F. Specialized Knowledge and Skills
How is the state planning to ensure that teachers have the specialized knowledge and skills they need to be effective with the populations of students typically served in high-poverty, low-performing schools (including Native American students, English language learners, and other students at risk)?
Oklahoma data identifies teachers of special education students and English language learners as populations that require additional professional development for teachers to be highly effective. In addition, data identifies teachers of middle school mathematics as an area of need for high quality professional development. The following professional development strategies and programs are designed to ensure that teachers have the specialized knowledge and skills they need to be effective with these populations, particularly in high-poverty, low-performing schools.
F.1 Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) (Title III funding) 36,000 –
SIOP is particularly for English Language Learners, professional development provided for all Master Teachers in 2005-2006. Additional training in SIOP is provided for School Support Team members and schools identified in school improvement status.
Sheltered instruction is an approach for teaching content to English Language Learners (ELLs) in strategic ways to make subject matter concepts comprehensible, while promoting students’ English language development. The Oklahoma State Department of Education, through the Title III office, provides free educator training in Sheltered Observation Instruction Protocol (SIOP). This SIOP training includes eight components: Lesson Preparation; Building Background; Comprehensible Input; Strategies; Interaction; Practice and Application; Lesson Delivery; and Indicators of Review and Assessment. Special Education teachers participated in SIOP training July 17th and 18th and July 25th and 26th, 2006, one in Oklahoma City and one in Tulsa.
F.2 Oklahoma Mathematics Academies (Title II, Part A funding) were designed for Middle Level Mathematics Teachers and Algebra I Teachers who are willing to train and collaborate with other teachers in their region and serve as Teacher Leaders.
To develop Middle Level Mathematics Teachers and Algebra I Teachers who are willing to train and collaborate with other teachers in their region and serve as Teacher Leaders whose duties include:
Attending a four-day summer Professional Development Institute (PDI) in Oklahoma City. The PDI will focus on training in standards-based instruction, alignment of curriculum with assessment, and closing the achievement gaps for all students in middle level mathematics and Algebra I.
Training teachers in their region in the content listed above through lesson study group sessions and videoconferences during the school year.
1. To increase the number of highly qualified teachers in each region of the state by enhancing their content knowledge and instructional strategies.
2. To increase the number of quality classrooms in which educators teach Oklahoma’s Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS) in mathematics on grade level.
3. To increase the number of students who reach the satisfactory and advanced levels of academic standards as assessed on the Oklahoma Core Curriculum Tests.
The State Superintendent’s 2005 Mathematics Academy uses a “train the trainer” model of instruction and includes forty (40) teachers from various regions in the state of Oklahoma. Twenty teachers had teaching assignments of Grades 6-8 Mathematics, and twenty teachers will had teaching assignments of Algebra I at any grade level for the 2005-2006 school year. Teachers participated in a four-day professional development institute in the Oklahoma City area conducted by Kerri White, Director of Mathematics Education, during the summer of 2005. Teachers also conducted lesson study groups of at least ten teachers in their home regions during the 2005-2006 school year and participated in periodic videoconferences as follow-up of the summer institutes.
The summer PDI focused on aligning high quality mathematics problems with Oklahoma’s Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS), developing research-based instructional strategies, and closing the achievement gap for all students in accordance with No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Regional lesson study groups conducted by the forty Mathematics Academy participants translated the summer PDI instruction to teachers around the state. Periodic videoconferences during the 2005-2006 school year allowed teachers to discuss successes and set-backs in their classroom experiences and seek further enhancement of instructional practices.
Deliverables and Evaluation:
The 2005 Mathematics Academy produced the following deliverables for the State Department of Education:
A toolkit of at least 80 power lessons aligned to PASS at various grade levels for classroom available to Oklahoma educators.
A toolkit webpage containing all 80 lessons on the state Mathematics Education website.
Monthly videoconferences and teaching video vignettes.
The 2005 Mathematics Academy will be evaluated on meeting the purposes listed above through the following:
Participant portfolios highlighting teacher attitudes and changes in classroom practices.
Pre- and Post-testing of curriculum alignment surveys.
Higher student scores on Oklahoma Core Curriculum Tests over time.
F.3 Oklahoma Mathematics Improvement Program provides an opportunity for mathematics teachers in grades six, seven, and eight to participate in professional development to improve content knowledge. After the professional development, teachers who take and pass the Intermediate Mathematics certification test receive a $1,000 stipend.
F.4 Oklahoma Reading Academies (Title I, Part B, Subpart 1 funding) Special education teachers have participated in this program to become highly qualified in this area of reading.
