In 2014, the Promoting Excellence for All: State Superintendent’s Task Force on Wisconsin’s Achievement Gap (PEFA) published a report on how several Wisconsin schools are finding success in closing achievement gaps. As a state with persistent racial disparities in our education system, the PEFA Report provides information and strategies that have the potential to close gaps, organized within four research-based school improvement domains:
family and community engagement
school and instructional leadership. (2014)
Shortly after the report was released, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) created the Promoting Excellence for All eCourse. The purpose of the eCourse is to “explore existing beliefs, performance data, and instructional strategies, in order to build the skills of being a race-conscious educator, a competent data user, and an agile instructor responsive to the reality of Wisconsin’s achievement gaps” (WI DPI).
Now, there is even more support for completing the eCourse through the creation of the PEFA eCourse Facilitator's Guide. Principals, curriculum directors, coaches, teacher leaders, and others charged with leading professional development in school districts can access the facilitator’s guide to support educators in having race-based conversations.
The new guide breaks down the eCourse module into units, which are further divided into one to one and a half hour sessions that can be completed over the course of the year or combined as appropriate to a local context.
Facilitators can access the“PEFA Facilitator’s Guide by Session” drop-down menu to view each session, which includes activities and pacing for the session, and a link to the participant handouts and resources. There are also coaching connections embedded into each session with resources for coaches to support the implementation of new learning.
The guide thoroughly prepares facilitators to lead eCourse units and navigate important conversations. Within the “PEFA eCourse Introduction and Considerations,” facilitators are led through background information in the modules and supported in becoming familiar with key resources, with the goal of aligning the PEFA eCourse to continuous improvement.
The “Readiness Guide” supplies the breakdown of essential questions addressed during each session, supporting facilitators in determining if they are ready to facilitate the session or if more learning on their part is needed before doing so. Finally, the glossary ensures a common understanding of key terms, and a list of extended learning resources supports further learning.
No matter what context, Wisconsin educators can participate in the PEFA eCourse, because, as stated in the introduction to the eCourse:
disparities exist within the composition of each student body. Because racial achievement gaps are often the largest statewide gaps in Wisconsin, the eCourse is structured to address that gap which is in need of the most attention. It is important to note the disparities between subgroups are equally as important to address; whether there is little diversity in your district or if your district is highly diverse. (2018)
Working through the PEFA eCourse is a journey, whether it is a starting point for some or a continuation down the path for others. There are plenty of resources to extend learning to continue the journey based on local needs.
For more information, visit the Promoting Excellence for All website and access the PEFA eCourse and corresponding facilitator’s guide.
Facilitators are encouraged to complete this feedback form to help ensure we are making the facilitator's guide as useful as possible for you and your participants. We will consider your feedback in updates to the facilitator's guide as we continue to work together to close Wisconsin's racial achievement gaps.
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. 2014. “Promoting Excellence for All: A Report from the State Superintendent’s Task Force on Wisconsin’s Achievement Gap.” Accessed Nov. 26, 2018. https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/excforall/exc4all-report.pdf
—2016. “Take Action: Access the eCourse.” Accessed Nov. 26, 2018. https://dpi.wi.gov/excforall/ecourse
—2018. Promoting Excellence for All Facilitator’s Guide.” Accessed Nov. 26, 2018. https://dpi.wi.gov/excforall/ecoursehttps://dpi.wi.gov/excforall/ecourse...