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Improving Student Performance In Little Rock: Overall Strategies,Budget Strategies &People Strategies By Allan Odden and Lawrence Picus Little Rock, Arkansas.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Student Performance In Little Rock: Overall Strategies,Budget Strategies &People Strategies By Allan Odden and Lawrence Picus Little Rock, Arkansas."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Student Performance In Little Rock: Overall Strategies,Budget Strategies &People Strategies By Allan Odden and Lawrence Picus Little Rock, Arkansas June 1, 2009

2 The Challenge for Little Rock Little Rock has significant achievement challenges Modest gains in elementary grades No real gains in middle and high schools – except algebra Major achievement gap between Caucasians and minorities

3 The Challenge for Little Rock Bottom line: there is a large and significant achievement challenge including closing the achievement gaps The needed response: mount a powerful education improvement plan executed with top teacher and principal talent – using current state and local funding

4 4 Evidence for Improving Performance Research from CPRE and Lawrence O. Picus & Associates from school finance adequacy studies Research by others – Ed Trust, Karen Chenoweth (2007), Supowitz (2006), Broad Foundation, and others Research Focus Many schools and districts with high concentrations of children from low income and minority backgrounds Schools from urban, suburban and rural communities but major urban focus Finalists for the Broad Prize in Urban Education All support our ten strategies for improving performance

5 5 Improving Performance Large, measurable, indisputable increases Not just beating the odds Not just AYP Much more improvement than either Sometimes we call this doubling performance Percent at or above proficient from 40-80% Percent at or above advanced from 20-40%, or 30-60% “Doubling” performance for any subgroups Increase from 65% to 90 or 95%, not a literal doubling but a large hike in performance

6 6 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance 1.Initial data analysis- state testing results Analyze data that can lead to change not demographics Identify “macro” achievement issues good in math but not science low performance in problem solving areas Identify nature and scope of achievement gaps average a combination of high for whites and low for minorities Nature of mobility often the same kids so most students in the district over the course of the year

7 7 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance: Resource Needs 1.Initial data analysis- state testing results Requires no resources except time for analysis

8 8 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance 2.Set higher goals Specific, numeric goals VERY ambitious – seems too high to most Defies motivational theory implications Double performance 90-95% of children at or above proficiency or advanced Double performance at advanced levels As most state’s advanced level is more akin to NAEP proficient, which is mostly the case for Arkansas

9 9 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance: Resource Needs 2.Set higher goals Requires no resources, but ambitious expectations

10 10 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance 3.Adopt a new research-based curriculum New textbook materials Open Court reading Everyday Math Others What Works Clearinghouse, Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE: Over time, a vision of effective instruction or pedagogy aligned with the new instructional materials The 9 elements of effective reading instruction Problem solving in mathematics No more general math classes, algebra by 8 th grade, etc.

11 11 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance: Resource Needs 3.Adopt a new research-based curriculum Requires no resources long term because can use regular textbook budget Might require some upfront funding if purchase new materials off cycle In the short term could use Stimulus funds Built into the Arkansas funding formula

12 12 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance 4.Implement Data-based decision making More testing !! Benchmark (generally quarterly) and Formative (for shorter curriculum units) assessments NWEA MAP tests, Wireless Generation, DIBELS, etc. Tailor instruction to exactly what students know and do not know Montgomery County and Ed Trust – common end of curriculum unit tests The battery state once a year tests quarterly benchmark tests formative curriculum unit assessments common end-of-unit tests

13 13 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance: Resource Needs 4.Implement Data-based decision making Requires two kinds of resources Collaborative time during school day sufficient electives are built into the Arkansas funding formula to make this possible ~$25 per pupil for formative assessments

14 14 5.Invest in extensive, long-term professional development Needed for the new curriculum and data based decision making turning formative assessments into instructional strategies analyzing the common end-of-unit assessments Job embedded meaning during the regular school day teachers work collaboratively together or with a coach in their classroom Using student data formative assessments or common end of curriculum unit tests To improve instructional strategies and curriculum units linked to the curriculum actually taught Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance

15 15 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance: Resource Needs 5.Invest in extensive, long-term professional development Requires resources: Planning and prep time during the school day – 60-90 minutes daily Summer institutes for teachers – at least 10 days Instructional coaches in schools – 1/200 students or about 1 for every 10 teachers Money for trainers Built into the Arkansas funding formula

16 16 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance 6.Use school time – a “fixed” resource – more efficiently 90-120 minute reading blocks Protected math blocks Replace electives with double reading or math periods for struggling students, particularly in middle and high schools Revise schedules – reduce 7 and 8 period day schedules to 6 periods and turn saved teaching resources into coaches and tutors – this also expands instructional minutes Class size of 15 K-3; rarely small class sizes in middle or high schools

17 17 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance: Resource Needs 6.Use school time – a “fixed” resource – more efficiently Probably reduce electives and ensure sport practice is not given credit in addition to PE Requires no additional resources No recommendation to extend school year

