Technical Assistance in Michigan: Year 6

Overview of Planned Work

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

To help the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) improve school climate and student outcomes throughout Michigan, in Year 6 the Great Lakes Comprehensive Center (GLCC) worked with MDE to develop online professional learning resources for educators to build local education agencies’ (LEAs’) capacity to integrate Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) into existing initiatives. The SEL project continues to build MDE capacity to support LEAs in creating safe and supportive conditions for learning, and to equip all students to achieve academic success. As part of Michigan’s plan to become a Top 10 in 10 Years education state, MDE has recognized the need to expand this work to focus explicitly on creating systems that support the academic and social success of students, enabling them to reach their highest potential.

Early Warning System Supports

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states, districts, and schools to hold all students to high academic standards that prepare them for careers and college. ESSA also requires accountability systems to be established to identify students who are falling behind, so resources can be directed to helping them and their schools to improve. Michigan’s early warning system (EWS) tool strengthens the ability of the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and local educational agencies (LEAs) to identify students who are falling behind; however, having a tool to identify at-risk students is only one part of the solution. To support MDE efforts to build LEAs’ capacity to implement the evidence-based Early Warning Intervention and Monitoring System (EWIMS), Great Lakes Comprehensive Center (GLCC) co-developed training resources that MDE and intermediate school districts (ISDs) can use to provide training on implementing the EWIMS process.

Strategic Partnerships

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.

Leadership Coaching

The MDE asked the Great Lakes Comprehensive Center (GLCC) to provide a targeted one-to-one coaching to deepen the individual leadership skills of each member of the Deputy Leadership Team to enhance and build on the team’s collective capacity to lead the agency in implementing the Michigan Top 10 in 10 Years Strategic Plan. MDE’s goal is to transform from a compliance-driven agency to a support-focused organization that provides quality support to schools and districts.

Equitable Education and Student Access

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) Top 10 in 10 Years strategic plan states that MDE’s mission is to support learning and learners. The plan contains the following goals: (1) provide every child access to an aligned, high-quality P–20 system from early childhood to postsecondary attainment—through a multi-stakeholder collaboration with business and industry, labor, and higher education—to maximize lifetime learning and success, and (2) reduce the impact of high-risk factors, including poverty, and provide equitable resources to meet the needs of all students to ensure that they have access to quality educational opportunities. MDE recognizes that the need to ensure all learners are supported equitably requires addressing systemic inequities. Therefore, it has requested Great Lakes Comprehensive Center’s (GLCC’s) assistance in Year 7 to explore Michigan data to identify current disparities in student academic outcomes and to use research and evidence-based practices to develop recommendations for a state equity plan. The plan will help MDE address educational inequities. MDE's ultimate goal is to ensure students receive the instruction, interventions, and supports needed to graduate college and career ready.