North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) staff and Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) school and district teams are working to engineer conditions to support effective and durable change in practice to reduce achievement gaps. Past reform efforts to support TSI schools in North Dakota reveal that change efforts spread rapidly across TSI school landscapes, with minimal knowledge about how to effect 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 are often implemented in schools prior to resolving crucial technical and logistical issues. As a result, progress toward goals is typically 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.
This work will focus primarily on understanding how to make evidence-based strategies work reliably in practice within North Dakota TSI schools and/or districts. R11CC staff will collaborate with NDDPI staff to help them increase their knowledge of student subgroup learning needs through the application of evidence-based programs and practices to effectively support TSI schools and districts within North Dakota’s Multi-Tier System of Supports (NDMTSS) Framework. R11CC, NDDPI, and North Dakota Regional Educational Association (NDREA) staff will engage in improvement research to determine how a proposed set of changes will improve outcomes for student subgroups in TSI schools through rapid tests of change 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 TSI school improvement teams. This partnership is expected to increase the percentages of economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities who perform at or above proficiency in English language arts and math standardized assessments. R11CC’s support will focus on facilitation, professional learning, relationship brokering, tool and material development, and project management.