Tag: Maryland State Department of Education

Using Video Production for Workforce Development

A unique service we offer at Towson University Center for Professional Studies (CPS) is video production. Initially, this may seem like an odd service to provide for a team that specializes in workforce development training. However, video production does fit seamlessly with our other services. Workforce development training is more than simply offering training sessions for employees. It is about equipping a workforce with not only the skills but also the tools they need to provide services to their internal or external clients. Video production assists with these goals by providing an innovative and cost effective way to train...

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University-Community Partnerships: Professional Development and Training

In the third installment of my on-going series of blog posts (1, 2) about Towson University’s university-community partnerships, I’m going to explore professional development and training. Professional development and training takes many forms at Towson University. It ranges from working with a government agency to providing continuing education and training to area teachers. One thing that all of the programs have in common is that they are meeting Maryland’s needs for citizens who have the skills necessary to advance the state. Below are just a few examples of ways that Towson University is working with the community to provide...

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Child Care Mapping in Maryland

Finding quality child care is one of the most important decisions working parents of pre-k children can make. Finding the right fit comes with many questions. Many of which center around “where.” Should it be near home? Work? Or near another child’s school? To help make finding child care easier for Maryland’s working families, the Center for GIS (CGIS) at Towson University worked with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Office of Child Care to devise an online GIS-based solution called the Maryland Child Care Mapping Tool. Maryland Child Care Mapping Tool The Maryland Child Care Mapping Tool...

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The 4th Annual MSDE Early Childhood Care & Education Research Forum

Sometimes the events I love planning the most are the ones that happen every year. I’ve already built a relationship with the client, I know how they want the room set-up and what food they like, and honestly, there just aren’t that many surprises. The work is almost relaxing! On January 9th the Maryland State Department of Education hosted the 4th annual Early Childhood Care & Education Research Forum in the Towson University West Village Commons. The theme, Will High Quality Pre-K Pay Off for Maryland? What the Research Shows, focused on high-quality Pre-K in Maryland and the keynote speaker, panelists, and workshop facilitators addressed key questions such as: Why is high-quality Pre-K a keystone for school success? What does a high-quality Pre-K program look like? What are the vital program components that result in school success? Keynote speaker, Dr. Hiro Yoshikawa, Courtney Sale Ross Professor of Globalization and Education at NYU, expert on early childhood education, and author of the recent report entitled Investing in Our Future: The Evidence Base on Preschool Education, elaborated on his findings that Large-scale public preschool programs can have substantial impacts on children’s futures Quality preschool education is a profitable investment for the community High quality implementation of instructional approaches through coaching or mentoring can yield important benefits for children Just prior to this event, Maryland was awarded a $15 million Federal Preschool...

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Race to the Top Project, a CAIRE success

The Race to the Top (RTTT) grant has come to an end (see CAIRE and the Race to the Top and Evaluating the Implementation and Utilization of the Race to the Top Projects). This project has been a part of the Center for Application and Innovation Research in Education (CAIRE) for the past four years. As with any project that we spend a long time on, we are sad to see it go, but are very proud of the work accomplished. RTTT provided the CAIRE team with many opportunities to use our skill sets, both individually and collectively. Surveys Over the last several months the CAIRE team evaluated the impact and utilization of several individual RTTT projects. Surveys were a large part of the data gathering process. Each project had its own unique survey, and our team took much time and skill in creating surveys that would yield the data necessary to provide information to contribute to the decision making process. Interviews Throughout the entire RTTT project, CAIRE evaluators used personal interviews to gather information that can only be conveyed through direct contact with those people “in the trenches”. Talking directly to both Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) employees and local education agencies (LEA) employees, yielded useful impressions and a deeper insight into the success of a project that cannot be conveyed through surveys or test results. Data...

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Perspective from a new CAIRE team member

In past blog posts I’ve introduced what CAIRE is doing to support RTTT and discussed the how we are evaluating the implementation and utilization of the projects.  In this post I wanted to share the perspective of a “freshly minted” graduate who has recently joined the CAIRE team. Jessica Lake, RESI Research Assistant, recently graduated with a degree in Sociology from Brown University. What was your first impression of CAIRE’s work? When I began working on CAIRE, the initial thought of evaluating 54 projects was a bit overwhelming. However, as I’ve spent more time working in-depth on each project, I’ve found that the diversity of topics has made my job more intriguing and has allowed me to develop a higher degree of workplace versatility. Although all projects relate to the broad topic of education reform, each one has a unique purpose and intended impact on the education system. Some projects are focused on broad data systems, others are geared towards aiding educators, some are specifically targets towards students, and so forth. As such, my work has provided me with a broad range of insight, knowledge, and perspectives on the field of education that I could not have gained without such variety. How are you using what you learned in the classroom? During my time working with CAIRE, I have relied upon many of the skills that I developed during my...

