A grand bargain for education reform the giffin model
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A Grand Bargain for Education Reform The Giffin Model. 2011 Regional Conference on Strategic Compensation Awareness Akron OH May 6, 2011 Ted Hershberg & Claire Robertson-Kraft Operation Public Education University of Pennsylvania. The Giffin Model.

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A Grand Bargain for Education Reform The Giffin Model

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A Grand Bargain for Education ReformThe Giffin Model

2011 Regional Conference on

Strategic Compensation Awareness

Akron OH May 6, 2011

Ted Hershberg & Claire Robertson-Kraft

Operation Public Education

University of Pennsylvania

The Giffin Model

Matching teacher strengths with student needs

Measuring accurately before evaluating

Increasing student achievement despite larger class sizes

Developing IEPs for every student

Building a layered curricula

Class size and fiscal austerity

  • School districts everywhere will increase class size to reduce costs

  • Reducing class size was never a good investment, but everyone liked it:

    • Parents

    • Teachers

    • Teachers Unions

    • Builders

    • Construction workers

Reducing class size is a poor policy choice to increase student learning

  • It ranks 40th among 46 options

  • Feedback and direct intervention are the highest (effect sizes of 0.81)

  • Where the average is 0.40, the effect size of reducing class size is 0.12

    Source: John Hattie, Keynote, International Conference on Class Size, University of Hong Kong, May, 2005

The Giffin Model

Increasing class size now will decrease student learning and lower teacher morale

Unless we make major changes in how we group our students and assign our teachers

Let’s review the background

Growth as a Classroom Diagnostic

It provides teachers with data on the focus and impact of their instruction

It ensures a clearer understanding of a teacher’s strengths and weaknesses

It provides a means to maximize teacher and student success

Discussed in chapter 9 in A Grand Bargain for Education Reform

John Schacter has elaborated these issues in his work with former TN middle-school principal, Joel Giffin

Diagnostics 1The Focus of Instruction

Shed Pattern

This pattern – high growth for the low-achievers at the expense of others – is common in low-income communities.





Previous Achievement

Reverse Shed

In this pattern – frequently found in suburban districts – the teacher is teaching to the high achievers at the expense of other students.





Previous Achievement


In this pattern, the teacher is teaching right down the middle.





Previous Achievement

Diagnostics 2The Impact of Instruction

Value-Added: Three Results



One year’s

worth of


No Detectable Difference (NDD)



(using 3-year running averages)

Diagnostics 3Combining the Focus and Impact of Instruction



Example: Four 5th Grade Classrooms




ReadingLanguage Arts Math Social Studies



Example: High School English Dept.




9 Adv9 10 Adv10 11 Adv11 12 AP12

Shed PatternUsing Previous Academic Achievement Levels


No Detectable Difference


Low Average High

Reverse Shed PatternUsing Previous Academic Achievement LevelsExample


No Detectable Difference


Low Average High

Growth Modelthree categories of instructon

  • Highly Effective: by providing their students with high growth, teachers earn higher salaries, move up the career ladder faster, and serve as coaches and mentors

  • Effective: these teachers provide their students with a year’s worth of growth in a year

  • Ineffective: by failing to provide their students with adequate growth, these teachers undergo mandatory remediation, which can result in improvement or dismissal

    Observation protocols should provide parallel ratings

Value-added instructional results:

Attach 2 Standard Errors to those Below the District Avg.

Attach 1.5 Standard Errors to those Above the District Avg.

Highly Effective


District Average or Growth Standard

Teacher Effectiveness


  • Standard Errors are a function of:

  • Number of students taught

  • Number of data points for each student

Tent PatternUsing Previous Academic Achievement LevelsExample 2


No Detectable Difference


Low Average High

Teacher #4 Math Scatter Plot (-70 Mean VAM)




How growth was used in Tennessee’s most successful school

  • Achievement data is used to form homogeneous groups of students

  • Growth data are used to identify the specific group of students teachers are most successful with: previously low, average or high achievers

Maryville Middle School’s (MMS) TVAAS Test Scores

The Philosophy of the Giffin Model

Every student, no matter where she starts, should make learning progress from one year to the next

Teach­ers should teach the subjects and students they are most successful with

Students enter any grade level with vastly different achieve­ment levels

Students learn at different rates and in different ways

Each in­di­vi­dual student excels in some disciplines more than others

All students can exp­eri­ence success when they have the opportunity to feel challenged and successful in every class

Not Tracking

  • Fluid groupings: students are moved to other classrooms, slower paced or advanced, at any point in the school year

  • IEPs promote maximum growth, and

  • Projections make possible academic interventions to raise performance trajectories

Strengths of the Giffin Model

Maximizes teacher effectiveness and student learning

Reduces behavioral problems: students “in synch” with their curriculum means less acting out because of boredom or frustration

Saves money through larger classes for average and high-achieving students

Permits very small class sizes for students most in need

Raises educator morale despite introduction of new individual-level accountability

The New Support Structure

  • Driven by data (Integrated Assessment, Value-added Training, Value-added as a Diagnostic)

  • Job-embedded (Mentoring, Professional Learning Communities)

  • Aligned with evaluation systems (Peer Assistance and Review, Strategic Review)

  • Teacher-led (Professional Unionism)

For additional information on our

comprehensive school reform model, please contact:


or (215) 746-6477

Or see our website at http://operationpubliced.org

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