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Making Your Work Count: Results Based Accountability in Community Schools Karen Finn, Senior Consultant

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Presentation on theme: "Making Your Work Count: Results Based Accountability in Community Schools Karen Finn, Senior Consultant"— Presentation transcript:

1 Making Your Work Count: Results Based Accountability in Community Schools Karen Finn, Senior Consultant

2 What is Results-Based Accountability (RBA)? A disciplined way of thinking and taking action that communities can use to improve the lives of children, youth, families and the community as a whole. It can also be used to improve the performance of programs, agencies and service systems.

3 Based on the work of Mark Friedman: WEBSITES: BOOK and DVD ORDERS:


5 Results Accountability is about…  Unified purpose: focusing the energy of multiple partners on continuously improving the most important measures of well-being  Transparency: Using data and effective questions to access facts and the “story behind the facts” to move quickly to action  Communication power: Being able to tell your story in the most compelling and data- driven way

6 RBA in a Nutshell 2 – 3 – 7  2 Kinds of Accountability plus Language Discipline Population- or Community-Level Quality of Life (Results & Indicators) Performance- or Program-Level (Performance Measures) 3 Kinds of Performance Measures How much did we do? How well did we do it? Is anyone better off? 7 Questions From Ends to Means (In less than an hour) 6

7 FPSI/RLG7 Starting at the “End” The well-being of Customer POPULATIONS The well-being of WHOLE POPULATIONS Communities – Cities – Counties – States - Nations Programs – Agencies-Schools – and Service Systems

8 Leaking Roof (Results thinking in everyday life) Experience: Measure: Story behind the baseline (causes): Partners: What Works: Action Plan: Inches of Water ? Fixed Not OK Turning the Curve

9 The 7 Effective Questions of Population Accountability 1 What are the quality of life conditions we want for our children, youth, families and communities? (Results) 2 How will we measure these conditions? (indicators) 3 How are we doing on the most important measures? (baseline) and where will these measures be if we do nothing differently? (forecast) 4 What is the story behind the baseline? 5 Who are our partners with a role to play to help us do better? 6 What works to improve our baseline? 7 What do we propose to do?

10 THE LANGUAGE TRAP Too many terms. Too few definitions. Too little discipline Benchmark Target IndicatorGoal Result Objective Outcome Measure Modifiers Measurable Core Urgent Qualitative Priority Programmatic Targeted Performance Incremental Strategic Systemic Lewis Carroll Center for Language Disorders

11 DEFINITIONS RESULT INDICATOR PERFORMANCE MEASURE Children born healthy, Children succeeding in school, Safe communities, Clean Environment, Prosperous Economy Rate of low-birthweight babies, Rate of high school graduation, crime rate, air quality index, unemployment rate 1. How much did we do? 2. How well did we do it? 3. Is anyone better off? A condition of well-being for children, adults, families or communities. A measure which helps quantify the achievement of a result. A measure of how well a program, agency or service system is working. Three types: = Customer Results or Outcomes

12 From Ends to Means From Talk to Action ENDS MEANS RESULT INDICATOR PERFORMANCE MEASURE Customer result = Ends Service delivery = Means From Talk to Action


14 POPULATION ACCOUNTABILITY For Whole Populations in a Geographic Area

15 On the worksheet…  Define your community (Neighborhood, city, catchment area)  Think about your community and complete the following sentences:  We want children who are…….  We want youth who are…..  We want families who are…..  We want schools that are…..  We want our community to be…..

16 Maryland Child Well-Being Results  Babies born healthy  Healthy children  Children enter school ready to learn  Children are successful in school  Children completing school  Children safe in their families and communities  Stable and economically independent families  Communities that support family life

17 New Mexico Children’s Cabinet  Children and youth will be involved  Children and youth will be educated  Children and youth will be safe  Children and youth will be supported  Children and youth will be healthy

18 VERMONT’S OUTCOMES  Families, youth and individuals are engaged in their community’s decisions and activities  Pregnant women and young children thrive  Children are ready for school  Children succeed in school  Children live in stable, supported families  Youth choose healthy behaviors  Youth transition to adulthood  Adults lead healthy and productive lives  Elders and people with disabilities live with dignity and independence in settings they prefer  Communities provide safety and support for families and individuals

