Michigan’s Vandenberg Elementary School Receives $65,000 Grant to Implement Pearson Learning Teams

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Vandenberg Elementary the first Pearson Learning Teams school in Michigan

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Pearson Learning Teams is one of the only providers to offer an evidence-based teacher collaboration program published in scientific journals

Michigan’s Vandenberg Elementary School has been awarded a $65,000 grant to implement Pearson Learning Teams, a research-based school improvement model designed to improve student achievement through teacher learning communities. The grant was awarded through the Pearson Learning Teams/Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association Professional Development Partnership.

Part of the South Redford School District, Vandenberg Elementary competed against 10 finalist schools for the chance to become the first Pearson Learning Teams school in Michigan. Pearson is underwriting the cost of implementing Learning Teams for one year to showcase its potential at Vandenberg Elementary.    

Pearson Learning Teams is an evidence-based collaborative model that brings together teachers to learn from each other, refine their skills to improve student performance and self-assess their progress. The program is based on a five-year comparison study that included 15 Title I schools serving 14,000 mostly low-achieving, limited English proficient students. Achievement in the schools using teacher learning teams rose by 41 percent overall—and a whopping 54 percent for Hispanic students—relative to a comparable group of schools that used other methods. The model has since been replicated in elementary, middle and high schools across the country.

And according to a recent study in the Elementary School Journal, huge gains in student achievement can be made when schools use teacher learning teams to work collaboratively and follow a structured protocol—exactly the strategy behind Pearson Learning Teams.

“Pearson Learning Teams is one of the only providers to offer an evidence-based teacher collaboration program published in scientific journals,” said Beth Wray, President of Pearson Learning Teams. “We continue to invest in research to improve Learning Teams and build upon what we know about how effective teaching impacts student achievement. We look forward to sharing this proven protocol with Vandenberg’s administrators and teachers as they begin this next step of their school improvement initiative.”

Vandenberg Elementary has been engaged in a rigorous school improvement plan and implementation process for several years, with a focus on research-based practices. As a result, students at this Title I school have experienced steady gains in academic achievement, and the school’s improvement plan has become a model for state training sessions. In an effort to build upon these accomplishments, Principal Syndee Malek saw Pearson Learning Teams as a valuable potential partner.

“We believe the school is in an excellent position professionally to make this next step in our improvement efforts,” said Principal Malek. “We are hungry for more and seeking quality, research-based opportunities to fine tune our practices.”

Beginning in August, Vandenberg Elementary administrators and teachers will receive training on the Pearson Learning Teams structured process and protocols. Teacher-facilitators and administrators will practice the interactive leadership skills they will implement while guiding the work of their fellow grade course-alike teachers. With the support of Principal Malek, each workgroup will use data to drive decision making to identify student needs and instructional solutions that address those needs. A dedicated Pearson advisor will work with administrators and teachers throughout the year to provide school-site support and assistance.

Nearly 4,000 teachers at 175 schools in 23 school districts across the US are using Pearson Learning Teams to improve instruction and student achievement for more than 176,000 students. Pearson Learning Teams works with some of the largest districts in the US, such as Los Angeles Unified School District, smaller urban districts including Pomona, California and Omaha, as well as suburban and rural districts in Ohio and South Carolina.

About Pearson’s Teacher Education and Development Group
Pearson’s Teacher Education and Development Group is part of Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the global leader in education, technology and services. The Teacher Education and Development Group is dedicated to supporting the education and professional development of educators from preparation through practice, with a comprehensive array of research-based, personalized learning and development solutions that prepare teacher candidates, provide pathways to certification, strengthen instructional leadership and increase K-12 student achievement. For more information, visit http://ted.pearson.com/.

Media Contact: Susan Aspey, susan.aspey@pearson.com or (800) 745-8489

About MEMSPA
The Michigan Elementary & Middle School Principals Association is a professional organization serving elementary and middle school principals. MEMSPA is dedicated to supporting principals in the delivery of quality educational experiences to the students of the State of Michigan by providing leadership, legislative advocacy, professional development and guidance. For more information, visit http://www.memspa.org.

Contact: Robert Howe, Executive Director, (517) 927-5028

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