MERA Fall 2017 Conference – Determining Educational Impact

The MERA Fall 2017 conference will be on November 20 – 21, 2017 at the Bavarian Inn located in beautiful Frankenmuth, MI!


Bavarian Inn

1 Covered Bridge Lane,

Frankenmuth, MI 48734

The conference brochure is located HERE and see below for the full conference agenda.



November 20, 2017 (9:00 am – 4:30 pm)

Wendy Tackett (iEval) —“Measuring Impact through Program Evaluation” (9:00 am – 4:00 pm)

Dr. Wendy Tackett expects to create a day-long interactive experience that will leave participants confident that they can successfully implement an effective evaluation process that will measure impact. Educators will also grasp how to creatively interpret and utilize evaluation data that will promote a collective and clear appreciation for next steps to improve teaching and learning outcomes.

In addition, attendees will learn alternative ways, outside of using standardized assessment data (e.g. classroom assessments, teacher observations, culture/climate surveys, perception surveys), to measure impact with on-the-spot technical assistance for local evaluation challenges, and creative ways to interpret and use data (e.g. color scripting, paired comparisons).

LUNCH (12:00 – 1:00 pm)

November 21, 2017 (8:45 am – 4:00 pm)

Ray Hart (Council of the Great City Schools) “A Systems View of Student Performance across Time” – (8:45 – 9:45 am)

Researchers traditionally analyze student achievement and other data for discrete cohorts of students, at discrete points in time, or for individual schools and districts. The more granular look at student achievement often masks important factors and trends across time and schools. This presentation shares a systems view of student achievement by connecting the dots between pre-K performance and high school graduation including measures of student achievement across grade levels in between. The presentation will illustrate how student achievement results are more comparable across schools and districts than traditional accountability systems imply, and shed light on the role researchers should play in helping educators use data to focus on improving educational outcomes for all students.

Christopher Janzer (Office of Educational Assessment and Accountability within the Michigan Department of Education) “ESSA and Accountability: Michigan’s Transparency Dashboard” – (9:45 am – 10:30 am)

Chris will provide an overview of the accountability system and reporting aligned with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the replacement to No Child Left Behind (NCLB). We will also spend some time going through accountability transition plans and timelines leading up to the implementation of a new Michigan Accountability System.

BREAK (10:30 – 10:45 am)

Sheila Alles (Chief Deputy Superintendent for the Michigan Department of Education) “Top 10 in 10—Measuring Our Progress” – (10:45 – 11:45 am)

How will we know we are a “Top 10” education state? If Michigan is to become a “Top 10 Education State,” we need to identify what that means. There are a variety of metrics that are currently used to compare various factors and outcomes among all of the states, but each focuses on very different things. Just as learner’s knowledge and skills should not be measured by a single assessment, the strength of our education system cannot be determined through a single score or rating. In order to better gauge the education system in Michigan, our progress will be assessed in six broad areas, utilizing multiple comparative measure to benchmark progress.

LUNCH (11:45 – 12:30 pm)

Gary Miron (Professor in Evaluation, Measurement, and Research at Western Michigan University) “Evaluating School Choice Reforms: Lessons from Michigan and Beyond” – (12:30 – 2:00 pm)

The presentation will review lessons learned from Dr. Miron’s evaluations of various school choice reforms (including charter schools, vouchers, virtual schools, and diverse forms of privatizations).  These lessons will address methodological and operational obstacles/constraints as well as strategies used to overcome them.

BREAK (2:00 – 2:15 pm)

David Judd (Office of P-20 Data and Information Management within the Michigan Department of Education) and Andrew Middlestead (Office of Educational Assessment & Accountability within the Michigan Department of Education) “Status Updates on All Things Assessment and Reporting from MDE” – (2:15 – 3:00 pm)

Dave and Andy will walk you through what the 2017-18 assessment year looks like, and any possible changes on the horizon. We’ll also spend some time looking at the reporting systems available for use.

Jessica Fenby and Dana Frederick (Center for Educational Performance and Information) “Newest Reporting on MI School Data” – (3:00 – 4:00 pm)

Join us for a one-hour presentation on our newest reports recently released on MI School Data. We will feature our Early Childhood Continuity of Services report and our M-STEP Student Breakdown and Target Analysis reports. We will also share some additional information on our future reporting plans.