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The Pathway to Transforming Our Schools The Pathway to Transforming Our Schools 1 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October.

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Presentation on theme: "The Pathway to Transforming Our Schools The Pathway to Transforming Our Schools 1 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Pathway to Transforming Our Schools The Pathway to Transforming Our Schools 1 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010 Dr. Kim Benton, Bureau Manager Mississippi Department of Education Office of School Recovery

2 Conditions for Rapid Improvement Catalyzing Event Minimal Threshold of Capacity Window of Opportunity Increases the sense of urgency Facing the brutal facts School Board / Superintendent support Courage to recruit principals and teachers to change status quo Galvanized support and urgency for change Funding, policy changes 2 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

3 We Have Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October “How Do We Rapidly, Radically, Improve Academic Performance for Students? “ Now…

4 Recognizing the Sense of Urgency, the District Has Taken Bold Steps transform Core district leaders and the school board decided on an improvement effort that will lead to rapid gains and transform the school. 4 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

5 School Change Strategies 3/5/2010 Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 5 TurnaroundRestart ClosureTransformation

6 TRANSFORMATION THEORY OF ACTION Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 6 Existing configuration of leadership and instructional personnel has not created a learning environment in which students are succeeding… To dramatically change the environment for the benefit of the children currently enrolled in the school, the adults must change… Under transformation, change entails literal change of leadership as well as behavioral change by instructional personnel

7 Teachers and Leaders Replace principal Implement new evaluation system Developed with staff Uses student growth as a significant factor Identify and reward staff who are increasing student outcomes; support and then remove those who are not Implement strategies to recruit, place and retain staff Instructional and Support Strategies Select and implement an instructional model based on student needs Provide job- embedded professional development designed to build capacity and support staff Ensure continuous use of data to inform and differentiate instruction Time and Support Provide increased learning time Staff and students Provide ongoing mechanism for community and family engagement Partner to provide social-emotional and community-oriented services and supports Governance Provide sufficient operating flexibility to implement reform Ensure ongoing technical assistance DEFINITION: TRANSFORMATION MODEL Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 7

8 KEY COMPONENTS Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 8 Leader Capability/ Competencie s Leader Actions District governance/ environment Effective school practice Substantively improved outcomes District Governance/ Support Leader Capabilities Effective school practice Substantively improved outcomes School Turnarounds: A Review of the Cross-Sector Evidence on Dramatic Organizational Improvement (2007). Leader Actions

9 The District Reaches Out to the Community Convey both the need and the vision Communicate the benefits to students Engage parents, students, staff, and the community – “We” not “Us vs. Them” Meet the community in the community “Outreach should not only ‘sell the school’ but also ‘sell the fact that change must and has come to the school’” (IES, 2008, p.12). Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 9 9 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

10 “Here is what we are going to do. This is why we are using this approach. This is what we envision our school to look like as a result of our action.” Why is this message important? 10 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

11 They Can Handle “The Truth” Explain even the toughest decisions, such as school closure Accept responsibility for improvement Don’t make excuses for the past and present Demonstrate the promise of better education for students “[One superintendent] apologized that the district had, for years, provided their community’s children with such a substandard education. He took responsibility for the district’s poor performance and pledged to do a better job” (Steiner, 2009, p. 20). Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 11 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

12 Recognizing the Sense of Urgency, the District Takes Bold Steps District expectations and the core message is clearly communicated multiple times and in multiple formats. “Drive” Who should “Drive” the transformation? Superintendent / School Board Principals The driving force behind school improvement will be the Superintendent / School Board Principals with support from district level leaders and departments. 12 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

13 Rapidly Improving Districts and Schools Have…. Strategically allocated human and fiscal resources to support teaching and learning. Restructured district and/or school functions, policies and procedures to support district and school improvement efforts. Communicated a vision for school improvement with specific measurable goals. Established a focus on equity, equal access, and shared responsibility. 13 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

14 Rapidly Improving Districts and Schools Have…. Established a system to coordinate and monitor all school improvement initiatives to determine program effectiveness. Aligned pacing guides, assessments and lesson plans with state curriculum frameworks and grade level proficiency standards. Data collection and analysis processes in place that drive all instructional decisions. 14 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

