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Getting to Good Schools

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Presentation on theme: "Getting to Good Schools"— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting to Good Schools
NAACP’s Education Agenda

2 Our Goals Attack institutional racism in education with a national campaign for Excellence & Equity A campaign is a sustained plan for change using strategies that impact our issues. Identify issues in agenda Identify promising strategies Apply known tactics to each strategy Target our campaign to turnaround schools Once we talk a bit about what our education work will contain, we’re going to ask each of our units to commit to ONE education strategy. The tactics you use will be up to you. They will depend on your local context and the level of interest from your branch. But we’re going to be asking you to choose one, follow up with us on how it’s working and if it can work better, and collaborate with folks throughout the year to help one another win. So let’s get started!

3 Turnaround Schools Bottom 5% of a state’s schools, ranked by test scores Includes dropout factory high schools Annual federal School Improvement Grants given to reform States choose which districts get funds to help low performing schools Each state asked to ID lowest performing 5% of schools, including dropout factories Cartoon says, “Sure we loose some but who’s counting?” Well Johns Hopkins counted and these schools graduate fewer than 6 in 10 of their students. We’ve identified dropout factories in each region and those will be posted on our website after the conference. Since we’re in Illinois, here’s a sample.

4 Turnaround Models Schools must either: Potential Implications:
Fire and rehire staff, change instructional program, Be turned over to a charter management organization Be closed and students are dispersed elsewhere Fire principal, change instructional program in specific ways ( extended learning time, community services); only ½ schools eligible Potential Implications: Staff shortages worsen; shuffle among low performing schools Growth in number of charters outpaces capacity Overcrowding at recipient schools, achievement suffers So the federal government has set our 4 models for reforming these schools. How many of you know your states have applied for these federal funds? So you know we’re about to enter some tough discussions that will disproportionately impact schools in minority communities. We’re concerned about some of them but want our units involved in advocating around all of them. We need to be at the table to help decide what happens to which schools and most importantly, how each individual student’s needs will be met after the change. What’s more, there’ll be more identified than get federal help, so we wanna target our reform suggestions to schools on the list no matter whether they actually receive federal dollars or not. STOP for QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!!!

5 Our request – Each unit/branch picks one
Participate in the Campaign for Equity & Excellence by: Adopting (at least) one issue area in education Committing to (at least) one strategy Targeting turnaround schools Applying tactics that fit your community Working to perfect our education organizing capacity

6 Increasing Resource Equity
Our Issue Agenda Increasing Resource Equity Target funds to neediest kids Ensuring College & Career Readiness Path to success after graduation So I’ll walk you through the elements of our issue agenda: Resources – First we’re concerned that disadvantaged and kids of color have excess to equitable resources, because all children deserve an opportunity to learn. (Notice we didn’t say equal, we said equitable. ) That means that spending on learning has to be tailored to their needs and it costs more to educate disadvantaged kids and those who are behind. We fight to make sure resources are targeted to the neediest students. Right now, money follows money; we want to advocate to change that. Those of you who are state conference education chairs, I’ll be asking for your help in designing state-level strategies for fairer distribution in the coming months. College & Career – Whatever students decide to do after high school, they should graduate prepared to do more than take a standardized test. Our strategy here is to fight for access to challenging, engaging learning experiences that lead to graduation and later success. This means fighting for schools to track students carefully, from their attendance to their afterschool activities so they see red flags. This means making sure a dip in middle school grades results in connection with a tutoring program or sudden discipline problems get referred to a mental health counselor. This means advocating for every child to have an advisor who tracks the classes he or she needs to graduate. We’ll be fleshing out these issues more as we head toward convention.

7 Eliminate zero tolerance; keep kids in school
Our Issue Agenda Improving Teaching Grow our own great teachers now Improving Discipline Eliminate zero tolerance; keep kids in school * All applied to turnaround schools The issues we’ve turned our attention to first – and will discuss most today - are teaching & discipline. Teaching Quality – not teacher quality, since what you do in the classroom makes more difference than credentials. We want to help teachers get better now. We don’t wanna wait until we have enough money to attract better teachers. We want to develop teachers already committed to our communities into excellent teachers. We want them to get better now, not after a year’s planning; not after 5 years when they’re ready to close the school. We want to advocate for policies that let teachers start changing what they do in the classroom today so students start learning more tomorrow. Discipline- children have to have access to the classroom before they can succeed. We fight against harsh discipline practices that remove students from the classroom and keep them from learning. Turnaround schools – You have in your packet a list of the schools identified in each of your states as the lowest performing. We’re asking that whatever strategy your branch or state chooses to adopt around education, you apply it to a turnaround school or dropout-factory high school, that graduates fewer than 60% of its students.

8 Focus on teaching Focus on teaching
For the purposes of this training we’re going to zero in on teaching because it makes a huge difference in how students learn. Nothing makes more difference than the teacher and nothing (not credientials, test scores etc) makes as much difference as what the teacher actually does in the classroom. Focus on teaching

9 Teachers who close the achievement gap
fully prepared when they entered teaching, had taught for more than two years, certified in field &/or by National Board Having a teacher with most of these characteristics, versus having a teacher with just one or a few has a greater impact on student achievement than race and parental education combined. That means a teacher with most of these characteristics can generate enough learning to close the gap between the white son of two college professors and the black son of a high-school dropout. So we looked at strategies where we could expose more kids of color to more teachers with these characteristics. So which of these could the Association impact? We settled on preparation, the introduction to teaching in those first 2 years and certification.

