Overview & Conference Presentations
The 2012 NDTAC National Conference, “Compliance and Beyond: Continuous Quality Improvement Through Problem Solving,” brought together State coordinators of the Title I, Part D, (Part D) program; U.S. Department of Education personnel; experts in the field; and NDTAC staff to discuss the steps that coordinators can take to not only ensure Part D grant compliance, but also to establish a climate of continuous quality improvement among their State and local subgrantees. The conference was organized into two strands: (1) monitoring and compliance and (2) reporting and evaluation. These strands were designed to provide conference participants a better understanding of Part D program requirements as well as resources to improve Part D program administration. Presentations, discussions, and activities focused on effective problem-solving strategies to address common administrative challenges as well as methods for leveraging resources and sustaining programs through collaboration.
Access conference presentations, handouts, and activities:
- Keynote Session: Maryland Correctional Institution-Jessup
- Strand 1: Monitoring and Compliance
- Strand 2: Reporting and Evaluation
Maryland Correctional Institution - Jessup
Supportive School Discipline Initiative
John McLaughlin, Federal program manager, Title I, Part D, U.S. Department of Education; Robin Delany-Shabazz, director, Concentration of Federal Efforts Program, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice; Kristen Harper, special assistant to the assistant secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education; Dennis Rozumalski, State Title I, Part D, coordinator, Delaware Department of Education; and David Osher, vice president, American Institutes for Research and principal investigator, NDTAC
This plenary session provided an overview of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative (SSDI), a joint initiative between the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice to address what is known commonly as the “school-to-prison-pipeline"—harsh and exclusionary school disciplinary policies and practices that push youth out of school and into the justice system. The session also addressed the relevance of the SSDI initiative to the Title I, Part D, (Part D) program and how State coordinators of the Part D program can promote and act as catalysts for the initiative in their States.
Focusing on the “Beyond”— Program Improvement and Coordination
|Strand 1: Monitoring and Compliance|
This strand focused on helping State coordinators of the Title I, Part D, (Part D) program improve Federal and subgrantee monitoring preparedness, procedure, and outcomes. The plenary session provided an overview of monitoring processes and resources. The interactive breakout sessions that followed addressed the following common problems faced by State Part D coordinators in both Federal and subgrantee monitoring: aligning budgets with program plans, responding to facility-specific challenges, and developing technical assistance plans to support corrective action planning. The breakout sessions provided participants the opportunity to engage in collaborative problem-solving activities in small groups, explore effective strategies for providing technical assistance to subgrantees, share NDTAC and State-developed resources, and discuss lessons learned.
Strand Plenary: Sharing Practices on Meeting Monitoring and Compliance Requirements
Breakout Sessions: Problem-Solving Common Monitoring and Compliance Issues
Aligning Budgets With Program Plans
In this session, participants discussed the most common budget misalignment issues they have found during the monitoring process when verifying whether subgrantees are using funds as described in their State agency and local educational agency applications and in alignment with their State plan. Participants worked in groups to explore how to identify, address, and prevent such issues in the future; consider their current monitoring tools and procedures to determine how they might be revised; and consider next steps.
Overcoming Facility-Specific Challenges
Nicholas Read, technical assistance liaison, NDTAC
In this breakout session, participants shared their experiences with various types of facility-level challenges, such as facility closings, youth demographic shifts, or shifting State and local policies and priorities. States shared the monitoring, budgeting, and other compliance practices they have used that have enabled them to track and respond to such facility-level issues. Participants worked together to refine existing practices and design new practices and resources to address these issues.
|Strand 2: Reporting and Evaluation|
This conference strand focused on common problems faced by State Title I, Part D, (Part D) coordinators, including evaluating at-risk programs, addressing low academic achievement, and tracking post-release outcomes. To help States respond to such challenges, participants learned how to implement reporting and evaluation practices that support a culture of continuous quality improvement. The strand featured a plenary session that provided an overview of Federal reporting and evaluation requirements, resources, and ways to approach data use. In the interactive breakout sessions that followed, participants had the opportunity to engage in collaborative problem-solving activities in small groups; learn about applicable NDTAC and State-developed resources; share the reporting and evaluation processes, procedures, and systems States have in place; and discuss lessons learned.
Strand Plenary: Sharing Practices on Meeting Reporting and Evaluation Requirements
Breakout Sessions: Problem-Solving Common Reporting and Evaluation Issues
Evaluating Programs for Youth Who Are At-Risk
This session began with a discussion of the challenges in evaluating at-risk programs that receive Part D funds. Participants then worked in small groups by common evaluation challenges: identifying appropriate indicators and coordinating other available student data from the school and district for common uses of funds. As part of the small groups, participants considered the potential use of templates and tools, including logic models, that can be integrated into application, reporting, and evaluation processes. To close the session, each small group shared indicators and strategies they discussed and considered next steps.
Addressing Low Academic Achievement
In this session, participants briefly discussed the challenges faced by State Part D Coordinators when supporting subgrantee efforts to improve low academic achievement. Using NDTAC’s Practice Guide on providing individually tailored academic and behavioral support services, participants worked in small groups to develop program evaluation criteria that Part D coordinators can use to assess the instructional strengths and weaknesses of their subgrantees when desk monitoring, reviewing applications, or conducting site visits. To close the session, participants reconvened to share their evaluation criteria and discussed how they might use the criteria to develop or refine their existing subgrantee monitoring tools and provide targeted technical assistance as appropriate to help facilities improve academic outcomes.
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