G R A N T N UMBER H325P060012
Year 5 Quarter 1 Report JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH 2011 CFDA: 84.325P Principal Leadership Technical Assistance to Support Schoolwide Improvement
TABLE OF CONTENTS BACKGROUND & PROJECT OVERVIEW.................................................................................4 Performance Criteria....................................................................................................................5 CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT................................................................................................7 Goal 1 Evidence..............................................................................................................................7 1.1 Refining the LeadScape Platform..............................................................................................7 1.2 Engaging Principals in Data analysis and School Improvement................................................8 1.3 Tracking changes over time......................................................................................................8 Goal 1 Accomplishments...............................................................................................................9 RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT................................................................................................10 Goal 2 Evidence............................................................................................................................ 10 2.1 Synthesizing research.............................................................................................................10 2.2 Creating and reviewing new products....................................................................................10 2.3 Designing Dialog Guides.......................................................................................................14 Goal 2 Accomplishments............................................................................................................. 15 PROFESSIONAL LEARNING.....................................................................................................16 Goal 3 Evidence............................................................................................................................ 16 3.1 Recruiting, Selecting and Convening Principals.....................................................................16 3.2 Leadership modules...............................................................................................................23 3.3 Refining the coaching process................................................................................................23 Goal 3 Accomplishments............................................................................................................. 23 NETWORKING & DISSEMINATION.......................................................................................24 Goal 4 Evidence............................................................................................................................ 24 4.1 Expanding the network..........................................................................................................25 4.2 Increase usage of LeadScape web site resources........................................................................26 Goal 4 Accomplishments............................................................................................................. 28 CONCLUSION............................................................................................................................29
LEADERSHIP PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR Elizabeth B. Kozleski Director and Principal Investigator, Arizona State University PROJECT ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Cynthia Mruczek Interim Assistant Director, Arizona State University PROJECT OFFICER Anne Smith Project Officer, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. STAFF David Gibson, Continuous Improvement & Evaluation, Arizona State University Anna George, Evaluation Assistant, Arizona State University Kristi Jackson, External Evaluation Consultant, Queri
ADVISORY BOARD Alfredo Artiles, Arizona State University Beverly Cross, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Paula Goldberg, PACER Center Charlene Green, Clark County School District Joe Johnson, National Center for Urban School Transformation Richard Barbacane, National Association of Elementary School Principals John Radloff, Guideworks, LLC Paul Teske, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center
Background & Project Overview In spite of powerful federal legislation embodied in the IDEA reauthorization of 2004, schools and local educational agencies continue to serve students with disabilities in separate classrooms and schools. In 2010, the NIUSI-LeadScape analysis of 2009 data on Indicator 5 noted that across all states on average, 59% of students with IEPs are educated outside of regular classrooms up to 21% of the day and nearly 14% are educated outside of regular classrooms greater than 60% of the day. IDEA mandates that students with disabilities receive their education with non-disabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate. Evidence from two large national studies, the second National Longitudinal Transition Study and the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study, suggest that students with disabilities who spend more time in general education classrooms tend to be absent less, perform closer to grade level than their peers in pull-out settings, and have higher achievement test scores (Blackorby et al., 2005). While NCLB has focused public and professional attention on the outcomes of education through annual measurement of student progress - focusing on annual yearly progress on a school by school basis; and disaggregating test scores by race/ ethnicity, English language learners, and students in special education special education services remain much as they were in the eighties and early nineties. Special education experiences a troublesome and persistent overrepresentation of students who are culturally and linguistically diverse, particularly in urban areas. Further, students who are African-American and Latino are more likely than White and Asian-American students to be in more segregated placements (Donovan & Cross, 2002). Schools need to develop their capacity to teach students who
are culturally and linguistically diverse within general education using research-based teaching and learning practices that produce high quality learning for all students. Further, special education needs to become a proactive, preventative system that does not wait for students to fall behind before they get the educational supports needed to learn. This means that the roles of special educators and related service providers must be conceptualized to enhance whole school improvement. Through collaborative professional learning opportunities, special and general educators must work together to support learning in the general education curriculum. This kind of change requires local leadership. Principals must engage whole school improvement that binds special and general education in a seamless learning system for all students. To ensure that principals have the technical knowledge and skills to be instructional leaders for all students is a daunting task. Knowing that principals change positions frequently requires a response that grounds learning in present circumstances and bridges future changes by anchoring learning and development to web-based, e-learning solutions that provide multiple kinds of tools for knowledge development, diffusion, implementation, and continuous improvement. Enter NIUSI-LeadScape. The National Institute for Urban School Improvement (NIUSI) established a principal leadership professional development center, LeadScape, which supports school improvement to ensure access to and participation and progress in the general education curriculum in the least restrictive environment. Originally titled the NIUSI Principal Leadership Academies iNitiative (NIUSI-PLAN), the centerâ€™s name was changed to LeadScape in order to increase its marketability. NIUSI was an OSEP-funded technical assistance and dissemination project with over 10 years of national experience
in supporting the development of networks of schools as they develop robust practices for ensuring that students with disabilities have access to and participate successfully in the general education environment. Funded at $268,000 per year, the project had a small budget to reach all 110,000 principals in the US with its message, tools, and strategies to support the ways in which students with disabilities would have opportunities to learn and succeed in general education classrooms and curricula. Therefore, LeadScapeâ€™s resources were carefully stewarded with a large investment in technology infrastructure development with limited face to face technical assistance. LeadScape is designed to directly assist at least 400 principals across the country to develop, implement, and sustain inclusive schools ensuring that ALL students with and without disabilities meet or exceed academic standards set and measured by state assessment systems. Based on the tools and products developed and field tested by NIUSI, LeadScape developed an electronic platform to bring principals from around the country together, in sustained professional communities, focused on leadership for inclusive schools. The platform makes it possible to incorporate effective research-based strategies and methods for professional learning as well as effective research-based content and tools focused on information that principals need to know and do to achieve and sustain effective, inclusive schools. An important part of this work is the direct technical assistance, coaching, and mentoring that the project provides to principals both online and in-person. The importance of the digital outreach cannot be over emphasized. LeadScape is developing powerful networks of principals that embrace and implement evidence-based, systemic school improvement approaches for inclusive practices. The initiative is
organized into four action arenas, each of which has a core team that implements the goal, objectives and manages the timelines. These goals include (1) continuous improvement systems for classrooms, schools, and school systems; (2) ongoing participatory research and development to inform and improve outcomes for all students; (3) inclusive, culturally responsive professional learning that results in improved outcomes for all students; and (4) networking and dissemination that extends the reach of this project and impacts practice nationally.
