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Getting Focused on Continuous Improvement

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Presentation on theme: "Getting Focused on Continuous Improvement"— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting Focused on Continuous Improvement
-J. Jay Marino Associate Superintendent for Organizational Effectiveness and Accountability, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

2 What’s Your Definition of Quality?
Every organization needs to understand what quality is and what it isn’t. (Read slide first..) At the beginning of our continuous improvement journey, we knew that we didn’t have the highest quality educational system that we could have. --> We knew that we could be better than we were. --> The first task was to be able to know there is a better way! --> We needed to understand what quality looks like, in order to obtain it.

3 (Read this first ) If you were an auto mechnanic, would you describe this as “quality“. Would you be satisfied with the safety factor? --> What if you were a customer with car trouble, would you have this guy work on your car?

4 (Read this first ) Does this look like quality work
(Read this first ) Does this look like quality work? What if you were a customer of this warehouse?

5 (Read this first ) This certainly is creative. , but is it quality
(Read this first ) This certainly is creative! , but is it quality? Would you be calling this company to work on your power lines? --> In order to achieve excellence, everyone within the organization needs to be able to define, recongize and produce quality.

6 Use some quality tools:
What are the characteristics of a continuous improvement system (district, school or classroom)? What would it look like? Use some quality tools: Brainstorm Affinity Diagram Nominal Group Technique Tables use a poster to describe “key words” – teams will share the posters. Use some type of sticky dot or diagram to show levels of experience/knowledge with quality (maybe use the same rating scale as in the radar chart for classroom continuous improvement)

7 Are We Satisfied? Consensogram: On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with the quality and results of your school system? “10” Very Satisfied- we couldn’t possibly improve or have better results “1” Very Unsatisfied- a complete overhaul and redesign is needed to fix/improve the system and its results Very Satisfied Very Unsatisfied

8 Today’s Essential Questions…
How can quality and continuous improvement processes and tools positively impact student achievement? What are the components of the continuous improvement classroom and school? How can the 7-step Plan Do Study Act cycle (Action Research) be used as a school improvement model to increase student achievement?

9 The Big Question??? -Why Quality and Continuous Improvement?

10 Why Quality and Continuous Improvement?
Answer: The World Has Changed

11 The World is Flat Permanent Change!
”The long-term opportunities and challenges that the flattening of the world puts before the United States are profound. Therefore, our ability to get by doing things the way we’ve been doing them…will not suffice any more.” Permanent Change! Thomas Friedman

12 Changing Jobs None of the top 10 jobs in 2010 exists today
-Former Ed. Secretary Richard Riley The average person today will have careers The average job will last – 5 years -U.S. Department of Labor

13 Our Challenge How do we create the learning environments that engage this generation? How do we equip these students with the skills and knowledge they need to be competitive in a global, flat world?

14 Why Quality and Continuous Improvement?
Answer: Students need a different set of skills to compete in today’s flat world

15 Education for the world ahead
Mountain View Whisman School District Education for the world ahead Academic Excellence Strong Community Broad Worldview Goal: All children supported and inspired to reach their highest potential Goal: All children supported and enriched by entire Mountain View community Goal: All children supported and prepared to thrive in a global environment Core Value: Culture of excellence Core Value: Culture of collaboration Core Value: Culture of respect Supporting Points: Student-centered use of technology Supporting Points: Supporting Points: Rigorous, results-driven instruction Teachers and staff committed to continuous improvement Can-do attitude High parental involvement and commitment City-wide enrichment services Interdependent relationships with universities and corporations Diverse student body Access to rich, multi-cultural perspectives and activities Horizon-broadening uses of technology

16 What Should We Teach? Critical thinking skill areas must be addressed:
Information processing skills Information presentation skills Independent problem solving skills Interdependent team-working skills

17 Our Greatest Challenge as Leaders…Changing Mindset…
A paradigm is any set of rules or regulations that defines boundaries and tells you how to behave. Paradigms help us get through the day, but they also can work against us. Read slide…

18 Change Process Rebuild SHOCK Acceptance Depression
(Read this first ) Organizations that better understand the change process are more likely to manage the change, rather than be managed by the change itself. --> When going through change, it is important to anticipate bumps in the road and even implementation dips before seeing results. Depression

