SREB and Alabama
An overview of SREB programs and services and how Alabama participates in them.
Appropriations from member states support core SREB services. SREB leverages the longstanding commitment of member states to attract external funding for additional programs and services that benefit member states. States may also choose to join targeted networks for additional fees.
Goals for Education | Monitoring State Policies
Monitoring and reporting to assist education leaders and policymakers as they shape public policy. SREB tracks trends and analyzes the progress of all 16 SREB states in each area in the Challenge to Lead 2020 Goals for Education and provides Legislative Reports that detail legislative and budget actions in each state.
SREB’s new Insights data tool allows leaders to explore actions across states, delve into a topic for a deeper understanding, or select a detailed state report.
College and Career Readiness
Intensive work to help states implement essential components of SREB’s recommendations for statewide college and career readiness. These include assessing high school juniors to determine their progress toward the state’s readiness standards — and requiring those who are underprepared to transitional courses in 12th grade.
Benchmarking Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards
Tracks and reports progress on implementation of college- and career-readiness standards and related reforms across 15 states. Based on this research, SREB staff support these states through reports, meetings and technical assistance.
In spring 2017, SREB published Benchmarking State Implementation of College- and Career-Readiness Standards: Alignment of Instructional Materials.
In May 2016, SREB published Benchmarking State Implementation of College-and-Career-Readiness Standards: Professional Learning.
These reports include a regional report that describes implementation across the states, highlights strong state efforts and recommends actions for improvement — plus 16 state profiles that describe each state’s efforts in detail, highlight notable actions and offer recommendations for moving forward.
The alignment of instructional materials report notes Alabama’s strong efforts in the areas of supporting local efforts to use high-quality, standards-aligned instructional materials; and using data to continuously improve state efforts.
The professional learning report notes Alabama’s strong efforts in the areas of establishing clear expectations for high-quality professional learning on state college- and career-readiness standards; providing guidance and tools to help educators design and deliver professional learning and learn about the standards; providing technical assistance to support local professional learning efforts; offering professional learning to educators; and using data and accountability for continuous improvement.
SREB staff presented information and facilitated dialogue on implementation of state college- and career-readiness standards and related reforms at SREB’s annual meeting of legislative and governors’ staff in October 2016. Three participants from Alabama attended the meeting.
In 2016, SREB launched its Insights tool to help policymakers compare and understand state policy and practice. Users can explore data from these and other SREB reports.
Career and Technical Education
State Leaders Forum
Alabama attendees at SREB’s State Leaders Forum on policies for high-quality career and technical education in November 2016: 5
The Commission on Computer Science and Information Technology’s 2016 report challenged states to expand access for all students to education in the fields of computer science, information technology and cybersecurity.
Advises state and district leaders as they develop strategies to support the professional growth of teachers and principals. SREB serves as a technical advisor to state education agencies, conducts needs assessments and focus groups to help states plan and evaluate implementation, spotlights inspiring stories of local practice and convenes stakeholders at regional meetings.
SREB partnered with the Alabama State Department of Education to support implementation of a statewide educator effectiveness strategy. Educators-in-residence conduct in-depth professional learning and training with district teams as they develop their educator evaluation plans. SREB staff visited the department in October and December 2016 to support this strategy.
Staff responded to two information requests from Alabama stakeholders in the last 12 months. Constituents requested SREB analysis related to teacher attendance and administrator compensation policies.
In the last 12 months, SREB’s educator effectiveness team provided technical assistance, brokered expertise and provided policy and practice resources to Alabama state legislators and their staff, state education agency staff, district administrators, principals and teachers.
The Alabama State Department of Education sent representatives to SREB’s Fifth Annual Educator Effectiveness Convening in March 2017. They participated in working sessions with peers from nine other SREB states.
State lawmakers attended SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council Winter Meeting in December 2016. SREB staff presented to attendees on teacher preparation and teacher recruitment strategies.
SREB staff presented to attendees of the SREB Meeting of Legislative and Governors’ Staff in October 2016.
reports and data
SREB produced several resources for Alabama leaders during the last 12 months, including:
Information Request Series, first published in January 2017, features our responses to SREB stakeholders’ questions. Topics covered include educator evaluation, teacher certification, and principal recruitment and retention incentives.
Insights Tool, published in July 2016, catalogs state approaches to the design and implementation of educator evaluation systems.
Educator Effectiveness Bill Tracker interactive tool, updated weekly, allows constituents to track legislative bills across eight areas, including teacher preparation, evaluation and professional learning.
The bi-weekly Educator Effectiveness e-newsletter.