15 Rapidly Improving Districts and Schools Have…. Taken advantage of internal and external expertise to build the staff’s capacity to deliver quality instruction through job embedded professional development and instructional coaching opportunities. Engaged teachers and principals in continuous problem solving related to teaching and learning / instructional improvement (SHARED DECISION MAKING). Focused on improving relationships among adults and among adults and students. 15 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

16 Rapidly Improving Districts and Schools Have…. Fostered an environment that engenders positive attitudes, trust, respect, open dialogue, and a willingness to change. ATTAIN Kept the focus on “First Things First” – whatever it takes to improve and for our children to ATTAIN proficiency. Developed a school culture where shared responsibility and accountability for results permeate the school. – Business as Usual has been redefined 16 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

17 Driving for Results: Decision Making In considering how to best use SIG funds, decision makers consider whether or not the choice that they are making is going to ensure success for all students. 17 Mississippi Department of Education. Office of School Recovery, October 2010

18 Driving Question #1 Will this choice drive results for students ? –Will the proposed use of funds drive improved results for students, including students in poverty, students with disabilities, and English language learners? 18 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

19 Driving Question #2 Will this choice increase capacity ? –Will the proposed use of funds increase educators’ long-term capacity to improve results for students? 19 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

20 Driving Question #3 Will this choice accelerate reform ? –Will the proposed use of funds advance state, district, or school improvement plans? 20 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

21 Driving Question #4 Will this choice improve student achievement and be sustainable ? –Will the proposed use of funds avoid recurring costs that districts and schools are unprepared to assume when this funding ends? 21 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

22 Driving Question #5 Will this choice foster continuous improvement ? –Will the proposed use of funds include approaches to measure and track implementation and results and create feedback loops to modify or discontinue strategies based on evidence? 22 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

23 The District Shifts From… Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October

24 The Bottom Line for the District clear, transparent, timely, and unwavering. Communication about serious school reform must be: unified equipped to explain the brutal facts as well as a clear vision of what will be better for students District leaders and boards must be: Communication with the media must be: Communication with stakeholders must include: systematic and intentional proactive well-executed multiple, face-to-face contacts with many people Source : NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 24 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

25 KEY COMPONENTS Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 25 Leader Capability/ Competencie s Leader Actions District governance/ environment Effective school practice Substantively improved outcomes District Governance/ Support Leader Capabilities Effective school practice Substantively improved outcomes School Turnarounds: A Review of the Cross-Sector Evidence on Dramatic Organizational Improvement (2007). Leader Actions

26 COMPETENCIES OF A TRANSFORMATION LEADER/ PRINCIPAL Driving for Results – the transformation leader’s strong desire to achieve outstanding results and the task-oriented actions required for success. Influencing for Results – motivating others and influencing their thinking and behavior to obtain results. Transformation leaders cannot accomplish change alone, but instead must rely on the work of others. Problem Solving – including analysis of data to inform decisions; making clear, logical plans that people can follow; and ensuring a strong connection between school learning goals and classroom activity. Showing Confidence to Lead – staying visibly focused, committed, and self-assured despite the barrage of personal and professional attacks common during turnarounds. Source: Public Impact (2008). School Turnaround Leaders: Competencies for Success. 3/5/2010 Prepared for NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 26

27 If you try to change a school without understanding it, you will fail. Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 27 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

28 The Right Turnaround Leader Will Communicate an honest, compelling vision of where we are and where we can and will be Drive for Results Vivid picture of what success will look like What the changes will mean for students Set specific learning goals rather than vague promises Monitor student performance and program implementation using with multiple, disaggregated data sources “Being very specific about required steps and the necessary actions to carry them out helps capable staff members make the change, and puts those who do not change on notice” (Kowal, Rosch, Hassel, & Hassel, 2009, p. 19). Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 28 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

29 The school leader must embody the vision as well as dedication to the work that will ensure a better education for students. “Walk the Talk” Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 29 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

