North Dakota

North Dakota2022-12-05T22:24:35+00:00
NORTH DAKOTA

Accomplishing Effective and Durable Change to Reduce Student Achievement Gaps in North Dakota Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) Schools

For more information on
this project, please contact:
Ben Cronkright

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) staff, North Dakota Regional Educational Association (NDREA) staff, and targeted support and improvement (TSI) and comprehensive support and improvement (CSI) school and district teams are working on engineering conditions to support effective and durable change in practice to reduce achievement gaps.

Past reform efforts to support TSI and CSI schools in North Dakota revealed that change efforts spread rapidly across school landscapes, with minimal knowledge about how to execute the improvements envisioned by state, regional, and local education agencies. From the push to embrace family and community engagement to adopting schoolwide multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), new reform efforts often are implemented in schools prior to resolving crucial technical and logistical issues. As a result, progress toward goals typically is modest, with a high degree of variance from school to school. In some classrooms, a change idea might work; in many other classrooms, it does not.

To address these underlying implementation issues, the Region 11 Comprehensive Center (R11CC) will collaborate with NDDPI staff to engage in the methods and tools of improvement science to determine how a proposed set of changes will improve outcomes for students to guide the development, revision, and continued fine-tuning of new tools, processes, work roles, and relationships. The support is designed to accelerate learning alongside school improvement teams.

In the first few years of the project, the team focused on building partnerships, which included bridging the gap between the state education agency (SEA) and regional education agencies’ (REA) efforts in supporting continuous improvement in North Dakota’s low-performing schools. The partnership set out to build synergy across the agencies by defining a common language and common approach to problem solving to support continuous improvement in targeted school communities. These common approaches were tested in early adopter schools, which then helped to inform the development of the North Dakota School Renewal Handbook.

Moving into Year 4, the handbook is helping engineer conditions to support the ND School Renewal program. The program works with each TSI and CSI school in North Dakota to support effective schoolwide implementation of the identified practices to improve student learning outcomes in order to promote systems change, leading to improved student outcomes.

Long-term, the partnership is expected to promote conditions that support seven ND TSI schools to increase the percentage of students who perform at or above proficiency in English language arts (ELA).

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