Addressing the Needs of SEAs around the Implementation of Effective Educator Systems, School Improvement Grant Models, and Common Core Standards
Implementation of School Improvement Grants and Teacher Effectiveness Systems
MACC enhanced its state work by providing the five MACC state education agencies with access to information and tools that address struggling schools. Specifically, MACC planned and hosted regional events to build SEA knowledge and skills related to implementation and evaluation of school improvement grants, and teacher effectiveness systems, including student growth models. MACC’s efforts included collaborations with the Appalachian Regional Comprehensive Center (ARCC) in providing information about effective state actions in order to build the knowledge and skills in specific areas of need in the mid-Atlantic and other regions.
Addressing SEA Needs in Dispersing Stimulus Funds
With the signing of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Education Spending, states were provided with a unique opportunity to use these additional Federal funds to strengthen their SSOS. In year 5, MACC and ARCC continued to address questions that SEAs have as they work to disburse ARRA funds and apply for Race to the Top funds. MACC provided information on: (1) ideas for SEAs to use when applying for Race to the Top (RTTT) funds, and (2) provide suggestions and examples about guidance for the use of School Improvement Funds at the LEA level. The purpose of this regional project was to provide information to SEAs on effective evidence-based ways to coherently address the four assurance areas of the ARRA funds through their Statewide System of Support. The four assurance areas are as follows: (1) Standards and assessment (2) Teacher effectiveness and equity (3) Data systems, and (4) Low performing schools. MACC, in collaboration with ARCC, provided information about effective state actions aligned to each assurance area in the Mid-Atlantic and other states.
In year 5, MACC assisted SEAs by providing information about what other states are doing in the four ARRA and RTTT assurance areas of standards and assessments, data systems, teacher effectiveness and equity, and effective interventions with struggling schools. In particular, MACC worked with SEAs to demonstrate the connection between these areas and their state system of support and assisted states in making connections between the ARRA competitive and statutory funds. Using the Web conference format, MACC demonstrated how each area connects as well as increased SEA knowledge about how ARRA funds can be used to build a coherent statewide system of support. This Web conference provided assistance on how these ARRA funds can be used to enhance their statewide systems of support.
Response to Intervention
Over Year 4 MACC facilitated an expert working group tasked with providing recommendations for establishing English language learner (ELL) guidelines for Response to Intervention (RTI). The working group consisted of experts that included researchers, practitioners and representatives of state departments of education knowledgeable about RTI generally, general educators, and educators who specialize in ELLs. Findings from the working group addressed RTI practices associated with either implementation or student achievement. MACC disseminated the findings through on-line InfoBriefs and through a series of webinars for Comprehensive Center Directors and SEAs. The overarching goal of this project was to refine state practices by working with the existing community of practice on expanding RTI for ELLs at the secondary level with a focus on literacy.
Spotlight Webconference Series
In Year 4 MACC continued its series of webconferences to address Mid-Atlantic States' needs around specific features of their statewide systems of support.
At the first webconference in the Spotlight Series, May 2008, Amelia Hodges, Director at the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE), and Lori Duerr, Education Associate, DDOE, presented Delaware's State System of Support: What we learned from a Self-Assessment.
The second webconference, Affecting Change with School Improvement Funds, August 2008, Carlas McCauley (US Department of Education) and Jim Kohlmoos (Knowledge Alliance) provided examples of how some state education agencies are creatively using school improvement funds to support technical assistance statewide.
The third webconference, October 2008 focused on how the New Jersey Department of Education used school needs assessment data to drive technical assistance to schools and districts in need of improvement.
The fourth webconference January 2009 featured the state of Virginia, and provided an opportunity for in-depth discussion about Virginia's use of the CII SSOS framework as a tool for school improvement at the state, district and school level.
During Year 2 (2006-2007), MACC held three regional forums with accompanying follow-up. These high quality professional development forums and follow-up activities focused on Goals Two and Three - enabling State Education Agency (SEAs) representatives to network, increase their knowledge-base in specific content areas, and share their expertise with colleagues.
Over Year 3 MACC provided in-depth, focused technical assistance through two regional institutes: A State System of Support Pre-Institute and an English language learner (ELL) Institute. These two-day events conducted by experts focused on enhancing statewide systems of support in partnership with the Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center (ARCC). Pre and Post-Institute regional activities helped to inform, enhance and provide follow up to the work of the Institutes.
In state needs assessments conducted Spring 2005 and again in Spring 2006, MACC identified three common needs across all Mid-Atlantic states. Based on those needs, the following 3 projects were collaboratively planned with the SEAs:
- Leadership for the Elementary to Secondary Transition Years
- Restructuring & Corrective Action Forum
[contains Nov. 2006 forum materials]
- Using Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAO) Data to Support District Improvement
These 3 regional projects involved cross-state sharing of information via regional forums. To develop content for those forums, the following steps were performed:
- Conduct a needs assessment with the SEA. The Regional Advisory Board will assist with identifying stakeholders
- Write a state of the region report on challenges
- Use the resources of the appropriate Content Comprehensive Center to align evidence-based strategies with identified challenges.
- In collaboration with the 5 Mid-Atlantic SEAs, develop a plan for the regional forum
- MACC-SEA plan and follow-up
For more information about MACC's Regional Projects please contact MACC's Regional Events Coordinator, Tracy Runfola Tressler at email@example.com