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Districts that Work: Lessons from the Field and Core Practices February 1, 2010 Ledyard McFadden President SchoolWorks Dr. Wanda Bamberg Superintendent.

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Presentation on theme: "Districts that Work: Lessons from the Field and Core Practices February 1, 2010 Ledyard McFadden President SchoolWorks Dr. Wanda Bamberg Superintendent."— Presentation transcript:

1 Districts that Work: Lessons from the Field and Core Practices February 1, 2010 Ledyard McFadden President SchoolWorks Dr. Wanda Bamberg Superintendent Aldine Independent School District

2 Who we are The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is a national venture philanthropy established by Eli Broad to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts. The Broad Foundations education work is focused on dramatically improving urban K-12 public education through better governance, management, labor relations and competition. ( SchoolWorks is an educational consulting company based in Beverly, Massachusetts. Using a research-based rubric for school district quality, SchoolWorks leads site visit researchers and practitioners to analyze qualitative Broad Prize finalist district practices. (

3 Who we are The Aldine Independent School District, serving 62,000 students, was a Broad Prize finalist in 2004, 2005 and 2008 and the Winner in 2009, among other honors such as the Texas Awards Performance Excellence, Why Aldine today? Two very good reasons: 1.From 1981 to 2008, went from approximately 16% Hispanic to 64% Hispanic 2.Demonstrates higher average proficiency rates by racial, ethnic and income subgroups than state counterparts in reading and mathematics 3

4 Session Objectives 1.Share a hypothesis to explain why Broad Finalists Districts, like Aldine, have made progress in closing achievement gaps 2.Share key themes of practice across the Broad Finalist Districts

5 Session Agenda 1.Quick overview of the Broad Prize Process 2.Presentation of key themes of practice 3.Let Dr. Bamberg tell you the real deal 4.Questions

6 What is The Broad Prize? The Broad Prize for Urban Education is an annual $2 million award that honors large urban school districts demonstrating the greatest overall student performance and improvement and reduction in income and ethnic achievement gaps. sculpture © Tom Otterness, 2002

7 How it works Every year: largest urban American school districts are eligible (list on 2.Student achievement data analyzed 3.Five finalists selected by Broad Prize Review Board (nationally acclaimed statisticians, researchers and education leaders) 4.Qualitative site visits 5.Winner selected by Broad Prize Selection Jury (three former U.S. Secs. of Ed., former Govs., university presidents, union leaders, CEOs)

8 2009 Broad Prize finalist school districts

9 Quantitative data reviewed by Review Board and Selection Jury Graduation rates (NCES Common Core of Data): –Average Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) –Urban Institute Graduation Rate (Cumulative Promotion Index) –Manhattan Institute Graduation Rate (Greenes Graduation Indicator) College Readiness data (AP, SAT and ACT) Adequate Yearly Progress results District demographic data (enrollment, income, language, special education, ethnicity) School-level variance analyses Analyses across proficiency levels (i.e., advanced, proficient, below basic) District performance and improvement rates on state reading and math tests, compared with: –Prior performance –Expected performance for similar districts (based on poverty levels) in the state, using a regression analysis Degree of achievement gap reduction between ethnic groups and between low- income and non-low-income students, compared to the state No formula is used.

10 Process for conducting qualitative review of district-wide policies and processes Uniform 3-day site visit in each finalist district Evidence collected according to SchoolWorks Quality Criteria as developed for The Broad Prize, i.e., site visit framework –District documents reviewed –Focus group interviews conducted with district stakeholders –Limited classroom observations conducted Developmental Rubric provides a multi-dimensional perspective on the degree to which district systems and practices are effective and sustainable

11 11 Site Visit Framework: SchoolWorks Quality Criteria Domain 1: Teaching and Learning Domain 2: District Leadership Domain 3: Operations and Support Systems Dimension 1.1 Curriculum Dimension 1.2 Instruction Dimension 1.3 Assessment Dimension 1.4 Instructional Leadership Dimension 2.2 District Governance Dimension 2.4 Performance and Accountability Dimension 2.3 Strategic Planning Dimension 3.3 Organizational Structures and Management Dimension 2.1 Mission, Vision and Values Dimension 3.1 Allocation of Financial Resources Dimension 3.2 Human Resource Systems Dimension 3.4 Support for Teaching and Learning

12 2009 Broad Prize winner Aldine Independent School District in Houston, 80% FRSL Outperformed other similar Texas districts in reading and mathematics at all grade levels Demonstrated higher average proficiency rates by racial, ethnic and income subgroups than state counterparts in reading and mathematics Narrowed income and ethnic achievement gaps (e.g., 14 percentage point reduction in gap between African-American students and state average for White students in middle school mathematics between 2005 and 2008).