30 The Vision is Non-Negotiable Support the vision with sound dataEngage everyone in a “culture of candor”Make objective decisions about personnel with: Clear expectations Data about each person’s demonstration of effective practice Data about learning outcomes for students “Being very specific about required steps and the necessary actions to carry them out helps capable staff members make the change, and puts those who do not change on notice” (Kowal, Rosch, Hassel, & Hassel, 2009, p. 19). Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 30 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

31 “One of the leader’s most important initial actions in a turnaround is to clarify for all employees what ‘success’ will be and what is needed to get there” (Kowal et al., 2009, p. 12). “One of the leader’s most important initial actions in a turnaround is to clarify for all employees what ‘success’ will be and what is needed to get there” (Kowal et al., 2009, p. 12). 31Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

32 Leader Actions “ THE BIG FIVE” Leader Actions “ THE BIG FIVE” Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October

33 KEY LEADER ACTION #1 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October

34 SIG Performance Indicators – Instructional day – Participation rates on state assessments for all subgroups – Dropout rate – Student attendance rate – Discipline incidents – Truancy – Percentage of students participating in advanced coursework – Teacher performance levels on evaluation system – Teacher attendance – Student academic proficiency, all subgroups, all assessments – Student academic growth, all subgroups, all assessments – Percent of seniors taking ACT and average score – Achievement gaps in proficiency and growth for subgroups – Instructional day – Participation rates on state assessments for all subgroups – Dropout rate – Student attendance rate – Discipline incidents – Truancy – Percentage of students participating in advanced coursework – Teacher performance levels on evaluation system – Teacher attendance – Student academic proficiency, all subgroups, all assessments – Student academic growth, all subgroups, all assessments – Percent of seniors taking ACT and average score – Achievement gaps in proficiency and growth for subgroups Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October

35 SMART or not so SMART?? Benton High School will increase the ACT composite score from 19.2 in 2010 to 20.2 in Benton High School will increase student achievement by 10% from 2010 to Miller Middle School will decrease the percentage of discipline referrals from 60% in 2010 to 10% in Miller Middle School will decrease the number of discipline referrals for fighting from 28% in 2010 to 10% in Benton High School will increase the ACT composite score from 19.2 in 2010 to 20.2 in Benton High School will increase student achievement by 10% from 2010 to Miller Middle School will decrease the percentage of discipline referrals from 60% in 2010 to 10% in Miller Middle School will decrease the number of discipline referrals for fighting from 28% in 2010 to 10% in Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October

36 KEY LEADER ACTION #2 Concentrate on EarlyVisibleMeaningful WINS 36 Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers

37 Deviate from Norms Break organization norms or rules to deploy new tactics needed for early wins Discard failed rules and routines when they inhibit success (e.g., “Cage busting”) 37 Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers

38 KEY LEADER ACTION #3 1. Analyze and Problem Solve 2. Drive for Results 3. Influence Inside and Outside 4. Measure and Report Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 38

39 Start the Way You Want to Finish Positive Messages – Morning Announcements and Pledge – Culture of “I Can”, “We Will” “If life experiences can change poor kids for the worse, can’t life experiences also change them for the better?” – Eric Jensen – Collective Efficacy “If I have the belief that I can do it, I will surely achieve the capacity to do it, even if I may not have at the beginning.” - Ghandi – Visibility and Modeling – Encouragement and Looking for Pockets of Success Start the Way You Want to Finish Positive Messages – Morning Announcements and Pledge – Culture of “I Can”, “We Will” “If life experiences can change poor kids for the worse, can’t life experiences also change them for the better?” – Eric Jensen – Collective Efficacy “If I have the belief that I can do it, I will surely achieve the capacity to do it, even if I may not have at the beginning.” - Ghandi – Visibility and Modeling – Encouragement and Looking for Pockets of Success KEY LEADER ACTION #4

40 Courage Makes difficult decisions. Confronts poor performance. Communicates with honesty. Is more concerned with what’s right than who’s right. Makes difficult decisions. Confronts poor performance. Communicates with honesty. Is more concerned with what’s right than who’s right. Respect Respects people enough to tell them what they need to hear. Provides feedback on improvement while maintaining the self-esteem of the person receiving it. Respects people enough to value their opinions and to seek their input. Respects people enough to tell them what they need to hear. Provides feedback on improvement while maintaining the self-esteem of the person receiving it. Respects people enough to value their opinions and to seek their input. KEY LEADER ACTION #5

