Projects

Regional Collaborative Initiatives

Background

The SECC will provide opportunities, via collaboration with other content and regional comprehensive centers, for its state education agencies (SEAs) to participate in Talent for Turnaround (T4T) follow-up activities, including the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA). In Year 1, the T4TLA will engage SEA leadership in learning about and applying research and best practices in preparing, hiring, developing, and supporting educators in the work of school turnaround. Additionally, Year 5 key state topics of interest will be identified, with SECC collaborating with subject matter applicable content and regional comprehensive centers (RCCs) to plan and collaboratively conduct targeted professional development (PD) convenings on a state-specific basis.

Project Updates

Most Recent Update: |

SECC staff met with its Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) districts in Georgia and Mississippi. The T4TLA districts provided updates and discussed Year 6 planning and technical assistance (TA) support needs. MDE and SECC continue to work with the T4TLA districts in completing the T4TLA Year 6 TA Planning Template. The MDE project director and director of the Office of Teaching and Learning and Yazoo City School District leadership participated in the meeting. The Holmes County superintendent was not in attendance but sent updates by email. The team solidified the priorities for Year 6.

The SECC director, SECC Georgia state state liaison, and the school improvement specialist at the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), met with Dougherty County School leadership. The group reviewed their most recent work plan, identified next steps and persons responsible, and specified agenda items for the next meeting. Members will report on progress of identified tasks at that time.

 

Previous Updates:

SECC staff met with its Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) districts in Georgia and Mississippi. The T4TLA districts provided updates and discussed Year 6 planning and technical assistance (TA) support needs. MDE and SECC continue to work with the T4TLA districts in completing the T4TLA Year 6 TA Planning Template. The MDE project director and director of the Office of Teaching and Learning and Yazoo City School District leadership participated in the meeting. The Holmes County superintendent was not in attendance but sent updates by email. The team solidified the priorities for Year 6.

The SECC director, SECC Georgia state state liaison, and the school improvement specialist at the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), met with Dougherty County School leadership. The group reviewed their most recent work plan, identified next steps and persons responsible, and specified agenda items for the next meeting. Members will report on progress of identified tasks at that time.

In preparation for the July 26 national Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) regional comprehensive center (RCC) meeting, SECC staff updated the Georgia (Dougherty) and Mississippi (Holmes County and Yazoo Municipal) school districts’ “snapshots” of progress to date, to help guide the three districts in moving the T4T work forward. Additionally, SECC completed T4TLA RCC Lead Year 6 TA Planning Templates to identify the districts’ Year 6 prioritized talent management challenges; the short-, medium-, and long-term outcomes of SECC technical assistance support of MDE and school district T4T teams; and the inputs and outputs, with timelines, required to achieve these outcomes. During the July 26 meeting, RCC state representatives identified problems, inputs, and needed resources, including coordinated TA opportunities. SECC staff currently are in the process of obtaining state education agency (SEA) and district feedback on the Year 6 template. Once that feedback is incorporated into the Georgia and Mississippi templates, the revised templates will be shared with the SEAs and district teams and posted on the T4TLA GroupSite. The national T4TLA network will use information from the templates to inform their Y6 management plans, their coordinated T4TLA TA, and any follow up that content centers may need to have with RCCs to plan Y6 technical assistance support. The U.S. Department of Education is focusing on T4TLA outcomes and on impact. Completion by RCCs of a standardized template will greatly assist in demonstrating the T4TLA network’s impact and potential for change at the SEA and district levels.

 

SECC Talent For Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) team members refined their plans of action and reflected upon lessons learned at the second national convening. Teams initiated plans to convene this summer to begin implementation of their action plans. SECC’s T4TLA lead met with other state T4TLA project leads to identify the most useful forms of support for SECC’s three current districts and to explore the possibility of extending the reach to other districts within the current states and possibly inviting additional states to join the T4TLA initiative. The project leads also discussed the nature of the support needed by current cohorts and whether that support should be targeted or more universal, such as a third national convening. This T4TLA project sheds light on school turnaround and talent development in SECC’s three targeted districts, with the educational experiences of 14,946 students in Dougherty County, 2,974 students in Holmes County, and 2,489 students in Yazoo Municipal likely to improve as a result of this work.

