TMG Technical Assistance Approach
The Millennium Group International has developed a multi-dimensional approach towards delivering national educational improvement technical assistance projects. This approach ensures successful outcomes and distinguishes our work from other organizations.
This is the hallmark of our work.
- Collaborating across organizations – pulling together the best team to provide the client with deep expertise in secondary school reform.
- Working closely with other TA providers and SMEs and bring the best thinking (and thinkers) to the table to contribute to products.
- Working regularly with outside experts rather than relying only on the expertise on the team.
- Bringing different strengths to the work – organizations around the table with different foci.
- Collaborating with our client, through positive involvement and occurring on a regular basis and as needed when issues arise.
- Consulting before and during task implementation as well as post completion follow up.
- Integrating subcontractors into the team as core project staff rather than representing work only on a specific task.
Practitioner-focused products that are developed with and for schools/districts
- Coupling realism with urgency about our work and the need to accomplish results in the field. We know the immediacy of daily lives of educators across all levels: state, district, and classroom. We have all been practitioners at multiple levels of the education sector.
- Focusing on the ultimate needs of the end user when creating tools, meetings and other products.
- Seeking ongoing feedback from practitioners as we develop products and refine TA.
- Piloting tools with practitioners and incorporate feedback.
Multidimensional – Bridging policy and research with practice
- Blending research and practice and policy (including federal, state and local policies) and always seeking to make our efforts usable and applicable to the field. We strive to make our products usable, our papers accessible and in plain language, while still respected by others across various levels of hierarchy in the field of education. We utilize both qualitative and quantitative research methods when we conduct our best practices research.
- Utilizing both qualitative and quantitative research methods when we conduct our best practices research. We respect voices and experiences of people as well as other achievement data points.
- Working on the federal, state, district and school level, constantly translating from one arena to the next. (translating federal rules and regulations to district and schools bringing school based issues that affect project implementation to the federal team, etc.)
Integrated Model of National TA
- Employing an integrated model where work builds on itself and lessons are carried from one piece of work to the next, rather than viewing national TA as a series of separate task
- Leveraging core project team contribution across tasks with several members having roles on all project tasks.
- Weaving a tight thread between all of our work so that different tools products are put out with a follow up webinar and then introduced in a meeting, etc.
Incorporates Theories of Adult Learning
- Applying adult learning principles when designing and implementing meetings and tools.
- Checking for understanding, not just coming in and saying this is what you do.
- Demystifying expert knowledge through the structure of meetings, webinars and tools to incorporate practitioner knowledge in an authentic and respectful manner. We respect the voice of the field. For example, we partner respectfully with project directors/site leaders when doing best practice visits.
- Organizing face to face gatherings offer time to reflect, work with teams, and time to apply what was learned to each individual district’s situation. Our team introduces content in small, hands on sessions rather than large lecture and Q/A format.
- Creating tools and products that are useful and relevant to the end user. Conducting several rounds of pilots products, using a cross section of grantees, before finalizing.
- Acknowledging and embracing the diversity among grantees, including the diversity in starting point.
- Ongoing review and use of site based data when determining TA approach and focus of TA products.
- Highlighting promising practices (in meetings, tools and visits) that are based on concrete student outcome data.
TA Focused on One Broad Goal – Improving Educational Outcomes for All Students
- Leveraging our past TA work as a vehicle to lead a broader approach to improving the education system. Our work products can apply beyond the specifications and boundaries of contractual obligations.
- Embedding equity focus in all work.
- Utilizing a student-centered approach in the work
- Understanding the importance to districts with bringing work to scale.
- Understanding the challenge of state and federal level policy not translating smoothly in schools and districts.
- Feeling the urgency of this work.
TA Team Role
- Approaching the work as Learners not Knowers.
- Responding to what is on the ground. Regularly assessing the needs of numerous sites and compile this information to update overall TA plan.
- Employing an influence-based approach. TA team success is driven by the power of our ideas and relationships.
- Believing in our own values and goals, not driven only by our obligations to meet contract specifications.
- Providing TA through all products from monitoring visits, evaluations, websites, as well as traditional TA venues like webinars and publications.
- Providing ongoing TA to client staff representing the sites to ED and conveying their needs.
- Deploying a holistic TA model that promotes sustainability.
- Structuring core TA team to be comprised of a group of generalist SMEs who are experts in a broad range of issues related to secondary school reform. This group works across tasks and are there as an ongoing resource for the grantees for the life of the project.
Facilitators – not dictators
- Facilitating peer to peer learning, where sites learn how others have successfully implemented similar work under conditions that are similar to theirs. The team tries to facilitate learning opportunities for sites to learn from each other rather than bringing in outside “experts.”
- Seeking to produce products that are not prescriptive. The focus is not on bringing answers to grantees, but help them articulate their needs and find customized resources. Refraining from pushing an agenda with the tools we produce.
- Refraining from pushing a specific type of TA for sites (not trying to replace site-based TA, but trying to enhance how TA is used at the site-level).Visiting sites and seeing what is happening – mining what we see and hear for others.
- Working hard to find ways to engage and find collaborative practice. Not stand and deliver.
Since 1998, The Millennium Group International (TMG) has delivered high quality services to our clients. TMG employs only highly skilled Subject Matter Experts (SME), including educators, social science researcher and evaluators, and program managers with proven track records and high standards of professionalism. TMG’s team has over 100 years of combined experience in implementing strategies, interventions and programs to improve academic achievement in primary and secondary schools. TMG is currently the prime contractor with the US Department of Education, providing support to the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education for Technical Assistance to Improve College and Career Readiness of American Indian and Alaska Native Students.
TA technical assistance federal grant process training grantee coaching government department education ed primary secondary schools high turnaround reengagement teachers SEA LEA states school district program compliance monitoring
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