41 Demonstrate Leadership Qualities OptimismHonestyConsideration Being honest and considerate does not change the resolve of the leader or the necessity of change. It does, however, create an atmosphere that is more likely to support the change effort in the long run. Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 41 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

42 Staying the Course When you are making progress, not everyone will be cheering. Peaks and Valleys of Improvement Admit that YOU don’t have all of the answers Keep the Focus – Persevere, Buffer Distractions Keep your Word When you are making progress, not everyone will be cheering. Peaks and Valleys of Improvement Admit that YOU don’t have all of the answers Keep the Focus – Persevere, Buffer Distractions Keep your Word

43 Instructional Quality EVERYONE can Improve – Lead by Example – Where can you improve? How do you respond to constructive feedback? Would this teacher/ instruction be acceptable for my child? Assign staff for the benefit of children, not what is best for adults Take a Risk and Encourage “Out of the Box”, QUALITY instruction EVERYONE can Improve – Lead by Example – Where can you improve? How do you respond to constructive feedback? Would this teacher/ instruction be acceptable for my child? Assign staff for the benefit of children, not what is best for adults Take a Risk and Encourage “Out of the Box”, QUALITY instruction

44 Confronting the Status Quo Reflection: Holding Up the Mirror – “This is a Safe Place” How do you create such an environment? – Are you satisfied with the results you have been getting? – Allow teachers to track their students’ progress forward / backward – Look at multiple sources of classroom data – Find strengths, but be honest about weaknesses Reflection: Holding Up the Mirror – “This is a Safe Place” How do you create such an environment? – Are you satisfied with the results you have been getting? – Allow teachers to track their students’ progress forward / backward – Look at multiple sources of classroom data – Find strengths, but be honest about weaknesses

45 The Principal Signals that Change Has Come By: Including stakeholders, teachers, parents, community members and students, while pressing forward with change Being clear up front about what is expected of everyone Achieving “quick wins” to demonstrate that change has come and that substantial improvement is possible Building a competent and committed staff Engaging families by demonstrating mutual respect, meeting them where they are, and linking parents to their role in their children’s learning Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 45 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

46 What Is Possible When We Leverage Strong Leadership and Collaborative Engagement? What Is Possible When We Leverage Strong Leadership and Collaborative Engagement? Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October

47 Leverage Strong Leadership and Collaborative Engagement Immersion in every detail of how the school operates Engagement of everyone in making change Attention to details Results for students “It felt like a new school,” said one teacher (Brinson & Rhim, 2009, p. 34). Source: NNSSIL by Center on Innovation & Improvement and Council of Chief State School Officers 47 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

48 Think About It… “Always be willing to take a chance. Look what it did for Rocky.” "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do." - Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird “Always be willing to take a chance. Look what it did for Rocky.” "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do." - Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

49 References References Brinson, D., & Rhim, L. M. (2009). Breaking the habit of low performance: Successful school restructuring stories. Retrieved from Herman, R., Dawson, P., Dee, T., Greene, J., Maynard, R., Redding, S., Darwin, M. (2008, May). IES Practice Guide: Turning around chronically low-performing schools. U.S. Department of Education: National Center for Educational Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Kowal, J., Rosch, J., Hassel, E. A., & Hassel, B. C. (2009). Performance-based dismissals: Cross-sector lessons for school turnarounds. Retrieved from Lane, B. (2009). Exploring the pathway to rapid district improvement. Retrieved from National Network of State School Improvement Leaders (NNSSIL). (2010). Communicating about school reform. Retrieved from National Network of State School Improvement Leaders (NNSSIL). (2010). School Improvement Grant (SIG) Intervention Models. Retrieved from Public Impact. (2007). School turnarounds: A review of the cross-sector evidence on dramatic organizational improvement. Retrieved from 49 Mississippi Department of Education, Office of School Recovery, October 2010

50 Dr. Kim Benton, Bureau Manager Mrs. Linda Reeves, CPAMississippi Department of EducationOffice of School Recovery P. O. Box 771P.O. Box 771 Jackson, MS Jackson, MS Office of School Recovery


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