Instructional Improvement System Project


SECC staff will assist North Carolina in identifying and assessing quality curriculum materials for their Instructional Improvement System (IIS). This system was created from their Race to the Top funding and focuses on curriculum design, instructional delivery, assessment and data analysis

This project is in the following state: North Carolina.

This project relates to the following ED Priorities:

  • Implementing college- and career-ready standards and aligned, high-quality assessments for all students
  • Building rigorous instructional pathways that support the successful transition of all students from Secondary education to college without the need for remediation, and careers
  • Turning around the lowest-performing schools
  • Identifying and scaling up innovative approaches to teaching and learning that significantly improve student outcomes
  • Using data-based decision-making to improve instructional practices, policies, and student outcomes

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Previous Work Updates

2016

September

SECC staff conducted three meetings with the K–12 mathematics section chief to discuss various iterations of a mathematics survey that the SEA is planning to disseminate to educators, members of institutions of higher education, and the general public to examine and provide input to North Carolina for math course goals and objectives. Working with the SEA, SECC is also developing a draft of a protocol of decision options and surveying procedures for revising standards across the content areas.

August

On August 11, SECC staff provided the final document titled “SECC States’ Policies and Legislation for Textbook/Digital Resource Review” to NCDPI staff in response to an information request. On August 30, SECC staff met with the K–12 standards, curriculum, and instruction director and the K–12 mathematics section chief to discuss support needs for a mathematics survey design and protocol development for a standards review by educators, community, and parents of three upper-level mathematics courses this fall.

July

On July 12, SECC staff received a request from the NCDPI director of K–12 Curriculum and Instruction to survey other SECC states to collect information on policies and legislation regarding how textbook and other digital resources are collected for review. A request for this information was sent out on July 12 with a return request by August 5.

June

SECC staff continued to support the standards, curriculum, and instruction division at NCDPI by providing technical assistance with development of an online module for identifying quality online instructional resources. SECC staff also continued to provide resources to support the ELA standards project work.

May

Two SECC staff met with NCDPI’s ELA Director Julie Joslin and briefly with four members of her team to plan the two-day summer session the agency will hold with educators and administrators. The group also discussed an orientation webinar that will be held for participants prior to the session. Later, SECC staff prepared data comments and charts for use in the participant workbook. SECC staff also met briefly with the NCDPI Director Tiffany Perkins and staff lead, Carmela Fair to discuss the draft module for identifying quality online instructional resources and the global education sustainability plan.

April

SECC staff met with the NCDPI director and ELA lead to answer questions and make decisions about the analysis of ELA survey data. SECC presented a chart summary of the survey data for standards that were not recommended for revision. The group considered the feasibility of further data analysis of all the comments that stemmed from the standards that were out of the cutoff range. It was determined that those data would be part of the task for the participants in the summer session. SECC and NCDPI staff met again for further discussion about the external survey and comments and the focus group data. The group determined that SECC would serve as a thought partner for the upcoming summer session with educators for examining all data sources and making recommendations for revisions to the ELA standards. Three SECC team members met with the ELA director for a preplanning conference call before an extended meeting in early May for planning the summer session. Suggestions and ideas for session outcomes, data handouts, and assignments to be given before the summer session, a pre-session webinar, and methods for facilitating participants’ processing during the meeting were discussed. Two SECC team members and the NCDPI lead and team for Global Education met to work on a sustainability plan for NCDPI support of global education certifications throughout the state.

March

SECC staff met with NCDPI director and ELA lead to examine analysis of ELA and mathematics survey data. NCDPI decided the agency mathematics staff was working well with their state systems of support teams to continue with the mathematics work on their own. SECC will continue to support the ELA standards review. Together, the group made decisions about further analysis of the educator survey and survey comments data and the inclusion of the external survey data and focus group data. The team planned for sharing results and further analysis of the ELA standards in preparation for a meeting this summer.

February

Two SECC staff members met with the NCDPI staff lead, Carmela Fair, to examine a previously developed draft module for identifying quality online instructional resources and to talk about ways to update and revise the module with current considerations of the North Carolina Summary Rubric requirements. The SECC team then scheduled and met with two North Carolina state trainers to discuss recent trainings, obtain examples in different content areas for teachers to practice using the rubric, and discuss any areas of difficulty teachers had with rubric training. The team continued work analyzing educator survey data about mathematics and ELA standards and developing a sustainability plan for Global Education at NCDPI.