19 New York State Touchstones  Economic Security  Family  Education  Community  Physical and Mental Health  Vocational  Economic Security Goal:  Youth will be prepared for their eventual economic self-sufficiency  Family Goal:  Families will provide children will safe, stable and nurturing environments  Physical and Mental Health Goals  Children and youth will have optimal physical and emotional health

20 Some Suggested Results for Community Schools:  Students are ready to enter school  Students are healthy: physically, socially and emotionally  Students are actively involved in learning and their community  Students succeed academically  Communities are desirable places to live  Families are actively involved in their children’s education  Schools are engaged with families and communities

21 On the worksheet…  Turn you answers to the questions into results statements:  Select one result and write how people in your community would experience this result

22 Potential Indicators  Students are actively involved in learning and on their community:  Attendance rates  Early chronic absenteeism  Tardiness  Truancy  Students succeed academically:  Standardized test scores:  Proficiency in reading  Proficiency in math  Graduation rates  Drop-out Rates

23 Potential Indicators  Students are healthy: physically, socially and emotionally:  Asthma rates  Body Mass Index  Vision, hearing and dental status  Suspensions for violent attacks

24 Sources for Indicators  Child Trends:   Community Schools Evaluation Toolkit   Annie E. Casey Foundation KidsCount:   New York Touchstone Data: 

25 Criteria for Choosing Indicators as Primary vs. Secondary Measures Communication Power Proxy Power Data Power Does the indicator communicate to a broad range of audiences? Does the indicator say something of central importance about the result? Does the indicator bring along the data HERD ? Quality data available on a timely basis.

26 Choosing Indicators Worksheet Result_______________________ Candidate Indicators Communication Power Proxy Power Data Power H M L H Measure 1 Measure 2 Measure 3 Measure 4 Measure 5 Measure 6 Measure 7 Measure 8 H D ata D evelopment A genda Children and youth are healthy H M L H M L H H H L 13

27 On the worksheet…  For the one result that you selected, list all the potential indicators for that result in the chart provided.  Rate each indicator as to whether it is high, medium or low on communication power, proxy power and data power.

28 The Matter of Baselines Baselines have two parts: history and forecast H M L History Forecast Turning the Curve Point to Point OK?

29 Results-Based Decision Making Getting from Talk to Action Population: Children in Buffalo Result: Children have optimal physical and emotional health Indicator(s): (measures of our result) Target Baselines: - Asthma rate Story behind the baselines: The causes, the forces at work… Partners with a role to play: What works: Information & research about solutions Action Plan and Budget Criteria Specificity Leverage Values Reach Forecast

30 Turn the curve exercise…..  In small groups of 6-8 people  On the worksheet provided:  Write the result you want to work on  Write the indicator to measure this result  Draw a graph of the indicator (or use the one provided)  Determine if the indicator is going in the right direction.

31 What is the story behind the curve?  What are some of the causes and forces at work in your community for this indicator?  Ask the question “why” three times to get at root causes  What are the key contributing factors?  Write these on your report.  Who are the partners with a role to play in helping you “turn the curve”?

32 What works?  What works to address these causes and forces?  Creative Brainstorming:  No judgment;  Include at least one low-cost, no-cost idea  Include at least one off-the-wall, outrageous idea  Passionate Selling:  Each person selects the idea they are most passionate about and tries to sell everyone else on that idea  Prioritization: Select your top three ideas that have the most leverage to impact the indicator and are feasible and affordable  Write your top three ideas, off the wall idea and low- cost, no-cost idea on your report

33 ONE PAGE Turn the Curve Report: Population Result: _______________ Indicator (Lay Definition) Indicator Baseline Story behind the baseline --------------------------- --------------------------- (List as many as needed) Partners --------------------------- --------------------------- (List as many as needed) Three Best Ideas – What Works 1. --------------------------- 2. --------------------------- 3. ---------No-cost / low-cost Sharp Edges 4. --------- Off the Wall

34 Acknowledgements: Many of these materials draw from the work of:  Mark Friedman, Founder of the Fiscal Policies Study Institute and author of “Trying Hard is Not Good Enough”    Phil Lee, Founder and President of the Results Leadership Group: 

35 Other References and Interesting Reading:  Edward DeBono: Six Hats Thinking  Peter Senge ( The Fifth Discipline and the Fifth Discipline Fieldbook  Margaret Wheatley: Finding our way: Leadership for uncertain times  Margaret Wheatley with Myron Rogers: The uses and abuses of measurement. In: Finding our way, Leadership for uncertain times (p. 156-162)

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