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Eric.ed.gov – Middle-Grades Leadership Development (MLD) Project: A U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation (i3) Development Grant Final Evaluation Report

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The Middle-Grades Leadership Development (MLD) Project was designed to develop principal leaders and leadership teams who create high-performing middle-grades schools. Designed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, the four-year project was funded from 2013 to 2017 by a U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation (i3) development grant. The project was implemented in 12 middle-grades schools in rural and small town areas of Kentucky and Michigan. Schools received an extensive set of school improvement supports, including: creating a vision using the Forum’s Schools to Watch (STW) criteria; engaging in an assessment and planning process for improvement; STW leadership coach; principal mentor; STW mentor schools; leadership team; networking opportunities; and focused professional development. The evaluation of the MLD Project used a quasi-experimental design (QED) with matched comparison schools (12 treatment schools and 38 comparison schools) to examine the impact of the project on intermediate outcomes such as culture, collaboration, work climate, and teaching efficacy, as well as the long term outcomes of principal effectiveness and student achievement. Results showed that MLD treatment schools significantly improved their collaboration practices, teaching efficacy, middle-grades instructional practices, and their implementation of the STW criteria for high performance. There was significant improvement in the long-term outcome of principal effectiveness among treatment principals, with nine of the twelve principals improving their leadership skills and behaviors to the proficient or distinguished levels by the end of the grant. Although there was no overall intervention effect on ELA/reading or math student achievement, seven treatment schools displayed larger growth than the state average for some groups of students. The results provide unique insight into a middle-grades program focused on principal leaders and collaborative leadership. A roadmap that depicts the key supports, activities, and practices implemented at MLD schools that were the most impactful on building middle-grades leadership effectiveness were articulated. These include school-level practices (i.e., guiding vision, continuous improvement practices, reflective practices), principal-level practices (i.e., knowledge of young adolescents, commitment to developmentally appropriate practices, instructional leadership), collaborative leadership practices (i.e., developing teacher leaders, shared capacity), and teaching practices (i.e., student centered, high expectations, rigorous instruction) that combined, result in middle-grades leadership that is more effective. [The report was prepared by the Center for Prevention Research and Development.]

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som adjunkt hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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