SREB’s Teacher Preparation Commission meets during 2016, 2017 and 2018 to develop practical and effective statewide recommendations to improve teacher preparation programs.
SREB’s Commission on College Affordability in the South recommended policies and practices to keep college costs within reach of all students. In addition to the October 2016 report, policymakers can draw on individual state affordability profiles to understand how costs impact families at different income levels and on a Promising State Policies and Practices report featuring cost reduction strategies.
High School Graduate Projections
Alabama registrants participated in a February 2017 webinar SREB co-hosted with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education on WICHE’s Knocking at the College Door projections of high school graduates.
Connects policymakers with custom information, presentations and assistance on education issues as they arise. Leaders in member states are encouraged to contact SREB for data, analysis and advice.
SREB staff visited Alabama to meet with legislators and staff and attend committee meetings in 2016.
Throughout 2016-17, legislators, legislative staff and governors’ staff from Alabama requested assistance on topics including goal-setting in higher education, financial aid for dependents of veterans, need-based and merit-based financial aid funding, best practices for teacher preparation, and education tax credits.
SREB state services convenes legislative and governors’ staff from across the SREB region each fall to discuss topics that will likely be on agendas during upcoming legislative sessions. Alabama staff were among those from 10 SREB states at the 2016 meeting.
SREB’s Legislative Advisory Council meets twice annually, once in the winter and again at the annual Legislative Work Conference. The conference is for legislators designated by their state leadership to attend.
Model District: Jefferson County
The Jefferson County School District in Birmingham is working with SREB to implement full-scale reform strategies across the district’s middle and high schools to get students ready for college and careers:
- Literacy Design and Math Design training and coaching
- Career academies that guide students through a rigorous academic core with advanced CTE courses such as Advanced Career
- Training and coaching for principals and other school leaders
- Support for career counseling
- Readiness Courses to be sure middle grades students are ready for high school and high school seniors are ready for college
SREB honored Jefferson County Schools with the Outstanding LDC-MDC District Award in July 2016. Fultondale Elementary in Jefferson County won the Outstanding LDC-MDC School Award for elementary grades.
A new approach to career and technical education that combines college-readiness academics with hands-on, project-based assignments focused on modern careers. Advanced Career helps prepare students for as many options as possible after high school: a high-value job, college, community college or technical school.
Alabama was the lead state working with SREB to develop the AC aerospace engineering pathway.
Alabama participation in AC programs, 2016-17:
- Aerospace Engineering: 2 schools
- Energy and Power: 3 schools
- Health Informatics: 1 school
- Informatics: 1 school
- Teachers trained: 7
Math Ready and Literacy Ready
Courses specifically designed to help underprepared students succeed in the next phase of education.
Ready for college
Courses to teach young adults the reading, writing and math skills they must have to succeed in college. Taught in an engaging way that leads students to learn and think independently, read for information and solve problems.
The Alabama Department of Education and the Alabama Community College System are collaborating to pair local community colleges with high schools and ensure a smooth transition to college for students who take the courses.
Summer 2017 training is scheduled with 66 teachers in 31 schools in Alabama. In summer 2016, 68 Alabama teachers from 26 schools participated in training for the courses.
Ready for high school
New courses for the transition from middle grades to high school. Underprepared students take the classes in eighth or ninth grade.
Alabama is one of 10 states that have participated in developing, field testing, training or piloting Ready for High School Literacy or Ready for High School Math.
In 2015-16, 21 Alabama teachers from 10 schools participated in training for the courses.
High Schools That Work
The nation’s largest school improvement program. HSTW strategies transform high schools into places where all students master complex academic and technical concepts. More than 1,150 schools in 30 states use the framework and its six design features and nine key practices to raise student achievement and graduation rates.
HSTW State Network
Member states select schools to receive services. The fee for state membership in the consortium covers several services and visits.
Alabama is a member of the High Schools That Work state network.
HSTW Board Member: Philip Cleveland, Director of Career and Technical Education, Alabama Department of Education
HSTW State Coordinator: Craig Collins, Career and Technical Student Organization Coordinator, Alabama Department of Education
Contracts for Direct Support
Schools, districts and states contract with SREB for targeted school improvement services, such as onsite coaching, technical assistance and professional development.
50 Alabama schools contracted for direct services in 2015-16.
SREB delivered 342 days of onsite coaching and 123 days of onsite staff development at the schools.
Making Middle Grades Work
Engages state, district and school leaders in partnerships with teachers, students, parents and the community to raise student achievement in the middle grades. In addition to workshops and school visits, SREB links schools to the professional development resources they need. The network includes over 650 schools in 20 states.