These academies provide two college courses to prepare elementary reading teachers. This opportunity is available to all teachers including special education teachers.
The Oklahoma Reading Academy is committed to helping teachers achieve success through effective professional development. The Academy content is independent of any specific reading program.
The Academy offers professional development program combining online learning with face-to-face study group interaction and classroom based practice activities that foster student achievement. K-8 teachers participate in a nine-month learning experience based at their school.
Teachers spend approximately 10 hours per month in:
Self-paced online/web-based learning and communication
Classroom based practice and assessment activities
School based study teams facilitated by a coach
Through the experience, teachers will:
Develop a shared knowledge of scientifically based reading research
Apply and practice proven instructional strategies in their classroom throughout the year.
Build a collaborative learning community to reinforce their training experience.
The Academy Courses include:
Course 1: Foundations of Reading
Module 1: Reading Academy Introduction
Module 2: Phonological Awareness and Phonemic Awareness
Module 3: The Alphabetic Principle and Phonics
Module 4: Word Study
Module 5: Fluency
Module 6: Vocabulary
Module 7: Comprehension I
Module 8: Comprehension II
Course 2: Reading for Understanding
Module 1: Challenges and Approach
Module 2: Finding a Starting Point: Gauging Readers’ Skills and Selecting
Readings for Growth
Module 3: Advancing Readers’ Motivation
Module 4: Building Readers’ Vocabulary Knowledge
Module 5: Developing Focused Strategic Readers of Literature
Module 6: Developing Focused Strategic Readers of Information
Module 7: Encouraging Understanding Through Discussion
Module 8: Developing Focused Strategic Readers of Literature
Module 9: Encouraging Lifelong Reading
F.5 Reading First Teacher Reading Academies ((Title I, Part B, Subpart 1 funding)
Oklahoma, in its federally-approved Reading First plan, outlined professional development services for Reading First and non-Reading First schools. One of those services included the delivery of four-day professional development institutes called “Teacher Reading Academies.” These Academies are grade level specific training in scientifically based reading research including instructional strategies and assessments. The Academies have also been customized to include Oklahoma state standards, Priority Academic Student Skills (PASS). In the two summers that Reading First has offered these institutes, over 1,400 teachers, interventionists, reading coaches, and administrators have been trained.
F.6 Special Education State Personnel Development Grant will focus on special education teachers in becoming highly qualified in a core content subject area.
F.7 Technical assistance relating to meeting the requirements of highly qualified for all teachers, including special education teachers will occur throughout the 2006-2007 school year. In September, Dr. Marilyn Friend, Chairperson and Professor of Education in the Department of Specialized Education Services at the University of North Carolina will share with participants effective strategies for special education teachers to co-teach and collaboratively teach to provide instruction to special education students in core academic subject areas. September 21-22, 2006 the State Superintendent’s Conference for Special Education teachers and directors will feature sessions on professional development and other resources available for teachers to meet the highly qualified requirements if as a special education teacher they are providing direct instruction in core academic content areas.
F.8 State provides Advanced Placement professional development for vertical teams (middle school and high school) for Pre-AP and AP teachers at no cost in core content areas. This includes schools with high-poverty, high minority and low-performing schools.
Oklahoma Advanced Placement Incentives Program - Professional Development (Oklahoma state funding)
Professional Development for teachers, counselors, and administrators related to Advanced Placement, Pre-Advanced Placement, or International Baccalaureate is funded by the state of Oklahoma.
Teachers who are awarded First Time Materials and Equipment grants must attend the corresponding Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate professional development within one year of receiving the grant. Copies of the certificate of completion from the professional development attended must be sent to the State Department of Education for verification.
Recipients of the Vertical Team grant must include all teachers within a subject area in Grades 7-12. Vertical Team members must participate in the corresponding subject area and vertical team training as offered by the Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs.
Please see information below for statistics of students participating in Advanced Placement programs based on teachers trained in Advanced Placement. The AP program is available in high-poverty and low-poverty schools and high minority schools.
Overall Participation and Performance
2004: 9,872 public school students took AP exams
2005: 10,323 public school students took AP exams
American Indian Student Participation
The number of American Indian students in Oklahoma public schools taking an AP Exam from 1995-2000 grew by 301.
Since 2000, the number of American Indian students in Oklahoma public schools taking an AP Exam has grown by 435.
African American Student Participation
The number of African American students in Oklahoma public schools taking an AP Exam from 1995-2000 grew by 210.
Since 2000, the number of African American students in Oklahoma public schools taking an AP exam has grown by 263.
Hispanic Student Participation
The number of Hispanic students in Oklahoma public schools taking an AP exam from 1995-2000 grew by 158.
