Alabama Instructional Reading Support

The Southeast Comprehensive Center and the Center on Instruction are strengthening support for reading instruction in Alabama by providing technical assistance on the Instructional Partners Pilot Program.

Instructional Partners Pilot Program

Teacher reading with students

The Southeast Comprehensive Center at SEDL and the Center on Instruction are providing technical assistance to the Alabama Instructional Support Design Team on the Instructional Partners Pilot Program. This project aims to maximize the impact of state-funded reading coaches by broadening their role to that of instructional partner. In this broader role, coaches would shift to being a school-based partner, listener, and colleague to help improve teaching and learning. This shift would maximize the impact of regional education staff by enabling them to have school-based contacts who are trained as instructional partners with whom to collaborate and plan. The overall goal is to help schools and districts gain greater coherence and focus.

Six Alabama counties made up the first cohort in the pilot, which took place during the 2011−2012 school year. Within those counties, 11 instructional partners along with seven elementary schools, one intermediate school, and two middle schools participated.

Positive Results

Results describing the impact of the Instructional Partners pilot on students were positive as described by the SEDL evaluator:

  • Students are taking ownership of their own learning and learning cooperatively.
  • More student engagement is occurring in some classrooms.
  • Students are having more input in their learning.
  • Students can tell you what they are doing and why.
  • There is a decline in discipline referrals.
  • Formative assessments show increased learning.

The project has also been well received by leaders at the Alabama State Department of Education. Expansion plans will continue the partnership approach during the 2012−2013 school year by adding more schools in Cohort One as well as adding a Cohort Two with new counties and schools.