13 How do these districts close the achievement gap? The achievement gap is closed one student at a time. Focus on the individual child. Broad Finalists Districts thrive on beliefs, policies and practices that individualize education and emphasize success for all students. 13

14 To be clear… Yes. Board Finalists examine how well groups of students do (English Language Learners, ethnic groups, socioeconomic groups, etc.) Yes. Broad Finalists districts consider culture and language and economic status as important information that informs programming No. Broad Finalists Districts do not apply blanket approaches aimed to cover a whole group based on its identity. Yes. Broad Finalists build systems of curriculum, instruction and assessment that can meet the needs of each individual child. 14

15 What are the core practices found across Broad Prize Districts? 1.Curriculum and assessment 2.Instruction 3.Instructional leadership 4.Performance and accountability 5.Support for teaching and learning (professional development)

16 Curriculum and assessment Broad Prize finalist districts typically have core structure in place –Alignment to state standards –Available materials –Systems to ensure fidelity of curriculum implementation Whats exceptional –Continual review and refinement of curriculum through knowledge capture Vertical teams to review analysis and make decisions Living curriculum documents Multiple assessments and fine-grained analysis

17 Examples of best curriculum and assessment practices from Broad Prize Districts Assessments and analysis –Diagnostic assessments at school level –Interim assessments/benchmark assessments district-wide –Data systems make analysis accessible and useful – teachers and administrators can understand student performance on specific knowledge and skills Vertical teams –Long Beach: Bottom up, Top Down Review –Northside, Texas: Specialists Teams Living curriculum –Brownsville, Texas: Written, Taught and Assessed Curriculum (Fenwick English) –Northside, Texas: Curriculum Management System

18 Instruction Broad Prize finalist districts typically have core structure in place –Planning linked to standards –Time and resources –Processes for differentiation and intervention Whats exceptional –Models –Link to assessment –Innovation Clear models of instruction Tight link to formative assessments Innovation

19 Examples of best instruction practices from Broad Prize Districts Instructional models –Broward, Fla.: 7,8,9 Plan Effective schools, Marzano, Eight-step instructional process –Long Beach: Essential Elements of Effective Instruction –Brownsville: 5 E Inquiry model Links to assessment –Clear instruction cycles of approximately 6 weeks Innovation –How did you do that? –Long Beach: Example of MAP2D

20 Teaching and Learning MAP2D: Math Achievement Program Professional Development What is the story behind this particular strategy and its contribution to the success of the district?

21 MAP2D Group Control Group High Performers District Total # of Schools % ELL29.8%28.5%14.9%25.2% % Low SES84.6%80.6%51.5%73.8% % Proficient 58.5% 49.4%61.6%55.3% Math CST Results for MAP2D schools have higher percentages of ELL and free/reduced lunch students. After one year in the program, MAP2D schools surpassed the control group and the district average and approached the proficiency level of high performers. Increasing Student Achievement in Mathematics MAP2D Early Results

22 Narrowing the Achievement Gap in Mathematics Grade 5 Hispanic Students vs. White Students

23 Implementation Framework MAP2D Aspect of ImplementationThe Long Beach Way Data Driven Need and Research Based Approach Math Facts; Application of skills Identification of the Problem Limited algebra readiness; correlation between Math Facts proficiency and CAHSEE passing rate Establishing a Pre-K through 12 th Grade Context Students lacked foundational skills to pass the CAHSEE; critical grade-level transitions Stakeholder EngagementPilot, expansion, scale up Shared Decision-MakingTeacher input, teacher delivery, coaching Resource Alignment / ReallocationCoaching, training Professional Development and Communication Teacher, principal, parent training ExecutionCoaching, supervision, fidelity Analysis of ResultsInternal program evaluation

24 Instructional leadership Broad Prize Finalist Districts typically have core structure in place –Leadership accessible to teachers –Leadership modeling instructional practice –Providing regular, specific feedback Whats exceptional –Distributed leadership District Region School Classroom Student

25 Performance and accountability Broad Prize Finalist Districts typically have a core structure –Goals for staff, schools and district –Regular cycle of measurement and reporting –Evaluation Whats exceptional –Very deep alignment of goals vertically through the system, heavily influenced by Baldrige –Use of technology to track and communicate progress Student Goal Class goal School Goal Regional Goal District Goal

26 Examples of best performance and accountability practices from Broad Prize districts Alignment –Aldine, Texas: Aligned teams, roll-up scorecard –Gwinnett, Georgia: RBES Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) has developed an accountability system for improving schools called the Results- Based Evaluation System (RBES). RBES fairly and systematically measures a schools progress, providing a process that clearly communicates expectations; reviews, monitors, and supports school performance; and, evaluates that performance. GCPS RBES template

27 Building Human Capacity All previous examples are supported by strong professional development Examples from Brownsville –All elementary-level teachers in the district are dual-certified in bilingual education to support immersion program –Feedback on Blooms taxonomy, questioning skills and learner-centered instruction, using rubrics called innovation configurations that serve as tools for observers to evaluate the quality of instruction –Strong partnerships with the University of Texas, Brownsville (UTB), which provides many new teachers to the district. As a result of this partnership, the Same Page Initiative was created. This initiative aligns university curriculum with the practices of the district, providing yet-to-be hired staff insight into district practices.

28 Whats next? Curriculum and assessment –Global benchmarking –21 st century learning –Assessments to match new competitive standards Instruction and instructional leadership –Better measurements of the impact of professional development on instruction –More reliance on professional learning communities to drive instruction –Greater knowledge capture Performance and accountability –Driving down linked goals to teachers and students in more explicit ways

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