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Breaking Ranks: The Comprehensive Framework for School Improvement

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Presentation on theme: "Breaking Ranks: The Comprehensive Framework for School Improvement"— Presentation transcript:

1 Breaking Ranks: The Comprehensive Framework for School Improvement
NASSP: Patti Kinney, Middle Level Services John Nori, Program Development

2 Breaking Ranks: A Dynamic Framework
History: Breaking Ranks – NASSP published this “manifesto” to call upon HS principals to change the way they think about high schools and made 82 recommendations for change Breaking Ranks II – 2004 – NASSP consolidated the recommendations to 31 that focus on areas that principals have control over and included stories from successful principals “in their own words.” Breaking Ranks in the Middle – 2006 – NASSP incorporated benefits, challenges, and measures of success into a middle level focused book that includes vignettes of school success tied to recommendations in the book. Breaking Ranks: A Field Guide for Leading Change – 2009 – This book moves from the “what” of school change to the “ how” of school change. By providing a process to answer the question, “How do we make those changes happen in our school?” NASSP has moved the middle level and high school reform needle from simply adopting products and programs to a true continuous process of engagement and improvement. 1996 2004 2006 2009 2010 2011 2

3 The Breaking Ranks Framework
Why does your school need to improve? What needs to improve? How do we improve our school? Who? Do YOU and YOUR TEAM have what it takes to create a culture for change?

4 The WHY of School Improvement

5 “The way we do things around here.”
What is school culture? “The way we do things around here.”

6 “Culture eats strategies for breakfast.”
Peter Drucker Changing culture is the only road to significant and lasting school improvement.

7 Power of School Culture
A sense of community increases student performance and engagement. A positive culture increases the staff’s sense of efficacy and engagement in teaching & learning. ~Bill Simmer, Independent School Management

8 The Layers of Culture Observable Values & Beliefs
Staff handbook, logo, types of meetings, grouping of students, daily schedule, celebrations, signs, announcements, public roles. Values & Beliefs Vision, what we believe about teaching, learning, schooling, education, children and parenting expressed in what we say and do. Collective Assumptions Taken for granted understandings about what’s worth doing; the hidden psychological level. *Greatest leverage for change is here

9 Re-culturing A change in beliefs and a willingness to rethink old beliefs and assumptions that underlie stuck behaviors. A shift in point of orientation from outward to inward. The creation of new mental models that serve us better.

10 ≠ Structural Change Cultural Change
“If you attempt to implement reforms but fail to engage the culture of a school, nothing will change.”—Seymour Sarason Changing structures and rearranging the organizational chart does not equal a change in school culture. Yet, school reform efforts have focused almost exclusively on changing the structure of schools and have ignored the key to creating a shift in school culture—the way people interact and work together. 10 10

11 Structural Changes RTI Advisories Detracking Flexible Grouping
Inclusion Classes Flexible Schedules Interdisciplinary Teams Ninth-Grade Academies Common Planning Time Small Learning Communities Elementary Departmentalization Professional Learning Communities “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality,” notes Warren Bennis (2008). To accomplish this translation, perhaps the most critical skill the school principal can bring to the table is that of understanding and managing the complex changes that must occur if schools are to improve. What is required is deep change (that) alters the system in fundamental ways, offering a dramatic shift in direction and requiring new ways of thinking and acting, what Marzano Waters, and McNulty (2005) refer to as “second-order” change. What most schools instead produce is “first-order change”: incremental change (that) fine-tunes the system through a series of small steps that do not depart radically from the past (p. 19 BR Field Guide) All of these structural or “first-order” changes work if they are supported by fundamental “second-order” changes. If teachers use the same methods to teach the same lessons to essentially the same students in the same time frames using the same assessments, what make us think that anything will really change? 11 11

12 Cultural Changes Common Set of Beliefs New Ways of Interacting
Heightened Expectations Honest Examination of “reality” Shared Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals Fullan describes culture as “the shared values and beliefs in the organization.” The Hay Group defines culture as the things that people “agree are true” and “agree are right.” However, when illustrating these ‘shared agreements,’ they described behaviors of what they called “high value-added schools:” 1. Measuring and Monitoring 2. Continuous improvement 3. Raising capability—helping students learn to learn 4. Focusing on value-added—one student success at a time 5. Promoting excellence—never being satisfied 6. Putting student needs before staff wants 7. Learning from one another “Culture is like the auto-pilot or mindset of a school. It is a combination of all the attitudes, beliefs, and values that guide the behavior of those in the school. Unless the programming for the auto-pilot is changed, the school will repeatedly return to its prior ways of operating and no real change will take place. For example, some researchers believe that punitive grading systems are a major contributor to decreased student motivation. Teachers who believe that grades are a lever to force students into improving will behave one way. Teachers who believe that grades are tools to use to encourage students to learn and improve will behave in a quite different manner. Unless the staff changes its mindset about grading and the purpose of grading, little real change will take place.” Unless we, as school leaders, can change the culture, the auto-pilot of our schools, nothing will change. 12 12

13 Culture Mindset By Carol Dweck If 2/3 of our teachers have a fixed mindset and believe that student achievement is based on ability, how would that affect achievement? 13

14 The WHAT of School Improvement

15 The “WHAT” of the Breaking Ranks® Framework
Cornerstones Core Areas Recommendations Leadership Assessment Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Collaborative Leadership Equity 12 recommendations 9 recommendations Relationships Improved Student Performance Culture Instruction Personalizing your School Environment Curriculum 8 recommendations Organization Professional Development

16 An integrated approach…
Collaborative Leadership Personalizing your School Environment Improved Student Performance Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Culture Leadership Professional Development Organization Equity Relationships Instruction Curriculum 9 recommendations 8 recommendations 12 recommendations

17 The How of School Improvement

18 Change “The only person who likes change is a baby with a wet diaper.”
- Mark Twain As Mark Twain said, “The only person who likes change is a baby with a wet diaper.”


20 There is Light at the End of the Tunnel

21 A Process Circle for Guiding Change
To help you lead that change we have developed a diagram of the change process—the Process Circle—defined in Chapter 2. We will use the segments of the Process Circle to describe the elements of creating a culture for sustainable change. The diagram incorporates critical components that should come as no surprise to any school leader familiar with change. While your team may have its own model to guide your efforts, those efforts must include all six of the steps. The circle is intended to graphically represent continuous activity and the possibility of multiple entry points and will help organize the segments of the change process. Following the general discussion of the Process Circle you will find in Chapter 3 real-school stories. To provide you with examples of change leadership concepts in action, two top performing principals were interviewed in detail. Both were highly successful in instituting major changes under challenging conditions. Their success is validated by the positive student outcomes they obtained that have been sustained over time. (JRN—again stolen from the book)

22 Change “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” - Albert Einstein

23 The Who of School Improvement

24 What skills do school leaders need?


26 Identified Weaknesses
Setting Instructional Direction Developing Others Written Communications

27 The Breaking Ranks Framework
Why does your school need to improve? What needs to improve? How do we improve our school? Who? Do YOU and YOUR TEAM have what it takes to create a culture for change?

28 Interested in learning more about NASSP programs, products and services? Please fill out and return the NASSP Request Form and we’ll be in touch!

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