January

SECC staff met with NCDPI staff to discuss the ELA and mathematics standards survey data status and began the process of organizing data for summary. The team also discussed plans for a summer session with North Carolina educators, administrators, and other interested stakeholders to examine the data summaries and make recommendations. Staff from SECC and NCDPI met in separate meetings to discuss other aspects of the project: online module development about identifying, selecting and using high- quality instructional resources and a sustainability project to support NCDPI global education.

2015

December

SECC staff had a telephone conference with NCDPI staff to discuss the ELA and mathematics standards survey data, how it was collected, and how to prioritize the data analysis and summary reports. SECC staff and NCDPI tentatively scheduled a meeting for stakeholder review of data summaries and recommendations for June 2016.

November

SECC staff reviewed survey data results from a statewide collection of teacher input about ELA and mathematics standards. NCDPI led an effort to summarize the data in preparation for reporting and other data collection efforts that will be conducted in 2016. A meeting between SECC and NCDPI to discuss the review and next steps with the data summary is scheduled for December.   

October

SECC staff met with NCDPI leadership and made plans for the Instructional Improvement Project activities for Year 4. One area of work involves identifying ways of providing PD to teachers for selecting and developing instructional resources for the online Schoolnet portal. A second area of work involves providing support for efforts to obtain teacher data about ELA, mathematics, and social studies standards. The third area of work involves helping the department develop capacity for sustaining their global education efforts and supporting their development of requirements for LEAs to apply for global ready district designation.  

September

SECC staff continued to work with NCDPI leadership to make Year 4 work plans for the Instructional Improvement Project in the focus areas of the HomeBase Schoolnet portal, ELA/Math Standards, and Global Education. The staffs have scheduled times to make decisions about the desired outcomes and plan the activities for the next year.

August

SECC staff consulted with NCDPI leadership and made plans for the scope of work that would continue the instructional improvement work for Year 4.  The leadership identified several new areas of need and identified the NCDPI staff members who would work with SECC staff on specific components of the project. The staffs are in the process of scheduling initial meetings to make decisions about the desired outcomes and plan the activities for the next year.

June

SECC staff scheduled an upcoming meeting with NCDPI Instructional Content staff to discuss the SECC Year 4 scope of work for the division beyond the revision and administration of the Fall 2015 Schoolnet Survey.

May

NCDPI Instructional Content staff decided to distribute the Schoolnet Survey in the fall during the next school year rather than at the end of the current school year. Staff also agreed to arrange time to plan and discuss options for work for the next year.

April

SECC staff consulted with NCDPI leadership and instructional content staff leadership about the purpose and objective for developing a Schoolnet self-paced online module. The staff discussed the feasibility of developing the module for vetting instructional resources so that it will be useful for teachers using either the North Carolina Summary Rubric or the Equip Rubric. Staff also met to discuss updates to the Schoolnet survey distributed in the spring and the possibility of distributing the survey at the end of the school year or in the fall.

March

At the request of instructional content staff at NCDPI, SECC staff assisted in preparing a data results report for a district that requested its Schoolnet survey information. Staff also assisted in preparing a summary results report of the entire Schoolnet Survey data that addressed the issues and requests from the instructional content staff’s review of the Executive Summary. SECC staff scheduled a phone conference with NCDPI leadership and instructional content staff to discuss continuation of a Schoolnet online module for teachers that had been in development in Year 2.

February

SECC staff revised a draft Executive Summary about the Schoolnet survey results after receiving input from NCDPI leadership and researchers. Considerations for audience and presentation mode were made for preparation of various documents and media for the data results.

January

SECC staff reviewed quantitative and qualitative data results from Schoolnet survey with division staff leaders and colleagues. SECC also made plans for a "high level" presentation of the findings to members of the NCDPI Home Base Research Consortium who helped to revise and reviewed the survey. SECC staff presented a PowerPoint through a webinar format highlights from the Schoolnet survey results to the Home Base Research Consortium on January 22 and to NCDPI leadership on January 26. SECC staff fielded questions about the survey results and discussed methods of preparing and representing survey findings for other types of audiences.

2014

December

SECC staff began analysis of the quantitative and qualitative Home Base (Schoolnet) Instructional Materials and Assessment Survey results. SECC staff shared a preliminary report of the quantitative data with the Learning Systems Division staff. The two staffs agreed upon a day and time in January to meet and discuss further analyses of the data, discuss the implications of the results, and determine the types of reports and presentations that would be most useful for dissemination to various audiences.

