In Year 6, after identifying more than 25 federally funded technical assistance centers working with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), the Great Lakes Comprehensive Center (GLCC) collaborated with MDE to produce a Strategic Technical Assistance online repository that details existing federally funded external technical assistance partnerships and technical assistance alignments with MDE’s Top 10 in 10 Years strategic plan. GLCC also began drafting a process for selecting and documenting technical assistance to ensure alignment to the MDE strategic plan. In Year 7, a guidance document detailing the finalized process for selecting and documenting technical assistance will be completed. GLCC will conduct trainings across MDE to ensure that all staff are aware of the guidance document and learn to use the new process.
The project supports MDE’s goal 7: Develop an innovative and cohesive state education agency (SEA) that supports an aligned, coherent education system. It also ensures that, for key Michigan initiatives, greater efficiency can be attained when each technical assistance provider project is aligned with the MDE strategic plan and coordinated with other technical assistance providers. As a result of this work, MDE will serve as national model for aligned technical assistance seeing increased collaboration among technical assistance providers to share resources, align objectives, and support best technical assistance practices to support MDE.
Despite small improvements in reading and mathematics scores on the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), state NAEP scores are still at or near the bottom third of all states. The 2017 NAEP results indicate that Michigan ranks 35th in fourth-grade reading, 38th in fourth-grade math, 33rd in eighth-grade math, and 30th in eighth-grade reading. Driven by diverse funding streams, including federal and legislative mandates, multiple educational initiatives are being implemented across the department, yet significant impact on student achievement has yet to be realized. MDE receives a wide range of technical assistance services from multiple external providers. However, technical assistance that is not well aligned with state goals leads to fragmentation, reduced impact, and confusion.
Milestone 1. Process for selecting and documenting technical assistance to ensure alignment with the strategic plan. (11/1/2018)
Milestone 2. Guidance document developed for MDE staff to implement the process for selecting and documenting technical assistance that is aligned with the MDE strategic plan. (12/30/2018)
Milestone 3. Science-driven usability testing of the process and guidance document completed resulting in modifications to the process and documents. (3/1/2019)
Milestone 4. Bi-monthly training sessions provided to all MDE offices on selecting, documenting, aligning, and coordinating the technical assistance of federally funded technical assistance providers working with MDE. (5/30/2019)
Milestone 5. Training on use of the Strategic Technical Assistance Partnerships Toolkit (process and tools) provided to other comprehensive centers upon request, and widely disseminate the toolkit to technical assistance providers and SEAs. (6/30/2019)
Milestone 6. Four virtual working sessions among technical assistance providers to train MDE technical assistance providers on MDE’s new way of selecting and documenting technical assistance. (8/20/2019)
Expected Capacity Building Outcomes
Primary: Improved organizational structures and processes
Secondary: Improved intra- and inter-organizational relationships
- Improved organizational structures and processes at MDE to coordinate and collaborate around technical assistance
- Improved inter-organizational relationships among technical assistance providers to deliver more efficient, coordinated, and aligned services to MDE
- Process for selecting and documenting technical assistance
- Guidance document for MDE staff
- Science-driven usability testing of the process and guidance document
- Bi-monthly training sessions provided to all MDE offices
- Quarterly working sessions among technical assistance providers
- Training on use of the Strategic Technical Assistance Partnerships Toolkit (process and tools) provided to other comprehensive centers upon request, and dissemination to technical assistance providers and SEAs