Performance Criteria LeadScape is known for its high-quality human, technical and content-rich resources, which it creates in the context of fieldwork at all levels of the complex educational system. The project also identifies, collects and disseminates high-quality resources from othersâ€™ research and development on equity matters. The outcome measures of our goals focus on the assessment of products and services with six criteria (Figure 1) through the collection of data embedded within internal operations and through feedback from our clients and expert advisors:
Figure 1. Performance criteria
Quality – Are our products and services rigorous and scientifically-based? We measure quality through feedback from our participants on our web-based products, evaluation from meetings, the number of long-term relationships we develop with districts, feedback from experts, by comparing our work to other equity assistance centers, and participating in ongoing conversations with national leaders. Understanding – Do our products and services produce understanding? We measure understanding by the degree to which our participants indicate they understand and can use information from our print, electronic, and face-to-face delivery of information. The measure of understanding comes primarily from our end user evaluations, which we conduct after conferences, consultations, online webinars and via random surveys of our mailing list. Authenticity – Do our products and services reflect the current and foreseeable realities of our audiences? We measure authenticity by the degree to which our end users tell us that our products and services have immediate applicability to their contexts. We also ensure that products we create stem from field-based concerns and real experiences, which we garner through deep interactions in at all levels of technical assistance.
Accessibility – Are our products and services accessible to families, students, and school boards in rural and suburban districts, small towns and cities? We measure success in accessibility by the demographics of our end users, information that we collect through surveys conducted at all levels of our technical assistance model. We look for broad audience participation across all of our conferences, consultations, and from those who find, download and use our products. Usefulness – Are our products and services useful in developing and sustaining changes in student and staff behavior? We survey end users throughout the year to take measures on this criterion and ask experts for their opinions about our products and services. Market share – Are we expanding our knowledge networks and reaching new audiences? We use online tracking tools to report increases in the number of requests for technical assistance, the number of new visitors to our web site, and which tools, products and pages they are downloading. We compare these results quarter by quarter and benchmark our performance to industry standards. We increase market share by leveraging these sources of information to take advantage of the yearly cycle of communications, conferences and other events that stimulate market response.
GOAL 1: INCREASE KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION THROUGH CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT OF CURRENT PRACTICE, CHANGE EFFORTS AND IMPACT. 1.1 Create, launch, and refine the LeadScape platform 1.2 Engage principals in data analysis, school improvement planning and implementation. 1.3 Track changes over time in sites and within the project using project management tools.
Goal 1 Evidence The LeadScape website serves as an important medium for dissemination of professional learning materials and as a way of drawing interest nationally to LeadScape activities. The project views each digital tool in the platform as a mediating structure for change at every level, for example, teachers’ instructional strategies, the principal’s role, school leadership team practices, and district and federal policies. Evidence documented in this section shows progress in refining the platform, engaging principals, and tracking changes that are resulting from our work with principals.
1.1 Refining the LeadScape Platform The focus of the LeadScape platform is to give principals the information, access to resources, and just-in-time support they need to make decisions and take action to create more equitable outcomes through culturally responsive policies and practices. A principal’s actions guided by LeadScape resources directly impact the lives of teachers, who are helped to become more culturally responsive in their daily work with students, helping lead to a transformation of the school. The platform is continually updated with both content and capabilities, which are briefly outlined in this section. The Networking and Dissemination section
of this report contains further information about website traffic, which is used as evidence of mind share and market share of the participating schools. An additional platform refinement included initiating the implementation of a new online reader that allows people to peruse, read and print articles directly from their browser. This will increase accessibility of information, because people will not have to “download, save and open” just to see if something bears interest for them. The increased accessibility is tracked for all online publications, so the impact of this refinement will be measured over time, for each product.
1.2 Engaging Principals in Data analysis and School Improvement During this quarter, a staff change effort ensured a smooth transition of leadership as Elaine Mulligan left her post as Assistant Director and Cynthia Mruczek stepped in as Interim Assistant Director. Leading up to the Equity Forum, Elaine worked closely with Cynthia, sharing the vision and mission of LeadScape, as well as the history of the project. During the Equity Forum, at which 13 of the principals presented their own work on equity and inclusion, Cynthia individually met with each principal to begin developing a strong personal relationship upon which to continue the supportive work of the LeadScape project. To support and strengthen the relationships developed with the LeadScape principals during the Equity Forum, a new marketing plan emerged to encourage more frequent communication between LeadScape staff and the principals. The conversations at the Forum revealed that principals are concerned about trouble-shooting daily issues that crop up as they implement their school equity vision. Using what we learned in these conversations, our team came up with a list of topics that would be immediately useful to the principals, including: Being an Instructional Leader, Time Management, and School Climate. These topics will guide our “just in time” support for principals, and help ensure that our work is authentic, accessible, and perhaps most importantly, useful as they work toward more inclusive school environments. These topics will be the conceptual foundation for future products from LeadScape, like LeadScape Essentials, which is currently in development. LeadScape Essentials is a newsletter targeted directly at principals and school leaders from around the country and it is intended to highlight resources available from LeadScape.
