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1 Stanford Study of Oakland New Small Schools Initiative October 1, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Stanford Study of Oakland New Small Schools Initiative October 1, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Stanford Study of Oakland New Small Schools Initiative October 1, 2008

2 2 Research Goals To understand how well new small schools and existing schools in OUSD are performing over time, taking into account the students they serve and their process of start-up & development To understand what factors influence schools achievement and their improvement trajectories over time To recommend policy strategies that can build on current successes and address identified needs and issues

3 3 Examining School Productivity Productivity is a schools capacity to add value to students learning beyond students prior achievement and background characteristics. Productivity is evaluated by looking at how a schools students achieve on the CST tests in comparison to those in schools serving similar students. A productive school produces achievement that is significantly higher than this benchmark.

4 4 Value-Added Analysis is Important Because Student Characteristics Vary Greatly Across Schools ASCEND KIPP FRL86.4%67.1% EL32.2%4.3% Highest 1/3 Lowest 1/3 Incoming 6 th Graders

5 5 Student Level Factors Explain about 2/3 of Variance in CST Scores School and Other Factors 30.4% *CST Math model explained 66% of variance, leaving 34% to be explained by school and other factors

6 6 Summary of Initial Productivity Analyses New schools are, on average, more productive than older schools at all levels, and especially at the high school level. New schools become more effective and productive as they mature.

7 7 API and Three-Year Average Productivity: Elementary ELA Three-Year Average Productivity API 2008 Mean New Schools =.019Mean Old Schools = Acorn Woodland

8 API and Three-Year Average Productivity: Elementary Math Three-Year Average Productivity API 2008 Mean New Schools =.010 Mean Old Schools = Esparanza

9 9 API and Three-Year Average Productivity: Middle School ELA Three-Year Average Productivity API 2008 Mean New Schools =.009 Mean Old Schools =.009 Elmhurst Community

10 10 API and Three-Year Average Productivity: High School ELA API 2008 Three-Year Average Productivity Mean New Schools =.008 Mean Old Schools = Excel

11 11 School Design Features Influence Productivity (2007 ELA Productivity* Associated with High School Characteristics) School Level CST Scores (Standard Scores)

12 12 Staffing Strongly Influences School Productivity (ELA Productivity* ( ) Associated with Teacher and School Characteristics) Difference in School-Level CST Scores per unit difference in Predictor (Standard Scores)

13 13 55% New Teacher Turnover * in New Schools (* Turnover = Percentage of BTSA induction and intern teachers in 04-05, 05-06, or who were no longer teaching in OUSD at the start of 07-08) OUSD New Teacher Average

14 14 School Case Studies Extend Themes Regarding School Design ACORN Woodland (ES, 2000) EnCompass Academy (ES, 2004) ASCEND (K-8, 2001) Elmhurst Community Prep (MS, 2006) McClymonds Complex (HS, 2005) BEST EXCEL Oakland International (HS,2007)

15 15 API and Value-Added Productivity (ELA) ASCEND Acorn Woodland Elmhurst Community Prep EXCEL BEST Encompass Academy API

16 16 ACORN-Woodland Elementary Policy Rationale – A Turnaround School Prior Superintendents pilot small school which was not succeeding was re-incubated by district and is now highly productive Key Themes District incubator helped establish new instructional program, school culture, and family partnerships Open Court curriculum was modified and augmented to improve success with diverse learners Teacher-lead professional development was enacted through school culture team

17 17 EnCompass Elementary Policy Rationale High performing ES serving low-income community Exemplifies commitment to community outreach, inclusion, and collaboration Key Themes Culturally-relevant focus on the whole child and hands-on, project-based approach Open Court modified to incorporate reading of leveled books and formative assessments Intensive school-based selection process developed to improve fit for new hires

18 18 ASCEND (K-8) Policy Rationale Highly productive mature small school serving high-minority population One of first small schools co-created and co- owned by Community and District Key Themes: Strong School Design Features Personalization through Looping Interdisciplinary and arts-infused curricula focused on projects and expeditions RBB used to reduce class-size

19 19 Elmhurst Community Prep (ECP) Policy Rationale – Middle School Turnaround Dramatic improvement in school culture and academic achievement Big school principal became committed to small school approach Key Themes Teachers and students in grade level teams Daily advisory to personalize learning Project-based expositions of learning Co-incubation benefitted both schools and leaders sharing same campus RBB used to invest in school leadership & coaching