18 18 7.Multiple extra-help strategies for struggling students 1-1 tutoring (by licensed teachers for bottom half; could use trained aides for kids in top half) Small group tutoring (by licensed teachers) Double periods during the regular day Extended day programs Summer school Extensive assistance for students with disabilities RTI approach, beginning with first five steps above, before labeling someone with a disability Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance

19 19 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance: Resource Needs 7.Multiple extra-help strategies for struggling students Requires resources: 1 tutor for every 100 Free and reduced price lunch students 1 staff for every 100 ELL students Summer school resources Extended day Special education but after “RTI”

20 20 8.Create professional learning communities that work together relentlessly to boost student performance Evolves from all the collaborative work Analyzing state tests Reviewing formative assessments and creating instructional units Assessing end-of-unit common tests to identify effective/ineffective teachers Creating standards-based curriculum units Leads to strongly held expectations For high levels of student learning Efficacy of instruction practice and curriculum units Common approach to instruction Taking responsibility for results of instruction Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance

21 21 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance: Resource Needs 8.Create professional learning communities that work together relentlessly to boost student performance Requires no additional resources Schedule teachers for common planning and collaborative time

22 22 9.Widespread distributed instructional leadership Teachers – team leaders, coordinators, Instructional Coaches, etc. School principal District leadership Perhaps even members of the school board Requires creation of multiple teams within each school – grade level, curriculum content areas, professional development, council of teacher leaders, etc. Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance

23 23 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance: Resource Needs 9.Widespread distributed instructional leadership Requires no additional resources, but Move teachers into multiple leadership roles and could provide salary incentives for these leadership responsibilities

24 24 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance 10.Use external professional knowledge – not doing it on one’s own State department of education Regional service units Consultants Research-based curriculum programs Practice-based research findings Others

25 25 Ten Strategies to “Double” Performance: Resource Needs 10.Use external professional knowledge – not doing it on one’s own Requires modest additional resources Subscriptions to professional journals, food for meetings, maybe some trips, effective use of professional development funds

26 26 Talent to Execute these Strategies Final point: need the teacher, principal and central office talent to implement these strategies Has been a problem for many urban districts – SMHC case studies show that this problem can be addressed and schools can open each fall with quality teachers and principals in all classrooms and schools Little Rock could learn from these cases about how to acquire top teacher and principal talent

27 27 Talent and Human Capital Strategic Management of Human Capital (SMHC) – focuses on the talent and human capital side of education reform SMHC includes Two Basic Strategies: Recruiting and retaining top teacher, principal and central office talent, which are key to implement the powerful education improvement strategies needed for big, urban districts Managing that talent around the most effective instructional practice, instruction that can produce large student learning gains

28 28 SMHC Graphic from TNTP Training Recruitment Selection Hiring Minimum requirements, little consideration for quality. No post-hire selection rigor, such as tenure decisions. Archaic slotting procedures impede creation of effective teams. Not targeted to high-need schools or subject areas. HR dysfunction deters applicants. Market driven by what providers want to offer, not what schools or teachers need. Development Budgeting Little concern for impact of timing on teacher hiring. Compensation An effective teacher in every classroom The foundational systems and institutions that are responsible for generating and maintaining quality teachers are almost universally unaligned with the goal of an effective teacher in every classroom. Evaluation Systems fail to identify teachers on a spectrum of performance, making it difficult to develop high performers or remediate or remove low performers. No differentiation or sorting among teachers, regardless of performance. Dollars concentrated at senior end of career. Disjointed professional development, often not focused on instructional skills.

29 29 The Solution: Realigning the teacher quality continuum to the prime objective of an effective teacher in every classroom (from TNTP) Underlying priority must be the closing of the achievement gap. School districts and policy makers have made sporadic efforts to realign specific pieces of the continuum but most efforts have been modest and limited. Success requires a comprehensive approach that includes: Leadership: Change requires rallying stakeholders around the goal of maximizing teacher quality and effectiveness. Coordination: Most districts lack a chief strategist for their most important function – developing and maintaining quality human capital. Political will: Realignment requires engagement with hot-button issues and entrenched interests. Data: Necessary in order to identify needs, measure progress, and allocate time and resources. TrainingRecruitmentSelectionHiringDevelopmentBudgetingCompensation An effective teacher in every classroom Evaluation

30 30 SMHC in 2008 Defined SMHC (see Odden & Kelly, and Lawler papers on web site) Created a National Task Force of 33 leaders, chaired by MN Governor Tim Pawlenty, and conducted 2 task force meetings Conducted 1 st annual SMHC Conference Completed several case studies of leading edge SMHC practices around the country Launched 2.0 Web site:

31 31 Case Studies Boston, Chicago, Fairfax County, Long Beach, New York City, Teach for American, The New Teacher Project, New Leaders for New Schools – www.smhc- cpre.orgwww.smhc- State of many urban districts/turnaround schools Dysfunctional HR systems Paper and pencil systems; late and inaccurate salary checks; large numbers of teacher shortages; larger shortages in math, science, special education; lack of sufficient teacher quality, especially in high-needs schools; few recruitment strategies; opened school each fall with hundreds of vacancies Other Low levels of student achievement, large achievement gaps, disjointed educational improvement strategies