Data Maps provide a rich source of information for reflection and analysis, and are part of the transformational tools we use to engage principals and school leadership teams in examining their data, making informed inferences about their systems, and assisting them in making better decisions that address existing inequities within their geographies of culture. The process of creating and using maps gives rise to questions such as: Which classrooms have results that concern us? Are there supports available to assist teachers in that part of the building? Why are a particular community’s academic outcomes similar across so many of its students? Where are the bus routes in relationship to those who are accessing the after-school program? We’ve found that by engaging school principals in such questions as a part of data analysis, they develop specific school improvement ideas based on their interpretation of the data. New efforts during this quarter led to developing and improving the school and classroom-level Data Maps. LeadScape is partnering with the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) staff at the Institute for Social Science Research at Arizona S t a t e University to structure a long-term vision of the execution of data maps as a tool and process for LeadScape principals to engage in data analysis. One of the long-term goals of the GIS mapping project is to allow LeadScape principals to conceptualize changes in student and teacher data over time at the classroom level. Visualizing these data is essential for principals to act as change agents in promoting school improvement and further developing inclusive school environments. A new school system – Sherman Elementary - was added into the data mapping project during the quarter. This signals the establishment of a deeper level of engagement of the principal and school, because of the effort and time it takes to coordinate the data between school and project database systems and the time required to create school-level classroom data maps that are useful for equity decision-making.
Goal 1 Accomplishments
1.3 Tracking changes over time
The following list summarizes the evidence of accomplishment during this quarter, organized by the performance criteria.
As we track changes over time at LeadScape, we are challenged with the notion of measuring change in principal knowledge, understanding and behaviors. Much of our data on these impacts involves the narratives each principal provides as he or she strive to cultivate and sustain inclusive schooling environments at their home school. One such example is Delores Inniss, who works in Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida. Delores started her journey with us as a principal in the district. Her change over time included a move to District Office, where she now serves as a mentor for new principals throughout the Orange County Public School system. Delores provides an example of how mentoring school leaders over time can lead to changes when a building leader moves to district-level equity leadership.
ACCESSIBILITY & UNDERSTANDING •
Data Maps were refined for a school principal in the Madison Metropolitan School District
A new partnership was developed with the GIS office at Arizona State University.
A new video teaching user website skills was created in February and will serve as a blueprint for future videos.
AUTHENTICITY & QUALITY •
Data used in the completely reviewed and redefined platform at ASU were linked from validated national resources such as the National Center for Educational Statistics, the U.S. Department of Education Title 2 Web site, and the Office of Special Education Programs.
MARKET SHARE •
In addition, the LeadScape website continues to draw a broad audience, as detailed in the Networking & Dissemination section of this report.
Evidence of higher levels of understanding was noted by the completion of data mapping by Sherman Elementary school, which indicates a readiness to engage in deeper levels of conversation and analysis.
LeadScape staff worked closely with the principal to ensure the data maps met his needs in planning at the school.
A “weekly messages to principals” campaign was planned.
Research & Development GOAL 2: PRODUCE A SET OF 20 RESEARCH SYNTHESES THAT ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF PRACTITIONERS AND DECISION-MAKERS. 2.1 Complete a synthesis of available research literature within the first 6 months of the project start date including a review of current NIUSI products and audience needs 2.2 Edit, review, and produce 4 new products per year 2.3 Design and launch dialogue guides for each product to be launched on LeadScape
Goal 2 Evidence 2.1 Synthesizing research Each quarter, a number of new publications, including those created by partners and collaborators from other centers, are reviewed and added to the online Clearinghouse – the Learning Carousel. In order to be included, the document must be openly accessible, immediately downloadable, and useable by people who may find it during their searches on the clearinghouse. In addition, the article must help advance the mission and vision of the LeadScape initiative through alignment with the conceptual framework. This quarter, ten documents were added to the Learning Carousel, which now yields a current total of 1, 011 vetted, catalogued and disseminated research-based resources now freely available to the public. LeadScape promotes the articles in numerous emails, which increases awareness, access and use of the ideas they contain.
2.2 Creating and reviewing new products Blogs are an important and powerful technical assistance mechanism for creating new products, as well as a medium for LeadScape to reach out to a broad audience with useful information in a brief format that can be read and absorbed in about 15 minutes. They represent one of the top content pages (i.e. most popular) used by our audiences, typically reaching over 10,000 people within 4 to 6 months of posting. Blog articles also provide LeadScape with a chance to invite outside experts to share their experience, dramatically expanding the principal center’s capacity to address a number of topics that arise in Inclusive Education. Topics for blogs arise as the staff responds to phone calls and works with principals. The internal publications team, using the criteria discussed in the introduction, reviews the short articles for quality, usefulness, authenticity, accessibility and the extent to which they will lead to understanding. School leaders often share the blogs with their staff members and others, numbers which the Continuous Improvement team monitors using our email communications platform. Comments are allowed on each blog, some of which lead to new blog articles, all of which indicate increased contact between the field and researchers, and the exchanges stand as examples (and a growing database) of the community of practice created by the principal’s center. The following is an excerpt from a blog published in February Education Equity and the Trouble with Pragmatic Decision Making by Paul Gorski Paul C. Gorski is an assistant professor in New Century College, George Mason University. Gorski’s work and passion is social justice activism. His areas of scholarly focus include anti-poverty activism and education, critical race theory and antiracism education, and critical theories pertaining to women’s rights, LGBT rights, labor rights, immigrant rights, and antiimperialism. Gorski is an active consultant and speaker, working with community and educational organizations around the world—such as in Colombia, Australia, India, and Mexico—on equity and social justice concerns. Gorski founded EdChange, a coalition of educators and activists who develop free social justtice resources for educators and activists.
