Measure to Learn and Improve (MLI)

Since 2015 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Measure to Learn and Improve (MLI) initiative has examined the implementation of college- and career-ready standards across multiple U.S. states through surveys of teachers and school leaders. WestEd serves as the California Data Partner for the MLI initiative.

MLI Project Milestones

Upcoming in Early 2018

<p>WestEd convenes a professional learning network of California county office of education officials to discuss the tracking of local accountability indicators focused on school climate and standards implementation as well as to access new tools/instruments for collecting evidence on these new local indicators.</p><p>The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation releases its online benchmarking tool (Bento) for comparing MLI survey results across participating states.</p><p>WestEd MLI team designs California-specific survey module to be administered via the RAND American Teacher Panel (ATP) and American School Leader Panel (ASLP) surveys in May 2018.</p>

Fall/Winter 2017

&lt;p&gt;Representatives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Placer County Office of Education, and WestEd MLI team present lessons learned at the annual California Educational Research Association conference in Anaheim, CA.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;WestEd’s 2017 data pilot in Placer County concludes by reviewing participating districts’ plans to improve the local tracking of standards implementation in 2018 and discussing lessons learned and next steps.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;WestEd presents integrated findings from the May 2017 MLI surveys and from related standards implementation initiatives to the California State Board of Education in Sacramento.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;WestEd presents integrated findings at the general membership meeting of the Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association in Sacramento.&lt;/p&gt;

Summer 2017

&lt;p&gt;WestEd’s MLI project team engages in a data-driven pilot initiative with a group of district leaders from Placer County to discuss MLI findings, review the MLI project’s online repository (Item Bank) of validated survey items, and plan local data collection to track standards implementation in the 2017/18 school year.&lt;/p&gt;

Spring 2017

&lt;p&gt;Over 40 California district- and county-level instructional leaders attend workshops in Livermore and Riverside to learn effective ways to support and monitor standards-driven instructional shifts in classrooms, with sessions led by officials from WestEd, the American Institutes for Research (AIR), and the Better Together: California Teachers Summit.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;WestEd presents integrated findings from MLI surveys and other related standards implementation initiatives to the California Common Core Stakeholders Consortium in Sacramento, a group of policy leaders that includes top officials from the California Department of Education, the California Teachers Association, the Association of California School Administrators, and the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association.&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;RAND targets 798 California teachers and 1024 California school leaders with its May 2017 ATP/ASLP surveys.&lt;/p&gt;

Summer/Fall 2016

&lt;p&gt;RAND’s American Teacher Panel (ATP) and American School Leader Panel (ASLP) surveys for the first time include a set of state-specific questions for California educators. The WestEd MLI team facilitates a data review working session with the California Department of Education’s Teaching and Learning Support Branch.&lt;/p&gt;

Spring 2016

<p>WestEd presents integrated findings from MLI surveys and related standards implementation initiatives to the California State Board of Education and to the California Common Core Stakeholders Consortium.</p>

MLI Resources and Publications

November 2017 California Educational Research Association (CERA) Annual Conference Presentation

On November 29, representatives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Placer County Office of Education, and WestEd reviewed their partnership’s data-driven work in 2017 and discussed how the MLI initiative’s tools and thinking can help instructional leaders across California’s counties and districts improve their data-driven decision making via the better tracking of local indicators in 2018.

November 2017 Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association Presentation

On November 17, the WestEd MLI team presented integrated findings on the ongoing implementation of California’s English Language Arts and math standards at the general membership meeting of the Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association in Sacramento.

November 2017 California Standards Implementation Presentation to the California State Board of Education

By Reino Makkonen, Robert Sheffield How do educators feel about the process of implementing California’s college- and career-readiness standards? This brief, presented to the California State Board of Education on November 8, summarizes findings from recent surveys of California teachers regarding the ongoing implementation of the California Academic Standards in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics and associated supports, and offers lessons learned from ongoing research and technical assistance initiatives. Some key findings:

  • Increased site-based, collaborative professional learning and peer observation reported among California teachers
  • Higher levels of teacher involvement in key school decisions in California than in other states
  • Shifting approaches to standards-aligned materials among California teachers and leaders

State Board Presentation Webcast

State Board Presentation Brief

Spring 2017 Learning About Implementation of the California Standards Workshops in Livermore and Riverside, CA

In spring 2017, WestEd convened workshops in Livermore and Riverside where over 40 district- and county-level instructional increased their understanding of the statewide implementation of the California Standards in ELA and math and learned effective ways to support and monitor standards-driven instructional shifts in classrooms. The workshop session led by Robert Sheffield and Reino Makkonen engaged participants in group discussion of the changing instructional and professional learning environment in California and ways to support ongoing improvement.

March 2016 California Standards Implementation: Presentation to the California State Board of Education

By Reino Makkonen, Robert Sheffield The California State Board of Education partnered with WestEd to coordinate a statewide survey of California teachers, principals, and district leaders in fall 2015 to gather educators’ perspectives on the ongoing implementation of the state’s English language arts and mathematics standards. For this knowledge brief, presented to the California State Board of Education in March 2016, WestEd assembled and presented the survey findings alongside the lessons the agency has learned across its other research and technical assistance initiatives underway on standards implementation. Some Key Findings

  • Practitioners have goodwill toward the standards
  • Districts are implementing standards in different ways and on different timelines
  • School leaders need to develop new knowledge and capacity about curriculum, instruction, and assessment
  • Educators are seeking more structured time to learn and implement standards-based practices
  • Educators are seeking quality standards-aligned instructional materials (particularly in English language arts) as well as interim/diagnostic assessments
  • Teachers are relying on peer-developed materials

