Project: Year 7 2018–2019

Alabama Professional Learning Commission

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) is supporting the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) with the co-development of a strategic plan for establishing a statewide system of support (SSOS) for professional development.  The SECC is continuing to support the state with scaling up PD efforts.

Technical Assistance Approach

The SECC is facilitating meetings with state education agency (SEA) staff from across the agency and members of the Alabama Professional Learning Commission (APLC) to look at professional learning being provided to districts and schools and to devise a cohesive framework for providing professional learning opportunities to educators in the state. The SECC will share resources and expertise with the department and APLC that support the design of evidenced-based professional learning and evaluation of services.

Impact
  • Increased state education agency (SEA) and local education agency (LEA) knowledge of evidence-based school improvement strategies and materials in the state's most challenged schools and districts 

  • SEA consensus on elements of SSOS plan (improved intra- and inter-organizational relationships)

  • A structured system for providing support to low-performing districts/schools 

  •  Processes for monitoring the effective implementation of the SSOS for low-performing schools 

Project State(s)

Project Updates

Most Recent Update: 2019 | June

Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) and Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) staff set a date for an on-site meeting in July to begin planning and developing a logic model reflecting action steps and anticipated outcomes for informing the development of communication plans and practices related to professional learning in Alabama. ALSDE requested resources and information related to micro-credentialing, as the state is interested in learning more about this type of professional learning and how other states have reported their effectiveness and impact. Additionally, SECC will provide resources about micro-credentialing to ALSDE. 

As evidence of impact, ALSDE is ready to begin mapping out a framework for professional learning through logic modeling. This tool will support its performance management of the processes the state uses to provide educators with professional learning. The state also has identified a data collection tool that will support performance management. 

 

Previous Updates:

Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) and Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) staff set a date for an on-site meeting in July to begin planning and developing a logic model reflecting action steps and anticipated outcomes for informing the development of communication plans and practices related to professional learning in Alabama. ALSDE requested resources and information related to micro-credentialing, as the state is interested in learning more about this type of professional learning and how other states have reported their effectiveness and impact. Additionally, SECC will provide resources about micro-credentialing to ALSDE. 

As evidence of impact, ALSDE is ready to begin mapping out a framework for professional learning through logic modeling. This tool will support its performance management of the processes the state uses to provide educators with professional learning. The state also has identified a data collection tool that will support performance management. 

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC)  staff met with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) staff to debrief on the regional in-service director meeting in late April. They determined that SECC would work with the state to begin planning and developing a logic model reflecting actions steps and anticipated outcomes for informing the development of communication plans and practices. In June, SECC will schedule a meeting with ALSDE to begin planning and developing a logic model reflecting actions steps and anticipated outcomes.

As evidence of impact, the state is building consensus on a framework of a statewide system of professional learning for educators. The state is ready to begin building a logic model that will help to increase capacity for monitoring the effective implementation of the statewide system of support. A result of the meeting with the regional in-service directors includes their readiness to develop and design a standard needs assessment tool to determine professional learning. 

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) team compiled resources that address questions the state would like to share with the regional inservice centers (RICs). Once the information was compiled, the SECC team developed an interactive meeting agenda that would engage the RIC directors in reflection on practices states use to serve districts regionally and to develop next steps. The SECC state liaison facilitated the meeting and discussion with the RIC directors. The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) staff will meet with SECC in early May to plan for the meeting with the Alabama Professional Learning Commission. They will use outcomes from the RIC directors’ meeting and survey results to help guide decision-making. 

After the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) met with the regional in-service center (RIC) directors in early March to share data and discuss the directors’ responses and questions about the results, the state requested information from the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) team related to effective practices and processes that RICs in other states use to identify professional learning needs. The state will share this information with the RIC directors in Alabama at their next scheduled meeting in late April so they can discuss possible structures and practices that Alabama RICs could develop and implement. Additionally, SECC project staff will search for information related to effective practices and processes that RICs in other states use to identify professional learning needs. The SECC team will meet internally in early to mid-April to discuss findings and prepare to share those with the state. As evidence of impact, the state’s request for examples of effective practices other state RICs use for offering professional learning is a step closer to realizing a framework for professional learning statewide. After the April meeting, the Alabama Professional Learning Commission will convene to move forward with plans.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) analyzed the survey results and summarized them into charts then shared these results with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) team during a virtual meeting for review and discussion and to plan for the larger group meeting. The SECC team then presented the survey results to the Alabama Professional Learning Commission (APLC) members during a face-to-face meeting and facilitated conversations among commission members’ findings and reflections.

