Wisconsin Record of Service
Great Lakes West State Manager: Al Hovey
The Great Lakes West Comprehensive Center works collaboratively with representatives from Wisconsin to provide capacity-building technical assistance for current state initiatives regarding No Child Left Behind (NCLB) implementation. The state manager provides regular updates on the progress of these initiatives. Following is the latest record of service for Wisconsin, carried out in collaboration with Great Lakes West staff members, subcontractors, Advisory Council members, and state department of education staff members (last updated October 2007).
Collaboration With Other Centers
One of the charges to Great Lakes West from the U.S. Department of Education is to collaborate with other centers serving Wisconsin. In August, Great Lakes West had the opportunity to meet with the Equity Assistance Center at the University of Michigan (one of 10 such centers nationwide), which has worked in Wisconsin for many years. Unlike the regional comprehensive centers, the SEAs do not have a specific client and can work with specific districts at their request. The purpose of the meeting was to share information on each organization, compare technical assistance work, and share materials and tools available as resources for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). It was determined that periodic contacts would help us work together on similar technical assistance within the state. Teacher quality training that the Equity Assistance Center has been conducting in Wisconsin for 12 years was seen as an immediate connection with the teacher quality work being conducted by Great Lakes West.
Statewide Systems of Support
The Second Annual Institute for School Improvement and Education Options sponsored by the Center on Innovation & Improvement (CII) was held in September. It provided a platform for Wisconsin to refocus on statewide systems of support. Participants examined the present research base, heard about case studies on this topic, and received the new CII Handbook on Statewide Systems of Support.
Response to Intervention
Great Lakes West staff attended a leadership summit in Minnesota in September, which hosted approximately 30 attendees from several districts in Wisconsin.
On June 25–26, Wisconsin DPI and Great Lakes West collaborated to host the Wisconsin Initial Educator Support Seminar in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. The seminar brought together representatives from the following groups: DPI staff, school boards, district administrators, teacher unions, institutes of higher education, intermediate education agencies, initial educators, and professional organizations. The seminar outlined three main goals:
- Highlight the benefits of supporting initial educators.
- Create a plan for communicating the benefits of supporting initial educators to school districts and other employers.
- Establish a collaborative agenda and shared responsibilities for supporting initial educators.
These goals were met by first presenting participants with research data from NCCTQ that illustrated how supporting initial educators benefits students and school districts. Next, participants identified key findings from the presented data and aligned them with the priorities of their stakeholder group. Participants then worked to develop an action plan for promoting initial educator support programs to their respective stakeholder groups. An evaluation conducted at the seminar's conclusion gave high ratings overall to the quality, relevance, and utility of the seminar, with relevance receiving the highest rating from respondents. It is anticipated that surveys of inductees and mentors conducted for this seminar will be repeated in 2008, and a second seminar will build on the Initial Educator Support System Seminar held earlier this year.
Drafts of several documents coming out of the seminar are being finalized. Next, Great Lakes West will support professional development and new research on induction/mentoring and what it means to be an effective teacher. A Great Lakes West website focusing on teacher quality will soon be available; it will feature survey results on teacher induction/mentoring.
High School Redesign
Work continues on the American Diploma Project and Partnership for 21st Century Skills (ADP/P21) in the areas of English language arts and mathematics. The leadership and design teams will both be very active in the upcoming months as they work on standards in the two targeted areas.
According to the needs statement for the Adolescent Literacy Task Force, "As adolescent literacy activities increase, it is essential to have a comprehensive, carefully considered plan to guide action at the state and local levels." Danielle Carnahan of Great Lakes West is facilitating the Adolescent Literacy Task Force that was formed in May. Work has been moving along with several meetings being held to date. Terry Salinger of the American Institutes for Research, with years of experience in this area, has joined in the facilitation of the task force.