State Highlights

See what’s happening in our states!

Oregon publishes award winning report on educator equity.

In 2018, the Oregon Legislature launched the Educator Advancement Council (EAC) to establish educator networks to help school districts in their respective regions improve systems designed to support educators at each stage of their career from recruitment through teacher leadership and career advancement. The new system was designed to lead change from the inside out by engaging frontline educators in collaboration with community resources to build on past successes, and adapt support to meet the needs of today’s education workforce and students.

The group’s mission statement related to educator equity states:

The presence of teachers of color in Oregon classrooms is severely limited. Research has shown when students of color have educators who mirror their demographics, all students benefit. The Oregon Educator Equity Advisory Group (OEEAG) is committed to diversifying the educator workforce and improving cultural responsiveness in schools. We do this by:

· Reviewing data at the district level and documenting progress of current initiatives and

· Recommending new statewide investments and engaging the public to identify needed changes.

This group then developed a plan based on consideration of increasing:

(a) Educator retention; (b) Educator diversity; (c) Mentoring and coaching of educators; (d) Participation in educator preparation programs; and (e) Educator scholarships.

This plan resulted in the Oregon Educator Equity Report, which received the 2019 Diversified Teaching Workforce Research Award from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). The research leadership embodied by Oregon’s report advances the current understanding of how to diversify the teacher workforce to enhance educational opportunities for all students.

This document is available here: 2019 Educator Equity Report

View the 2020 Educator Equity Report

Drs. Kyena Cornelius and Jinger Gustafson from Minnesota State University, Mankato co-authored a recent article in TEACHING Exceptional Children titled “Relationships with School Administrators: Leveraging Knowledge and Data to Self-advocate.” This paper is part of a special issue on Teacher Advocacy and may be a wonderful resource for CEEDAR states. Check it out!

TEACHING Exceptional Children. Volume 53 Issue 3 January-February 2021. Pages 206-214.

The University of St. Thomas in Minnesota received a U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant and will initiate a charter school consortium teacher residency partnership to prepare new educators. The TQP project focuses on an integrated residency preparation with practice-based learning experiences, advanced professional development to build teacher leadership skills, and a multi-tiered system of comprehensive induction supports to retain educators who engage in effective practices (evidence-based, high leverage, culturally sustaining) in high-need areas.

The WA Goal 4 team created an implementation guide and will use the Washington statewide equity plan and the WA equity profiles to inform the work outlined in the WA CEEDAR Blueprint.

Statewide equity plan: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/equitable/waequityplan9415.pdf

WA Equity profiles: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/equitable/waequityplan9415.pdf

The CEEDAR Brief Addressing Shortages of Educators in an Uncertain COVID-19 Landscape: Viewing Teacher Candidates as Assets was instrumental in promoting effective practice across the state of MN. MN’s Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB), as a result of being a part of the state CEEDAR team, disseminated the brief across the state as a resource for EPP’s to use in navigating uncertainties with clinical practice during COVID-19.

As part of AZ’s Blueprint goal 1 on data literacy, a research team at Northern Arizona University compiled findings on data literacy in the Teaching and Assessing Data Literacy:  Resource Guide for Supporting Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers.  The purpose of the guide is intended to support the work of instructors in developing data literacy learning objectives, instruction, and measures.

The Guide has 3 sections:

1:  Data Literacy Definitions, Learning Outcomes, and Frameworks

2:  Instructional Resources for Teaching Data Literacy and Statistical Literacy to Pre-Service and Early Career In-Service Teachers

3:  Data Literacy, Statistical Literacy, and Graph Literacy Measures

The user-friendly guide includes a Table of Contents as well as web links throughout the document that are active hyperlinks.

The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) and representatives of four educator preparation programs (EPPs) worked collaboratively to implement the Teacher Empowerment Project (TEP) in Winter 2019 and Spring 2020 to explore which strategies might be effective in retaining early career special education teachers. The overall aim of the project, in addition to collaborating with and supporting the targeted districts, is to use lessons learned from the pilot project to support additional school districts in the state.

Teachers for the TEP were identified from a pool of teachers who participated in a summer induction program offered by ADE in 2019.  In a follow-up with districts, three agreed (Tucson Unified, Florence Unified, Marana Unified) to participate in the TEP. Teachers in the participating districts were surveyed to determine the supports they were receiving as new teachers and the additional supports they identified as needing.  Based on these reports, ADE and EPPs designed and implemented teacher webinars that were followed by virtual discussions with the special education administrators.