32 32 Cross-Case Findings SMHC now argues that: Large urban districts can acquire top teacher and principal talent. Talent management systems – recruitment, induction, mentoring, professional development, evaluation, pay, and career progression – should be, but are not yet very well aligned and anchored in the instructional expertise needed to produce large student learning gains

33 33 Cross-Case Findings Big Finding #1: Urban districts can recruit top-quality teachers and principals by deploying a multi-faceted human resource strategy “If you recruit it, talent will come.” Create multiple recruitment strategies simultaneously Tap only the best traditional university pipelines New pipelines--TFA, TNTP, NLNS, leadership academies (Chicago, New York) “Grow own” programs and new university partnerships Two pipelines for teacher talent – pre BA and post BA Move up budget and hiring calendar Revise bumping and seniority transfer – site selects staff Hire mainly principals who go through a district training program

34 34 Cross-Case Findings Big Finding #2: Urban districts that have developed the systems to recruit and retain high- quality teachers and principals and improve student performance have restructured and automated many human resources transactional processes. Paper and pencil and dysfunctional HR systems are not in the DNA of urban districts; they can be modernized, automated and reformed.

35 35 Cross-Case Findings Big Finding #3: Processes for strategic management of teacher and principal talent have barely begun to address the need to develop valid and practical measures of teaching performance and student achievement, and use them to manage all aspects of HR decision making. Need to identify and use a system of teaching standards and performance rubrics to evaluate teaching practice; use the results as an “anchor” for all HR programs for teachers Need ways to identify effective talent pipelines and effective teachers and principals

36 36 Cross-Case Findings Big finding #4: Stable leadership from the school district, often buttressed by strong support from city officials, is necessary to build and sustain an effective system for strategic management of human capital. All five districts have had stable leadership at the top for several years. Strong ties between district chief executives and very powerful mayors

37 37 Cross-Case Findings Big Finding #5: Union-management collaboration is requisite to many SMHC advances. Issues commonly negotiated include transfer and assignment procedures, evaluation procedures, professional development, compensation levels and arrangements, and, in some cases, mentoring and induction—decisions related to teachers’ professional lives. SMHC reforms cannot be accomplished without working with the teacher union or association.

38 38 Key District Implications 1.Develop student-teacher linked data systems Track effectiveness of various teacher and principal training pathways and programs Track impacts for producing student achievement Teachers Principals 2.Create understanding that there are two pipelines that produce teacher talent Pre BA traditional teacher prep Post BA for early and mid career change Track impacts of all post-BA and pre-BA programs to compare impacts

39 39 Key District Implications 3.Partner with any teacher pipeline organization that produces teachers who are effective generally and particularly in high need schools 4.Create a multi-tiered and performance-based teacher evaluation/assessment system, with a performance- based assessment to move from tier to tier. Tier 1: used to confer the initial license for novice teacher Tier 2: used to “graduate” a teacher from a residency/induction period and in some states to confer the professional license Tier 3: used to confer tenure (and thus specifying a level of teaching practice sufficient to earn tenure) Tier 4: perhaps an advanced status as well, akin to National Board Certification

40 40 Key District Implications 5.Enhance district (as well as state and university if possible) policy and practice regarding development of teachers’ clinical skills in the first 3-5 years of teaching It would be helpful if the state allowed full professional license only after a significant residency period. 6.Include sufficient funds for effective professional development in the district’s school funding formula which would include: At least 10 pupil free days for training Instructional coach positions in schools at the rate of 2.0 FTE coach positions for every 400 or so students require that these funds be used for coach positions Funds for training for either district staff or consultants at the rate of $100/pupil These resources are provided by Arkansas funding formula

41 41 Key District Implications 7.Provide funding for developing new approaches to teacher salary schedules that trigger base pay increases for teachers on a validated measure of teaching performance, to link pay levels with practice levels Augment with bonuses based on student learning gains, for both teachers and principals Prime funding source is current teacher salary budget – it is there and want to transition all teachers to new system within 3 years.

42 Conclusions Little Rock needs a clear education improvement strategy to improve performance We identified 10 steps most successful districts use to accomplish that goal The Arkansas funding formula provides the fiscal resources for all of these strategies Little Rock needs a strategy to ensure it has the teacher, principal and central office talent needed to get the job done

43 43 Resources Odden and Archibald, 2009, Doubling Student Performance … and Finding the Resources to Do It. Corwin Press, Available at Odden, Ten Strategies to Doubling Student Performance, Corwin Press, 2010 Karen Chenoweth, 2007, It’s Being Done Ed Trust Odden, 2008, New Teacher Pay Structures: The Compensation Side of Human Capital. SMHC web site resources: www.smhc- and go to resources tabwww.smhc-

44 44 Contact Information Lawrence O. Picus, Professor, and Director, Center for Research on Education Finance, University of Southern California Allan Odden, Professor, and Co-Director, Strategic Management of Human Capital, University of Wisconsin-Madison Partners, Lawrence O. Picus and Associates 818 980-1881 608 239-4671

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