In my view, the challenge of educational inequity is not, as many assume, that too few people care about creating learning environments that work for all students. The challenge, despite an overwhelming desire among most teachers and administrators to serve the needs of all students, is that we generally have very little understanding of the depth and complexity of the problem. Consider, for example, the monster we commonly refer to as the “achievement gap”. I use this example because a vast majority of education equity attention today is focused on this “gap” as measured in standardized test score comparisons. Over many decades, even before today’s term for it was coined, school leaders have attempted myriad strategies for redressing “achievement gaps” among and between students across race, language, class, and other identities. But we’ve made so little progress. Why? Nearly 2000 people accessed the Gorski blog, which goes on to explore the trouble with pragmatic decision-making. In addition, those 2000 people also “listened in” on a rich and complex conversation held between several people in the blog comments, including scholars, students and practitioners. In what follows, we give a sense of some of the dialog, and invite you to consult the blog (http://niusileadscape.org/bl/?p=607) for more details.
Reader: I went to a presentation today at the Equity Forum, Donna Ford, PhD. commented that there is a “African American” learning style. She is not the only researcher to make this claim. Apparently, there is some disagreement on this topic, is it based on race or research methodology? Or is the tension rooted in the race and socio-economic background of the researcher?
Gorski: My question would be, if there is an African American learning style, what, exactly, is it? Once it’s named, I would ask what percentage of African American people associate with that learning style? What percentage must share a precise learning style in order for it to be attribute to an entire group of people based on one dimension of their identity?
Ford: I was rather surprised that you have not heard of cultural differences in learning style, including for Black students. Do you think Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans (esp. first generation to U.S.) learn in the same way as White students? I would hope not. In other words, culture matters in teaching and learning.
Gorski: So part of the problem may be that the most popular learning style models or typologies are not meant to differentiate across a single identity or by “culture” as defined by a single identity. This exchange illustrates how different definitions of “learning styles” and “culture” can become intertwined and lead to misunderstandings. Having such conversations out in the open helps people see how to relate their own thinking to the conceptual struggles of others. The blog discussion allows for practitioners, students, and researchers to build off of one another’s ideas as each participant makes his or her own thinking public. The cognitive process of problematizing difficult notions regarding equity in education is made evident to all participants, even those on the periphery. This kind of conversation also strengthens the connection between theory and practice, as well as the understandings of the researcher and practitioner. Here is a second example of the importance of blogs in our work. Given the recent debate over immigration law SB 1070, LeadScape leaders and colleagues wrote a compelling blog post addressing the controversy of holding a National Equity Conference in Arizona, arguing that it is especially important to discuss equity issues in a challenging context. Leadership for Equity and Excellence Forum – in Arizona? by the Equity Alliance at ASU
Across the United States and around the world, we often hear public debates that perpetuate individual and student group deficits as they relate to access, participation and performance in education. In some instances, local governments have been the drivers of legislation that takes a position contrary to educational equity, which makes our work exceptionally challenging. We believe that our Leadership for Equity and Excellence Forum offers an opportunity for passionate advocates across the country to have the kinds of equity and social justice conversations that are necessary to create waves of change. With all of the media attention Arizona has received in the past several months, some might question our choice to conduct such a forum in this location. However, we believe it is fitting to gather in this space in order to critically reflect about the ways in which equity and justice are infringed upon, so that dedicated groups and individuals can continue the crusade of promoting equitable policies and practices throughout our nation. In other words, even for educators, researchers, and advocates of educational equity, a central challenge is to rise above the politics of the day to tackle the ever-complex issues associated with creating meaningful, sustained progress. This blog also outlined topics at the Forum that addressed Equity issues: •
How can we move equity efforts forward in an environment that seems contentious?
How can we build alliances to support transformative work in resistant systems?
Who are allies for the work that we are doing and how can we connect with them?
What networks are in place to galvanize support and sustain energy for the difficult, often isolating work that we do?
What work is being presented at the Forum that can help to revitalize and improve upon our own initiatives?
Over 3600 people viewed this blog since it was published on February 4. The use of blogs as a new form of public communication offers two affordances that improve upon past dissemination practices. One, they accumulate readers over time at a faster rate and are more open about that dissemination rate. For example, the 3 – month distribution size of a typical blog is over 9000 people, roughly 3000 per month. Second, a blog can carry a conversation along through time that expands upon the original message, as evidenced by these examples of recent blogs.
2.3 Designing Dialog Guides As reported in earlier quarterly and annual reports, the construction of dialog guides, which was construed narrowly in the original grant narrative, has both shifted and expanded from the original goal to create helpful adjunct documentation to support the use of tools and practices that are needed to make the envisioned transformations toward more culturally responsive schools. The guides to dialog now are more numerous and less weighty – appearing as emailed newsletters, practitioner briefs, and blogs – and perhaps as a result, they are more useful, authentic and relevant. Similarly, our Facebook and Twitter feeds are consistently updated with posts relevant to work in equity and inclusion. The possibilities in using social networking tools as dialog guides are promising since the posts reach a wide market and are in manageable increments that allow for quick introductions to topics and the ability to post comments and reactions based on the content. Monthly online newsletters provide one example of how LeadScape effectively leverages the online medium to stimulate a community of practice dialog regarding various issues in educational equity. The dialog continues through live-discussions in webinars, and these kinds of efforts are documented and recorded and quickly lead to new products and resources for professional learning.