19 Continuous Improvement Can't
Only Be Top Down! (Read this first ) We know from experience that a pure “top down” approach doesn’t work well. --> In RISD, we tried to get rid of traditional hierarchal structures by involving stakeholders in decision making and including them in the change process. --> We didn’t want to be the type of organization where employees dreaded to be on the bottom rung (point to slide). --> By empowering stakeholders in the change process, we hoped to flatten out and distribute leadership for the change process

20 Helping Others With Change… Anxiety is reduced when…
Leaders- set and communicate direction: A well-defined and clearly communicated mission, beliefs, objectives, parameters and strategies Alignment of people, resources and actions to the direction you are heading Support/opportunities to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to accomplish the communicated direction

21 Random Acts of Improvement
Aim of the Organization Goals and Measures Goals and Measures Aim of the Organization Aligned Acts of Improvement

22 Video: Goal! Let’s take a look at how a classroom teacher conferences with students regarding their goals and their data folders. (Play video 6- student data folders)

23 Goals & Top Priorities Running in all directions (misaligned arrows)
___ % know top goals (too many, changing) The front line produces bottom line ___ % are passionate about the goals ___ % of time on key goals ___ % might know goals, don’t know what to do about them


25 Why Quality and Continuous Improvement?
Answer: To align efforts and get everyone on the same page

26 Aligned Acts of Improvement
Administrators: Setting & Communicating Direction District Strategic Plan “Critical Few” GOALS = Programs, Processes & School Improvement Plans

27 Getting alignment is sometimes like herding cats

28 It’s About Alignment! Can we get everyone rowing in the same direction?

29 Why Quality and Continuous Improvement?
Answer: It’s Research Based!


31 Why Quality and Continuous Improvement?
Answer: To provide the highest quality education while preparing students to be successful in an ever changing flat world! MVWSD Goal: All children supported and prepared to thrive in a global environment

32 A Review of MVWSD Strategic Plans
So What’s Next? A Review of MVWSD Strategic Plans

Selected key elements of continuous improvement initiatives: MBO’s - Ongoing Review Process (see timeline) Project Management methodology implementation Deploy wikis in content for project management Trimester assessments measure for analysis Plan Do Check Act (PDCA) cycle for data-driven instruction and results Koality Kids for continuous improvement in the classroom for students and teachers

Refine MBO’s and ongoing review process with Leadership Team (LT) Define district version of PDCA cycle Provide professional development to LT on PDCA cycle Institute first PDCA cycles using CST and trimester assessment data (and Edusoft) Select teachers to participate in first training of Koality Kids program & determine method for sharing the program across district

35 What Does Continuous Improvement Look Like… In The Classroom?

36 Objectives Objectives are the expression of the desired, measurable end results for the district, in terms of student success, performance, and achievement. Every student will meet or exceed academic standards at each educational level. Every student will demonstrate the attitudes and social skills needed to be successful in each educational setting and in life. Every student will demonstrate personal responsibility for his/her own learning.

37 The Continuous Improvement Classroom
(Read this first ) Student data folders are used to represent student progress. --> Students maintain their own data folders (or portfolios) and share them with parents during “student led conferences”

38 Expected Outcomes of the continuous improvement classroom
#1- Increased academic achievement Student ownership, responsibility and accountability for learning Customer/student focused Results driven

39 If a visitor came to a continuous improvement classroom … They would see…

40 They Would See… The classroom mission statement displayed
Classroom goals and measures Data indicating progress towards classroom goals +/Delta from the previous day/class Action plan for the day Chairs/desks/tables arranged to support collaborative work in achieving classroom goals

41 They Would See… Grade-level/course standards in kid-friendly language
Flow chart(s) of key classroom process(es) Such as morning routine, homework, lab Regular class meetings at which goals are reviewed, progress is shared, ideas for improving the classroom learning system are shared.