Although the webinars for teachers were found to be useful, an unexpected valuable outcome of the project has been the rich discussions with special education administrators and the supports they express needing to be effective at training new teachers and working with principals and mentors to support these teachers.

The TEP is part of Blueprint Goal 3 work on Partnerships.

Utah selected 5 HLPs, identified by the SLT and confirmed by state stakeholder groups, to focus professional learning, provide micro-credentials, and embed within teacher evaluation tools.  These HLPs are:

1. Use student assessment data, analyze instructional practices, and make necessary adjustments in collaboration with professionals to improve student outcomes.

2. Using strategies to promote active student engagement.

3. Systematically design instruction toward a specific learning goal, including the use of explicit instruction and scaffolded supports.

4. Provide positive and constructive feedback to guide students’ learning and behavior.

5. Establish a consistent, organized, and respectful learning environment.

The Kentucky Department of Education identified six HLPs that will be embedded into EPP program approval and part of a new senate bill. Kentucky is prioritizing communicating resources to EPP faculty about integrating HLPs into their programs.

Faculty members from Kentucky EPPs, the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, and the Kentucky Department of Education kicked off initial EPP reform planning efforts by establishing the vision for the work of the CEEDAR Center State Leadership Team: “Every learner taught by effective teachers and every district and school led by effective leaders to ensure excellence and equity.” These initial efforts resulted in launching an initiative called Kentucky Excellence in Educator Preparation (KEEP). As described in this article, key influencers from 18 EPPs and seven local districts came together to champion program improvement efforts and to scale the state’s CEEDAR Center efforts. To maintain momentum, the Kentucky team developed a strategic communications plan that leveraged existing partners and their communication outlets to share key messages, increase awareness, and secure buy-in and engagement; for example, the Commissioner of Education’s policy blog, the Kentucky Department of Education’s Kentucky Teacher bulletin board, the Education Professional Standards Board newsletters, and the Kentucky Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. In addition, the team developed a statewide e-mail bulletin board to regularly communicate efforts and increase awareness and engagement.

The Ohio state leadership team leveraged an existing infrastructure—the Ohio Deans Compact on Exceptional Children—to advance efforts to revise preparation programs and relevant state policies as part of its CEEDAR Center collaboration. This overview illustrates how the compact leveraged strategic engagement from critical stakeholder groups (e.g., the Statewide P–16 Collaborative, the Ohio Clinical Alliance, statewide educator associations, the Ohio Education Association, the Ohio Parent Teacher Association, private foundations).

The TN-CEEDAR state leadership team recently hosted a shortages informational session for EPPs across the state. Participants listened to a presentation presented by Lucky Mason-Williams of the new brief, Addressing Shortages of Educators in an Uncertain COVID-19 Landscape: Viewing Teacher Candidates as Assets. Following the presentation, participants were placed in breakout sessions of their choice, based on a brief needs assessment sent to them by the TN-CEEDAR SLT team weeks before the session. During this thought partner session, over 70 participants interacted with CEEDAR staff and faculty from EPPs across the state of Tennessee to discuss successes and challenges faced with student teaching and placement in the time of COVID-19. Participants thought this time with other EPPs was valuable, so much so we will offer another session during the month of September, highlighting the resources of the CEEDAR Center and offering time for faculty to debrief about the beginning of the new semester.

Members of the Colorado SLT’s Inclusive Leadership steering committee worked together to facilitate an ongoing Professional Learning Community for 10 out of the 11 Leadership Preparation Programs in the state. These 10 programs represent a variety of contexts (ranging from EPPs in rural to urban contexts) and populations served. These preparation programs work together towards the common goals of collaborative learning and continuous improvement, program alignment, addressing constraints related to credits and costs. An example of an outcome that was achieved through the Colorado Principal PLC, was that all participating programs were able to align on a definition for inclusive principal leadership, which will ensure consistency across the state of Colorado.

In addition to the opportunity to collaborate with other leadership preparation programs, this PLC also provides EPPs with the opportunity to connect with the Colorado Department of Education and Colorado Department of Higher Education through discussion and collaboration. Recently, PLC members had the opportunity to provide Colorado Department of Education’s Educator Talent Division with feedback on their Principal Resource Hub before it was disseminated to the public.

Response to the PLC has been overwhelmingly positive by participating EPPs and faculty members. One participant from an EPP with no prior familiarity to the work of CEEDAR or the Colorado State Leadership Team effused, “Thank you all for the opportunity to observe and participate. With our program still being in the early stages, I feel much ready to embrace future challenges with all of you as resources.”

The Colorado SLT intends to continue hosting these professional learning community meetings quarterly.