January 2011 The moment we choose love we begin to move towards freedom... - Bell Hooks Civil rights in U.S. schools are about much more than Brown v. the Board of Education, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Black History Month. ‘Civil rights’ refers to the equal protection and treatment
provided in the U.S. Constitution and the Civil Rights Act. Civil rights laws protect and ensure “the liberties and rights guaranteed by the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Nineteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, especially the exercise of voting rights and the prohibition of discrimination in employment, education, and public accommodations on the basis of age, color, race, religion, or sex” (Webster’s New World Law Dictionary, 2010). February 2011 Language is the quintessential cultural tool. We cannot plan lessons or activities in ways that will suppress or ignore the role of language in a person’s development. -- Alfredo Artiles, from the Teaching Diverse Students Initiative “Languages seem to develop a life and trajectory of their own. Some become increasingly dominant while others dwindle in popularity and use. Each year the world runs the danger of losing more and more indigenous languages as global languages like Chinese, English, and Spanish anchor themselves in wide flung communities across the globe. Learning about the importance of language in representing the world in which we live allows us to understand how language shapes our realities. Language is a powerful expression of the world around us, and should be appreciated and celebrated as a resource that students and families bring to school rather than as a barrier. Studying and becoming proficient in more than one language builds a capacity to understand and use language skillfully in multiple languages. Because languages can be structured differently, the mental schemas that use language to store and retrieve, and transform information, ideas, feelings and interpretations of the world around us can become more powerful by becoming fluent in more than one language. Languages offer clues into the cultures from which they emerge, so language learning is another way of understanding and developing cultural fluency as well. Multilingual approaches provide access to new cultures, information and knowledge, and opportunities to forge new economic and political alliances.”
Goal 2 Accomplishments The following list summarizes the evidence of accomplishment during this quarter, organized by the performance criteria. ACCESSIBILITY & AUTHENTICITY •
Expanded our dialog guides to include newsletters, practitioner briefs, blogs, and social media posts making them more accessible to principals.
MARKET SHARE •
Three new blogs were launched, with a combined readership of 22, 346 page views.
A review of outreach methods is currently underway to find ways to increase our market share.
Ten new documents were added to the Learning Carousel adding to the current total of 1, 011 vetted, high quality resources.
USEFULNESS & UNDERSTANDING •
By designing multiple types of dialog guides, the usefulness of the tool is increased.
LeadScape participants report that they found newsletters to be useful towards engaging faculty members in discussions about practical topics within the scope of inclusive education, and also useful as a mechanism for receiving announcements from LeadScape, such as for future professional l e a r n i n g opportunities. We report more detail on the numbers of people reached by our electronic publishing in Networking & Dissemination.
Goal 3 Evidence
Our annual Leadership Forum reinforces our relationship with key members of our extended network. In addition, the lead-up as well as follow-up to the meeting stimulates much activity both inside LeadScape and within our partners, which we can see in Web traffic and documents connected to planning and thinking on the part of presenting teams, many of whom are school teams. LeadScape staff joined with the Equity Alliance staff to envision and carry out the 2011 Leadership for Equity and Excellence Forum from February 28th to March 1st this year. The Forum attracted 175 people from 28 states. States with teams of 4 or more people included OR, IL, NY, CO, UT, MD, CA, FL, NV, WI, & AZ. The Forum participants fill many roles in education, with the majority coming from elementary and secondary education and higher education.
GOAL 3: LEVERAGE CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT OF INCLUSIVE PRACTICES IN SCHOOLS THROUGH COLLABORATIVE WORK WITH PRINCIPAL LEADERS FOCUSING ON RESEARCH VALIDATED PRACTICES IN THE SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PROCESS, COLLECTION AND USE OF EVIDENCE, UNIVERSAL DESIGNS FOR LEARNING, EARLY INTERVENING, RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION, AND CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE PRACTICES 3.1 Recruit, select, and convene 400 principals across the U.S. for inclusive education leadership development. 3.2 Produce 5 online leadership modules for LeadScape. 3.3 Refine NIUSI-LeadScape coaching process using webinars, enews, email, weekly phone calls, and site visits.
3.1 Recruiting, Selecting and Convening Principals Regular contact with principals continued this quarter to ascertain and respond to needs, with two primary focal points: (1) a new Equity Advocate recognition and networking outreach activity described below and (2) to invite school teams to present at the 2011 Leadership Forum. 2011 Leadership Forum for Equity and Excellence
Sessions by LeadScape principals, school and district teams made a big impact on the Forum. While some principals chose to present individually, others presented in partners or in teams. The members of the Madison Metropolitan School District, led by Susan Abplanalp, presented their district’s plan to become more inclusive by collecting, understanding, and analyzing data. The MMSD team was made up of District Office personnel, principals, and assistant principals. Another LeadScape principal, who currently serves as a mentor for new principals in her school district, teamed with a parent from her school district to tell the story of inclusion at her school. Similarly, two LeadScape principals from the same district collaborated on their presentation about building positive relationships throughout a school. Another principal teamed with a reading specialist from her school to present their journey in implementing RtI to create a safe and responsive schooling environment. The cross-level collaboration indicates that LeadScape principals understand the need to work for school improvement by engaging the multiple levels of the complex system that is school. From Islands of Excellence to a District of Excellence Susan Abplanalp, with John Harper, Beth Thompson, Michael Hernandez, Karen Kepler, Carlettra Stanford, Nancy Caldwell Inclusive education, equity and collaboration are core beliefs well established within our district. A great deal of planning, professional development and support have been extended to schools to assist in making shifts in practice. As a district, we have many schools of excellence across the elementary-middle-high school levels. However, we are not yet a district of excellence. Perhaps this might be true of yours as well. This workshop will engage participants in a format of reflection, analysis, and planning using the Matrix for Change as one of many tools. This workshop will be interactive with a focus on outlining systemic and systematic processes to help move from isolated schools of excellence to a district of excellence. Planning, professional development and support have been extended to schools to assist in making shifts in practice.
