During winter 2017, SECC leaders, Drs. Beth Howard-Brown and Tammie Causey-Konaté, with the state liaisons, met with state education agency (SEA) senior leadership and other SEA staff throughout the Southeast. Based on the identified priorities and projects in SECC states, the region continues to focus on implementation efforts for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In each meeting, SECC provided updates from the U.S. Department of Education on the expectation of focusing on impact and reducing the number of intensive projects. The meetings transitioned into a review of Year 5 work, project outcomes, and a discussion of state priorities and anticipated evidence of impact. In addition to specific projects around low-performing schools, effective teachers and leaders, college and career readiness, and diverse learners, all five states asked to continue their involvement with two regional projects: Ensuring School Readiness Community of Practice and the College- and Career-Readiness Assessment and Standards Support. To ensure that project work stays on track, state liaisons and project leads will continue to meet frequently with SEA contacts and will work closely with SECC leadership to address any challenges or concerns.
During Year 6, SECC is providing support for 16 state-based projects, a few of which are highlighted below. To learn more about state project work, visit the SECC website.
- Alabama Low-Performing Schools – SECC is working with the Alabama State Department of Education to develop a logic model. This includes helping the state to address its short-, mid-, and long-term outcomes and other elements of the logic model requiring development.
- Georgia Strengthening District and School Support – Staff from SECC, Georgia Department of Education, and the Wallace Foundation participated in the Mentoring & Induction Affinity Group Launch Event in February 2018. Teams from four states reviewed research and best practices to support the induction of new and struggling teachers, reviewed their individual work plans, and provided feedback.
- Mississippi Talent Management – SECC facilitated a quarterly meeting with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and its four Talent for Turnaround Leadership Academy (T4TLA) districts. Priorities included technical assistance for (a) continued use of data to monitor progress toward continuous school improvement, (b) a work session on the development of draft theories of action for district-level talent management based on the Center on School Turnaround’s Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement framework, and (c) a reflective activity to help prepare the team for launching the planning process for state and district mentoring and induction programming.
- North Carolina Instructional Improvement Systems – SECC team members and staff from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction met to revise qualitative data collection tools, which included teacher, parent, and student surveys regarding the state’s two Virtual Public Charter Schools. Plans are underway to collect all data by the end of April 2018.
- South Carolina Educator Effectiveness – SECC worked with the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) to determine guiding questions for a peer-to-peer meeting with representatives from SCDE, the Ohio Department of Education, Rhode Island Department of Education, and Texas Education Agency on March 6, 2018. In addition, SECC revised a survey to focus on teachers and school and district administrators and to include questions about implementation of student learning objectives.