November

The SECC staff monitored, made minor modifications as needed, and updated the Learning Systems Division staff about the Home Base (Schoolnet) Instructional Materials and Assessment Survey. The survey was open for a three-week response period in November. More than 2,850 teachers from all six regions in North Carolina provided responses to the survey.

October

SECC staff revised and updated the Home Base (Schoolnet) Instructional Materials and Assessment Survey in collaboration with Learning Systems Division staff at a number of meetings throughout the month. The team discussed the comments received from other department reviewers and made decisions about each item on the survey. Final revisions and checks were made by the end of the month in preparation for a November administration of the survey.

September

Learning Systems Division staff asked SECC staff to assist with the revision and preparation of the Home Base Teacher Survey that was administered in Winter 2014 for a fall administration to North Carolina teachers. SECC staff conferred with Learning Systems Division staff to discuss updates to the survey. SECC staff also participated by conference call in a NCDPI Research Consortium meeting to answer questions about the Fall 2014 Home Base Teacher Survey draft that the Learning Systems Division staff had shared with participants. The group discussed changes to the survey, a timeline for survey administration, and ways of disseminating the survey.

August

The SECC staff prepared the draft module for the NCDPI Learning Systems Division staff to share with agency leadership before proceeding with further development. The staffs also discussed plans for the next SECC year.

July

SECC and the NCDPI Learning Systems Division staff met through a video webinar to discuss the interactive activities and further developments of the NC Summary Rubric module to date.

June

The collaborative work on the North Carolina summary rubric module script development, review, and editing continued through two scheduled video conference calls between SECC and Learning Systems Division staff. Learning Systems Division staff provided sample instructional resources and other informational resources to be incorporated into the module.

May

SECC and the NCDPI Learning Systems Division staff met via a video conference call. The team continued the discussion about specific elements for the North Carolina Summary Rubric module script and reviewed a draft of the informational video.

April

During a conference call, SECC staff and Learning Systems Division staff reviewed the new direction and planned next steps for a Schoolnet informational video. The team also decided to begin development of a script for the NC Summary Rubric module, which will be designed for teachers to better understand the criteria used to determine the quality of resources that are placed in Schoolnet. SECC staff also shared summary data about the Home Base Teacher Survey with Learning Systems Division staff.

March

SECC staff and North Carolina Learning Systems Division staff met by phone/webinar about the status of projects in the Year 2 work plan. The group discussed continuing efforts around the sustainability plan development, video scripts for professional development, and the Home Base teacher survey for evaluation. The team also discussed anticipated work throughout the summer. SECC staff presented the preliminary Home Base teacher survey data results.

February

Learning Systems Division staff sent a reminder to districts, principals, and teachers about the deadline for completing and submitting the online Home Base IIS usage teacher survey. After the survey closed, a SECC staff evaluator analyzed the data and prepared a preliminary report of the data to share with the Learning Systems Division staff. SECC staff also submitted draft scripts for an informational video about how to access and find resources on Home Base IIS and a video about how all the state-provided resources in Home Base have been through a rigorous review and approval process using the NC Summary Rubric.

January

The SECC staff worked with Learning Systems Division staff in three key areas of the NC IIS work plan. First, SECC staff provided feedback by telephone conference and shared documents with North Carolina staff on drafts of the sustainability plan for Home Base IIS work. Five SECC staff met by webinar with division staff to give feedback and revise the sustainability plan. The SECC’s partner staff from RMC Research Corporation provided editorial and formatting assistance on a final version of the sustainability plan in preparation for a presentation by the Learning Systems division director to NCDPI leadership. The SECC staff members continued their work on development of an online video for communicating information and support about the use of Home Base to North Carolina educators. The SECC staff conducted a conference call meeting with Learning Systems and NCDPI communication staff to discuss specifics on resources and preferences for developing a script for producing the video resources. Additionally, after an NCDPI staff review, SECC staff revised the teacher Home Base usage survey and prepared the online version. The NCDPI staff disseminated the survey link to teachers through a NCDPI periodic newsletter and other electronic notifications. The survey will be open for a two-week period into February 2014.

2013

December

Staff from SECC and Learning Systems Division staff met via a conference call to discuss the details of the preliminary work that needed to be completed before meeting in person to develop a sustainability plan for Home Base IIS work. Four SECC staff members worked in a day-long session with three Learning Systems Division staff members to discuss the purpose and characteristics of a useful sustainability plan and to populate a draft outline of a five-year sustainability plan for Home Base IIS. SECC staff members also conducted a conference call meeting with Learning Systems staff to discuss development of online video resources for communicating information and support the use of Home Base by North Carolina educators. Staff from SECC also submitted a final draft teacher Home Base usage survey for NCDPI staff to review, edit, and comment on in preparation for dissemination in January 2014.

