Wisconsin Record of Service
Great Lakes West State Manager: Al Hovey
High School Redesign
Great Lakes West continues to provide assistance to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) on developing the high school redesign website, Designing High Schools for Success. The website will include resources and links that support the four major recommendations of the State Superintendent's High School Task Force Report: authentic learning, innovation, lifelong learning plan, and partnerships. It will be useful for various stakeholders: policymakers, community, families, and educators. The website designers anticipate that the website will become available soon. The Great Lakes West website will have a link available when the new site becomes live.
Great Lakes West staff and four cross-divisional DPI staff members attended the Regional High School Dialogue "Multiple Pathways to Graduation" on September 10 and 11, 2008. Participants increased their awareness of strategies to improve student engagementa factor in dropout preventionand examined challenges that might inhibit the development and implementation of multiple pathways to graduation. The latest research on multiple pathways drove the meeting to a considerable extent, and the National High School Center presented a new planning tool for high school redesign. This tool, Eight Elements of High School Improvement: A Mapping Framework, provides more information on the topic and forms part of this issue's feature article.
Updates from the data and research seminars held this past summer are now available on the Great Lakes West Wisconsin Teacher Quality website. Also available are presentation materials from both seminars, and the 2008 survey results will appear on the site soon.
Statewide System of Support
Great Lakes West and DPI staff attended the annual CII conference on September 22–23 in Chicago. Participants familiarized themselves with technical assistance available from CII on restructuring or turnarounds, supplemental educational services, and statewide systems of support. Participants had ample opportunity to meet and interact with researchers, comprehensive center staff, and state personnel.
Great Lakes West, along with Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest, is assisting Wisconsin DPI with its new assessment task force. Great Lakes West and REL Midwest will provide information about how other states are changing their assessment systems to include critical thinking, creativity, and application of skills to real-world problems, workplace or college readiness, and 21st century skills.
Specifically, State Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster asked the task force to make recommendations on the following issues:
The components that a state assessment system should include so that teachers and parents have timely information to make decisions about modifying instruction for students and about the progress of schools toward grade-level proficiency targets
The role of assessment as it fits with content standards, instruction, professional development, and intervention models
The assessment strategies and delivery modes that provide the greatest promise for accurately demonstrating student attainment of 21st century skills
Supplemental Funding Received
Great Lakes West has received a supplemental funding grant from the U.S. Department of Education focused on special education to assist DPI in supporting its schools and districts. Great Lakes West will help DPI create a set of resources to provide guidance to individualized education program teams in developing standards-based goals. This step is the first in a series of activities that DPI will carry out to enhance Wisconsin's accountability system as it affects students with disabilities. The proposal offers a comprehensive approach to building the state's capacity by providing high-quality, relevant, and useful information; helping the state find solutions to the needs of its schools and districts; and supporting the state staff and key stakeholders as they create improved tools and materials for educators.