SISEP uses stage-based measures to assess progress and monitor outcomes. Stage-based measures allow SISEP to evaluate key implementation activities and outcomes at every phase of scale up. The outcomes include both quantitative and qualitative measures to capture significant progress.
In this section, we will summarize the results at the broadest level, SISEP interactions with State Departments of Education. Thus, the SISEP Center staff are directly accountable for the outcomes summarized below.
The Exploration stage included explanations and interviews with 36 potential SISEP states. After engaging in an exploration process with 36 States, 16 States responded with a written application, 8 States were visited and interviewed, and six States were selected to participate in the first round of scaling. The six States are Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, and Virginia representing over 14,000 schools. Given the resources available for intensive work with States, two of those States remain in the active scaling group (Minnesota, Oregon), and North Carolina has recently become the newest active scaling State.
Key outcomes: The Exploration Stage process engaged a large number of States and produced excellent candidates for scaling. The number of candidates exceeded the capacity of SISEP. Thus, the four initial States (Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon), and later North Carolina, participated in the next Stages of Implementation. The other two States were assigned to "emerging" status and were included in information exchanges and occasional technical assistance, but were not active participants in the intensive work of scaling.
The installation stage involves establishing resources needed to use an innovation and resources required to implement the innovation with fidelity and good outcomes. For the active scaling States, the Installation Stage included monthly meetings with SISEP staff, selecting two State Transformation Specialists (one from general education, one from special education in the State), and selecting 9 Regional Implementation Team members who could devote at least 0.25 FTE each to scaling.
The focus of scaling is on developing in-state implementation capacity. This is possible only if the people are available to learn and do the work of implementation.
Key outcomes: The outcomes of the Installation Stage were mixed. Of the initial four active Scaling States, one had monthly SMT meetings with the SISEP staff, one had occasional SMT meetings with SISEP staff, and two had few or no SMT meetings with SISEP staff. All four of the intial States established funding for two STSs within the first year. With respect to Regional Implementation Team participation, two had funded RITs, one had no funding and limited participation, and one had no RIT.
Initial implementation involves establishing the implementation expertise and improvement cycles in a State. This usually takes place within a Transformation Zone. A Transformation Zone is used at this stage to establish implementation on a small scale, so that expertise can be developed and improved. As quickly as possible, the Transformation Zone is expanded, more RITs are created, and the PEP-PIP system improvment cycle goes into high gear to reduce fragmentation, increase coherence, and develop a more streamlined approach to scaling up implementation capacity and education innovations.
Key outcomes: The SISEP Center is entering the Initial Implementation Stage with two States (Minnesota, Oregon). By mutual agreement, two States with limited/no SISEP access to the SMT are no longer active scaling States. The active involvement of the SMT has proven to be critical to scaling. As a "lesson learned," future Exploration Stage activities now include a more extended period of meetings with SISEP staff attending SMT meetings for three or more consecutive months to establish the pattern and to attend more closely to the readiness of the SMT for what lies ahead.
Full Implementation means that at least 60% of the districts have Implementation Teams. This means that implementation has moved past the Transformation Zone and has become standard practice in the State.
Key outcomes: We expect to be approaching Full Implementation in Year 5 or 6 with the three active scaling States.