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MSDE Educator Effectiveness Academies

Year One Reflection and Moving Forward Back in January we filled you in on our exciting new project with Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), where we were tasked to develop webinars for Maryland teachers that follow up on the content they were exposed to during the summer 2012 Educator Effectiveness Academy (EEA). We successfully launched the first four of these professional development webinars in January to a great response from MSDE staff and teachers statewide. At the end of April we launched our second set of webinars to complete the professional develop releases for the current school year. In the upcoming weeks, we will be partnering with some of the Master teachers to provide live Virtual Office hours facilitated through WebEx. This will allow other teachers who’ve viewed the webinars to ask questions and engage with these Master teachers regarding the webinar content. These webinars have already proven to be an excellent resource not only for the teachers who were able to attend the summer 2012 EEA, but also for teachers who were not able to attend and were interested in acquiring more information on Maryland Common Core State Curriculum Standards. What’s next? Because of the wide positive feedback from teachers across the state, MSDE has decided to expand our scope of work.  This year we will not just record a few selected EEA breakout sessions, but rather...

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Evaluating the Implementation and Utilization of the Race to the Top Projects

In my previous blog CAIRE and Race to the Top, I provided an overview of what CAIRE means, who is involved with it, and how it relates to Race to the Top (RTTT). CAIRE‘s main function is to independently evaluate 54 distinct but interrelated projects. Many of these projects will be used to provide guidance and direction as the state endeavors to successfully implement the new Maryland Common Core Curriculum in all Maryland schools. The past year and half, CAIRE has been evaluating the implementation of RTTT in Maryland. Evaluating a large program presents itself with many challenges as to how and what to evaluate. The goal is to provide a thorough and objective evaluation that adds value for the program to make course corrections. To break the evaluations into manageable pieces, the Maryland RTTT program was conceived with three phases: Process/Product Utilization Impact Representatives of the CAIRE Team met each week with different RTTT project managers to discuss the process/product of the 54 RTTT projects. The purpose of these meetings was to review and document the status of each project from a management perspective, identify any risks associated with its completion, and if warranted, make recommendations to RTTT leaders to improve the project’s management. An evaluation plan was created that captures specific project information and then asked questions relating to the management of the project. The challenge in...

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Building Bridges Across Campus: Dr. Ray Lorion, Dean of the College of Education and Dr. Daraius Irani, Executive Director, RESI

This blog series “Partnerships Across Campus” gives you — our partners, collaborators, and clients — an inside perspective on how the professional outreach staff within TU’s applied research and outreach centers work and collaborate with Towson University faculty. I have been working for the Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI) at Towson University in various capacities for the last fifteen years, and I have worked on a host of projects. For a few of these projects, we were able to include a faculty member on the team, but this was more the exception than the rule. The challenge we faced at RESI was matching our client’s needs with faculty research agendas and schedules, as many of these projects did not coincide with semester or summer breaks. So, it seemed that RESI was forever consigned to work with faculty only on the off chance that a client’s project and timing coincided with that of a faculty member. This did not seem to be a good way to become more integrated with the university. In early 2011, while we at RESI were bemoaning the lack of faculty participation, Dr. Ray Lorion was wondering how he was going to fulfill the terms and conditions of a $4.7 million four-year grant awarded to the university as a result of the Maryland State Department of Education’s (MSDE) Race to the Top grant award. Moreover, immediately...

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TU Center for Professional Studies selected to support Maryland’s teachers in mastering the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum

As the largest producer of teachers and the go-to resource for teacher professional development and education, we are naturally involved in many aspects of the Race to the Top program. One new initiative is the Educator Effectiveness Academies (EEAs), which support teacher development in the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum Standards and Framework, specifically in the STEM fields. 6300 Educators That’s the number of educators served by the first regional EEAs, which were held during the summer of 2011. The audience included four-person teams from schools across Maryland, including: School’s Principal Reading English/Language Arts specialist or teacher Mathematics teacher Teacher from a STEM area These highly successful EEAs were offered again last summer, but this time MSDE reached out to Towson University’s Center for Professional Studies to develop a series of webinars to reinforce and build upon the summer EEA as well further disseminate the content to ALL of Maryland’s public school teachers. By partnering with Towson University, MSDE is now able to convey vital educational information to thousands of teachers statewide in a productive, virtual session. Here are some specific s about the webinars: 16 total webinars will be produced; 8 for this school year and 8 for next school year Over 80 total hours captured from the EEAs will be used to produce the webinars Webinars will be disseminated to over 1500 Maryland public schools and their...

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