Instructional Partners

SECC will work with the ALSDE in scaling up the Alabama Instructional Partners Program (IPP) from its 2011–2012 pilot involving 13 schools to over 100 schools statewide by 2014–2015. IPP was designed to train and place non-subject specific coaches in low-performing schools in place of the state's current system of separate reading, mathematics, science, and technology coaches.

Project continued from prior grant: Instructional Support Design Team

This project is in the following state: Alabama.

This project relates to the following ED Priority:

  • Turning around the lowest-performing schools


Previous Work Updates

Project Closed



The IPP project is currently on hold pending further conversations and updates with ALSDE leadership.


Through multiple emails and an additional conference with ALSDE, SECC staff finalized the narrowed talking points for state education agency staff to use in their communications with others about the Instructional Partners (IP) program. These were shared with ALSDE staff. The effective process allowed ALSDE and SEDL to work in partnership to examine a large amount of data and come to consensus on key talking points.


SECC staff shared a document that focused on preliminary findings and talking points with ALSDE staff. A conference call was held to begin the conversation on the above document. SECC staff will be generating more narrowed talking points for ALSDE staff to use in their communications with others about the IP program. These talking points will be shared with ALSDE staff in September. Conversations also centered on steps for 2013–2014, generally as the IP program will be moving to a regional model. SECC staff will continue to support the evaluation efforts. All agreed that during the next year it will be important to look for some additional evaluation support (perhaps graduate students, etc.) as the program grows. The new Alabama SECC liaison, Heidi Goertzen, also participated in meetings with ALSDE staff.


Data from the interviews with key ALSDE/ABPC staff have been collected and tabulated with preliminary analysis. All survey data have been collected and tabulated as well. Survey data were cleaned by SECC staff, and preliminary analysis on the quantitative components has been sent in draft form to ALSDE staff. A document detailing the analysis was developed by SECC staff and will be shared with ALSDE. The qualitative data have been tabulated, but the draft is over 100 pages in length. SECC staff requested of ALSDE to determine if there might be support for analyzing these data. Conversations will occur on this in mid-July.


ALSDE staff administered the survey on the IP program to teachers, principals, and instructional partners. The surveys were developed by SEDL and ALSDE, with the SDE staff taking the responsibility to build the survey and administer it. Data was still being collected as of April 30. Staff from SEDL and AIR interviewed key staff at ALSDE/ABPC using a protocol developed by SEDL/AIR. All staff agreed that it was important to gather data from key personnel on the strengths and challenges of the IP program. The data will be compiled and presented in May. Ideally, ALSDE can use this protocol or a similar one in the future. Staff also sought to build an IP manual; however, this activity was put on hold while agreements were established between all parties on the use of tools and data in the future.


Glenda Copeland, SECC program associate, met with ALSDE and ABPC staff to determine what support may be needed as they scale-up in 2013–2014. Interviews and survey administration are scheduled for April.


SECC research and evaluation staff have worked with ALSDE and ABPC to finalize their surveys for teachers, principals, and instructional partners. These surveys are being uploaded to Survey Monkey and will be administered in March or April. Staff from SECC’s partner, AIR, will lead the collection of materials for the instructional partners manual. SECC committed two program associates, Kathleen Theodore and Glenda Copeland, to assist ALSDE and ABPC staff as they scale up in 2013–2014. Initial communications on the scale-up occurred, and staff will begin this work in March.


The SECC research and evaluation staff have worked with ALSDE and the Alabama Best Practices Center (ABPC) and finalized an evaluation plan and data collection schedule for 2013. Surveys for teachers, principals, and Instructional Partners have been developed and are being built by ALSDE staff. An interview protocol for senior staff has been developed to examine lessons learned during 2012-13. Additionally, the team is working to conduct a document review of all training and marketing materials to create an ‘IP manual’ of best practices and lessons learned. SECC staff has also engaged ALSDE and ABPC staff around providing support to the program as it scales-up in 2013-14.



SECC research and evaluation staff member, Jason LaTurner, focused on developing Innovation Configuration Maps for both IPs and Principals—charting out the key roles that each should play as part of the program. SECC staff also focused on finalizing an evaluation plan for Spring 2013. SECC staff have been working with support from partner staff from the American Institutes for Research in developing the evaluation strategy for 2013.


SECC research and evaluation staff member, Jason LaTurner began to interface with the staff of the REL-SE who have proposed a study to examine the effectiveness of the Instructional Partners (IP) program. SECC staff provided context and details of the IP program at a meeting of the REL-SE Technical Work Group. SECC also began working with ALSDE staff to develop Innovation Configuration Maps.