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1 Turning Around Low-Performing Schools REL Appalachia Charleston, West Virginia, September 2011 Sam Redding Center on Innovation & Improvement.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Turning Around Low-Performing Schools REL Appalachia Charleston, West Virginia, September 2011 Sam Redding Center on Innovation & Improvement."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Turning Around Low-Performing Schools REL Appalachia Charleston, West Virginia, September 2011 Sam Redding Center on Innovation & Improvement

2 2 The Turnaround Era Before the IES Practice Guide The IES Practice Guide Context for the Practices Leadership for Change The Things You Already Know

3 3 Before the Practice Guide

4 Restructuring Business Concept – in business turnarounds and bankruptcy NCLB Restructuring (change in governance) 1. State Take-Over 2. Turnaround – usually change in leadership and other change 3. Reopen as Charter School 4. Contract to an Education Management Organization (EMO) 5. Other (96% of restructuring -- CEP)

5 5 The IES Practice Guide

6 Four Recommended Practices Signal the need for dramatic change with strong leadership. Maintain a consistent focus on improving instruction. Make visible improvements early in the school turnaround process. (quick wins) Build a committed staff. 6

7 Interrelationship Strong Leadership Committed Staff Quick Wins Improving Instruction 7

8 Recommended Practice #1 : Signal the need for dramatic change with strong leadership. 8

9 Recommended Practice #1: Signal the need for dramatic change with strong leadership. Schools should make a clear commitment to dramatic changes from the status quo, and the leader should signal the magnitude and urgency of that change. A low-performing school that fails to make adequate yearly progress must improve student achievement within a short timeframeit does not have the luxury of years to implement incremental reforms. 9

10 New vs. Continuing Principal Credibility as change agent No existing relationships to dismantle ID principal with change leader skills ______________________________ No learning curve Existing relationships to build on 10 NEW CONTINUING

11 Leadership Practices Sharing responsibility ( leadership team, lead teachers ) Principal as instructional leader Strong leadership 11 Principal Teachers Principal Teacher

12 Signaling Change Communicate clear purpose to staff and community Monitor teacher and student performance Become more accessible to staff and students Deal directly and immediately with problems Campaign in the community/district 12

13 Communicating About Dramatic Change 1. Brutal Factslife prospects for students 2. Vision of What Could Beresults in similar schools 3. Pathway to Achieve Vision - plan - procedures - practices - expectations - metrics 4. Culture of Candor

14 Recommended Practice #2 Maintain a consistent focus on improving instruction. 14

15 Recommended Practice #2: Maintain a consistent focus on improving instruction. Recommended Practice #2: Maintain a consistent focus on improving instruction. Chronically low-performing schools need to maintain a sharp focus on improving instruction at every step of the reform process. To improve instruction, schools should use data to set goals for instructional improvement, make changes to immediately and directly affect instruction, and continually reassess student learning and instructional practices to refocus the goals and refine the practices. 15

16 Using Data to Improve Instruction School level: identify instructional focus target subjects, subgroups Class level: identify teachers professional development needs; topics for re-teaching Student level: identify skills and knowledge each student needs to master Continually assess progress towards goals. 16

17 Changing Instruction Teacher collaboration: common planning time, disciplined instructional planning Targeted professional development: embedded professional development, targeted to need based on classroom observations and student outcomes Curriculum review and alignment 17

18 Instructional Core Maintain a sharp focus on improving instruction at every step of the reform process Expect universal application of effective practice Expect disciplined, collaborative planning and data analysis Provide aligned and differentiated instruction in multiple modes Use data to: - set goals for instructional improvement - make changes to immediately and directly affect instruction - continually reassess student learning and instructional practices to refocus the goals and refine the practices

19 Recommended Practice #3 Make visible improvements early in the school turnaround process. 19

20 Recommended Practice #3 Make visible improvements early in the school turnaround process. Quick wins can rally staff around the effort and overcome resistance and inertia. 20

21 Strategies Goals One or two, narrow goals, can be achieved quickly Must be important to stakeholders and make visible improvement Must be do-able without additional resources or authority Should contribute to long-term goals Implementation Do it quick Plow through protests Follow up 21

