Building Coherence, Collaboration, & Capacity: A Report on the Delaware Consolidated District Planning and Application Project.This report describes MACC’s experiences with the Delaware Department of Education during its major, multi-year Consolidated District Planning and Application Project, which is aimed at ensuring continuous improvement in all districts and schools. The report chronicles two stages of the project, which began in MACC’s Year One (2005–06) and continued through MACC’s Year Four (2008–09); Stage 1: Focusing on Student Needs in Consolidated District Planning, and Stage 2: Planning Strategically for District Success. To view or download the report click here.
Building State Capacity to Support Districts and Schools. Over the past years, MACC has been a partner with the state education agencies in the mid-Atlantic region in building their capacity to address a major national priority: improving K-12 student achievement, particularly among low-performing students. This new report on building state capacity to support districts and schools provides highlights of MACC's first three years working with the mid-Atlantic states in this endeavor. Click here to view or download a copy of the report.
Chronicling One State’s Progress in Building A Statewide System of
Support: A Report on the New Jersey Restructuring Schools Project. Capacity building and, specifically, local capacity building—often requires organizational changes at the state education agency (SEA) level to enable SEA staff to perform this function. Organizational changes include redefining existing SEA structures and defining new SEA roles and responsibilities so a capacity-building service delivery system can be put into place. Many states attempt to build local capacity for school improvement without making these organizational changes, which often results in uneven TA services to districts and schools.
This report chronicles the development of New Jersey’s state system of support for schools and districts. The work with the New Jersey schools has been guided by a Continuous Improvement Framework developed from examples from Victoria Bernhardt and others. This framework provides guidance for a state department of education in the necessary steps for addressing the needs of schools and districts in need of improvement, and establishes the roles and responsibilities of the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE). To view or download the report click here.
Consolidated Planning for School Districts: Developing a Planning Process. This Info Brief focuses on state efforts to implement district “consolidated planning” for school improvement, and provides a description of consolidated planning, a rational for doing it, how to get the process started, what the process looks like, and key lessons from seven states. The accompanying document provides a summary of promising practices. Click to view or download the Info Brief or the Accompanying document.
Early Lessons from Delaware Using Student Growth to Evaluate Teachers of English Language Learners. This article first presents an overview of the Delaware development process and then describes the unique challenges of identifying student growth measures for teachers of English language learners (ELLs). It includes lessons identified from observation and interviews with the Delaware student workgroup representing teachers of ELLs. In this article, ELLs refers to students identified as limited English proficient and/or enrolled in a language support program of services (e.g., English as a second language or ESL, bilingual education, or sheltered content). Click here to view or download.
Job-Embedded Professional Development: What it is, Who is Responsible, and How to Get it Done Well. The improvement of teaching and learning in America’s schools requires the ongoing support and cultivation of teachers’ talent, skills, and expertise. In support of this important endeavor, several major pieces of recent federal education regulations call for the implementation of “job-embedded professional development,” particularly in low performing schools. Unfortunately, the term job-embedded professional development is rarely explicitly defined, and questions remain on how to support the successful implementation of this potentially powerful approach to teacher learning.
To help generate a common understanding of the term and guide efforts to ensure that such learning opportunities are meaningful and effective, the Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center teamed up with the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, with input from the National Staff Development Council, to develop the attached Issue Brief.
In this Brief, you will find a description of the research on job-embedded professional development, several examples to help distinguish this type of professional development from other valuable learning opportunities, and a detailed list of the conditions necessary for successful implementation. The Brief also offers important recommendations for how states, districts, and schools can support high quality, job-embedded professional development to advance teaching and learning in all schools. Click here to view or download.
Mining Data to Support Migrant Education: A Report on the Pennsylvania Comprehensive Needs Assessment Project. This report describes MACC’s experiences with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) during its comprehensive needs assessment (CNA) process, chronicling two stages of the project, which began in MACC’s Year One (2005–06) and continued through MACC’s Year Five (2009–10): Stage 1, Identifying Student Needs with a Comprehensive Needs Assessment; and Stage 2, Building State Capacity to Support Migrant Students. Click here to view or download the report.
Patterns of Practice School Review. MACC and the Center on Innovation and Improvement (CII) in partnership with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) developed a planning process/protocol for conducting annual school reviews. This process uses research-based standards and indicators to assess local educational agencies in the areas of academic and organizational performance as outlined in NCLB. OSSE has named this process Patterns of Practice School Review (also known as POP). To view or download POP click here.
Resources for Evaluators Performing Teacher Evaluations. MACC compiled this list of resources to assist evaluators as they do pre-conferences with teachers, observe classes, and discuss what they observed with the teachers. To view or download the list of resources click here.
School-Wide Best Practices Report. This report presents a summary of the research on best practices in Title I schoolwide programs, and provides overarching guidelines that meta-analyses and large scale studies indicate lead to improve student achievement. The Prospects Study (1999) and the Urban and Suburban/Rural Special Strategies for Educating Disadvantaged Children: Findings and Policy Implications of a Longitudinal Study (1997) provide some broad guidelines related to Title I programs. In addition, a substantial body of research exists about general school improvement initiatives correlated with improved student achievement. A summary of this research is presented in this report.
Robert Marzano and his colleagues compiled a comprehensive study correlating various factors with student achievement. They have collected and analyzed large-scale studies from the past 25 years that link school-, classroom-, and student-level factors with student achievement gains. The report summarizes their study focus on School Leadership-Level Factors at the first order and second order changes level, School-Level Factors, Teacher-Level Factors, Student-Level Factors, District-Level Practices and Additional Best Practices.To view or download the report click here.
Strengthening the Transition from Middle Grades to High School. This new study by MACC and partner SREB identifies and evaluates state policies and practices implemented in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and provides recommendations that can help to--
- Raise statewide middle grades curriculum and assessment standards to align with challenging high school standards
- Communicate the importance of literacy, mathematics, science and social studies at the middle grades level
- Prepare teachers to teach challenging content in the middle grades. Enable middle grades students to receive extra help when they have difficulty mastering challenging academic core content
- Prepare school leaders to lead practices that improve students' transition into challenging high school courses
- provide the technical assistance that low-performing middle grades schools need to turn around
- Provide the necessary guidance and advisement opportunities that middle grades students and their parents need to plan for high school, postsecondary learning and a career.
To view or download the study click here.
Technical Assistance Review: Education Management Organizations, Charter Management Organizations, and Charter Schools. This report draws together a wide array of research on the effectiveness of charter schools run by EMOs and CMOs generally, and a select number of specific charter schools to assess whether, on average, there is a clear confirmation that charter schools outperform traditional public schools (TPSs) in raising student achievement levels. Click here to view or download the report.