for studies, evaluations, and ongoing projects related to teacher quality in Wisconsin. Presentation proposals have been received, and the Steering Committee will be reviewing the proposals using predetermined selection criteria to determine which presentations will be accepted for the seminar.
For the third year, Great Lakes West is assisting the Wisconsin DPI’s Teacher Education, Professional Development, and Licensing team in the preparation, review, administration, and analysis of initial educator and mentor surveys. The surveys will be administered to initial educators and mentors later this spring. The 2009 initial educator surveys will be separated for first-year and second-year initial educators. This separation will allow for more detailed data collection because PI 34 Professional Development Plan and induction requirements are different in the first and second years. The mentor survey required only slight modifications.
Wisconsin DPI will administer nine surveys this year, as follows:
- First-year initial educator: teacher, administrator, and pupil services personnel
- Second-year initial educator: teacher, administrator, and pupil services personnel
- Mentor: teacher, administrator, and pupil services personnel
Great Lakes West has supported efforts to complete a quality review of the surveys and the technical support for administering all nine online surveys.
Jeanine Gelhaus, a teacher in the Medford Area (Wisconsin) Public School District, is one of 25 Teaching Ambassador Fellows for the U.S. Department of Education during the 2008–09 school year. In February 2009, Gelhaus facilitated a Teacher Leadership webinar, targeted to all educators. The webinar focused on principals having the key role in school leadership and emphasized ways to help teachers exercise more leadership. Great Lakes West assisted with the technology for the webinar production. The archive of this webinar and presenter biographies are available on the Wisconsin Teacher Quality website.
In December 2008, Wisconsin DPI released the State Superintendent’s Adolescent Literacy Plan. Great Lakes West facilitated the task force that produced this plan and will continue to support Wisconsin DPI with the implementation of the plan. The first meeting to begin planning for implementation took place on February 27, 2009. The DPI work team is investigating the best methods to disseminate information about the adolescent literacy plan and implementation to schools and districts.
The third meeting of Wisconsin DPI’s Next Generation Assessment Task Force was held on February 5, 2009. Before the meeting, Great Lakes West provided DPI and task force members with a white paper titled Overview of Selected State Assessment Systems. This paper discusses current strategies from other states to answer questions that DPI has developed in four areas: formative assessment, benchmark assessment, online assessment, and content standards and high school assessment. Task force members used the paper to help inform decision making at the final meeting. Great Lakes West collaborated with partners at the Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center and REL Midwest to complete this project.
Designing High Schools for Success
The new Wisconsin DPI high school website, Designing High Schools for Success, continues to be a success. Since its launch in December 2008, the website has had more than 3,000 hits. It provides resources and links that support 21st century learning as well as the four major recommendations from the superintendent’s High School Task Force.
Response to Intervention
On March 11–12, 2009, more than 1,000 Wisconsin educators attended the Wisconsin RTI Summit in Green Bay. The summit was hosted by Wisconsin DPI, Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators (WASDA), Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, Wisconsin Association of School Curriculum Directors, Wisconsin Education Association Council, Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services, Wisconsin School Psychologists Association, Wisconsin State Reading Association, the cooperative educational service agencies, and Great Lakes West. Wisconsin DPI’s website defines RTI as “a process for achieving higher levels of academic and behavioral success for all students,” and this definition was carried through the speakers, sessions, and materials of the summit. The materials included a draft tool that DPI is developing to assist school or district teams as they go forward with RTI. The tool will help districts assess the alignment of existing RTI structures to the new DPI guidance, Guiding Principles for RTI. The guiding principles include the essential elements of RTI identified by DPI: high-quality instruction, continuous review, and collaboration. To support DPI in efforts to arm districts and schools with relevant, quality resources and tools relating to RTI, Great Lakes West prepared RTI materials for all districts in attendance.
The summit Planning Committee has scheduled a follow-up meeting to discuss survey results from the end of the event. The committee then will have the data to begin planning next year’s summit, which already is scheduled for March 2010, and initiate discussions for continued Great Lakes West support of RTI in Wisconsin throughout the next year.