Florida is engaged in a long-term, sustainable, systems change effort to improve learning for all students. In order to accomplish this effort, educators must engage in a continual improvement process as they build consensus for change, new infrastructure to support implementation, and full implementation of the desired way of work. Changes in Florida’s system are a direct result of changes reflected in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Just as these two federal laws continue to call for the alignment of resources and accountability systems affecting all students, Florida is committed to aligning and blending its resources and systems, including Race To The Top and Differentiated Accountability initiatives, to accomplish the intent of these laws.
Engaging in systems change to accomplish the desired implementation and integration of Florida’s multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) using a structured, systematic planning and problem-solving process, involves three continuous, over-lapping stages:
- Consensus building – where MTSS concepts are communicated broadly to implementers and the foundational “whys” are taught, discussed, and embraced.
- Infrastructure development – where the FDOE, districts and schools examine their implementations against the critical components of MTSS, finding aspects that are being implemented well and gaps that need to be addressed. Infrastructure development centers on closing these gaps and building, improving, and maintaining supportive structures.
- Implementation – where the structures and supports are put in place to activate, stabilize and institutionalize MTSS practices into an integrated way of work.
(National Association of State Directors of Special Education, 2011)