Number of Current Projects: 5

Proposed Technical Assistance in Indiana: Year 5

Overview of Planned Work

During Year 4, the Great Lakes Comprehensive Center (GLCC) state manager met regularly with the IDOE chief of staff and deputy superintendent, and at regular intervals with the superintendent, assistant superintendent for school improvement, assistant superintendent for school support services, and chief information officer. GLCC project leads met regularly with IDOE staff to ensure that projects were being implemented and high-quality technical assistance was being provided. Through this close interaction, and in technical assistance planning sessions on June 14 and August 3, 2016, GLCC leadership and IDOE’s superintendent, deputy, chief of staff, assistant superintendents, and chief information officer confirmed five projects for Year 5, as described below. All five projects are aligned with one or more of the priorities set forth in Imagine 2020, and with the key federal initiatives.

Project 1: Continuous Organizational Improvement for Increased Efficacy

GLCC will continue to assist IDOE in institutionalizing the staff practices of its strategic plan. Year 5 represents the next major phase in supporting the increasing human, organizational, structural, material, and political capacity of IDOE. The IDOE strategic plan sites goals to improve internal and external communication. To support IDOE in pursuit of these goals, GLCC has partnered with the Center on Building State Capacity and Productivity (BSCP) to include IDOE in two national communication building initiatives. IDOE is a member of the BSCP Strategic Communications Benchmarking Project and also the BSCP Strategic Performance Management Guiding Coalition. This project lays the groundwork for the rest of GLCC’s technical assistance projects with IDOE.

Project 2: Excellent Educators

This continuing project from year 4 deepens GLCC’s support to IDOE in implementing Indiana’s Excellent Educators for All plan of 2015 and specifically targets a state-wide educator shortage that the Superintendent has recently been addressing through the Indiana Blue Ribbon Commission on the Recruitment and Retention of Excellent Educators (BRC). In year 5, GLCC will broker collaborative relationships with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL) and the AIR Educator Effectiveness content team to support IDOE in implementing eight strategies of the BRC: Mentoring, positive press, compensation, evaluation and assessment, diverse workforce, clinical experience, professional development, and career pathways and leadership. Through pursuit of this project, GLCC, GTL, and the AIR Educator Effectiveness content team will support IDOE in writing and implementing a powerful plan in response to ESSA.

Project 3: Success for All Learners

To effectively lead LEAs in creating positive school climate and culture and implementing varied services and supports for student success, IDOE has requested ongoing assistance from GLCC to improve communication, coordination, and leveraging across offices within the department. GLCC technical assistance will include support in the writing and implementation of a powerful response to ESSA concerning school climate and culture and effective instructional and support services to meet learners’ unique individual needs.

Project 4: Support for the State Development Network (SDN) Local Education Agencies (LEAs)

GLCC will support IDOE in guiding the SDN and providing leadership and resources to nine LEAs in SDN cohort 1 and nine LEAs in cohort 2. Cohort 1 addresses systems change with LEAs that have high numbers of focus and priority schools. Cohort 2 addresses graduation gaps with a set of LEAs in which schools have A, B, and C ratings, but serious achievement gaps.  GLCC will support many of the objectives listed in Project 3 (Success for All Learners) within this project and in particular, the SDN, with increased intensity and frequency. This project builds upon Year 4 Project on Personalized Pathways to Academic Achievement for All Learners.

Project 5: Indiana Standards and Assessments

GLCC will support IDOE in meeting the challenge to lead LEAs in delivering effective instruction on the Indiana Academic Standards for ELA, math, science, the WIDA standards, and the Early Learning Foundations.  GLCC will also partner with the Center on Standards and Assessments Improvement (CSAI) to provide neutral and objective content expertise and collaborative planning to IDOE as it faces the challenge of working with the state legislature and State Board of Education on the future of statewide, annual, grade-level assessments. This work transitions from Year 4 into establishing a process for IDOE’s writing and implementing a powerful response to ESSA concerning standards and assessments.

Potential Future Work

The five projects described above represent the core of GLCC work in year 5. Pending availability of resources, GLCC is prepared to respond to emerging needs within each of these projects. All five projects, especially Project 1, Indiana Department of Education Continuous Organizational Improvement for Increased Efficacy, are designed with the flexibility to respond to emerging needs.