Providing instruction and practice in the English Language Arts (ELA) Standards is critical for establishing a common understanding and implementation across classrooms. As an implementation progresses from initial to full implementation, a Leadership and Implementation Team works to measure and improve the extent to which the Standards, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and Multi-tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) are in place and benefiting students. The main role of both school- and district-level teams at this stage is to manage staff to fully implement assessment and instructional practices, and to ensure that curriculum and interventions are delivered as intended.
It is critical for teams to gather student and teacher performance data and to use that data to make management decisions to improve the implementation. Teams will need data that show the connection between student outcomes; teacher efforts to apply the instruction, curriculum, and assessments; and the degree to which teacher efforts are implemented as intended—that is, with fidelity.
One of the most important steps in implementation is the use of data to assess the quality and consistency (fidelity) and effort of the implementation, as intended, across all staff. Effective leadership within the team creates a culture that uses data to allocate resources where they are most needed, and celebrates the small wins on the way to improved student achievement.
Sometimes, ineffective leadership will rely on activity counts or levels of excitement and emotional support as evidence of implementation. Effective implementation demands that a school moves from saying "we are doing it" to actually having evidence that the "doing" leads to student achievement.
Leadership and Implementation Teams will need to make a major effort to keep implementation on track. This takes on-going coaching and support to actively manage all of the key components of initial implementation. Significant pressure to abandon implementation as intended may occur because it takes time collaborate to create a deep understanding of the standards.
It may also take further study or adjustments before the benefits are realized. It is tempting to want to abandon implementation early or to rush to use data from an MTSS system to make high-stakes decisions.
Using data to make determinations of eligibility for special education prior to evidence of a high-level of implementation as intended would be premature. Abandoning implementation too soon, use data for high-stakes decisions, or presumption without evidence that full implementation has been achieved, are threats the Leadership and Implementation Team has to continuously safeguard against.
The efforts listed below will help schools and districts attain full and effective implementation of the standards for the benefit of all students: