The Region 14 Comprehensive Center supports the Louisiana Department of Education in implementation of the Comprehensive Literacy State Development project to advance the literacy skill of children from birth to grade 12 through the use of evidence-based practices, activities, and interventions.
There are low literacy rates across the state, teacher knowledge and skills for literacy instruction are low, and there is limited access to high-quality instructional materials. The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) needs support in building human and organizational capacity and structures to more effectively implement and oversee the use of state and federal funds. While recent student achievement gains in literacy are promising, efforts to sustain and accelerate progress are essential.
We worked with the LDOE literacy lead to assess team, department, and system-specific management and oversight needs. We presented options for managing and overseeing multiple detail levels required to implement actions outlined in the statewide literacy plan. This included a site visit to observe the literacy team’s day-to-day interactions to inform our recommendations and the management tools we built.
On-the-Ground Data and Feedback
We wanted to inform the creation of a Request for Application (RFA) for vendor support of the local literacy coaches. This is funded by LDOE’s Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) grants. We organized interviews and focus groups to identify local education agency (LEA) and school needs.
Celebrate and Amplify Promising Practices
We determined the need for a rubric for evaluating LEA literacy plans submitted in conjunction with their quarterly reporting. This rubric will guide the feedback provided to LEAs about their plan and inform identification of the LEAs that need additional monitoring, observation, and support. We created a process for spotlighting promising LEA literacy practices as they implement their literacy plans. We included ways for LEAs to request additional professional development and operational or policy support from the literacy team in this process.
Systems to Implement Evidence-Based Approaches to Literacy
We facilitated the design of the RFA for vendor support by creating multiple analysis tools that were informed by the findings from the interviews and focus groups. These tools resulted in the release of an RFA for vendors; we are currently assisting with onboarding, communications, monitoring, and continuous improvement systems to ensure successful implementation.
Our ongoing support of the literacy team focuses on their approach to progress monitoring of grant-funded interventions. We continue to develop a long-term operational plan including expansion of the state literacy team with a focus on relationships, process, production, and intended outcomes. Additional support will be provided for annual reporting and responses to state policy developments.
We are currently supporting the update of the LA Comprehensive State Literacy Plan and creating an aligned tool for LEAs to use when developing their district literacy plans. We will be conducting two professional development sessions for school and system leaders at the LDOE’s Teacher and Leader Summit in June 2022. Our session is “Now You Have a School System Literacy Plan, What's Next?” It will guide school and system leaders through the development of comprehensive literacy plans. It will also include a look at the rubric by which plans will be measured to ensure alignment with state and system initiatives. Participants will leave ready to complete dynamic, impactful literacy plans.