Avoiding Alignment Fatigue: How Utah is Leveraging Concurrent Initiatives

The CEEDAR Center staff and its intensive technical assistance (TA) state team members believe that reforming professional learning systems for teachers and leaders will result in improved student outcomes. Implementing comprehensive reform can cause educators to suffer initiative fatigue and can make the best of intentions fail.

The CEEDAR Center staff is aware of this potential challenge and is intentional about aligning efforts—attempting to leverage, not layer, efforts. One of the first conversations we have with state leadership teams in each state is how CEEDAR goals can align with ongoing work in the individual states

Utah is one of many states that has worked to diligently align state resources. Diana Suddreth, director of teaching and learning at the Utah State Office of Education, says, “If you pay attention to alignment from the beginning, you will find ways to merge many of your initiatives for greater system coherence.” Coherence can eliminate duplication of efforts, allowing initiatives to complement one another.

Glenna Gallo, state director of special education at the Utah State Office of Education, reports that “CEEDAR support and TA, during our alignment efforts, were critical in teaching us to look at the bigger picture to combat initiative fatigue. This allowed us to identify how to use what was in place, repurpose some tasks, and only add to fill gaps.”

To learn more about how Utah aligned the array of good efforts taking place in education in the state, review the policy and practice portrait Aligning Efforts: Reading Coherence Through Strategic Collaboration. We also have available a recent presentation with Glenna Gallo and Sydnee Dickson (interim state superintendent of public instruction), highlighting their purposeful approaches to reform.

Questions or Comments?
Contact us at ceedar@coe.ufl.edu