In Alabama, in 2015-16:
- 60 schools were active in the network.
- 25 schools contracted with SREB for direct services.
- 95 days of onsite coaching and 35 days of onsite staff development were delivered to schools.
Technology Centers That Work
Helps shared-time centers produce high-demand, high-wage graduates. SREB provides staff development, technical assistance, publications and assessment services. The network includes almost 200 sites in 18 states.
Active centers in Alabama in 2015-16: 20
Counseling for Careers
Awakens students to career goals and connects them to the high school and postsecondary programs of study to succeed in them. SREB offers workshops, materials and coaching for districts, schools and technology centers, which then involve teachers, counselors, administrators, parents and community partners.
Five Alabama districts, middle schools or high schools participate in Counseling for Careers professional development and coaching.
College- and Career-Readiness Standards Networking Conference
Conference to share effective instructional strategies of the Literacy and Mathematics Design Collaborative frameworks.
Alabama attendees at the July 2016 conference: 178
Go Alliance Academy
Strives to increase the postsecondary education and career success of all students by providing timely and relevant professional development in college and career readiness to school counselors, teachers, principals, career coaches and college access advisors.
Alabama is one of 20 member states and one of the founding six states.
Go Alliance Academy Representative: Sean J. Stevens, Education Administrator, Counseling and Guidance, Alabama State Department of Education
High Schools That Work Staff Development Conference
Annual conference for thousands of school leaders, teachers and counselors from middle grades, high schools and technology centers across the country.
Alabama attendees at the July 2016 conference: 147
Learning-Centered Leadership Program
Works with district, state and university partners to prepare aspiring principals and school leadership teams to lead school reform to ensure that students are ready for college and careers. This program offers training, guidance and technical assistance.
Alabama attendees at the 2017 Annual Leadership Forum: 6
Three Alabama educators attended LCLP trainings held at the HSTW summer conference in Louisville.
The staff of the Council for Leadership in Alabama Schools were trained on SREB leadership modules and redelivered training across the state through an agreement with SREB.
Literacy and Math Professional Development
In Alabama, SREB is partnering with the state on a large-scale effort to help districts and schools adopt, spread and sustain effective literacy and math teaching strategies to meet their state’s college- and career-readiness standards.
The Literacy Design Collaborative framework empowers language arts, science and social studies teachers to build meaningful assignments aligned to their state’s college- and career-readiness standards. Teachers take ownership of their professional growth, and students take ownership of their learning.
“With LDC modules and mini tasks, students are transitioning from single sentence opinions to paragraphs, referencing research to support their ideas — then to full-length assignments with multiple layers of cited research to support their claims.” — Reese Woytek, science teacher, Slocomb Middle School, Geneva County
The Mathematics Design Collaborative teaching framework uses formative assessment lessons — part assessment, part instruction — to help teachers know whether their students understand material they have been taught. Teachers learn to adapt assignments and engage students so they understand the hows and whys of math.
“Your students may be able to recite a three-step method for finding slope from a given representation, but if they lack the deep conceptual knowledge of what the slope tells you and are unable to apply this in a practical situation, their knowledge is shallow and disconnected from other important mathematical ideas.” — Jillian Watson, Bottenfield Middle School, Adamsville
During the 2016-17 school year, this SREB professional development reached Alabama educators in 162 schools.
Alabama teachers, principals and trainers who participated in training and coaching: 1,514
These schools and educators were honored by SREB in July 2016:
Jefferson County Schools
Outstanding LDC-MDC District Award
Banks Middle School, Pike County School District
Outstanding LDC Teacher Award
Fultondale Elementary School, Jefferson County Schools
Outstanding LDC-MDC School Award (elementary grades)
Project-Based Learning in Career Pathway Courses
Training model for teachers in high-skill career and technical education programs and career pathway academic courses. Academic and career and technical education teachers improve assignments and assessments by working with business and industry partners to develop projects that require students to apply college- and career-readiness and technical-academic standards.
Alabama participation in 2015-16:
Teachers and administrators in training or coaching: 11
Academic Common Market
A tuition-savings program for college students in SREB member states who want to pursue degrees not offered by in-state institutions. Students can enroll in out-of-state institutions that offer their degree program and pay the in-state tuition rates.
During calendar year 2016, approximately 2,100 degree programs were available, 151 institutions participated and nearly 3,300 new students were certified for study.
Number of Alabama students who participated in ACM during 2016: 141
ACM State Representative: Paul B. Mohr, Director of Special Programs, Alabama Commission on Higher Education
Regional Contract Program
Gives students the opportunity to earn a professional health degree from participating institutions in other states through in-state tuition rates at public institutions or reduced tuition at private institutions. More than 600 students participate each year.
