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From Commitment to Practice: Realizing the Promise of Learning Communities Doing What it Takes Washington Educational Research Association March 10, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "From Commitment to Practice: Realizing the Promise of Learning Communities Doing What it Takes Washington Educational Research Association March 10, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Commitment to Practice: Realizing the Promise of Learning Communities Doing What it Takes Washington Educational Research Association March 10, 2006 Anne Conzemius

2 Tay Chew!

3 Why did you choose education as a career?

4 When did you become a teacher?

5

6 Professional vs. Technician  Rigorous, Shared Learning  Research  Feedback on Performance  Commitment to the Work Itself  Professional Development The Professional’s expertise is derived from and thrives upon…

7 Professional vs. Technician  Commitment to the Work Itself The Professional’s expertise is derived from and thrives upon…

8 Why are you here today ?

9 Why are We Here Today? To Get Better Results !

10 Getting Better Results 3 Ways to Get Better Results Cheat: Distort the Data

11 “NYC Probe Levels Test-Cheating Charges”  32 of the city’s 675 elementary and middle schools were found cheating on exams that determine student promotions, school rankings, and appraisals of principals’ performance.  More than 50 NYC educators face dismissal. Education Week, December 1999

12 “NYC Probe Levels Test-Cheating Charges” Education Week, December 1999 “The methods that were used seem to be widely known.” “We’d be lucky indeed if these were the only ones cheating.” New York’s Commissioner of Education

13 Getting Better Results 3 Ways to Get Better Results Cheat: Distort the Data Cheat Bigger: Distort the System

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15 Getting Better Results 3 Ways to Get Better Results Cheat: Distort the Data Cheat Bigger: Distort the System Continuously Improve the System

16 Mental Models… shape our thinking filter what we hear lead us to conclusions NCLB

17 Why are We Doing This? Compliance Commitment To Get Better Results ! Vs.

18 Professional vs. Technician  Research  Commitment to the Work Itself The Professional’s expertise is derived from and thrives upon…

19 Why does WERA exist ?

20 WERA Mission To improve the professional practice of educators engaged in instruction, assessment, evaluation, and research of:  assessing student performance,  evaluating programs,  conducting and applying educational research, and  using data to inform instructional decisions.

21 Here’s what the ‘some’ of the research says... It’s a mammoth! Early Microscope

22 “The most promising strategy for sustained, substantial school improvement is developing the ability of school personnel to function as professional learning communities.” -- Richard DuFour & Robert Eaker, Professional Learning Communities at Work (1998) Professional Learning Communities

23 How Successful Schools Achieve High Performance “The quality of education for children depends more on basic human and social resources in school, especially on the commitment and competence (the will and skill) of educators, and on students’ efforts to learn.” -- Center on Organization & Restructuring of Schools 1995 research results based on studies of schools

24 Sustainable and Substantial School Improvement Will... Desire and Purpose Skill... Knowledge, tools and processes WILL + SKILL = IMPROVEMENT

25 BUT… It’s Not That Easy!

26 Warning! Traditional schooling can be habit-forming.

27 We are Creatures of Habit Tool Flower Color Furniture RED or BLUE Couch or Chair

28 Professional vs. Technician  Rigorous, Shared Learning  Research  Commitment to the Work Itself The Professional’s expertise is derived from and thrives upon…

29 “If YOU build it, they will NOT come.” Rick DuFour and Bob Eaker Professional Learning Communities at Work

30

31 “People must learn themselves through change.” - Linda Lambert, Building Leadership Capacity in Schools

32 The Learning Community “The path to change in the classroom lies within and through the learning communities which generate knowledge, craft new norms of practice and sustain participants in their efforts to reflect, examine, experiment, and change.” Talbert and McLaughlin (1993)

33 Reciprocal Learning Community Purpose A community of learners engaged in a reciprocal learning process around a common purpose and set of core values. Linda Lambert

34 Core Values of Communities  Caring  Learning  Respect  Shared Responsibility  Democracy

35 Democratic Values  Democratic values are either reinforced or not in the classrooms, hallways and offices of our schools.  Authentic engagement in leading and learning reinforce the values of our democracy.

36 Reflection Think about a time when you had to take a courageous step or action consistent with the core values of a Learning Community.

37 How do you know you are a teacher?

38 You know you are a teacher when you know the children have learned.

39 Professional vs. Technician  Rigorous, Shared Learning  Research  Feedback on Performance  Commitment to the Work Itself The Professional’s expertise is derived from and thrives upon…

40 The Learning Community A culture in which collaborative reflection on the meaning of data creates energy and commitment for improving the system of learning that produces the data.

41 Data help us to “tell the truth” And they motivate us to do something differently…if we want different results.

42 GOLF From 70 to 100+ consecutive Authentic Performance Assessments within a three to four hour time period.

43 A Tale of Three Schools

44 Number of Students Frequency Distribution School “A”

45 Number of Students Frequency Distribution School “B”

46 Number of Students Frequency Distribution School “C”

47 And now for... the rest of the story.

48 Who are the 4 kids in each classroom that are struggling most? BRAINSTORM: What are your theories about who these children are? Describe them.

49 The Results  Boys vs. Girls?  Young by comparison?  Minority?  Free and Reduced Lunch?  Parents not involved in conferences?  From a particular neighborhood?  Highly mobile?  No remedial help?  Attendance issues?

50 The Results  Boys vs. Girls?  Young by comparison?  Minority?  Free and Reduced Lunch?  Parents not involved in conferences?  From a particular neighborhood?  Highly mobile?  No remedial help?  Attendance issues?

51 Out of Our Hands…  Community-based visits and tutoring.  Worked with apartment complexes to get to families quickly.  Transportation for families to come to evening events and conferences.  Restructured the school from traditional grade-levels to three year continuous looping of 3-5 grade teams. NOT

52 Reflection Think about a time when you used data as a means to achieve a “different” result? How did data guide your actions?

53 Professional vs. Technician  Rigorous, Shared Learning  Research  Feedback on Performance  Commitment to the Work Itself  Professional Development The Professional’s expertise is derived from and thrives upon…

54 Goals SMARTSMART

55 SMART Goals S pecific + S trategic M easurable A ttainable R esults-oriented T imebound

56 SMART Goals CC haracterized by high expectations CC ollaboratively created MM onitored frequently as a tool for continuous learning & improvement

57 Professional Development In a Learning Community, professional development occurs through dialogue about student learning in which assumptions and mental models are challenged and practices are voluntarily changed.

58 Two Important Questions What’s good enough? 80% 90% 99% What do we truly believe is possible?

59 Two unsafe landings at O’Hare Airport each day, What’s Good Enough? If done right 99% of the time, there would only be... 16,000 pieces of lost mail per hour, 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions each year, 22,000 checks deducted from the wrong account every hour.

60 The Story of Cash

61 Either you live up to your expectations or you live down to your expectations.

62 Reflection Potential = Mystery Where’s the “Cash” in Your School?

63 A True Story  Common vision and values  Deep and skillful collaboration  Using data (learning) to inform and enlighten the community  Understanding systems  Taking action – one step at a time

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66 I sheep!

67 So here’s our plan for those pesky wolves...

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71 Be Courageous!  Be relentless in pursuit of high expectations for each and every child.  Use data to inform and continuously improve your professional practice.  Build capacity - Everyone a learner, everyone a leader.  Live your values and vision on a daily basis.

72 Don’t forget to say Tay Chew often!

73 “Leading with Courage and Soul”


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