How Differentiated Instruction Can Make a Difference. Delores Inniss & Daniel Merchant Even in this day and age, inclusion and differentiated instruction are not being implemented effectively in schools. Discover how a school turned around their teachers’ thinking on how to implement differentiated instruction for their inclusion students. Hear the testimonies of teachers and a parent on how this impacted the life and education of their ESE students and child with different exceptionalities (EMH/TMH, Autism, Fragile Bone Syndrome, and PreK/VE) Creating Positive Relationships Throughout the School Building Heather Ward & Teresa Faucette This session deals with low morale, low attendance, low test scores, and decreased connectedness. The old saying “Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Creating positive relationships in middle schools are very important to ensure that students will meet their academic potential. In this session we will share how our schools have embraced the Capturing Kids Hearts motto “If you have a child’s heart, you have his head” as well as implemented a Positive Behavioral Support to change the culture of our buildings. Promoting Success for All Students! Cynthia Alexander It is essential for all stakeholders to be committed to helping our students achieve at their highest potential by providing an education that prepares them for the future. In this session, participants will explore ways to provide a secure learning environment that promotes a challenging curriculum for high academic achievement and the development of critical thinking skills. FACT or FICTION: Equity in Culturally Responsive Schools? Michele Erickson & Ellen Costello How does creating a culturally safe and responsive environment make a difference in the learning lives of
children? Join us as we share our journey encouraging lifelong learning by implementing best RtI and inclusive practices in our urban high school. Key factors include: building relationships, recognizing struggles, celebrating successes, fostering motivation, and analyzing numerous sources of data. This interactive session highlights a systematic process including RtI and including practices of creating an equitable learning culture through a collaborative, school-wide effort. Participants review information about this process and implementation, and learn how to adapt it to meet their needs. Evaluation of the Forum takes place in several ways, through direct observation, post-event surveys, and session evaluation forms. Individual session evaluations were gathered (n=403) and those results were used to thank presenters and give them feedback about their impact on participants. We also surveyed people online for their overall impressions of the event several days afterward; 32 people responded to the survey out of 86 people (37%) who opened the survey invitation email. We ask participants to rate the Forum on some of our key performance indicators (e.g. Quality, Usefulness, Understanding, Authenticity). Overwhelmingly, we find that people rate the event as very highly useful, user-friendly, useful, impactful on their understanding and applicable to their lives.
It was one of the finest conferences I have ever attended - from the quality of the sessions, to the facilities and printed material, to the gracious and helpful hosts in their purple scarves. Every detail was planned for and executed with the utmost care. I used to attend the annual NAME conference, and for the past 2 years have chosen the Equity Alliance Forum instead. It has been excellent both years. Another area of questions concerned how useful the Forumâ€™s experience was to several professional learning topics (see below). The data indicates that the Forum deals exceedingly well in providing useful information on professional learning (93% rated this useful or very useful), shifting oneâ€™s perspectives towards equity matters (96%), and the continuous improvement of attitudes and practices(99%). Forum planners will examine new ways to address the use of evidence-based information (80% rated this useful or very useful) and making connections to data-driven decisionmaking (68%).
We asked participants to also tell us the extent to which the Forum deepened their knowledge in four critical areas: (1) Dispelling the myth of individual and group deficits, (2) Expanding local ownership of equity, (3) Demonstrating the impact of culturally responsive practice, and (4) Increasing learning outcomes for students who have been marginalized. None of these areas fell below 80% of the people responding that the Forum either had or very much had deepened their understandings in these areas. In a second question, when we asked for an overall rating compared to other conferences people attend, 99% responded that they preferred this conference over others they attend, and 18% said it was their favorite of all. Comments connected to these two areas of findings included: Each session and keynote speaker was so engaging and provided such an interactive forum. I heard such positive, strong messages about the dedication and work towards equality for all. This conference was a truly inspiring experience.
A final area of questions concerns the impacts of the event on people’s thinking and plans for action. One question asked “To what extent do you believe that as a result of this forum, a new POLICY will be created?” to which the participants were split: 12% said there was no chance at all, 40% said it was unlikely and 46% said it was likely. This result was not related to the role group or job identity of participants; the decision was split among all groups. Eighty percent (80%) of the respondents said that any policy change would focus on ensuring that students have equitable opportunities to learn. Other responses included these priorities for change in policies: •
Reducing harassment, conflict or violence
Increasing funding for program.
Involving more families in community decisions.
Continuing to work on these issues at our own school site.
Reducing discipline referrals of African American males
In contrast to policies, changes in practice were more strongly positive. Fifty percent (50%) indicated that practices would probably change and an additional 21% indicated that practices were certainly change as a result of the Forum. Nearly 87% of respondents felt that these changed practices would focus on ensuring that students have equitable opportunities to learn. Other responses included these priorities for change in practices: •
Culturally Responsive Teaching
Teachers examining their own perspectives and culture and trying to better understand others
Helping managers get more in touch with their values as a basis for decision making
Involving more families in community decisions
Finally, we asked people to tell us in their own words what were the “Ah-Ha’s” of the experience, and these fell into three categories: (1) Detailed knowledge, (2) New problems and dilemmas, and (3) New Insights. We’ve included characteristic quotes for these responses.
New Problems & Dilemmas
Our schools were originally organized 300 years ago to serve a specific population.
How to transform a school in all aspects in a short period of time?
