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Characteristics of Effective Schools Helen Raptis and Thomas Fleming Faculty of Education University of Victoria Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory.

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Presentation on theme: "Characteristics of Effective Schools Helen Raptis and Thomas Fleming Faculty of Education University of Victoria Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory."— Presentation transcript:

1 Characteristics of Effective Schools Helen Raptis and Thomas Fleming Faculty of Education University of Victoria Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils November 15, 2003

2 I. Context: April 2002:  choice to attend any school (if space available)  How do parents/students select?

3 II. Confounding Factors:  achievement confounded by socio-economic factors ~ 50% of variance  SES ± 10% of variance  schools  Fraser Institute includes data re: academic participation rates  Gender confounds the SES findings  Regional differences confound the  SES findings

4 Table 1: Differences in Grade 8 Mathematics by Gender (OECD Indicators, 2001) Girls' Mean (Standard Error) Boys' Mean (Standard Error) Difference in Means Standard Error Countries' combined mean scores 518 (1.3) 523 (1.4) 5 points*(1.5) Girls' Mean (Standard Error) Boys' Mean (Standard Error) Difference in Means Standard Error Countries' combined mean scores 517 (1.3) 535 (1.4) 18 points*(1.5) Table 2: Differences in Grade 8 Science by Gender (OECD Indicators, 2001) * Difference in means is statistically significant Data Source: IEA TIMSS-R (1999)

5 BC versus Québec Percentage Exam Figure 1: Differential Mathematics Achievement in B.C. & Quebec (1990 to 2000)

6 III. Purpose of the Study 1)To determine the characteristics of effective schools 2) To shape future research and policy 3) To assist parents

7 1966 Coleman Report in the United States: IV.Why and since when have researchers been interested in characteristics of effective schools? Investigate differences between black and white schools Compared material inputs Concluded schools don’t matter *Teachers’ qualifications matter

8 1) strong administrative leadership 2) high expectations 3) orderly atmosphere 4) focus on basic skills 5) capacity to divert energy/ resources for #4 6) frequent monitoring of student progress "Effective Schools" Movement (1970s): Weber and Edmonds Ron Edmonds' (1979) effective schools correlates:  low SES schools where students above average

9 1) Focus on student achievement Parents can- ask for mission statement - review Planning Council goals - talk to principal & teachers re: their goals 2) Effective classroom instruction - print out IRP - balance between review & new concepts - ask teachers for PLOs - are all subjects featured? V. After about 25 years, do these correlates still hold?

10 3) Staff teamwork/ shared vision - do teachers & principals have same vision? - are decisions made collaboratively? - reflect on visitors/guests 4) Orderly, secure, caring climate - walk through halls & school yard - are there policies re: bullying? - what is the nature of consequences? 5) Strong leadership, particularly from principal - is the principal visible? - is principal supportive of teachers? - is principal connected with students?

11 6) Effective monitoring and assessment linked to planning - how do teachers monitor learning? - do the findings inform planning? - is the monitoring-planning process school-wide or classroom based? 7) High standards and expectations - are expectations challenging but reasonable? - are supports in place for students to meet those challenges?

12 8) Home-school links - not necessarily “volunteering” - is there regular communication? - do parents feel welcome in the school? - do parents & staff have similar goals?

13 VI. Parents have an important role Ask questions to prompt effective schooling: 1.Focus on student achievement 2. Effective classroom instruction 3.Staff teamwork/ shared vision 4.Orderly, secure, caring climate 5.Strong leadership, particularly from principal 6.Effective monitoring and assessment linked to planning 7.High standards and expectations 8.Home-school links Reference: Raptis, H., & T. Fleming. Reframing education: how to create effective schools. CD Howe Institute Commentary No. 188, October 2003, 24pp


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