The NHEESS (New Hampshire Educator Effectiveness for Student Success) team is moving their work forward re: building teacher and leadership capacity and partnerships across the state with the implementation of 4 mini-grant pilot projects this fall and spring.  Two IHE’s and multiple districts will be involved in these pilots. NHEESS will also be funding a process to develop a communication plan through which information about the projects will be disseminated across the state. One is creating a focus on leadership capacity through regional leadership consortium by creating cohorts of principals to learn more inclusive practices, support and push each others’ practice throughout the year for both candidates and in-service leaders. Another is to create a more equitable culture for students and teachers while developing teacher leaders. To develop teacher leaders who will be creating structures, modeling learner centered practices and reflecting on outcomes through a continual improvement lens to better respond to the needs of all students while leveraging new community partnerships through an equity lens. While another district in partnership with an IHE will be reviewing and redesigning a mentorship program to align better with understanding and using HLPs. The fourth mini grant will be supporting the effort to better understand the existing regional partnerships from a LEA point of view with recommendations of best practices and further considerations.

Since the 2018 CEEDAR Convening, the Rhode Island State Leadership Team recommitted themselves to becoming more representative and inclusive while actively engaging in blueprint development and implementation efforts. As a result, each goal subgroup is working on tasks and activities to realize goals that will lead to improved educator preparation and clinical practice, ultimately benefiting all PK-12 learners. The state is now nearing completion of two state-approved partnership agreements, while also focusing on strengthening educator preparation reform efforts around culturally responsive and sustaining education, as well as literacy.

Shout out to the MT Big Sky Five Team! They are in the final stages of completing their HLP Hub Module with plans for the module to be posted on the Office of Public Instruction’s website this Spring. To disseminate their work on the First Big Sky Five HLPs, the team recently shared their work at a local virtual conference, and are currently working on a manuscript outlining the research undertaken to determine their first HLP target areas. To share their work with a wider audience, the team worked hard to craft a website showcasing their work. Please take a moment to view the webpage: https://www.mtceedar.org. Finally, the team recently applied for and received additional funding to support the scale up of their HLP work through course revisions and eventually scale up at other institutions. At least 9 courses are set to be revised! Congratulations to the MT Big Sky Five team!

10/21/2020

Educator preparation program (EPP) partners in MS used the Culturally Responsive Teaching Innovation Configuration to revise their course syllabi and programs to ensure all teacher candidates are prepared to teach diverse learners. One EPP, the University of Mississippi, also created a series of five graduate courses focused on culturally relevant education to serve as an emphasis area. The Teaching and Leading Solutions Group then used this foundation to revise program review standards to incorporate opportunities for candidates to gain knowledge and skills in culturally relevant education (CRE). Now every EPP within the state must show evidence they are including CRE in their courses.

The Florida team is using a ‘Pay it Forward’ model to scale-up EPP reform across the state. Mentor/mentee relationships have been established between 3 veteran CEEDAR EPP partners and 7 new EPP partners to facilitate implementation of the CEEDAR EPP Reform Roadmap. The EPP teams have been meeting monthly through the summer to create visions and establish focus areas for this important work. Despite the in-person IHE committee constraints imposed by COVID-19 distancing, 2 of the new partner EPPs have already successfully developed CEEDAR Blueprint language reflecting their objectives supporting High Leverage Practice and Evidence Based Practice implementation within their preparation programs.

Since the 2018 CEEDAR Convening, the Rhode Island State Leadership Team recommitted themselves to becoming more representative and inclusive while actively engaging in blueprint development and implementation efforts. As a result, each goal subgroup is working on tasks and activities to realize goals that will lead to improved educator preparation and clinical practice, ultimately benefiting all PK-12 learners. The state is now nearing completion of two state-approved partnership agreements, while also focusing on strengthening educator preparation reform efforts around culturally responsive and sustaining education, as well as literacy.

The CEEDAR MN team has developed a document that shows the alignment among the CEC Special Education HLPs, the Teaching Works HLPs, and the MN Standards of Effective Practice.

This document is a useful tool for encouraging the adoption of HLPs by EPPs and LEAs as part of MN’s reform efforts. CEEDAR MN has shared it widely across the state with various stakeholder groups. The alignment document is attached.