The Georgia and Mississippi Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) teams participated in the T4TLA National Meeting 2 on May 11–12, 2017. The two state teams had a total of 11 participants. Georgia team members included the Georgia Department of Education (2) and the Dougherty School District (4). Mississippi team members included the Mississippi Department of Education (2), Holmes County School District (2), and Yazoo City School District (1). The teams participated in the following sessions: team check-in poster session/museum tour, four domains of rapid improvement, bold talent management benchmarks, concurrent breakouts, and team action planning. SECC staff member Glenda Copeland provided on-site technical assistance and support to the Georgia team and SECC staff members Tammie Causey-Konaté, Deanna Hill, and Debra Meibaum provided on-site technical assistance and support to the Mississippi team.

The objectives of the T4TLA meeting were as follows: inform and learn from colleagues from other states and districts about work being done to identify and address talent management challenges in high-need schools; learn about and apply knowledge of developing the educator workforce needed for turning around our highest need schools; use boldness benchmarks to assess and strengthen plans; and develop and share action plans that incorporate monitoring benchmarks and relevant new information that will guide future work. The T4TLA National Meeting 2 was hosted by the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center), Center on School Turnaround (CST), Northeast Comprehensive Center (NCC), and West Comprehensive Center (WCC). Next steps are to continue development and implementation of the Georgia and Mississippi T4TLA action plans.

SECC supported state education agency (SEA) staff from the Georgia and Mississippi Departments of Education in their Talent For Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) work. In preparation for participation in the May 11–12, second national T4TLA meeting, SECC worked with the two SEAs and their participating school districts to register and make travel logistics for the Scottsdale, Arizona, trip. SECC and the Mississippi T4TLA team assisted Holmes County with its district T4TLA action plan. Additionally, MDE and SECC collaborated in developing the content for Mississippi’s poster presentation as part of the “Breaking News” poster session at the upcoming national meeting. SECC and the Georgia T4TLA team met March 30 to revise the assistance provided to Dougherty County in support of their work to prevent future teacher departures, especially those in high-needs schools. Both the Georgia and Mississippi Departments of Education uploaded their states’ content for the second national meeting poster. T4TLA next steps include participation of the two state teams at the second T4TLA national meeting and continued work on the participating districts’ action plans.

On March 17, Glenda Copeland, SECC Georgia state liaison, and Deborah McLendon, GaDOE district effectiveness specialist, facilitated a planning session with leaders from Dougherty County to confirm the management strategies identified in the January 17 planning session. The group prioritized the work that can be completed prior to the May 11–12 national meeting and updated the timeline. SECC will review surveys to be used with departing teachers or those with more than 5 years of service to help determine what might prevent future teacher departures, especially in high-needs schools.

In continuation of the Mississippi regional Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) initiative, SECC met March 30 with MDE staff and representatives from the two participating school districts, Holmes County and Yazoo City. The meeting began with thoughtful reflections on developing systems that attract, retain, and support the talent necessary to accomplish the work. Following the reflective discussions, updates on the T4TLA work that had been achieved since the January 2017 meeting were provided by participants. MDE provided an interactive discussion on its data systems and the relationship to the T4TLA work. December 2016–March 2017 T4TLA milestones were reviewed, followed by a discussion of talent challenges, including teaching conditions. Participants identified a key priority for future T4TLA work, and began work on completing their team action plan templates, as groundwork for the upcoming national T4TLA meeting. Next steps include MDE and the two districts continuing work on their T4TLA action plans in preparation for the second national T4TLA meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, May 11–12, 2017. Upon receipt from the national T4TLA committee, SECC will share pre-work assignments with the Mississippi team.

On February 10, the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) planning committee emailed T4TLA state teams an announcement that planning has begun for the second T4TLA national meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona. The planning committee asked prospective participants to save the date for this event and noted that additional details, including links for the conference and hotel registration, will be sent out soon.

As a consequence of the second tornado outbreak to hit the Dougherty County School District area in January, there has been no activity with the district regarding the T4TLA project during February. On February 9, Glenda Copeland, SECC Georgia state liaison, and Deborah McLendon, GaDOE district effectiveness specialist, worked together to identify information needed to complete a streamlined planning tool for the T4TLA project.