State Board Presentation Webcast

State Board Presentation Brief

About the MLI Survey Data

RAND American Teacher Panel (ATP) & American School Leader Panel (ASLP)

Surveys Designed to survey the same educators at regular intervals over time, the RAND Corporation’s American Teacher Panel (ATP) and American School Leader Panel (ASLP) surveys launched in 2014 and have been administered multiple times yearly since. The ATP and ASLP surveys are nationally representative, with oversamples in four states (California, Louisiana, New Mexico, and New York) to ensure state-level representativeness in each. RAND currently uses single-stage, stratified random sampling to draw new teachers and principals at random for its panels, from lists contained in existing, comprehensive databases (stratifying on the basis of state, for oversampling). Each panelist is assigned a weight that accounts for sample design and probability of non-response (taking into account key variables like school size, grade span, poverty status, and experience), and linearization techniques are used to calculate margins of error. Panel members complete three or four web-based surveys every year, and panelists receive a small monetary incentive after completing each survey. A total of 798 California teachers were included in the ATP sample for the May 2017 survey administration, and 479 responded, for a response rate of 60 percent. Weighting, which accounts for differential sampling and non-response, was used to produce results representative of the full state sample (yielding an approximate margin of error of ±4.5 percent). For the May 2017 ASLP survey, 386 of 1024 California school leaders (38%) responded. For the October 2016 survey administration, 523 California teachers were included in the ATP sample and 281 responded (54%), yielding an approximate (average) margin of error of ±6.5 percent. Only 45 of the 130 sampled California school leaders (35%) responded to the parallel October 2016 ASLP survey.

California State Board of Education Standards Implementation Survey (2015)

In October 2015, with sponsorship from the California State Board of Education, WestEd emailed surveys to a stratified representative sample of 7000 California teachers (stratified on gender, age, region, grade span, and poverty status) as well as to the full populations of California principals and district superintendents with contact information in the California Department of Education Public Schools Database. To account for differential non-response, results were weighted using the available demographic variables and their corresponding response probabilities (i.e., responses from highly-responsive strata were down-weighted and those that were relatively unresponsive were up-weighted). Of the 7000 California teachers sampled, 1587 (23%) responded (resulting in a margin of error of ±4%), while responses were received from 1477 of 8395 California principals (18% response, ±4% margin of error) and 234 of 804 superintendents (29% response, ±10% margin of error).

Read more about California Standards Implementation

Bugler, D., Marple, S., Burr, E., Chen-Gaddini, M., & Finkelstein, N. (2017). How teachers judge the quality of instructional materials. San Francisco, CA: WestEd. Online at https://www.wested.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/resource-selecting-instructional-materials-brief-1-quality.pdf.

Fullan, M. & Rincón-Gallardo, S. (2017). California’s Golden Opportunity: Taking Stock: Leadership from the middle. Online at https://michaelfullan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/17_Californias-Golden-Opportunity-Taking-Stock-FinalAug31.pdf.

Ingersoll, R.M., Dougherty, P. & Sirinides, P. (2017). School leadership counts. Santa Cruz, CA: New Teacher Center. Online at http://info.newteachercenter.org/school-leadership-report.

Kaufman, J.H., Lin Wang, E., Hamilton, L.S., Thompson, L.E. & Hunter, G. (2017). U.S. teachers’ support of their state standards and assessments: Findings from the American Teacher Panel. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Online at https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2136.html.

Marple, S., Bugler, D., Chen-Gaddini, M., Burr, E., & Finkelstein, N. (2017). Why and how teachers choose to supplement adopted materials. San Francisco, CA: WestEd. Online at https://www.wested.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/resource-selecting-instructional-materials-brief-2-supplementation.pdf.

Opfer, V.D., Kaufman, J.H., & Thompson, L.E. (2016). Implementation of K–12 state standards for mathematics and English language arts and literacy: Findings from the American Teacher Panel. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Online at https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1529-1.html.

Perry, R., Marple, S., & Reade, F. (2017). Instructional materials: Who makes the choice? Findings from the annual survey on implementing the Common Core State Standards in mathematics. San Francisco, CA: WestEd. Online at https://www.wested.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/resource-instructional-materials-who-makes-the-choice-MiC9.pdf.

Perry, R., Reade, F., Heredia, A., & Finkelstein, N. (2017). Three structures in the Garden Grove Unified School District that support implementation of the Common Core State Standards in mathematics. San Francisco, CA: WestEd. Online at https://www.wested.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/resource-garden-grove-ccss-math-mic8.pdf.

Rentner, D.S., Kober, N., Frizzell, M. & Ferguson, M. (2016). Listening to and learning from teachers: A summary of focus groups on the Common Core and assessments. Washington, DC: Center on Education Policy.  Online at https://www.cep-dc.org/displayDocument.cfm?DocumentID=1461.

Sigman, D. (2017). Growing student performance: Stories from five districts with demonstrated improvement in mathematics on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) in 2017. San Francisco, CA: WestEd. Online at https://ca02204858.schoolwires.net/cms/lib/CA02204858/Centricity/Domain/99/West%20Ed%20Article.pdf.

Stosich, E.L. (2016). Joint inquiry: Teachers’ collective learning about the Common Core in high-poverty urban schools. American Educational Research Journal 53(6), 1698-1731. Online at https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/elizabethstosich/files/stosich_2016_joint_inquiry-teachers_collective_learning_about_the_common_core_in_high-poverty_urban_schools.pdf.

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