Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia

Our Initiatives

The ARCC provides capacity building technical assistance to state education agencies in our region. We collaborate with education leaders and policymakers on an array of initiatives, focusing on issues as diverse as college and career readiness and educator effectiveness. Read further to learn about our current initiatives in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and across the region.

Our 2018-2019 Work

Kentucky Department of Education Academic Standards

The staff at the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) Office of Teaching and Learning will collaborate with the ARCC to solicit public feedback on Kentucky academic standards and to facilitate the standards revision process. As required by Kentucky Senate Bill 1 (2017), each set of academic standards must undergo a review and revision process every six years. At the request of KDE, the ARCC will serve as the third-party entity to solicit public comments. The ARCC will analyze and summarize the public comment data for KDE and the Commissioner of Education. Additionally, the ARCC will support KDE staff in facilitating the Standards Assessment Process Review Committee (SAPRC) meetings.

Division of Student Success: Workflow Dashboard and Chronic Absenteeism

The ARCC will partner with the KDE Division of Student Success in conducting ongoing strategic planning for the division through the implementation of the Workflow Dashboard. The purpose of the dashboard is to ensure that division efforts are aligned with the highest priority needs. One identified need is addressing chronic absenteeism and persistence to graduation. The ARCC will collaborate with KDE to provide targeted support to local education agencies (LEAs) to assist in understanding, monitoring, and addressing issues of chronic absenteeism and persistence to graduation. Collaborative efforts will include the development of a public service campaign and informational materials/webinars for LEAs.

Personalized Learning

The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) continues its efforts to support and enhance the use and expansion of personalized, online, and blended learning models in schools throughout the state. Additionally, TDOE seeks to streamline its professional development for teachers and to improve student outcomes through the use of personalized learning strategies. The ARCC will assist TDOE in two ways. First, ARCC staff will partner with TDOE to guide the implementation of the state’s Micro-Credentialing (MC) pilot, now in its third year. Along with the MC pilot, ARCC and TDOE will co-facilitate participation in the SEA Micro-Credentialing Workgroup with the South Central and Southeast Comprehensive Centers. Second, the ARCC will collaborate with TDOE to implement the second year of the Competency-Based Education pilot by providing professional development and support directly to participating local education agencies.

Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Development and Support

TDOE seeks to improve its support for teacher and leader effectiveness in three ways: developing and implementing online professional learning opportunities, providing a summit on the Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System (TVAAS), and delivering evidence-based training on the use of social and personal competencies (SPC). The ARCC will provide ongoing consultation and technical assistance services, and will support TDOE staff as they review and evaluate the implementation of online professional learning. The ARCC and TDOE will co-design a feedback and evaluation tool on the TVAAS modules and summit and co-develop a TVAAS Summit summary report of the participant feedback. ARCC will additionally provide consultative services as teachers employ the SPC modules, originally co-developed by the ARCC, TDOE, and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders.

Teacher Equity

The Virginia State Board of Education has identified several factors that influence teacher equity. These factors include differentiating the Standards of Quality to create equitable funding models for schools, developing systems of support to recruit and retain effective teachers (with a specific focus on improving teacher salaries), and providing education resource and curriculum development opportunities to educators. Given this, the Board seeks to create a Profile of a Virginia Educator that aligns with the state’s standards for teacher quality. To support the Board’s efforts, the ARCC will co-develop a report on state policies that affect teacher compensation and salary structures, the Profile of a Virginia Educator, and a dissemination plan. The ARCC will also co-facilitate strategic planning sessions around salary structures, teacher compensation, and the Profile of a Virginia Educator.

Building the Capacity of Dyslexia Advisors

The ARCC will collaborate with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to build capacity among dyslexia advisors and local education agencies (LEAs). As part of its regulations governing special education programs for children with disabilities, the Virginia General Assembly enacted legislation requiring that each LEA identify and employ a reading specialist trained in the identification of and the appropriate interventions, accommodations, and teaching techniques for students with dyslexia or other literacy-related disorders. These specialists will serve as an advisor on dyslexia and other literacy-related disorders. The ARCC will support VDOE in its capacity-building efforts by assisting its staff in convening a Dyslexia Working Group and creating a resource development plan. The ARCC will also help in gathering, cataloging, developing, and disseminating information on dyslexia or other literacy-related disorders. The ARCC will assist VDOE in collecting feedback on the utility of the selected resources to determine if additional support is needed.

Supporting Algebra Readiness

VDOE, in collaboration with the ARCC, will build educator capacity to support algebra readiness across the state. Each local education agency in Virginia receives funds to implement algebra readiness programs for students. VDOE has developed tools and resources to support educators working with students in these algebra readiness programs. Through advisement and collaboration with VDOE, the ARCC will contribute to the production of educator support materials, including the creation of a dynamic version of the Mathematics Vertical Articulation Tool (MVAT). In Fall 2018, VDOE will host four regional Algebra Readiness Institutes; during each, the ARCC will co-facilitate sessions on to the dynamic MVAT and will assist with the collection and summarization of participant feedback from such institutes. The ARCC will further assist VDOE by collecting and summarizing additional data after educators have had the opportunity to utilize the resources, documents, and tools.