20 20 McClymonds Complex Policy Rationale Conversion high school with somewhat divergent outcomes in two small schools (BEST & EXCEL) Key Themes Less change in design and staffing at BEST Discontinuous leadership at BEST has posed challenges to school-level instructional coherence EXCELs stable leadership committed to project and community-based learning Attention to college-going culture significantly increased Excels A-G enrollment, graduation rate, & college-going

21 21 Oakland International Policy Rationale Serves a distinctive student population of ELLs Recent successful start-up reflects current OUSD supports Key Themes Flexible budget, staffing, and curriculum enable distinctive school design Strong district supports (e.g coaching and facilities) Project-based learning and heterogeneous grouping Extensive professional collaboration and PD to support strong content and language instruction Alternative assessments matched to student needs

22 22 Cross Case Features of Highly Productive Schools Key School Features Mission-driven principals who were proactively recruited and mentored Faculties with experienced as well as new teachers, committed to school mission Personalization strategies are used extensively Clear and coherent instructional programs focused on authentic hands-on instruction Analysis of student learning has informed teacher professional development and school culture Professional collaboration is norm not exception Outreach to parents and community has been strong

23 23 Mission-Driven Principals Were selected and mentored by prior principal and/or district leaders Set high expectations for all students and are driven to serve historically underserved communities

24 24 Balanced faculties with novice and veteran teachers and focus on instructional development Top schools attempted to build staffs with diverse and complementary strengths ASCENDs founding teachers ranged in experience from 3-23 years When possible, AWE has hired teachers with 10+ years experience to balance staff OIS also sought a balanced staff with EL teaching skills BEST and EXCEL were unable to balance staffs, which has constrained both schools

25 25 Coherent, Engaging Instructional Programs Goals connect to and extend district/state accountability Instructional content aligned to state standards, but not test-driven Active Learning Opportunities Project-based learning Career academies/community projects

26 26 Use of Student Achievement Data Data used to inform instructional program and professional development Acorn Woodland now supplements Open Court with more extensive literacy materials and strategies ASCEND restructured Expeditionary Learning expeditions to improve mathematics performance Performance data used to celebrate student success and cultivate academic climate EXCEL college-acceptance wall and CST celebration Acorn Woodlands CST celebrations

27 27 Personalization Strategies Looping Home Visits Whole Child Orientation Advisory Block Scheduling

28 28 Professional & Parent Collaboration Features of PLCs are reflected in the schools Teachers plan and lead professional development Teacher collaboration built into school day (Two hours per week and common grade level planning time). Teachers sometimes work together through interdisciplinary courses Outreach to parents around school mission and student work

29 29 Key District Policy Supports for Schools Provide support and flexibility Network Executive Officers serve as thought-partners rather than compliance officers to school leaders Embrace entrepreneurial ethos of small school principals; support innovation Coaches go beyond Open Court implementation toward broader set of effective literacy practices and professional development support more broadly Incubate new schools and leaders Provide service and support orientation, especially in Human Resources Streamlined hiring More focus on mentoring and administrative supports

30 30 OUSD Progress & Policy Recommendations

31 31 OUSD Progress in Developing More Productive Schools New school models have been largely successful and have grown in productivity as they mature Incubation process has supported stronger, more focused school designs Network coaching has enabled sharing of good practices and greater attention to school needs Some weak schools have been closed

32 32 OUSD Progress with Teacher Workforce Development Strong strategic plan developed with teachers association Earlier filling of vacancies and eliminated filling with substitutes Smart decision not to pink slip last year Work on developing BTSA induction model

33 33 Teacher Recruitment Strategies Continue to move up hiring window to recruit top-quality candidates Prioritize hiring experienced, qualified teachers wherever possible Evaluate teacher pipelines in terms of retention and effectiveness and further develop strong pipelines, including grow your own models Identify and recruit strong student teachers

34 34 Teacher Retention Strategies Continue to strengthen BTSA model by investing in coaches and their training Develop incentives for developing / keeping strong teachers and attracting them to high-priority schools Examine leadership, working conditions, hiring, and mentoring in high-turnover schools Strengthen coaching support for all new teachers

35 35 Shaping the District Portfolio of Schools Consider school productivity and trajectory over time when deciding whether to expand, merge, or phase out schools Consider academic return on investments and costs of student failure, as well as immediate fiscal costs Develop and expand successful models by proactively recruiting more students to successful campuses Beware undefined mergers that merely combine campuses: enable leadership around a specific design

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