ASU Teacher Education partners with SLV schools in grant

(12-06-2013)

The Adams State University Teacher Education Department was recently awarded a Title II Teacher Quality Improvement grant by the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Nine proposals were received this year and four were funded, totaling $679,000.

Kurt Cary, associate director of Teacher Education, is the project director of "Implementing Colorado Academic Standards Using LDC and MDC."

Adams State, in partnership with five San Luis Valley (SLV) school districts and the non-profit organizations Colorado Legacy Foundation (CLF) and Public Education & Business Coalition (PEBC), will incorporate the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) and the Math Design Collaborative (MDC) into a teacher professional development program designed to improve implementation of Colorado Academic Standards.

Utilized effectively by the Colorado Legacy Foundation in teacher trainings, the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) and the Math Design Collaborative (MDC) incorporate formative assessment strategies that build in differentiation for each learner to help students progress in their learning. These evidence-based instructional practices implement templates and tools aligned to Colorado Academic Standards that encourage student collaboration in problem-solving and skill development. Four of the partner school districts—Alamosa, Center, Monte Vista, and North Conejos—are pilot districts in PEBC's Colorado Boettcher Teacher Residency, which began its first cohort of teachers in August. Centennial's participation as a LDC/MDC Integration School District enhances the project's resources and the reach of the program.

The project will increase professional development capacity in ASU's Teacher Education Department and support P-12 teachers to align Colorado Academic Standards with best practice instruction. Through collaborative learning, thinking strategies, and job-embedded coaching, CLF, PEBC and ASU will support teachers in becoming models of teacher effectiveness in literacy and math; those teachers can then serve as resources for teachers in other SLV school districts.

Panel discussions with ASU faculty in math, English, and education will focus on student preparation for college and careers and promote best practice sharing throughout the districts. This project will develop capacity to continue this work beyond the 13-month grant period, ensuring the more equitable distribution of effective educators and increasing P-12 student academic growth and achievement.