Capacity Building for Educators

edCount supports state, district, and school level leaders as well as teachers and teacher-leaders by disseminating information and resources, and providing training and on-demand support on a variety of topics related to the educators’ role in support of instruction. We design and deliver a variety of professional development services tailored to the educational context and intended to empower educators with the resources, knowledge, and support they need to meet their students’ needs. 

edCount @Work

edCount Guides Educators in the Use of Principled Assessment Design to Develop Multi-Dimensional Classroom Science Assessments

In April 2017, edCount joined Nebraska, Montana and Wyoming, a team of researchers, and a panel of experts on a four-year project funded through an Enhanced Assessment Grant from the US Department of Education to bridge the gap between national-level shifts in the expectations for science education, and state-, district-, school-and classroom-level interpretation and implementation. The project, titled Strengthening Claims-based Interpretations and Uses of Local and Large-scale Science Assessment Scores (SCILLSS), aims to design methods, tools, and a process to support the development of state-wide summative and classroom-based assessments that address the shifts in teaching and learning of science that accompany adoption of three-dimensional science standards based on A Framework for K-12 Science Education.

edCount collaborated with SCILLSS project partners to establish a comprehensive assessment approach, along with replicable and scalable principled-design processes and tools, that state and local educators can use to clarify and strengthen the connections among statewide summative science assessments, locally-developed assessments, and classroom instruction. To support educators’ use of the design processes and tools, edCount facilitated five one-to two-day classroom assessment workshops in the SCILLSS partner states (i.e., Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana) with local teachers, teacher-leaders, and regional educational service providers. The goals of the workshops were to increase participants’ knowledge of the characteristics and features of high quality assessment tasks aligned to NGSS-like standards for use within classrooms and to engage participants in a principled-approach to develop design tools and classroom science assessment tasks aligned to NGSS-like standards to support instruction. These workshops were structured to provide participants with a comprehensive step-by-step orientation to the iterative design process and to provide opportunities to collaborate with peers to design assessment tasks that provide meaningful information about students’ three-dimensional science learning.

To continue to build educator capacity to design high-quality, multi-dimensional classroom science assessments throughout the SCILLSS partner states, edCount is currently planning two additional five-day virtual classroom assessment workshops with Nebraska educators and a series of three-day virtual workshops with Wyoming educators in summer 2020. For more information about the SCILLSS project resources, visit https://www.scillsspartners.org/scillss-resources/.

edCount Completes Multi-Year Project with the Regional Education Laboratory Mid-Atlantic

edCount recently completed a multi-year project (2012-2016) in collaboration with the REL Mid-Atlantic to host the Educator Effectiveness Webinar Series and the Ask an Expert Webinar Series. The REL-MA is one of 10 Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) across the United States that are supported by the U.S. Department of Education and work in partnership with states, school districts, and other relevant stakeholders to support the use of evidence in improving academic outcomes for students.

The REL-MA serves Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia. The Educator Effectiveness Webinar Series was designed to provide participants the opportunity to acquire knowledge about various aspects of educator effectiveness in a way that would allow them to apply this knowledge to support instruction, leadership, and improved student outcomes. edCount collaborated with respected and well-known experts to prepare and conduct 40 interactive and engaging webinars that reached a diverse audience of educators (state, local, and university), researchers, policymakers, parents, and community members. The recorded REL-MA webinars can be found on the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) YouTube channel. A sample of the more popular webinars on the IES channel can be viewed here, here, and here (links).

edCount also assisted in responding to questions that came in from educators through the Ask A REL collaborative reference desk service which provides references, referrals, and brief responses in the form of citations on research-based education questions. edCount prepared responses to questions regarding a variety of topics including English Learners, student engagement strategies, teacher mentoring, and guided reading strategies. edCount also led REL-MA’s efforts to address data management needs of state education agencies (SEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), and research organizations in the region. Included in this work was the facilitation of roundtable workshops for SEA representatives to share their needs, concerns, and experiences to streamline data requests and facilitate better access to high quality data that supports research efforts.