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EGO-Networks of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Implementation Teams


Achievement and opportunity gaps have continued to persist despite the best efforts of educators. “The Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA, 2016) legislation was written to meet the needs of all historically underserved students. To meet those needs, Local Education Agencies (LEA) have turned to a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework. MTSS is designed to meet students' academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs through a tiered system of increasing support. Regional Departments of Education throughout the state are now expanding MTSS implementation. Essential to the installation of MTSS at the local level is implementation teams. This study aimed to determine the factors and influence team members' social networks have upon the MTSS implementation process. This sequential mixed-methods study design poses two questions: What factors influence teams implementing the MTSS framework? How do team members' ego networks influence implementation? Data were collected by an electronically disseminated survey, consisting of two sections: Demographic information to allow the mapping of ego networks and open-ended questions about team members’ experience with MTSS. Data from the qualitative portion of the study were collected using a semi-structured interview to provide depth and understanding of members’ ego networks. 13 implementation team members representing elementary, alternative, and county local education agencies responded to the survey. Interviews were conducted with four individuals or EGOs to provide depth and understanding of teams' networks of influence. This study was driven by the theoretical frameworks of social capital, social networks, and implementation science. Key findings suggest that the local MTSS implementation team members rely on smaller networks to drive implementation. Findings also indicate that MTSS team members of diverse backgrounds tend to have more extensive and diverse ego networks that represent their constituencies.

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