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Just Some Thoughts Raymond J. McNulty, Senior Fellow, ICLE

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1 Just Some Thoughts Raymond J. McNulty, Senior Fellow, ICLE
Chief Learning Officer, Penn Foster

2 Do You Really Believe… We just need to be a little bit better?
New Standards and assessments are all the change we need? All students are getting what they need to be successful in the 21st Century?


4 Systems are challenged today like never before and the key challenge that we face is results.

5 So what will has changed in your school or district, that is different from years past? In terms of…
Behavior of adults Lesson design, assessment Other items……

6 Are those changes making a difference?
How do you know?

7 Theme Strategy

8 What’s your change strategy?
Transforming Schools??? What’s your change strategy?

9 What is your theory for the change?
Having a theory Staying the course is a lot easier when the course is something people understand and you implement the theory with fidelity. What is your theory for the change?

10 Research Based Successful Practices
Empower Remain Tight Tight Tight Loose Critical Point AYP Research Based Successful Practices Tight Tight

11 AYP

12 AYP

13 AYP

14 Questions often asked…
How long does it take? We are not moving at all. What should we do? We were moving, but now we seem to be stuck. What should we do?

15 Patterns emerge in school improvement.
There are no simple breakthroughs There are no dramatic turnarounds There are periods of significant improvement, followed by flat growth – and even decline. x

16 Surviving during periods of flat performance
Staff expects flat periods and persists through them Staff has a theory about what they are doing and focuses on student performance Staff develops focused measures for detecting improvement Staff makes adjustments when their efforts aren’t working

17 Expecting flat periods and persisting
School improvement is a process of uncovering and solving progressively more difficult challenges around student learning (low-hanging fruit theory) This requires new learning from the adults.

18 Focused measures for detecting improvement
Changes in student performance lag behind changes in the quality of instructional practices. Changes in the classrooms are visible before you see them in external measures.

19 From Cooperation to Collaboration
Collaboration is essential for success today Cooperation won’t get the results you need Collaboration is mutual engagement to solve the challenge (21st Century) Cooperation is a division of labor approach (20th Century)

20 Emotions in the work place don’t just appear
Emotions in the work place don’t just appear. They arise from within the culture.

21 There’s a need to understand
Strategy Emotions and Culture Successful systems today need to be grounded in “whole-ism” first. From there, order will emerge.

22 Theme VALUES

23 Do not underestimate the importance of MISSION AND VALUES
Do not underestimate the importance of MISSION AND VALUES!!! They help bring COHERENCE to the work.

24 Mission: Why we exist

25 What we believe in and how we will behave
Values: What we believe in and how we will behave

26 Whenever something doesn’t work, revisit the mission and values of the system. Are they correct? Are we focused on the right things?


28 Core Elements of Transformation
Vision / Mission – clear and powerful Core Values – lived everyday Employee Characteristics – enablers of greatness

29 How do you answer the following:
I bring a commitment to a quality experience as an employee I am intently curious about how education is being transformed I have a passion for serving the student who needs me to succeed Success for me is creating great outcomes – not just showing up at work

30 The CORE VALUES of an organization are the SHARED BELIEFS that form its foundation. They guide all of an organization's internal execution as well as its relationships to the internal and external world. In an ever-changing world, core values are CONSTANT. They are ABSOLUTES. They are the practices we use every day, in everything we do. Hospitality

31 At Penn Foster, our core values establish that we are entirely vested in the winning OUTCOMES of our students, and those of each other. Because we prize LEARNING and GROWTH, we possess an unyielding commitment to the FUTURES of our students, whether they seek job skills, career path enhancements, personal enrichment or academic knowledge. Hospitality

For us, LEARN MORE, DO MORE, BE MORE are more than words. They epitomize the values we share, define our Penn Foster system and enable our MISSION… Hospitality

33 Be a Student Achievement Champion
As champions for student achievement we passionately advocate, mentor, and fight for every person who so desires to access the knowledge and skills they need in order to fulfill their goals and change their lives. We create successful outcomes for our students through innovation, creativity and problem-solving that fuels the outcomes our students want and deserve. Helping students unlock their potential is our shared responsibility and privilege. Is This You? Hospitality

34 Provide Service Infused with understanding, Respect & empathy
Be a partner; listen and care, and in doing so, create lasting and meaningful relationships. Is This You? Hospitality

35 Be Responsible and Act with Integrity
We promptly acknowledge the needs of our students and colleagues and respond appropriately and effectively. WE FOLLOW-UP AND FOLLOW-THROUGH. Is This You? Hospitality

36 Collaborate to create better outcomes
We know there is strength in numbers. We value the ability, perspective and unique talent of others; and we embrace our differences. A TEAM IS STRONGER THAN ANY ONE PERSON Is This You? Hospitality

37 Surprise and delight Is This You?
We go beyond the transaction. We strive to exceed expectations and create emotionally fulfilling experiences that result in consistently remarkable HOSPITALITY. Is This You? Hospitality

38 We are charitable, and possess the spirit of giving.
Take Care of the Earth and Give Back to the Community in which we Live and Work We support our students and community through contribution and by adopting causes that matter. We are charitable, and possess the spirit of giving. We are Hospitable Is This You? Hospitality

39 Sustainability is about the relationship between people, their purpose and their place.

40 Why do humans and or systems fail?
Ignorance, we do not have all the knowledge. The knowledge exists but we do not use it correctly.

