How the New SIGs (2009-12) Are Different 1.Sharp focus on persistently low-achieving schools 2.Provisions to include more high schools 3.Large increase in funding in total, and per school 4.Prescribed interventions, with less wiggle room for restructuring’s “other” option 5.Significant roles for state, district, school, and partner organizations 6.Rescuing students more important than improving their current schools
Emphasis on Human Capital Dramatic change not likely through “professional development” and incremental improvement Placing students with leaders and faculty competent, ready, and willing to meet their needs –Enroll students in different schools (closure) –Change the personnel in the school students attend Restart Turnaround Transformation –Elevate expectations for staff performance –Evaluate staff performance based on student outcomes
Fall 2010: First Cohort * 2,300 schools identified as Tiers I, II, III –900 Tiers I and II received awards –400 Tier III received awards Half the schools are high schools 78% of students receive free/reduced lunch Selected interventions –72% - Transformation –21% - Turnaround –4% - Restart –3% - Closure * Numbers are rounded
Early Promising Signs From interviews with SEAs SIG program has introduced a sense of urgency that was not present under previous reform paradigms. Being identified as a “tier” school has increased the urgency. Schools have gone through the stages of grieving and now see that this is an opportunity to help kids. Teachers have increased time to plan together. “Now teachers are afforded more time, which is a big bonus that will help with student achievement.” Educators’ sense of urgency abetted by an understanding that schools will be held accountable if they don’t improve.
Early Promising Signs Superintendents proactively communicating with stakeholders about need for change and necessary solutions States report anecdotal evidence of positive change early in implementation Some states indicate early change more apparent in Turnaround schools than in Transformation schools Greater intentionality about use of resources Professional development more tightly linked to priorities
Early Challenges Understanding difference between “continuous school improvement” and “rapid improvement” Strained SEA-LEA relationships for LEAs not funded Finding high-quality replacement leaders and teachers Selecting competent lead and other partners Forging relationships among SEA, LEA, partners, and schools Maintaining state and district systems of support for non-SIG schools, with declining resources and budgets
IES Practice Guide on Turnarounds 1.Signal the need for dramatic change with strong leadership. 2.Maintain a consistent focus on improving instruction. 3.Make visible improvements early in the school turnaround process (quick wins). 4.Build (provide) a committed staff.
Communicating About Dramatic Change 1.Brutal facts—life prospects for students 2.Vision of “what could be”—results in similar schools 3.Pathway to achieve vision: –plan –procedures –practices –expectations –metrics 4. Culture of candor
Attract Talent Into the System Recruit talent and heart into field of education –Incentives from states, districts, universities Provide alternate routes to certification Tap pipelines –Teach for America –Troops to Teachers Create state and district pipelines Provide incentives for placement in hard-to-staff schools
Create Systems Where Talent Flourishes Entering the profession –Tap the talent, fan the zeal –Reformed preservice education and certification requirements Growing in competence –Induction and mentoring –Professional development Recognizing accomplishment –Job differentiation –Opportunities for leadership Matching fitness to need –Reassignment –Retraining Providing a culture of high expectation and high support –Strong school communities, focused on learning –Pride in student achievement Capacity, incentives, opportunity
People are Components of the System The primary goal of school reform is for the people closest to the students to possess the capacity, opportunity, and support to drive improvement and take responsibility for it. Establish productive teams and time for their work Establish processes for continuous improvement Provide access to resources on effective practice Support, coach, challenge, and recognize the work
Leadership for Change Conditions for Change: Incentives, opportunity, capacity, feedback Change Agents: –“Know That” (knowledge of research, change processes, and context), –“Know How” (leadership skill, procedural knowledge, experience), –“Can Do” (leadership competencies reflected in patterns of thinking, feeling, acting, or speaking that cause leader to be successful) Actions and Results: Change agent actions and interactions, substantial organizational improvement; dramatic and sustainable results
Leader Actions: Initial Analysis and Problem Solving Collect and analyze data Make an action plan based on data
Leader Actions: Driving for Results Concentrate on big, fast payoffs in Year 1 Implement practices, even if deviation required Require all staff to change Make necessary staff replacements Focus on successful tactics; halt others Do not tout progress as the ultimate success
Leader Actions: Influencing Inside and Outside Communicate a positive vision Help staff personally feel problems (of students) Gain support of key influencers Silence critics with speedy success
Leader Actions: Measuring, Reporting (and Improving) Measure and report progress frequently Require all decision makers to share data and problem solve What data? Who solves problems?
Effective Practice in Schools 1.Establish a team structure with specific duties and times for instructional planning. 2.Focus the principal’s role on building leadership capacity, achieving learning goals, and improving instruction. 3.Align classroom observations with evaluation criteria and professional development. 4.Engage teachers in aligning instruction with standards and benchmarks. 5.Engage teachers in assessing and monitoring student mastery. 6.Engage teachers in differentiating and aligning learning activities. 7.Assess student learning frequently with standards-based assessments. 8.Expect and monitor sound instruction in a variety of modes, including teacher-directed, small group, independent, computer-based, and homework. 9.Expect and monitor sound instruction in a variety of modes that foster teacher-student interaction. 10.Expect and monitor sound homework practices and communication with parents. 11.Expect and monitor sound classroom management. From Restructuring and Substantial School Improvement, CII, 2007
Proximal Variables for Student Learning The student’s – prior learning, which teachers have provided metacognitive skills, which can be taught motivation to learn and sense of self-efficacy, which a teacher nurtures effort and time on task, which a teacher expects interaction—academic and social—with teachers and other students; family’s engagement and support for learning, which a teacher curries The teacher’s - instructional planning and classroom management instructional delivery through a variety of modes personalization (individualization) of instruction for each student taught and aligned curriculum, designed by teacher teams
Instructional Core Maintain a sharp focus on improving instruction at every step of the reform process Expect universal application of effective practice Expect disciplined, collaborative planning and data analysis Provide aligned and differentiated instruction in multiple modes Use data to: –set goals for instructional improvement –make changes to immediately and directly affect instruction –continually reassess student learning and instructional practices to refocus the goals and refine the practices
Time, Parents, Communities Expand the time for students to learn –Engaged time (time on task) –Schedule more time for core subjects –Extend the school day, school year Provide time and structure for teachers to prepare Tap learning opportunities outside school –Parents engaged through Trust and expectation Links to learning Outreach Differentiated supports Many points of contact over time –Intentionally engage community resources Connect to each student, systematically
Seizing the Opportunity of SIG Rescue students from inadequate opportunity Provide resources to reform lowest achieving schools Study and learn from large-scale rapid improvement Encourage innovation tethered to results Build systems to: –Differentiate supports and interventions –Attract, retain, and grow talent –Support people at each level of the “system” –Internalize and sustain processes and practices