MI Excel Reflections: Accomplishments, Lessons and Steps Forward
Over the past two years, the Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan State University Office of K-12 Outreach, the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators, and other partners have worked in partnership to create the MI Excel Statewide System of Support (SSoS). The MI Toolkit was created to provide a comprehensive and growing resource for Focus and Priority school educators who are trying to raise achievement and close achievement gaps in their schools and districts. As we close 2014, and the SSoS is taking a different direction, we would like to use this issue to reflect on the work that has been done over the years, including the lessons learned and progress made, but also to identify work that still needs to be done.
Jacquelyn Thompson does just that in her article on the status of special education in Michigan and the work that remains to be done on behalf of students with IEPs. Maddy Mavrogordato, Jen Paul and Nancy Duchesneau discuss how schools can assess and improve a key component for ELL student success—engagement with classroom instruction. Bryan Beverly offers insights into ways Priority and Focus schools can continue to improve by building collective capacity of leaders and instructional staff to recognize and support good teaching that is driven by students' learning needs. Finally, Kathleen McKee Snyder summarizes the lessons learned from the MI Excel MSU specialists who worked directly with Priority and Focus schools and districts.
Finally, the entire MI Toolkit team extends to you our wishes for a very Happy New Year filled with joy and success.
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