Project 4: English Learners with Suspected Disabilities

State Plan

Develop and implement evidence-based, results-driven programs to meet the needs of all students, including differentiated services and instruction for special populations (with a focus on ELs).

As MDE implements new statewide assessments and teacher evaluation systems, the department also must comply with the requirements of ED’s Excellent Educators for All initiative. By coordinating the efforts for three initiatives within one project, MDE is taking steps to ensure that instruction is aligned to the new standards and assessments and the state is implementing its Educator Equity Plan.

Aligned Instruction. In June 2014, the Michigan Legislature required that MDE develop a new statewide assessment (M-STEP), which was first administered in spring 2015. MDE is aware that educators need support to change instruction to align with the new standards and assessments and asked GLCC for assistance. GLCC will collaborate with CSAI to support MDE to build educator capacity to align instruction to state standards and new assessments.

SLOs. In 2011–12, Michigan districts implemented new legislation regarding educator evaluations. The new law requires that evaluations be based “in significant part” on student growth and used to inform decisions regarding educator placement, promotion, compensation, and retention. In the first and second years of implementation of this law (2011–12 and 2012–13), districts were permitted to develop, implement, or maintain their own unique systems that met the basic requirements outlined in the law. MDE has requested GLCC support to develop training, tools, and guidance on the implementation of SLOs, which are course-long academic goals designed to measure student growth.

Equitable Access. ED’s Excellent Educators for All initiative requires that states and districts identify and reduce gaps in access to excellent educators in high-minority and high-poverty schools. GLCC served as the relationship broker between the GTL Center and MDE to review resources to support the development of the state’s Educator Equity Plan and codevelop a timeline for writing the plan. GLCC will provide technical assistance to MDE to support the implementation of the strategies outlined in the plan.

Progress to Date: GLCC…

  • Supported MDE in developing an original SLO template and checklist to support educators in the SLO development and approval process.

  • Supported MDE in developing a frequently asked questions document designed to answer educators’ introductory questions about using SLOs.
  • Collaborated with MDE and local stakeholders (members of districts and ISDs) to develop resources and guidance on SLO implementation.
  • Brokered a relationship between MDE and the GTL Center to support the development of the Michigan Educator Equity Plan.
  • Introduced the GTL Center’s Talent Development Framework for 21st Century Educators to the newly formed MDE Office of Talent Management to inform the office’s work.

Research and Resources

The following GTL Center resources will guide the technical assistance: Equity Allies: How School Leaders Can Promote Equitable Educational Opportunities (Rigby, 2014), Time to Reboot Educator Equity Plans (Coggshall, 2014), establishing an equity workgroup,1convening stakeholders in an equity workgroup,2 and Moving Toward Equity Stakeholder Engagement Guide (GTL Center, 2014).