22 Examples Use of time: more planning, more uninterrupted instructional time Resources: dedicated teacher work space, texts and materials available on time Physical plant: clean, paint school; displays Discipline: teachers, administrators visible; reduce transitions between classes; hands-down rules 22

23 Recommended Practice #4 Build a committed staff. 23

24 Recommended Practice #4 Build a committed staff. The school leader must build a staff that is committed to the schools improvement goals and qualified to carry out school improvement. This goal may require changes in staff, such as releasing, replacing, or redeploying staff who are not fully committed to turning around student performance and bringing in new staff who are committed. 24

25 Assess, Redeploy, Replace, Recruit Staff Assess skills, knowledge, and will Redeploy if staff fit another necessary role Replace if necessary Recruit to fit needs 25 Competence Fit Willingness

26 CONTEXT FOR THE PRACTICES 26

27 Why These Practices? How are turnaround practices different from other school reform practices? What is the evidence that these practices contribute to school turnaround? 27

28 Turnaround and School Reform 28 District Support CSR, effective instruction, etc. Turnaround

29 Evidence Base 10 case studies; 35 schools 21 elementary schools 8 middle schools 6 high schools Turnarounds with new leaders and staff Business turnaround literature 29

30 Levels of Evidence 30

31 Panel Members and Staff Panel Rebecca Herman (Chair), American Institutes for Research Priscilla Dawson, Philadelphia and Trenton Public Schools (retired) Thomas Dee, Swarthmore College Jay Greene, University of Arkansas Rebecca Maynard, University of Pennsylvania Sam Redding, National Center on Innovation & Improvement Staff Marlene Darwin, American Institutes for Research 31

32 Leadership for Change

33 Leader Actions School Turnarounds: Actions and Results, 2008, Center on Innovation & Improvement Dana Brinson, Julie Kowal and Bryan C. Hassel of Public Impact for the Center on Innovation & Improvement. Lauren Morando Rhim and Eli Valsing also contributed.

34 Leader Actions: Initial Analysis and Problem Solving Collect & Analyze Data Make Action Plan Based on Data

35 Leader Actions: Driving for Results Concentrate on Big, Fast Payoffs in Year One Implement Practices Even if Require Deviation Require All Staff to Change Make Necessary Staff Replacements Focus on Successful Tactics; Halt Others Do Not Tout Progress as Ultimate Success

36 Leader Actions: Influencing Inside and Outside Communicate a Positive Vision Help Staff Personally Feel Problems (of students) Gain Support of Key Influencers Silence Critics with Speedy Success

37 Leader Actions: Measuring, Reporting (and Improving) Measure and Report Progress Frequently Require all Decision Makers to Share Data and Problem Solve What Data? Who Solves Problems?

38 The Things You Already Know 38

39 What Happened About Year 7? 39 Millard Fillmore School Scores on State Assessment Year 1Year 7Year 9Year 4Year 12 What happened about Year 7? List 3 actions that most contributed to Millard Fillmores improvement. Change of principals, students, teachers doesnt count.

40 Proximal Variables for Student Learning The students – prior learning, which teachers have provided; metacognitive skills, which can be taught; motivation to learn and sense of self-efficacy, which a teacher nurtures; effort and time on task, which a teacher expects; interactionacademic and socialwith teachers and other students; familys engagement and support for learning, which a teacher curries. The teachers - instructional planning and classroom management; instructional delivery through a variety of modes; personalization (individualization) of instruction for each student; taught and aligned curriculum, designed by teacher teams.

41 You have been the principal in a successful turnaround. In 3 years your school has been transformed! Of course, you followed the 4 IES recommendations, and you also applied the 14 leader actions. But then, it really isnt all about you. So...

42 1.What changed in your school that really mattered for a student? What directly contributed most to improved student learning? 2. You are leaving the school after this year. What must you do, internally, to ensure that the schools gains will not be lost? Specifically, how will the school sustain whatever you identified in #1 as the key contributor to improved student learning? 3. What can your district do to ensure that your schools gains are not lost when you leave? 4.What can the state do to ensure that your schools gains are not lost when you leave? How would your answers above change if your school is a high school, elementary school, middle school?

43 Resources The free practice guide is available from IES at Support materials available at dww.ed.gov Other turnaround resources at: _______________________________________ Sam Redding Center on Innovation & Improvement 43


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