Since 2000, the number of Hispanic students in Oklahoma public schools taking an AP Exam has grown by 383.
Low-income Student Participation
Since 2000, the number of AP Exams taken by low-income Oklahoma public school students has grown by 2,427.
By way of contrast, the number of AP Exams taken by low-income Oklahoma public school students from 1995 to 2000 grew by 615.
The Oklahoma Advanced Placement Program provides access to all teachers to receive high quality professional development in the content areas and in turn, provides access to students from high-poverty, high minority, low-performing schools.
G. Working Conditions
How is the state planning to improve the conditions in hard-to-staff schools that contribute to excessively high rates of teacher turnover?
MAPS for Kids in Oklahoma City Public Schools – Providing Equitable Environment for High-Poverty, High-Minority Students
Oklahoma City Public Schools (OCPS) has been providing services to stakeholders since 1891. It is a large urban district that covers 136 square miles and include the municipalities( or parts) of Oklahoma City, Nicoma Park, Spencer, Nichols Hills, The Village, Midwest City, Del City, and Valley Brook. OCPS have 90 schools, including 9 charter schools and enrollment is about 40,000 in grades Pk-12. Currently, 84.5% of our students are eligible for free and reduced lunch. Fifteen percent of students have IEPS and nearly 25% of students speak a language other than English at home which represents more than 50 native languages.
Oklahoma City Public Schools is operating the largest construction and modernization project of its kind called Maps for Kids (MAPS). MAPS. is a sales tax and bond issue that was passed by the citizens of Oklahoma City in November, 2001. This ten-year, $531 million initiative will enable the district’s children to attend school in first-rate facilities with state- of- the- art equipment. At the end of 2008, OCPS will open five new schools which include 3 new high schools and 2 elementary schools. OCPS will receive an estimated $52 million for technology projects.1
G.1 National Board Certification
Oklahoma has 1,306 National Board Certified Teachers, making it ninth nationally in the number of teachers holding national certification. Oklahoma also ranks 5th in the nation for the percentage of National Board Certified Teachers, compared to the total number of teachers in the state.
According to Oklahoma statute, subject to the availability of funds, the State Board of Education provides a $5,000 bonus annually no later than January 31 to teachers who attain National Board Certification and are employed by a public school district on a full-time basis as a classroom teacher, counselor, or librarian. National Board Certified Teacher Scholarship Program assists teacher candidates with fees for program application.
G.2 Teacher of the Year Program
The Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Program recognizes outstanding teachers. The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), sponsor of the National Teacher of the Year program, has found Oklahoma provides the best recognition program for its Teacher of the Year. The Oklahoma Teacher of the Year serves as the state’s Ambassador for Teaching, representing Oklahoma in national selection, sharing knowledge and resources with fellow educators around the state, and encouraging education as a profession. For 2005-2006, the State Teacher of the Year received more than $8,000 in cash and prizes.
G.3 Milken National Educator Awards
The purpose of the Oklahoma Milken Educator Network is to serve as a resource to promote and enhance quality educators in the state:
By attracting new educators and encouraging our quality educators to stay in the profession.
By acting as a voice for educational policy.
By increasing communication among members, communities and state government.
The Milken National Educator Award Program is the largest teacher recognition program in the United States. The awards were created to reward, retain, and attract the highest quality K-12 educators to the profession. Each Milken Educator receives an unrestricted financial award of $25,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the annual Milken National Education Conference held each May.
As Milken recipients, educators are able to join the The Milken Educator Network. The network is a voluntary association of more than 2,100 Milken Educators and other exemplary educators and business leaders from across the country who are dedicated to improving teacher quality and utilizing research and expertise to shape education policy at state and local levels.
The Oklahoma Milken Educator Network is dedicated to making a positive impact on Oklahoma professional development and supporting highly qualified teachers. Each year Oklahoma Milken Educators serve as presenters at the Teacher Quality Conference sponsored by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. The Oklahoma Milken Educator Program began in 2000 and has had seventeen recipients awarded a total of $425,000.
G.4 Teachers-Teachers.com/oklahoma (Online recruitment service for Oklahoma K-12 school districts)
In a continuing effort to recruit qualified education personnel for all Oklahoma public school districts, the Oklahoma State Department of Education Special Education Improvement Grant provides each school district with a FREE membership to Teachers-Teachers.com. Oklahoma recruiters use Teachers-Teachers.com to post vacancies as well as search the database for qualified candidates. Since its inception in Oklahoma, 249 school districts have made use of this site for recruiting highly qualified teachers. The pool of candidates nationwide has increased to over 300,000. This service is funded through the Special Education State Improvement Grant and assists district administrators in hiring highly qualified teachers. This is especially helpful to rural Oklahoma districts and for shortage teaching areas.