41 How do you get good at what you do?
The great seem to have the ability to work through their weaknesses. Being just a slight bit better makes all the difference in the world. Diligence Doing it right



44 Carrot and stick vs. Coaching
You can’t be successful today by being alone, autonomy does not get you to be great! Its about discipline Its about collaboration Cowboys to Pit Crews “Whole-ism”

45 Independent Interdependent Collaboration Turf Protector Active w/ focus Little Buy In Extraordinary Ordinary


47 Simply said, we get what we design for!

48 The one size fits all school that took its present shape in the 1930’s was a poor fit with the reality even then. In the twenty first century, it belongs in our romantic memories of once upon a time John I. Goodlad


50 Multiple e-Dentity Disorder
The Emergence of Multiple e-Dentity Disorder "The concept of an 'average American' is gone, forever. The average American has been replaced by a complex, multidimensional society that defies simplistic labeling.” - demographics expert Peter Francese Find All of “Me” Online Photo credit : Amber Mayhem

51 “Ideals not Norms” 51

52 Theme Being On Top

53 Being on top of your game today requires a balance of traditional skills mixed with innovation skills Stability, control, and standardization mixed with uncertainty, ambiguity, innovation, and disruptive thinking

54 The skill set to do this is:
Current Leadership works hard to efficiently deliver the next thing that should be done given the existing system. Current leadership shines at converting a goal into actions to achieve that goal. The skill set to do this is:

55 Delivery Skills Analyzing Planning Detailed Oriented Implementing
Disciplined Executing

56 The transformative person incorporates skills from a far different dimension.
Why accept the status quo? Look for new and better ways! Steve Jobs: “I want to put a ding in the universe!”

57 Discovery Skills Questioning Observing Networking Experimenting
Associational Thinking

58 Delivery Skills Analyzing Planning Detailed Oriented Implementing Disciplined Executing Discovery Skills Questioning Observing Networking Experimenting Associational Thinking

59 Question Storming What is… What caused…. Why… Why not…. What if…

60 Why do we breakup content into disciplines and structure learning that way?

61 Highly Innovative Systems
In your system is innovation everyone’s job? Is disruption part of your system’s innovation portfolio? Are small project teams central to taking innovative ideas to scale? Does your system take smart risks in the pursuit of innovation?

62 It is the “Status Quo.” Important Message
The threat to your system is not choice, charters, other privates or funding. It is the “Status Quo.”

63 Theme Best Practices and NEXT PRACTICES

64 Best practices allow you to do what you are currently doing a little better.

65 Best practices allow you to do what you are currently doing a little better.
Next practices increase your organization’s capability to do things it has never done before.

66 System Innovation

67 Sustaining Innovation
Next Practice Sustaining Innovation

68 Disruptive Innovation

69 “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.”
-Shurnyu Suzuki 69

70 First practice must change, then results, then policy.

71 Next Practices Best Practices
CORE Optimizing existing systems TRANSFORMATIONAL ADJACENT Expanding from existing to new ways of working Developing breakthroughs and inventing things that do not exist right now Next Practices Best Practices TRADITIONALLY SUCCESSFUL LEARNERS TO MOST DISTANT LEARNERS TRADITIONAL SYSTEM TO INNOVATIVE SYSTEM TO TRANSFORMATIVE SYSTEM

72 Some Straightforward Advice

73 Ignore the real world The inhabitants are filled with pessimism and despair. They expect new ideas to fail. They assume society isn’t ready.

74 Planning is guessing Unless you are a fortune teller “long-term planning” is a fantasy. Timing of long-range plans are backwards; you have better information when you are doing something, not before you do it.

75 Planning Strategy Long Range Vision 30 Day Plan 60 and 90 Day Plans

76 Live it or leave it There’s a world of difference between truly standing for something and having a mission statement that “says” you stand for something.

77 Embrace Constraints We do not have enough money, time, people, or experience. Less is a good thing as limited resources force us to make good decisions with what we have. There’s no room for waste.

78 Culture Culture is a by-product of consistent behavior. If you encourage people to share, sharing will be built into the culture. As will be trust, etc.

79 New Daily Plan Wake Up Be Amazing Go To Bed

80 “EPIC WIN” 80

81 21st Annual Model Schools Conference
Effective and efficient approaches to improving student achievement in times of declining resources and increasing expectations Focusing on instructional excellence as the key to the Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Assessments, and Teacher Evaluations Instructional approaches for special populations Identifying and overcoming common barriers to dramatic school improvement June 30 – July 3 | Washington, D.C.

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