10 Strategies to improve teaching
Stronger, More Diverse Pipeline (preparation) Tactics: ID future teachers, TEACH grants, residencies More Mentoring & Coaching (slows turnover) Tactics: Lead Teacher, mentoring, new teacher supports More teachers with Advanced Certification (certification) Tactics: Support for National certification, changes to state licensing - So we took that research and said how can our units respond to it and apply it? - What can they do on the ground to impact preparation, the length of time a teacher stays in the classroom and whether they’re certified as being able to teach? - We’ve identified the following 3 strategies and some tactics to get us there. A strategy is a step in the overall plan and a tactic is a step that moves the strategy. - The handout of terms defines some tactics we found promising. These are not the only tactics that might work, just suggestions. Pipeline: “grow your own” programs get kids of color interested in teaching. TEACH grants can partially pay for college and the association can help with the rest. Appealing to university systems and institutions can help strengthen training (more literacy, longer practice teaching segment) Coaching & Mentoring: communities must convince administrators to let their best teachers help those who are struggling or striving to improve. Advanced Certification: All teachers must be certified by their state. We want to push for certification that goes beyond a paper and pencil test about hypothetical students. We want teachers to demonstrate teaching techniques and learn ways to keep getting better.

11 Local tactics by function & engagement
Communications (Promote) Education (Sensitize, inform) Advocacy (Influence decision-makers/policy) Direct Action (Grassroots Mobilization) Medium Engagement 1:1 meetings with journalists, newsletter articles, feature issue in a blog post Workshops, town halls, testing, monitoring data, conducting internal research and surveys Group calls and meetings with individuals, school and board of education meetings; advisory boards Hearings, panels, candidate surveys & scorecards There’s a range of tactics you could use to support any of these strategies. And they go with the forms of organizing we saw at the beginning. I’ve added a communications column here because that should be a component of everything we do, just like membership. But depending on the level of interest and resources your unit has to devote to an issue, you can choose to apply these tactics around almost any strategy. Any campaign applies tactics from all these forms of organizing to its strategies. You have a copy of this entire chart in your packet.

12 Putting it all together – medium engagement
Branches with a medium interest in advanced certification Arrange a local media profile (communications) Conduct & share a survey of teachers(education) Form an advisory board (advocacy) Hold a scorecard rally(grassroots) So let’s walk through the way this works. Say you want to focus on getting more teachers certified. You discuss with your committee and find a medium level of interest. Here are four medium interest tactics you might choose to work on that strategy. Ask a reporter to follow a teacher going through the advanced certification process and a teacher with basic certification for a comparison profile story. (communications) Conduct and share a survey of teachers at a low performing school to determine who’s certified and what supports are needed to raise the number. (education) Form an advisory board to share your findings with the school board and principal.(advocacy) Make a scorecard of school board members who agree to support. (grassroots)

13 Putting it all together – escalating tactics
Branches interested in strengthening & diversifying the teacher pipeline could: Distribute information about TEACH grants (low, education) Appeal to the school board for incentives (med, advocacy) Raise funds & challenge board to supplement TEACH grants (high, direct action) You might also choose to ease your branch into a longer term effort around a strategy. In that case you might want to start with a relatively easy tactic to gage community interest, then build up to high engagement tactics. Here’s what that might look like with the strategy of diversifying the teacher pipeline. Distribute information about TEACH grants to high school seniors or about National Board Certification to practicing teachers (low, education) Appeal to the school board to offer recruitment incentives to TEACH grant recipients or students from high quality local programs (med, advocacy) Raise funds to supplement TEACH grants and challenge school board to offer supplements and hire graduates (high, grassroots) - STOP – for Q & A

14 Strategies to improve discipline
School Leader Intervention – make aware of impacts Education Tactics? Racial Disparities Report – highlights disparate impact in school/district Advocacy Tactic? Cross School Policies Review – review school/district policy & compare to more beneficial models Direct Action Tactic? School Leader Interventions – strategies to educate and sensitize principals individually or collectively to the impacts of discipline policies and make them aware of alternative discipline methods that don’t exclude students from school Disparities Report – putting together a report that highlights the disparate impact of discipline policies on students of color and poor students in a school or district Policy Review – forming a commission of stakeholders (parents, university researchers, students, teachers etc) to review a school or district’s discipline policy – especially if it is a zero-tolerance policy – and compare it to more beneficial policies from around the country .

15 Putting it all together: discipline policy review
With a medium level of member interest, a branch might choose: A tale of two students (communication) Town hall for parents (education) Group meets with district administrator (advocacy) Petition the school board for policy change (direct action) Tale: compare two students with similar offenses. What were outcomes for each, perhaps years later? Townhall: parents at one school might not know how misbehavior is dealt with more healthily elsewhere District admin: district officials might not know how different principals handle situations and the inequities. Bringing several parents who are happy and displeased about their policies can be powerful. Petition for change Hypothetical advocacy move to # 1 Then add actual advocacy Then move to direct service Actual direct service

16 It takes a whole village (branch or unit)…
The Political Action Committee can attend school board meetings in support of education committee members help keep units informed of laws, rules and budget decisions impacting schools advocate for more favorable laws, rules and budget decisions impacting schools Legal Redress can: help evaluate and prepare legal claims, Title VI complaints, requests to join lawsuits or file friend of the court briefs. help interpret and describe constitutional and civil rights dimensions of education issues Membership? Young Adult? The Membership Committee can: attend all education events, encourage community attendees to become members and give them the opportunity to sign up or renew on the spot. The Young Adult Committee can: coordinate its mentorship efforts with education’s help identify students to talk about schools and participate in education campaigns The Religious Affairs Committee can: spread the word in the faith community about education initiatives help with interpreting and describing the moral and ethical dimensions of education decisions

17 Q & A Whole Group: Table specific: Sharing what’s in common
Name, from, query Table specific: What are the most pressing issues in your community? What do you consider your greatest success? What do you consider your greatest challenge? Sharing what’s in common

18 Thanks for participating!
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