November

The SECC staff worked with the NCDPI communications engagement group to develop a survey for teachers to complete about their awareness and use of the Home Base IIS resources, lesson planner, and assessment tools. Staff from SECC participated in an initial meeting with the Learning Systems Division staff to set goals and priorities for the development of a sustainability plan and additional professional development initiatives for Home Base IIS. The SECC team also provided input and participated in logic modeling for the Home Base system with NCDPI staff in November.

October

The SECC liaison and staff met with Learning Division staff to discuss the work plan, activities, and outcomes for the second year of work together. The SECC staff attended meetings by teleconference and webinar with NCDPI staff for two of the identified areas: communications and evaluation. The SECC staff participated in several meetings with the NCDPI communications engagement group to develop a survey to determine messages teachers have received about and/or their usage of the Home Base instructional improvement system. The SECC staff also took part in a meeting with NCDPI staff as their Race to the Top evaluators led them through a process to develop a logic model for all parts of Home Base.

September

The SECC staff continued to assist with the identification and tagging of English language arts and STEM educational resources for the Instructional Systems area of Home Base. The SECC staff also scheduled an October planning meeting to discuss Year 2 objectives and work plans with NCDPI staff.

August

Five SECC staff members joined Learning Systems consultant and staff in a Home Base Refresher Training webinar to better understand the protocols for tagging resources into the new data system. SECC staff continued to identify and tag educational resources for the Instructional Systems area of Home Base. SECC staff also discussed development plans for Year 2 with NCDPI staff.

July

Three SECC staff members joined the NCDPI Learning Systems staff and Kenan Fellows in a one-hour webinar to prepare for the Using Quality Rubrics to Evaluate Resources session of the NCDPI Summer Institute 2013. Additionally, SECC staff participated in a one-hour phone conference with the Learning Systems Division staff to discuss the rubrics portion of the session that SECC staff would be responsible for presenting during the institutes. SECC staff copresented with Learning Systems Division staff during 12 sessions of the four NCDPI regional institutes in July.

June

The Learning Systems Division migrated to a new system for tagging resources for the instructional systems area of Home Base in June. On June 17, SECC staff participated in the scheduled webinar to prepare resources. SECC staff work with content coordinators who review the resources and finalize the entries for publication into the system. Two SECC staff also participated in a conference call about tagging procedures with an NCDPI consultant who is heading the work. SECC staff coordinated with NCDPI to make preparations to cofacilitate the OER Rubric Training at North Carolina Summer Institutes to be held in eight regions in July. Additional SECC content area staff were added to the work in June.

May

SECC project and RMC partner staff met with the Learning Systems Division director and staff at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction on May 7. The meeting allowed both staffs the opportunity to establish relationships and inform each other of the background and expertise that each team member brought to the new partnership. Learning System staff oriented SECC staff to their progress and short-term goals for the instructional improvement system components of Home Base. They also trained the SECC staff in OER Rubric tagging procedures and instructed them about the decision making involved to ensure that the quality standards for instructional materials would be met. Next steps included scheduling SECC staff to assist with NCDPI’s 2013 Summer Institutes for OER Rubric training. SECC’s RMC partner staff trained additional staff and implemented a procedure for meeting the quality standards and using the guidelines for identifying and tagging resources. By the end of the month, they identified and tagged 117 English Language Arts resources in grades 2, 9-10, and 11-12 that align with approximately 145 ELA Common Core State Standards. SECC staff also worked on identifying and training additional staff to be trained in other critical content areas that NCDPI needs for the IIS.

April

SECC staff made initial email and phone contacts and introductions with the Learning Systems Division director and staff at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The staffs scheduled a May phone conference for team and program introductions and to solidify the objectives for the collaborative work. An early May meeting was also scheduled for the purpose of learning the procedure for tagging resources that will populate the instructional improvement system components of the Home Base integrated platform, which will become operational for the 2013–2014 school year. SECC staff have been asked to focus on helping to identify and code resources in English/language arts, formative assessment, STEM, special education, and social studies. In addition, SECC staff will be helping to facilitate summer professional development sessions for educators in North Carolina to use the rubric for resources they may want to add to Home Base.