This update is the first edition of what will be an ongoing series on the TASH blog to keep you updated on TASH’s role in the SWIFT Center (School Wide Integrated Framework for Transformation). The SWIFT Center is a national technical assistance center funded by the Office of Special Education Programs to implement a model for educating general and special education students together to improve schoolwide academic outcomes. The following update is provided by TASH Education Policy Director Jenny Stonemeier.
The SWIFT Center is an OSEP funded national technical assistance center. SWIFT stands for School Wide Integrated Framework for Transformation. The Center is housed at University of Kansas with Dr. Wayne Sailor as the principal investigator and Center Director. Amy McCart, from KU, is the Director of Technical Assistance and Alfredo Artiles, from Arizona State University serves as the Cultural Responsiveness Analyst.
There are 8 leadership teams that are responsible for different aspects of the Center’s work. Teams include:
Inclusive Education Implementation
Carol Quirk, MCIE
Mary Schuh, U of New Hampshire
Don Deshler, KU
Mike Hock, KU
Nikki Wolf, KU
Ann Turnbull, KU
Rud Turnbull, KU
Policy Alignment and Stakeholder Engagement
Barb Trader, TASH
Curtis Richards, IEL
Capacity Building/Sustainability/Scale Up
Leonard Burrello, University of South Florida
Elizabeth Kozleski, KU
Formative Evaluation and Data Management
Rob Horner, U of Oregon
Kathleen Lane, KU
Communication and Knowledge Dissemination
Brandon Worrell, Clickfarm Interactive
Teams are collaborating now to determine selection criteria for the 6 Knowledge Development Sites, which will serve as best practice models for the project to learn from. Teams are also involved in determining selection criteria for 4 states that will be partners in the Center. Once state selection is completed, we will move on to district and school level selection. All in all, there will be 4 states, 4 school districts, and 4 schools in each district for a total of 64 schools participating.
TASH’s role is a Team Leader for the Policy Alignment and Stakeholder Engagement Team. In this capacity, we will work with the Institute for Educational Leadership to help schools, districts, and states align their policies to support inclusive education. We will produce deliverables for a broad range of stakeholders, including parents, advocates, educators, and community members. As part of our work we are looking to establish evidence based practices for policy alignment in inclusive education. If any member of the IE committee has resources, please feel free to share them with Jenny Stonemeier or Barb Trader.