|Total in these two categories||67.7%||73.8%|
Elevate Preparation: Impact Children (EPIC)
First-year teachers in Massachusetts are disproportionately hired into underperforming schools, placed in classrooms with historically marginalized student populations, and rate lower than their veteran peers on their evaluations. The Elevate Preparation: Impact Children (EPIC) grant has one driving goal: by 2022, candidates prepared by Massachusetts' providers will enter classrooms and demonstrate results on par with peers in their third year of teaching. In other words, first-year teachers need to be ready on day one. With eleven targeted projects, EPIC provides the rocket boosters to this critical work; each project is designed to be sustainable and scalable statewide so that preparation providers have effective tools to continuously improve long after the grant ends in June of 2018.
We are already seeing a shift in longstanding perceptions of candidate readiness. Halfway through the grant, we saw a 13% increase in responses that their first-year teachers were either "Fully Ready" or "Mostly Ready" (see table) in our 2017 stakeholder survey. Also encouraging was the eighteen-point increase in "Fully Ready" responses. In fact, 69% of our collaborators agreed that their working group's work will be both sustainable and scalable statewide.
"One thing that EPIC [does is] strengthen the whole of teacher preparation rather than just provide opportunities for a select few."
—CAP Implementation Support cohort member
Throughout the grant, we have been consistently encouraged by how eager our organizations are to work with us and one another. We designed our first-ever Candidate Assessment of Performance (CAP) Summer Institute to give organizations opportunities to collaborate and problem-solve together. The event was attended by over 70% of our organizations and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive; 75% of participants agreed that it was a good use of their time. However, we were also pushed to increase opportunities to collaborate even more; one participant said, "The state needs to do a better job of connecting and facilitating conversations among [organizations]. I feel like we are all re-inventing the wheel in our separate silos."
"I have renewed appreciation for how hard [ESE's job] is to bring your prep programs along on this. I don't envy your charge, but deeply admire your approach."
—EPAS Advisory Group Member
To respond to that feedback, we planned our State of Educator Preparation in the Commonwealth meeting in January of 2018 to bring everyone together (80% of organizations attended) and kick off three Formal Review domain-specific Boot Camps in the spring. These Boot Camps will give organizations opportunities for close intensive collaboration to improve their performance in the areas of Continuous Improvement (mostly through effective use of data tools), Field-Based Experiences, and Partnerships.
Below, you will find the resources that we have developed under the EPIC grant and what we have in store. Please direct any questions to . firstname.lastname@example.org
Resources Available Now