A collaborative team in Georgia, including the Central Savannah River Area Induction Collaborative, the Georgia Department of Education, and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, and representatives from partner EPPs, created an Induction Professional Development Series focused on High-Leverage Practices (HLPs). This series contains 7 sessions providing opportunities for beginning teachers to learn and practice strategies for implementing HLPs within Georgia’s Tiered System of Support. Content is aligned with Georgia’s Professional Growth System Standards, and materials can be personalized to meet district needs. This series highlights seven of the most crucial HLPs that every K-12 special education teacher should master and be able to demonstrate:

  • PD 1 – Introduction to HLPs through a Multi-Tiered System of Support
  • PD 2 – Establish a consistent, organized, and respectful learning environment; Teach social behaviors (HLPs 7 & 9)
  • PD 3 – Explicit Instruction: The Key to Student Learning (HLP 16)
  • PD 4 – The Gift of Feedback and Guidance to Support Student Learning (HLPs 8 & 22)
  • PD 5 – Using Data to understand Students’ Needs and to Inform Practice (HLPs 1 & 14)
  • PD 6 – Reimagining Classroom Experiences to Maximize Student Engagement (HLPs 18 & 4)
  • PD 7 – Culmination

Each Professional Development Package includes a PowerPoint with embedded activities and speaker notes, supporting resources, and both a principal update and mentor update (short summaries of the PD session content and suggestions for follow up and engagement activities with the beginner.)

Materials can be accessed at https://ceedar.education.ufl.edu/georgia-hlp-pls/

After successfully developing an inclusive practices guidance document and making recommendations for changes to state teacher and leader preparation regulations, the New York CEEDAR state leadership team created working groups to tackle three new areas of policy work. The first group is piloting a system for educator preparation programs (EPPs) to receive data to use in their continuous improvement and reform efforts. The second group is focused on strategies for supporting the recruitment and retention of special education teachers. The third group is working to strengthen partnerships between local districts and EPPs. Additionally, the five EPPs engaged with CEEDAR partnered with the New York State Education Department on a securing a State Personnel Development Grant devoted to developing multi-tiered systems of support.

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) was recently selected to host the CSU Center to Close the Opportunity Gap! In partnership with San Diego State University, California State University Fullerton, and San Jose State University, this multi-campus initiative will collaboratively work and leverage opportunities across sectors to support systemic change and advance K-12 students’ academic success. The Center will focus on identifying valid, reliable, and sustainable teaching practices that impact the opportunities and achievement of K-12 students to eliminate equity gaps at all levels of education. The Center will also share and disseminate resources, tools, and evidence-based best practices to implement these practices in K-12 schools and colleges of education across the CSU and education partners across California!

Stacie Whinnery and Keri Fogle from the University of West Florida EPP team published an article in the Journal of Practitioner Research: Building Collaborative Teacher Education: Integrating UDL through a Faculty Learning Community.  This EPP team provides an excellent example of how to coordinate publishing with reform efforts!

Recommended Citation:

Whinnery, Stacie B.; Fogle, Keri C.; Stark, Jennifer C.; and Whinnery, Keith W. (2020) “Building Collaborative

Teacher Education: Integrating UDL through a Faculty Learning Community,” Journal of Practitioner Research: Vol. 5 : Iss. 2 , Article 5.
https://doi.org/10.5038/2379-9951.5.2.1161

Available at: https://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jpr/vol5/iss2/5

Georgia has been awarded the Retention of Special Education Teachers and Early Intervention Providers Grant by the United States Department of Education! This opportunity will provide funding to support the development of a model induction program for new special education teachers including coaching within the selected pilot regions. Mixed Reality Simulation will be incorporated for induction level teachers and leaders, and a continued focus will be also be placed on creating an inclusive leader toolkit for building leaders.

NH Educator Effectiveness for Student Success awarded a grant to advance educator leadership development at Keene State College. Leaders in education need unique training and skills development to be successful in complex and ever-changing educational systems. The Keene State College (KSC) Educational Leadership Program will be able to enhance their successful efforts to do just that through a grant from the NH Educator Effectiveness for Student Success (NHEESS). The 18-month grant will help KSC increase leadership capacity and continue to support the development of new leaders for New Hampshire regional school districts in the southwest region through a leadership consortium of school districts established by the college in 2017.

The Utah Clinical Practice work group of CEEDAR has developed and is piloting a Student Teaching Placement Guide. This process was designed to better match candidates with mentors for an effective clinical practice experience. There are four components to the Guide. On one page there are considerations in three sections, “Cooperating Teacher Guidelines”, “Placement Process” and “Effective Clinical Experience Supports”. The fourth component is a guided written statement completed by the candidate.

Here we grow again! TN has scaled up and is excited to partner with six new institutions: Carson Newman, Johnson University, Maryville College, Milligan University, South College, and Tennessee State University