Building a districtwide small schools movement
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Building a Districtwide Small Schools Movement. Oakland Community Organizations:. The organizing cycle. * Source : Oakland Community Organizations. 48 New Small Schools in Oakland 2000 - 2007. What the Research Says: Strategic Measurement and Evaluation. New small schools:

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Building a districtwide small schools movement

Building a Districtwide Small Schools Movement

Oakland Community

Organizations:


The organizing cycle

The organizing cycle

* Source: Oakland Community Organizations


48 new small schools in oakland 2000 2007

48 New Small Schools in Oakland2000 - 2007


What the research says strategic measurement and evaluation

What the Research Says: Strategic Measurement and Evaluation

  • New small schools:

  • higher percentage of Latino, ELL, and FLP students than district; higher percentage of low-performing students

  • accelerated achievement on CST ELA and math tests at higher rate than comparison schools

  • higher rates of students meeting proficiency, compared to traditional large schools from which they emerged

  • higher graduation rates, relative to comparison schools, district, county & state

  • higher student, parent, and teacher satisfaction ratings than comparison schools


What the research says stanford university study

What the Research Says:Stanford University Study

  • New schools are better able to accelerate achievement as they mature

  • Design features of small schools increase school success

  • District-level supports for small schools are effective (e.g. incubator)

  • Need to focus on supports to improve teacher retention

  • Need to pursue school closures & re-organization thoughtfully, with attention to return-on-investment, school culture, design, etc.


Annenberg study core questions

Annenberg Study:Core Questions

To what degree has OCO’s organizing influenced:

1) district policy

2) school capacity

3) student outcomes


Study overview

Study overview

  • Six year study of 8 experienced organizing groups

  • Multi-case study design using qualitative and quantitative research methods

  • Data analyzed for Oakland

    • 40 interviews (district officials, principals, teachers, organizers, parents & teachers)

    • 130 teacher surveys - large schools and new small schools

    • Use Your Voice parent and teacher surveys

    • Publicly available data (API scores, dropout rates, etc.)


Building a districtwide small schools movement

  • In what ways has OCO’s organizing influenced school district policy?


Influencing school district policy

Influencing school district policy

Within a tumultuous district context, OCO’s

organizing generated:

  • political will at the grassroots level to support and sustain the reform

  • strategic partnerships with BayCES & OUSD to ensure the necessary supports for new small schools

  • deeper and more effective district parent & community engagement practices

  • parents and community leadership across the district to take key roles within the new small schools


Influencing district policy

Influencing district policy

  • They understand how to stay in a relationship, and keep

  • it constructive so that you can live to fight another

  • battle. They don’t break it down in the process of the

  • tension; you’re always kind of pulled right to the edge,

  • but it doesn’t actually snap. So we feel like we have a

  • conflict that’s irreconcilable but then we come together

  • again as allies when the next threat shows up. And so

  • they keep coming back and we keep coming back…”

  • –District administrator

  • They’re kind of in it for the long haul, so you never

  • feel like they’re just going to come in at the initial

  • stage when you’re designing [schools] and then…

  • you’re on your own when you open the school.

  • –District administrator


Building a districtwide small schools movement

To what degree has OCO’s organizing influenced the capacity of schools to educate students successfully?


Building blocks of school capacity

Professional Culture

School Climate

Instructional Core

Building Blocks of School Capacity

  • Schools strong in these supports were ten times more likely than schools weak in these supports to show extensive gains in both reading and math (Sebring et al.,2006).

  • These supports are more likely to develop in communities with strong social capital. Community organizing is one way to build such social capital.


School capacity in new small schools

School Climate

School Capacity in New Small Schools

  • Sense of school community & safety

  • Parent influence in school-decision making

  • Teacher outreach to parents

  • Achievement-oriented culture

  • Knowledge of student culture

  • Student influence in school decision-making

  • Parental involvement in student learning


School capacity in new small schools1

Professional Culture

School Climate

School Capacity in New Small Schools

  • Teacher influence in school decision-making

  • Collective responsibility

  • Peer collaboration

  • Joint problem-solving

  • Teacher-principal trust

  • Teacher-teacher trust

  • School commitment

  • Principal instructional leadership

  • Quality professional development


School capacity in new small schools2

Professional Culture

School Climate

Instructional Core

School Capacity: in New Small Schools

  • Teacher influence in classroom decision-making

  • Educational practices and beliefs

  • Instructional focus

  • Educational goals (high school)

  • (Coherent curriculum & instruction)


Building a districtwide small schools movement

Has OCO’s organizing to create and

support the small schools policy produced measurable gains in student outcomes?


Produced measurable gains in student outcomes

Middle Schools’ Base API Scores:

Large schools versus small middle schools (1999-2007)

1000

900

API PERFORMANCE

800

TARGET

700

Large middle schools

600

Average API Score

Small middle schools

500

400

300

200

98-99

99-00

00-01

01-02

02-03

03-04

04-05

05-06

06-07

Academic Year

Produced measurable gains in student outcomes


Summary

Summary

  • In Oakland, and nationally, our study found consistent evidence of a positive relationship between organizing and improved school capacity and student outcomes

  • Findings from Oakland suggest that organizing helped to build and sustain reform, amid a tumultuous district context

  • Across the three studies, evidence for improved student outcomes

  • Small schools in Oakland rate highly on school climate & professional culture, compared to traditional large schools

  • Opportunity to make strides in instructional core


What s next

What’s next?

  • Engaging new district leadership in continuing the small schools reform

  • Keeping parent and community voices front & center – grassroots ownership of the reform is critical

  • Deepening the reform with an intensive focus on instructional rigor – necessary to continue closing the achievement gap

  • Seizing opportunities in new national environment to sustain & deepen reform


Building a districtwide small schools movement

www.annenberginstitute.org

For additional information, contact:

[email protected]

[email protected]


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