Building a Rigorous Early Learning Trajectory for College- and Career-Readiness

For several years the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has collaborated with the ARCC in articulating its vision statewide for literacy by third grade, including developing children’s social, emotional, and executive functioning. ARCC staff members will continue to advise on the use of logic-modeling to operationalize goals, employing structured processes to evaluate P-5 Early Learning Advisory Committee logic-model outcomes and develop feedback loops to inform operations, building the knowledge and skills of WVDE staff to analyze and interpret data to measure and monitor impact. The ARCC also will promote collaboration across state agencies, partnering with WVDE to facilitate the Early Learning Executive Committee’s team meetings and support their subcommittee work. The ARCC team will consult with WVDE to develop the capacity of counties and their local education agencies to support a comprehensive approach to early learning through technical assistance and a network of support, developing and disseminating research-based resources that support the efforts of local literacy leaders to implement reading campaigns. The ARCC will advise WVDE on maximizing the impact of the Early Learning Network of Support’s five regional literacy specialists as well as the comprehensive content centers and other national experts. Lastly, the ARCC staff will partner with WVDE to document the structures and processes that led to the successful planning and implementation of the early learning initiative so that new WVDE initiatives may replicate the approach.

Building Rigorous STEM Instructional Pathways to Support Successful Transitions to College/Career

The WVDE has invited the ARCC to collaborate to refine the state’s STEM education vision and mission, articulate a theory of action, and determine the main components of a logic model. The purpose of this initiative, in its first year, is to develop a theory of action and logic model for STEM PreK-12 education that appropriately integrates coding and computer science into PreK-12 curriculum and designs a model for local implementation. The ARCC team will consult with WVDE to address logic modeling issues and determine how to use processes and structures to evaluate project outcomes. To guide the work, the ARCC will also prepare a literature review of STEM education best practices and a brief on exemplary SEA models of coding and computer science education. ARCC staff members will consult on developing or refining structures and processes to effectively lead, facilitate, and manage the STEM education initiative. The ARCC team will participate in assigned core team meetings and other activities with WVDE to work toward completion of core team goals outlined in the logic model. Lastly, the ARCC will advise WVDE about strategies for maximizing the impact of the STEM Education Advisory Council, including developing or refining collaboration and communication processes among WVDE offices and state STEM partners that lead to joint action on initiative goals.

Executive Connections

The ARCC has established the Executive Connections project to offer a virtual professional learning community for state board of education members and state education agency (SEA) executives. The ARCC staff will moderate the virtual learning community to enable peer-to-peer learning about different approaches for managing and resolving issues faced by these states. The ARCC will schedule, facilitate, and keep records of quarterly virtual meetings, with topics selected by state education leaders. The ARCC will develop a quarterly webinar series and publish Save the Date announcements for upcoming meetings. By focusing on peer-to-peer networking, identifying common challenges, and exploring best practices, the ARCC will help state education leaders enhance their professional efficacy in support of coherent policy making and procedures. The ARCC will also provide technical assistance as requested, on such topics as strategic planning, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation, succession planning, and sustainability.

Beyond College: Enhancing Career Readiness

The ARCC created the Enhancing Career Readiness project to connect SEA staff across the region in peer-to-peer discussions about their career pathways initiatives. SEA staff will learn about tools and strategies for communicating the benefits of career and technical education (CTE) programs and engage with other SEA staff responsible for CTE to discuss shared issues. The ARCC will also facilitate virtual meetings or webinars about topics of interest, such as middle school CTE alignment and career pathways, district/regional advisory councils, postsecondary incentives, and validated industry credentials. SEA staff may benefit from expanding their network of peers with CTE expertise, exploring new strategies to reform career readiness in their states, and communicating more effectively to students, parents, and businesses. The ARCC team will also coordinate with the West Virginia Department of Education to revise the Simulated Workplace student survey before its administration.

Building SEA Capacity to Support Students with Literacy-Based Disabilities

SEAs in the region report a need for technical assistance to build their capacity to put into action best practices in literacy screening, identification, instruction, and intervention for students with literacy-related disabilities, including dyslexia. They report the need to empower schools to build local capacity to support students with literacy-related disabilities, create a multi-tiered system of support framework, and improve understanding among school staff of data and interventions, including access to professional development and resources. The ARCC will collaborate with SEAs to build their knowledge and capacity, as well as the capacity of schools and districts, to implement effective screening, identification, and instructional support for dyslexia and other reading disabilities. To provide SEAs with a firm foundation on critical issues, the ARCC team will collaborate with SEAs in the region to develop and facilitate peer-to-peer and regional learning opportunities in two focus areas: 1) intensifying interventions for students with, or at risk for, literacy-related disabilities, including dyslexia, to maximize reading success; and 2) testing the feasibility of and suggesting revisions to a Technical Assistance Providers Guide to Building Capacity in SEAs to Support Students with, or At-Risk for, Literacy-Related Disabilities. Additionally, ARCC will provide technical assistance and consultation as the state pilots the National Center on Improving Literacy tools, resources, and systems.