The state will meet with the regional in-service center (RIC) directors in early March to share data and discuss the directors’ responses and questions about the results. They also will share the APLC’s discussion with the RICs. A second face-to-face meeting with APLC is scheduled for late-May to discuss developing a framework for professional learning (PL) statewide. SECC will support the state with planning and thought-partnering for the meeting.

Through the collection of educator feedback, ALSDE and APLC members have been able to discuss issues surrounding PL and possible strategies for improvement. They also recognize that there may be a need to learn more from targeted stakeholders about these issues. With stakeholder input and data, the state is closer to developing a system of support for PL.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC)  met virtually with the state Alabama Professional Learning Commission (APLC) team to plan for next steps. The state indicated that the survey had already been disseminated, and at that time they had received approximately 4,000 responses. The state will send SECC a file of the data to be cleaned and prepared for analysis. SECC will analyze the data and will share the analysis for discussion with the state team virtually in early February so they can prepare for the APLC on-site meeting, which will occur the same week. The state has requested that SECC staff lead the data meeting with the commission given that some of the data will include feedback on the state’s professional learning (PL) services as well as their external partners who serve on the commission. The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) requested that SECC share resources with them related to PL systems other states are using to support them with developing their own state PL framework.

In February, SECC staff will clean and analyze the data from the educator survey, and they will present the survey results to the state team in preparation for the larger commission meeting later in the week. SECC will lead the APLC meeting in its review of survey data findings. SECC will compile a list of PL frameworks other states are implementing and share that with ALSDE to support them with the development of the state’s own PL framework.

As evidence of impact, ALSDE is able to collect a high survey response rate from state educators that will inform its approach to developing a framework for PL, a precondition for implementation.

Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) staff followed up to the assistant superintendent’s email indicating that the survey items looked ready to be converted to an electronic format. The SECC offered support with any formatting and other needs that may arise during this process.

As evidence of impact, setting and keeping quick timelines for accomplishing the survey development, ALSDE is demonstrating readiness to increase its capacity for monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of the statewide system of professional learning support to Alabama’s educators.

Beginning in January 2019, SECC will support the state department as it prepares to disseminate the survey to educators throughout Alabama.

During November, the Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) led the development of a state survey for educators around district and school professional learning through virtual and face-to-face meetings. During the first virtual meeting, SECC staff met with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) Alabama Professional Learning Commission (APLC) project team to prepare a draft survey for the upcoming blended meeting (during which state and SECC staff were on-site and external APLC members were virtual). The latter meeting allowed commission members to provide their feedback to the draft survey. Once SECC staff revised the survey with appropriate input and feedback, staff returned it to ALSDE for next steps to finalize and disseminate it to Alabama's educators. The agency will prepare the final survey in an electronic format and disseminate it to educators in early January 2019.

As evidence of impact, setting and keeping quick timelines for accomplishing the survey development, ALSDE is demonstrating readiness to increase its capacity for monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of the statewide system of professional learning support to Alabama’s educators.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC) met with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) in mid-October to confirm milestones, outputs, and outcomes for the Alabama Professional Learning Commission (APLC) project. Some changes were made to refine the plan. The state asked for SECC support with developing a stakeholder survey around district and school professional learning (PL) so that it could get a baseline for how stakeholders perceive PL services offered by providers from across the state, including ALSDE and external providers (e.g., Alabama Educators Association, Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools, Regional In-service Centers, etc.). The following week, SECC staff met again with the state project team to develop foundational questions for the survey and a question bank. SECC staff then drafted a survey for Alabama teachers and administrators. 

During the month of November, SECC staff will share the survey draft with ALSDE project staff to get their input and feedback for refining the survey. Once they have the survey in its final draft format. SECC and ALSDE will hold a virtual meeting with the APLC members in mid-November to gather their input and feedback. The survey is slated for dissemination in early January 2019. As evidence of impact, the state has demonstrated readiness for developing a cohesive and comprehensive system of PL supporting Alabama’s district and school educators. The state project team was strategic in planning out actions steps for implementing the next activities associated with this effort.