Achieving equity is complex and doesn’t exist in a vacuum.
Paying attention to small details. For example: how can one Principal can name all the students in her school and acknowledge they are there, full of life and eager to learn...Ah Ha!.
I agree with some conversations that we spend a lot of time talking and little time taking action... I’m feeling less assured about what action to take.
A structure for braiding culturally responsive practices and PBIS.
Ways as a school we can ensure we are doing a better job of looking at our children of color and what they need to be successful at school.
I feel the frustration level may be a little more than anticipated, there are so many changes that need to take place.
I learned how to help people define their own culture.
The power that principals, superintendents have, and how that hierarchy can either empower or disempower efforts to increase equity.
I hope that people start sharing this information and people start changing for the better. Fingers crossed.
In order to have change it is necessary to have 90% of the people actually “doing” the change for it to create the change.
To use the film Bullyied and related Teaching Tolerance resources.
What is it about the culture of our organization that we need to spend so much time discussing and addressing diversity? Will we ever get to the point when we won’t even have to have this discussion?
Realizing that we still need more evidence to strengthen and advance social justice for all students.
To make a family’s commitment to their children’s education more explicit to debunk the myth that poor parent and caretakers do not care about their children and their education.
Education is the civil rights topic of the 21st Century.
Goal 3 Accomplishments
3.2 Leadership modules
The following list summarizes the evidence of accomplishment during this quarter, organized by the performance criteria.
A two-day certification training on March 2 and 3, 2011 - Becoming a Transformative Leader - brought together a small group of educational leaders to learn about ways in which existing systems of power and privilege influence schools’ daily practice, understand the systemic factors involved in implementing meaningful school transformation, and be trained in the LeadScape model of culturally responsive, cognitive coaching, all in support of developing each individual participant’s capacity to transform school practices to be equitable and support all students. As a result of the training, participants learned:
Online access to presentations and handouts created by LeadScape principals for the Equity Leadership Forum are available on the Equity Alliance at ASU website (www. equityallianceatasu.org).
By having practitioners feature their own work in conference presentations the level of authenticity was increased and was reflected in participant evaluations of the Equity Leadership Forum. The LeadScape principals brought up real concerns, successes, and challenges regarding their own experiences in creating inclusive school environments.
How to support people’s encounters with their own cultural memberships, individual beliefs, and biases that impact teaching and learning.
How to help others reframe deficit models of thinking about disparities in educational access, participation, and outcomes.
Frameworks and processes for engaging in culturally responsive, cognitive coaching to lead to transformative change in local settings.
MARKET SHARE •
LeadScape led a highly successful Coaching Certification Workshop in partnership with the Equity Alliance. Evidence from Google Analytics and Constant Contact indicates that the market and mind share for LeadScape continues to grow.
QUALITY, USEFULNESS & UNDERSTANDING
3.3 Refining the coaching process
Evidence from the Leadership Forum evaluation indicates that LeadScape is developing articulate, outspoken equity leaders and they in turn, are sharing their knowledge with the field.
LeadScape principals are serving as leaders for equity by teaming with colleagues from multiple levels of the school system to create inclusive environments.
A key task of the new Assistant Director, which began this quarter, involved a review of the coaching methods, materials and processes. We’ll have more to report on this in the next quarterly report.
Networking & Dissemination GOAL 4: ENGAGE NATIONAL DISCOURSE IN LOCAL, PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE, AND POLICY COMMUNITIES ON IMPROVING EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES FOR ALL STUDENTS. 4.1 Expand existing network to 16,000 participants. 4.2 Increase the usage of LeadScape from 400 to 1,000 principals.
Goal 4 Evidence Engaging a national discourse in equity matters involves a number of efforts that share a common vision of the transformation of the culture of schools, including efforts noted under Research and Resource Development, and Professional Learning. In this section, we focus more narrowly on market share measured by our output of resources to increasingly larger networks of people, as measured by our online dissemination platforms. To measure and continuously monitor changes in online networking and dissemination, Google Analytics provides a solid quantitative basis for estimating the quarterly and annual use of the LeadScape web site. There are three parameters used in the analysis: Absolute Unique Visitors - Provides the total number of people using the web resources. This measure ensures that multiple visits to the web site by an individual is only counted once. Pageviews – Provides a picture of the extensiveness of the use of the web site as a whole, and represents the total amount of content reaching the audience. Top Content – Provides a picture of the most-used pages; the measure can be disaggregated to a high level of detail to allow us to see exactly which electronic resources are being utilized.
As we share findings below, we’ll refer to these terms. The number of absolute unique visitors to LeadScape is determined by tracking the web site www.niusileadscape.org. We reached 3307 people in the quarter (up 29% over the previous quarter) who visited the web site over 4400 times. People found LeadScape content in six ways: 1. Direct links (31%) – this number is very close to the returning people 2. Google organic searches (28%) – this is evidence of market share/mind share of the Web 3. Cross links with Equity Alliance (10%) 4. Links on two prior project sites NCCREST and NIUSI (11%) 5. Referrals from search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, Facebook (5%). 6. Referrals from colleague organizations and listing services (14%) Altogether, this data represents about 12,000 page views, Nearly 69% of all visitors (2277) were new people and 1023 were returning people, which suggests that LeadScape has an effective mixture of historical network connections, links to and from data tools, broad scale responsiveness to Internet searches, and direct appeals to our contact lists are all important aspects of networking and dissemination.
4.1 Expanding the network If the 29% growth rate over the previous quarter continues and we can turn new visitors into returning visitors, we estimate that we will surpass the goal of 16,000 users by the 3rd quarter of 2012. Network expansion also occurs through personal networks, and regular monthly emails, which get shared with others. The notion of expansion includes specific change in engagement from first contact, through accessing resources, to initial participation, and finally to intensive, long term participation. At each of these levels, which we refer to as tiers of technical assistance, we work to maintain and deepen relationships at the same time as we work to expand the numbers of people in each Tier.