42 They Would See… Students talking to visitors about the classroom learning system, the class mission, goals and measures Student-led conferences with parents to share progress toward learning goals

43 They Would Feel… A sense of learning community
Shared accountability toward achieving class and personal goals- raising achievement Excitement about learning A willingness to collect and analyze data to improve the learning system A commitment to continual improvement


45 What Does Continuous Improvement Look Like… As a School Improvement Model (Teams Working in Professional Learning Communities)

46 PLC’s & PDSA Educators continuously seek and share learning (to be able to act on what they learn) to increase student achievement Goal of their action is to enhance their effectiveness as professionals Teams of teachers collaboratively seek out research and best practices Utilization of the 7 step, data-driven process of Plan-Do-Study-Act

47 Once teachers became familiar with using the PDSA cycle, they began to use it in the classroom with students.





52 ITBS Language Total Scores
This data shows “the big picture” of language proficiency …

53 This data “digs deeper” through sub test areas of language skills…

54 Vocabulary This data “digs deeper through disaggregation ” of student subgroup population proficiency …

55 Subgroups: African American American Indian IEP Low Income

56 After reviewing assessment data, teachers discuss options at a team meeting and decide to form a study group & use the PDSA cycle in their learning community They define how they are currently teaching vocabulary (flowcharts) The team determines what other in-process measures they could use to see how students are doing in vocabulary and they collect baseline data (Run Charts & Pareto Diagrams) The team reviews baseline data and discusses root causes for the results they have (Cause & Effect/Relations Diagrams) Once root causes are identified, each member gathers research and best practices related to vocabulary instruction and submits them to the team for review and discussion (Improvement Theory)

57 Teams continue to use the PDSA cycle to make improvements in the realm of their professional learning community Members reflect, observe, practice, receive feedback, gain expertise and standardize the new vocabulary instruction practice (new flowchart) Members collect vocabulary achievement data to determine effectiveness of strategies Members invite each other into their classrooms to observe and provide feedback to each other The team writes an Action Plan to carry out the improvement theory in their classrooms. Members build background, practice newly-learned strategies, and reflect on the effectiveness of the strategies

58 The Critical Role of Walking Your Talk Simply put: “If the leaders don’t get significantly involved with the effort, no one else will take it seriously.” (Read this first --> ) A lesson learned by fortune 500 companies was (read slide…) In Rock Island school district, we were lucky enough to have a CEO that lead the continuous improvement effort by example. --> He inspired and motivated others to believe there was a better way. He lead the charge and empowered others to lead the change process. --> He ensured that when he left his post last year, the continuous improvement efforts would continue. --> That CEO (Dr. David Markward) is now the Superintendent of Cedar Rapids Community School District, where continuous improvement is alive and growing daily under his leadership. --> I might also add that he hired a heck of an Assistant Superintendent to help keep continuous improvement moving forward. (ok, you were supposed to chuckle at that)

59 Question: Why Quality and Continuous Improvement?
Answer: The World Has Changed Answer: Students need a different set of skills to compete in today’s world Answer: To align efforts and get everyone on the same page Answer: It’s Research Based! Answer: To provide the highest quality education while preparing students to be successful in an ever changing Flat world! Answer: To accomplish the MVWSD Goal: All children… prepared to thrive in a global environment

60 Are We Satisfied? Revisit the Consensogram… would we change our initial response? Can continuous improvement processes and tools help us increase student achievement? Very Unsatisfied Very Satisfied I doubt it Definitely!

61 What’s Your Definition of Quality?
Would your staff recognize quality when they see it? What’s Your Definition of Quality? (Read this first ) At the beginning of the presentation, I stressed the importance of employees knowing what quality is and isn’t. --> This is one of the fist steps on road to continuous improvement. --> I leave you with a few situations and ask if you would define these as “quality”? Every organization needs to understand what quality is and what it isn’t.

62 --> I hope whatever the people in the protective gear are looking at- isn‘t too contaminating!
--> It doesn‘t seem to bother this guy (By the way, I got this photo off of the internet, I hope this isn‘t someone who‘s attending today‘s conference)

63 --> I wonder what Osha or the electrical contractors union would say about this?
--> I wonder if he was also sipping on those bottles in the picture before starting this job! --> Is this quality?

64 --> Lastly, we liked the quality of this so much, we have the same set up outside to change a light at the top of the hotel, do we have any volunteers?

65 Your Mission (should you choose to accept it!)
To function as a professional learning community and utilize the PDSA cycle and quality tools to improve student achievement! Are you ready?

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