G.5 Supply and Demand Data
Data is collected on the supply and demand of teachers and reported to the State Board of Education monthly.
G. 6 Special Education Teachers 5% Above Minimum Salary Schedule
Qualified and properly certified teachers of special education shall be paid a minimum of five percent (5%) above the prevailing wage paid teachers of children who are nondisabled in the same school district. 70 O.S. § 13-110.
G.7 Academic Achievement Award
House Bill 1992 is a new law, which relates to the development of an Academic Achievement Award (AAA) program by the Oklahoma State Board of Education. The bill became effective July 1, 2005. The AAA program was developed by the Oklahoma State Board of Education. The program provides monetary awards to qualified school employees that attain the:
1) highest overall student achievement and
2) the highest annual improvement in student achievement as measured by the Academic performance Index (API) in each of the five groups based upon Average Daily membership.
The awards are provided no later than January 31 of each year.
The bill provides for the determination of the school sites in each of the five groups that achieve the highest score for items one and two mentioned above. Methodology for a tiebreaker is provided by first comparing the current year’s API data to that of the previous year; and next, using reading achievement assessments.
“Qualified employee” means certified personnel employed for at least one-half of the school year from which the student test data was derived and at least one-half of the school year during which the provided awards will be paid.
Awards are not included in the calculation of a teacher’s salary for the purpose of meeting the state minimum salary schedule or for calculating Oklahoma Teachers’ Retirement System contributions or benefits. No school district is liable for the payment of awards pursuant to this section.
Oklahoma continually works to provide high quality professional development and technical assistance to all schools, particularly high-poverty; high-minority; and low-performing schools. This is a continuous process to provide support to teachers so that they may reach the highly qualified requirements and become highly effective teachers.
H. Policy Coherence
How is the state planning to improve internal processes or revise state policies that may inadvertently contribute to local staffing inequities?
H.1 Oklahoma Web-based Educator Credentialing System
Reduce time required to process teacher certification applications with online teacher certification data system, the Oklahoma Web-based Educator Credentialing System, to be implemented during the 2006-2007 school year. 2006-2007 Oklahoma Web-based Educator Credentialing System will provide essential data on teachers to determine highly qualified status 2006 state legislation requires Professional Development data-driven approach to meet five measurable goals aligned to the teaching of core content areas.
H.2 Oklahoma Academic Achievement Awards
State Academic Achievement Awards provide monetary awards to all teachers in schools with the highest academic performance index in five enrollment categories and the team of teachers closing the achievement gap in five enrollment categories.
H.3 Senate Bill 1485 (70 O.S. § 6-194) Professional Development Requirements
This state legislation provides that each professional development committee, in developing program recommendations shall annually utilize a data-driven approach to analyze student data and determine district and school professional development needs. The professional development programs adopted shall be directed toward development of competencies and instructional strategies in the core curriculum areas for the following goals:
Increasing the academic performance index scores for the district and each school site;
Closing the achievement gaps among student groups;
Increasing student achievement as demonstrated on state-mandated tests and the ACT;
Increasing high school graduation rates; and
Decreasing college remediation rates.
6.2 Does the plan identify where inequities in teacher assignment exist?
Further Analysis Reveals Inequities (See chart at the beginning of Requirement 6)
The OSDE initially prioritized our 540 school districts by the percent of classes taught by non-highly qualified teachers. However, the second phase of our analysis – at school site level – clearly demonstrated that in districts with multiple school sites, the large numbers used for district level analysis obscured the inequities within the district. Only 107 districts appeared to have a disproportionate percent of classes (greater than 10%) taught by non-highly qualified teachers when the classes for the entire district were considered as a whole. When the site-level analysis was done, 443 sites in 219 districts were identified as having greater than 10 percent of classes taught by non-highly qualified teachers. Consequently the OSDE has revised its strategy to target the individual school sites, prioritizing the 443 sites into three target groups.
Being aware of these inequities, allows us to focus technical assistance and services to all districts to ensure that all students have experienced, highly qualified teachers. Although every district is required to have an individual plan for each teacher that is not highly qualified, the data provides us with an awareness of specific district, site and teacher priorities.
6.3 Does the plan delineate specific strategies for addressing inequities in teacher assignment?
Every district will have a plan to meet the needs of teachers who are not highly qualified. On-site monitoring of the districts that have sites with the greatest number of non-highly qualified districts will occur for the 2006-2007 school year to determine.