As project leaders travel, we expand the network with emails of people in groups they’ve contacted. This quarter included these additions: •
504 people were added from the 2011 East Asian Conference
• • •
84 school districts from the Urban Collaborative 242 contacts from 14 state school district list 55 new international contacts
The contacts in our 10,000 plus email communications are organized into four tiers. Tier 1 representing larger numbers of people who we reach via mailings but who we may not know by face. Tier 2 represents people for whom we provide targeted technical assistance. Tier 3 is comprised of people we work with on a regular basis, and who attend meetings, ask for assistance, and who have responded to many of our invitations. Tier 4 is the most intense level, where principals are working intensively with us to change their schools (Table 3). The statistics show an increase in the percentage of “opens” to “sent” rising steadily from Tier 1 to Tier 4. The industry average is from 9 to 10%. Table 3. Number and percentages of 1st quarter 2011 communications, opens and clicks Tiers
% of Sent
% of Opens
In addition to web site usage expansion and monthly contact via communications, LeadScape presentations at national conferences are vital opportunities for networking and dissemination and allow us to be in tune with the dynamic needs of our audience.
4.2 Increase usage of LeadScape web site resources We have begun to show that blogs are an effective new social networking tool for dissemination. Twenty-eight percent of all page views (3,331) go to the blogs, compared to 14% (1,663) of views on the front page – the homepage, and 10% of views (1,191) for the Learning Carousel. These helped contribute to the 11% increase over the previous quarter in overall usage of the LeadScape web site resources. We initiated a new “Equity Advocate” highlight spot on the web site to give recognition and gain the involvement of principals in rewarding and recognizing talent and commitment in their schools and extended networks. The goal of the program is to expand our network by asking friends of the advocate to vote for them and make additional comments on their nomination. Since its inception, the program has highlighted four people. Each spotlight offers readers an introduction and a quote from the awardee. The purpose of the program is to increase usage of the web site resources by building identity and affiliation with our clients and expanding to their friends and networks. We invite the awardees to provide us with names of people to share the news, and we are planning to develop a social nomination and voting process as well as a social networking and “liking” capability for the program as it moves forward. Here are our first four “Equity Advocates.” Mike Hernandez, Principal, Sherman Middle School, Madison Metropolitan School District
Carole Cobb, K-12 Instructional Coordinator, Los Angeles Unified School District
Heather Ward, Principal, Southern Middle School, Alamance-Burlington School System
Elaine Mulligan, Director, National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities
Within the larger picture of overall increase in use of the center’s products and services, we also monitor the patterns of use, which are measured by page titles and metadata content that are picked up in the analytics engine. The usage patterns give us information about what online strategies are working, how many people are being reached, and what kinds of information are getting the most use. The Learning Carousel, for example, our premier clearinghouse of research on equity issues, served up 9,900 pages of information to over 1900 new people. Those new people came to the library via the web platforms we have developed, and contributed to the total page views of the library from these sources: 1. Google searches (34%, 833 visits by new people) – this is another indicator of our market share 2. Links from the Equity Alliance (21%, 516 visits by new people). Another 14% of page views was by returning visitors. 3. Direct links from our email campaigns and other direct links (10%, 248 visits by new people) These provide evidence of not only market share – mind share of digital dissemination – but also show the effectiveness of the LeadScape platform in providing many ways to access and find needed resources, and the effectiveness of our direct email dissemination of news and guides to learning. We look at the Top Content used from the Learning Carousel to sense the needs and interests of readers. The titles people browse and read and the order of interest in those topics, guides our decisions about content that people need and where they want more information. We also are interested in a deeper level of analysis of the resource uses, as part of the way we listen to the field to stay responsive and authentic. This information comes to us from online searches, keywords, and the topics and keywords in the actual documents used New visitors expand the network The number of absolute unique visitors in the 1st Quarter went up by 29% (750 new people) from the previous quarter. A summary of the visits, absolute unique visitors and number of pages accessed is presented in Table 6. Table 6. Google Analytics Data for LeadScape Website Activity October-December 2010 Month
Totals for Y5Q1
Goal 4 Accomplishments The following list summarizes the evidence of accomplishment during this quarter, organized by the performance criteria.
Conclusion LeadScape performance in this quarter contains evidence that the project has a national outreach, is developing and supporting equity leaders in schools, and is capable of scaling up by fully utilizing its blend of personal, face-to-face and online professional learning systems.
2277 (69%) new people out of a total of 3307 absolute unique visitors accessed LeadScape during the quarter and 1900 visited the Learning Carousel clearinghouse of educational resources.
AUTHENTICITY & USEFULNESS •
A new Equity Advocate program features teachers and school leaders “just doing their job” in outstanding ways.
MARKET SHARE •
Evidence from increases in the email lists and performance of the LeadScape Web platform indicate that market share is increasing.
Quality is being maintained by examining the search and access patterns of users and basing decisions about new publications and news outreach to match and address the concerns of the field.
Breadth of knowledge represented by search terms, keywords and access of publications indicates that LeadScape users have a broad understanding of equity matters.
NIUSI-LeadScape Arizona State University P.O. Box 870211 Interdisciplinary B353 1120 S. Cady Mall Tempe, AZ 85287-6103 Phone: 480.965.0391 FAX: 480.727.7012 Web: www.niusileadscape.org
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs Award No. H325P060012 Project Officer: Anne Smith The contents of this guide were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Also visit us at www.equityallianceatasu.org.