The CALL Team attended the School and District Improvement (SDI) SCASS meeting for CCSSO in Miami to discuss current plans for implementing needs assessments and improvement plans across states. Attendees discussed their processes, learned from experienced thought leaders, and even saw manatees swim by the hotel!
CALL Project Director Mark Blitz attended the meeting in Miami and met with state education leaders who are in various stages of implementation. These state education leaders discussed some of their challenges and considerations including: prioritization, resources, evidence-based interventions, data-use, data-analysis, and consensus-building.
In addition to work-group meetings, the SDI SCASS also had presenters from Florida (the host state) talk to the group about their experiences regarding this work. A former Florida State Board of Education member talked about her experience and challenges in engaging in improvement efforts. Two Executive Directors from the Florida Department of Education discussed strategies and data analysis for supporting rural schools. An Assistant Superintendent from the Miami-Dade School District discussed the history of school improvement work in that district.
Dr. Blitz also talked to interested state education leaders about the work he has been doing with WestEd and the Center on School Turnaround in developing a version of CALL for the Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement. Some states have formally adopted this framework for needs assessments for identified schools, and Dr. Blitz demonstrated how schools and districts could collect practice-based data within that framework.
This SDI SCASS meeting was informative and well-organized. The CALL Team is looking forward to meeting again in June in San Diego!