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MCES Professional Learning Improves MEAP and AYP Results

MCES CSR Intervention Results:

  • MEAP scores rose at a significantly greater rate than the state average; especially in reading
  • Teachers use more cooperative learning activities, integrated units, and inquiry around essential questions to align with state standards
  • Leadership is shared, collaborative and focused on student achievement data and changes in school & classroom practices to affect data
  • Parents and community are more involved
  • All groups reported significant increases between the first and third year of the grant in use of CES Principles, PLC, CIA Alignment, use of Best Practice, and levels of Student Ach ievement that they attributed to the MCES interventions.
  • The evaluators summarized the following for the Secondary Literacy PD/coaching results:
  • All but one of the schools participating in Secondary Literacy professional development made increases in their MEAP scores over the course of three years.
  • University Preparatory Academy  made the largest gains with an increase of 25.4% of their students meeting proficiency. Hull Middle School made similar gains with an increase of 21.1% of their students meeting proficiency.
  • Both Columbia and Union City Middle School were able to consistently stay above the state average.
  • Over the course of three years, all but two of the schools increased their ELA scores.
  • Benton Harbor Hull Middle School had the largest increase in its’ ELA MEAP score. In 2005, 25.9% of its students achieved proficiency, compared with only 3.8% in 2003.
  • UPA surpassed the state average in 2005.
Teacher collaboration impacts student achievement and, in particular, collaboratively looking at student work improves student achievement.  That was part of the "what works" me   s       sage re cently delivered by Brian McNulty to Superintendents and Secondary School Principals at their respective state conferences.  He specifically mentioned the use of structured protocols to guide the collaborative analysis of student work that would change teachers' instruction. Several protocols are universally available, but many are only available through Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) centers and the National School Reform Faculty (NSRF), a CES partner.  Critical friends groups, what we now call Collaborating for Students' Success, are research-based strategies that improve student achievement.

Training in the use of these protocols builds professional learning communities with a laser focus on student work and student performance.  Michigan CES provides professional learning services to schools committed to improving student achievement.  Services, customized for each school, follow the MCES Roadmap for Student Achievement and align with the new School Improvem
ent Framework.   Both focus on standards-driven curriculum and instruction and data-driven decision making.  Educators use an inquiry-based, collaborative approach to examine the data (including student work), compare the current reality with their desired student outcomes, and reflect on improving instructional practice.

Many schools need support to develop professional learning communities that engage in the collection and analysis of student performance data.  They need professional learning and coaching support to work together to align their instructional practices and student assessments with the state standards and content expectations and to collaboratively look at student work.  They may need support to examine their classroom and schoolwide practices compared to research-based "best practice."  With ongoing and focused professional learning and support, the schools demonstrate improvement in teaching and learning and the capacity to sustain improvement efforts.
MCES has a tradition of school improvement success as a Comprehensive School Reform model in more than 50 schools.  MEAP results for the most recent group of these schools provide evidence that within two years of adopting the Michigan Coalition of Essential Schools (MCES) reform model, the elementary schools increased proficiency levels an average of 40.6% in reading compared to the state increase of 23%; a 10% increase in writing compared to the state average decrease of 8%; and a 33% increase in math compared to the state increase of only 8%.  The middle schools had an average increase of: 19% in reading compared to the state increase of 11%; and 13.2% in math compared to the state increase of 11% from 2003 to 2004.  The high schools adopting MCES had an average increase of: 15% in reading compared to a decrease of 1% in the state; and 3% increase in math compared to a decrease of 1% in the state.

Schools previously not making AYP, made AYP with the professional learning support provided by MCES.  They celebrate improved student performance as measured by the MEAP, effective collaboration focusing on student data and the best practices to improve teaching and learning, and closing the achievement gap that frequently exists between high-poverty schools and the state average.  Several principals and superintendents directly attribute the dramatic increase in MEAP scores to the professional learning and coaching support provided by MCES.

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