The Mississippi T4TLA team and SECC participated in a needs sensing GoToMeeting session on February 27. The meeting’s purpose was to discuss immediate and long-term talent-related data needs and possibilities for helping the two Mississippi T4TLA districts to establish mechanisms for gathering, monitoring, and analyzing relevant data. Additionally, SECC shared with the Mississippi T4TLA SEA and LEA teams the resource, Students Need Great Principals: Using ESSA and PSEL Standards to Better Support School Leaders. The next Mississippi T4TLA on-site meeting will be on March 23 at the Yazoo City School District.

The GaDOE Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) team, consisting of the director of School and District Effectiveness, the district effectiveness specialist, the SECC Georgia state liaison, met with the Dougherty County T4TLA team on January 17 at Dougherty County Schools’ offices. Members of the Dougherty County T4TLA team included the associate superintendent, the director of School Improvement, and the principal of Albany High School. The combined T4TLA teams determined that they will be collecting and analyzing new data on why teachers leave/stay in Dougherty County. This data will be used to verify the root causes and to identify strategies to address said causes. The teams also plan to engage Teacher Alternative Preparation (TAP) providers and Albany State University in determining how to ensure more effective induction and support for new teachers.

In preparation for the Mississippi regional T4TLA meeting, SECC collaborated with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) to develop the work session and to prepare graphic visualizations for data currently available from the two participating school districts, Holmes County and Yazoo City. On January 20, the Mississippi T4TLA state education agency (SEA) and local education agency (LEA) teams met with SECC and GTL Center for a full-day work session. To set the stage, refresher activities for the December 2015 T4TLA national meeting were provided. In Part 1 of the work session, the SEA and district teams participated in small group work in analyzing talent management data and subsequently identified and prioritized their key challenges. Teams identified key talent management policy questions, reviewed supporting data, and analyzed the data to identify strengths and challenges. Part 2 of the work session was focused on understanding the challenges. The team identified and prioritized perceived causes/reasons for the key talent challenges using the “5 Whys” approach. Next steps include an MDE to-be-scheduled face-to-face meeting in February to address data needs and a second SECC to-be-scheduled regional meeting to maintain the momentum in moving the T4TLA work forward.

On December 1–2, the GTL Center, the Center on School Turnaround, and the Northeast and West Comprehensive Centers hosted the national meeting of the first cohort of the T4T Leadership Academy. T4TLA district teams from Dougherty County in Georgia and Holmes and Yazoo City Counties in Mississippi represented the SECC region in Cohort 1. The goal of the T4TLA meeting was to build a shared understanding of how coherent and aligned systems of talent management can be leveraged to attract, support, and retain excellent educators in the highest need and lowest performing schools. Priority T4TLA activities for Day 1 and 2 of the national meeting were focused on identifying, understanding, and addressing challenges related to talent management. Activities included coherence and alignment review of equity and improvement plans, identification of “working” strategies and those in need of improvement, a deep dive of talent pipeline data to identify challenges, root cause analyses of challenges to closing equity and achievement gaps, selection of key strategies to address those challenges, and development of a plan for implementation. Next steps include regional debriefing meetings and a second national meeting, with a tentative time frame of spring 2017.

SECC staff worked intensively with Georgia and Mississippi, its two states selected to participate in Cohort 1 of the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA). Virtual meetings, conference calls, and emails were utilized to prepare for the upcoming December 1–2 T4TLA national meeting. Georgia and Mississippi state teams were identified as were the participating district teams in both states. Members of the T4TLA Georgia and Mississippi teams attended the November 1 T4TLA kick-off webinar to receive updates and foundational information about the national meeting, pre-meeting resources and expectations, and related modes of communication. SECC staff followed up with the Georgia and Mississippi teams to discuss the content of the data templates submitted by the state and school district teams.

Two SECC states, Georgia and Mississippi, were selected to participate in the Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy’s first cohort, which will allow them to collaborate to design and implement innovative talent management strategies to attract, support, and retain excellent educators in the highest need, lowest performing schools. The states were notified that the first T4TLA national conference will be December 1–2, with the introductory T4TLA webinar for RCC/SEA/LEA teams set for November 1. The two states were asked to work closely with SECC to ensure that they named and confirmed district partners and named a complete team of staff to participate. Submission of completed tables to the GTL Center was requested by October 14. In support of the cross-department collaboration encouraged by T4T, states were asked to identify a minimum of two SEA staff and two LEA staff from each participating district, with a focus on staff that are responsible for school improvement and educator effectiveness/equitable access.