The Education Achievement Authority of Michigan (EAA)
The Education Achievement Authority of Michigan (EAA) is a public system of schools whose mission is to turn the lowest performing schools in Michigan into the highest performing schools through people development, proven instructional strategies, and seamless operations.
SEN has recently completed its first district partnership with the EAA which, in just a few short years and in a very challenging political environment, has seen dramatic improvements in its new schools, similar to those experienced in NYC.
“Without SEN, we would very much still be struggling as a district to find a common language, to find a common path forward, to have insights into what to do next. I think a lot of SEN’s influence stems from the common experience and relationships that have been built between Principals and Master and Lead Teachers.”
— Jack Elsey, Chief Schools Officer at the EAA
In the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017, an external evaluator collected qualitative and quantitative data in the EAA to better understand the impact of its work in the district. In-depth interviews with five teacher-leaders, six Small Learning Community Leaders, and four School Leaders were conducted. Additionally, surveys were distributed to approximately 100 teachers, teacher-leaders, and school leaders across the EAA in both fall and spring.
- SEN’s strong impact on teaching and leadership practice was clearly evident: SEN’s trainees were overwhelmingly positive about SEN’s leadership training programs. In both fall and spring surveys, SLC leaders selected and trained by SEN unanimously agreed that the coaching they received throughout the 2016-17 school year improved their leadership and coaching skills, helped them to elevate instruction and student performance in their schools, and helped them to better influence change.
- SEN’s impact in the EAA is also reflected in school culture improvements. Results from TNTP’s Instructional Culture Insight survey, which collects information on critical aspects of school culture and instructional leadership from the teacher perspective, show that scores uniformly increased across the 11 EAA schools between 2014-15 and 2016-17.
- SEN’s impact on the constituent that matters most – students – was also clearly evident. School Quality Review (SQR) data reported by Class Measures for the 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 school years show steady improvement in school quality across all three major categories – instructional and organizational strategy, culture of learning, and student, family, and community engagement – across the 11 EAA schools, demonstrating evidence of new and stronger schools for Detroit’s students. Between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years, the percent of EAA students meeting their growth targets on the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) assessment on math and reading increased substantially, rising from 43% to 55% in math and 44% to 51% in reading. Further, average growth in the percent of students meeting their NWEA targets was even stronger for SLCs – 20 percentage points for math and 16 percentage points for reading.
In 2016 School Empowerment Network received a grant from the Walton Family Foundation to launch our Charter School Intensive Development Program (CSIDP). CSIDP recruits, selects, and trains transformational educators to open high-performing New York City charter schools, offering students from underserved communities more quality school options that prepare them for success in college, careers, and the competitive world beyond.
Founding a new school through the Charter School Intensive Development Program provides a unique opportunity to implement a distinct vision for serving NYC’s students and families and offers an unparalleled educational leadership experience. Participants in the program receive high level support from SEN’s experienced principal coaches and partner organizations. We provide our future leaders with three years of support – from the charter application through the end of the first year of operation – to help develop a charter leadership and school pipeline that creates new high-quality options for NYC students and families.
- SEN identified, selected and is currently working with Nicia Fullwood, the founding principal of BELA (Brooklyn Emerging Leader Academy), an all-girls high school that opened in Brooklyn in the August of 2017. Throughout the SEN fellowship, Nicia has strengthened BELA's mission, vision and values, and continued to flesh out the overall academic and cultural vision for her school.
- SEN identified/selected three leaders with the vision, blueprint and ability to lead new schools (opening in 2018) that will provide a high-quality education to NYC’s underserved students. We held a high selection bar (admitting five of more than fifty prospective candidates) and selected only exceptional educators with a dynamic combination of instructional and personal leadership skills, and the required entrepreneurial spirit to build a new school.
UP Education Network is a nonprofit school management organization that works with local school districts to transform low-performing schools. Starting in school year 2017-2018, SEN will support UP in the following areas:
Leadership Development: SEN will train all UP principals through a combination of weekly on-site coaching visits and after-school sessions designed for the entire Instructional Leadership Team (ILT). The work with ILTs will focus on two major strands: a) improving instruction across the school by leading the aligned implementation of school’s approved core curriculum and desired instructional approach, and b) developing talent by coaching Deans of Instruction and Lead Teachers on their work with teachers, with an emphasis on preparing people for the next tier of leadership.
Pipeline Development: SEN works with UP Education Network leadership to establish a career ladder, beginning with Principals, Deans of Instruction and Lead Teachers. Using a competency-based selection process SEN will identify the strongest applicants for each position from within the current UP staff and from external applicants we help to recruit to these opportunities. SEN will provide regular coursework and weekly on-site coaching to Lead Teachers and Deans of Instruction focused on curricular and instructional best practices, the observation-feedback cycle, design and delivery of PD, and leadership of grade and department teams.
Office of New Schools (ONS): SEN will develop a cohort of up to 8 educators prepared to lead the opening of new UP schools (as well as fill principal vacancies that arise across the network). Once selected, cohort members will receive regular coursework and on site coaching visits from both the building coaches and the ONS coach, during which they will be prepared for every aspect of school leadership in the UP network.
Academic Advisement: SEN staff will work with UP network staff to craft and monitor the roll-out of the updated academic focus for the coming school year, including, but not limited to: effective implementation of core curriculum in each school and identification and implementation of common teaching practices across schools. The goal is to begin the 2017-2018 school year with a common understanding across the network of some core instructional practices that improve differentiation and raise the level of complexity of the tasks and requisite thinking being asked of students.
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