Number of out-of-state students who enrolled in Alabama programs in fall 2016: 220
Residents of other states may contract for entry into Auburn University and Tuskegee University in veterinary medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham in dentistry and optometry. These Alabama institutions receive more than $6 million annually from other SREB states.
Partners with colleges and universities to give students access to more than 40,000 online courses and 4,100 online degree programs. All 16 SREB states participate in the Electronic Campus.
Programs Alabama institutions provide as of April 2017: 423
Alabama EC Representative: Paul B. Mohr, Director of Special Programs, Alabama Commission on Higher Education
State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement
A nationwide system to open more high-quality distance education offerings for students and ease regulatory burden on institutions. SREB member states may opt in to offer distance education activities in other SARA states.
Alabama is an approved member of SARA.
Alabama SARA representative: Tim Vick, Director of Operations and Fiscal Services, Alabama Commission on Higher Education
Fact Book and Data Exchange
Publishes one of the nation’s most comprehensive collections of comparative data through a cooperative effort of state postsecondary education agencies. Data are updated annually on topics including population demographics, college completion, tuition and fees, cost of attendance, state appropriations and faculty salaries.
Alabama leaders receive the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education, as well as Alabama: Featured Facts From the SREB Fact Book on Higher Education and the annual SREB State Data Exchange tables.
Alabama’s Participating Agency and SREB State Data Exchange Coordinator: Subrena Simpkins, Alabama Commission on Higher Education
Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing
Helps expand and strengthen schools of nursing to reduce the critical shortage of nurse educators needed to educate the nation’s registered nurses. The Council surveys institutions for nursing education trends and shares online graduate nursing courses.
As of June 2017, nine Alabama institutions are members (listed here with their representatives to the Council):
Auburn University: Gregg Newschwander, Dean
Coastal Alabama Community College: Jean Graham, Director
Jacksonville State University: Christie Shelton, Dean
Samford University: Nena F. Sanders, Dean
Troy University: Diane Weed, Director
Tuskegee University: Doris Holeman, Associate Dean
University of Alabama at Birmingham: Doreen C. Harper, Dean
University of Alabama at Huntsville: Marsha Adams, Dean,
SREB Nursing Council Executive Committee Member
University of South Alabama: Debra Davis, Dean
Doctoral Scholars Program
Supports minority students to help them earn Ph.D.s, begin careers at colleges and universities, and diversify campus faculties. The SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program hosts the annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, the nation’s largest gathering of minority doctoral scholars, with more than 1,200 attendees.
Scholars funded by Alabama in 2016-17: 24
2016 Institute attendees from Alabama: 47
Scholars Alabama has supported since joining in 1993:173
Graduates since 1993: 128
Graduates currently employed: 111
Percent employed in education: 80
Alabama-supported Ph.D. students have attended these institutions since 1993:
Meharry Medical College
Texas A&M University
University of Alabama
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Kentucky
An interstate cooperative to increase high school graduation rates, access to education beyond high school, and postsecondary degree completion — particularly for those who would be the first in their families to enroll. Go Alliance research, services and professional development focus on college access policy and communications strategies to motivate students to plan for and apply to college.
Alabama is a Go Alliance member state.
Go Alliance Representative: Sean Stevens, Education Administrator, Alabama State Department of Education
Educational Technology Cooperative
Membership group of state K-12 and higher education coordinating and governing boards that represent more than 800 colleges and universities and 3,100 school districts in SREB states. The ETC focuses member agencies and state policymakers on using technology wisely, helps states understand technology issues, and forms an action agenda for effectively using technology in education.
Alabama representatives attended the spring and summer webinars. Alabama sent three attendees to the 2016 ETC annual meeting. Melinda Maddox of the Alabama Department of Education conducted a presentation on data access, connecting with theme of Access and Affordability. Alabama ETC representatives helped determine SREB’s 10 Critical Issues in Educational Technology and served on the working groups for revisions. Earlene Patton is a member of the ETC Executive Committee.
Alabama ETC Representatives and Member Agencies
Paul B. Mohr, Director of Special Programs, Alabama Commission on Higher Education
Earlene Patton, Educational Technology Coordinator, Alabama Department of Education
Technology Purchasing Savings
Schools, universities and agencies in SREB states saved $1.7 million on $17 million in technology purchases during fiscal year 2016 through SREB’s participation in MHECtech discount agreements. Organizations in each of the 16 SREB states participated.
Alabama saved $27,239 on $274,330 in technology purchases in fiscal year 2016.