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Supporting Improved Local Education Governance through HPI Dr. Judith Hale, PhD, CPT Deb Page, CPT. The Challenge. Prior Knowledge: What is your understanding of the work of school boards in governing schools and school districts?

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supporting improved local education governance through hpi dr judith hale phd cpt deb page cpt
Supporting Improved Local Education Governance through HPI Dr. Judith Hale, PhD, CPTDeb Page, CPT
the challenge
The Challenge
  • Prior Knowledge:
    • What is your understanding of the work of school boards in governing schools and school districts?
    • What actions and decisions in a school district are not the responsibility of school boards??
slide3

Board

Works with CEO to develop strategic plan and the district’s vision, goals and objectives; provides oversight so the CEO can focus on implementation; avoids involvement “below the line.” Builds community support, engagement and investment.

“The Gray Zone”

Superintendent (CEO)

Provides the board with information to inform “above the line” work; makes policy, budget and program recommendations; administers policies, resources, personnel and the educational program. Leads the change effort for improvement.

the research is clear
The Research is Clear
  • Boards in high-achieving districts exhibit habits and characteristics that are markedly different from boards in low-achieving districts.
city schools of decatur
City Schools of Decatur
  • The City Schools of Decatur has a five member board.
  • In 2002 the board hired a new superintendent, Dr. Phyllis Edwards, and she facilitated the development of a five-year strategic plan which focused on:
the as is state 2002
The “As Is” State -- 2002
  • Enrollment had reduced by 30%, causing the need to close two to three community elementary schools.
  • The district had been under a desegregation order since 1969, but elementary schools remained either predominantly white or black/African American.
  • There were large gaps (40 point spreads) in student performance, particularly between white and black students in math and reading.
  • School buildings were old and in disrepair.
the as is state
The “As Is” State
  • Many of the quaint cottages and stately old homes within the 3.2 square miles of the city limits had fallen into disrepair
  • The city is 20 minutes from downtown Atlanta.
  • Within the same city limits children from housing projects played in the streets, and gangs marked territories.
  • As gentrification of the community was beginning, many of Decatur’s families lived below the poverty line.
  • Homeowners, especially older citizens, were keeping a close eye on the millage rate, a factor in setting property tax rates used to fund public schools in the district.
edwards also found
Edwards Also Found…
  • Lack of organizational and systemic focus and accountability.
  • Fragmented professional development and student support service.
  • Fiscal instability and weak fiscal accountability.
  • Lack of community support for changes and improvement.
  • Parents often chose to move their children to private schools after elementary school.
  • A powerful confluence of social, demographic, economic and political factors created the context for a perfect storm in the small community school district.
what they did
What They Did
  • Edwards
    • Worked with the board to establish a vision and mission for excellence in student achievement
    • Worked with the board and the community to gain support for needed changes, such as school closures
    • Provided research and information to the board
    • Led the CSD administrators, faculty and staff to implement the strategic plan
  • The Board
    • Worked with Edwards to hone and adopt the mission and a vision to become one of the top ten community school districts in the nation.
    • Supported the superintendent in developing the strategic plan and helped convince the community the changes would lead to positive results.
    • Aligned the budget to the plan and approved it
    • Studied the data, research and information
the strategic plan
The Strategic Plan
  • High quality instruction ensuring consistently challenging “knowledge work” for every student in the school system.
  • Reduce achievement gap between white and black students as evidenced by state and national test criteria.
  • Operation as a school system, rather than a system of independent schools.
  • Fiscal responsibility while maintaining educational quality.
  • Strong relationship with the community
ten years later
Ten Years Later
  • More students than the schools can serve – reopening schools and taking students from other districts who pay tuition.
  • Reduced achievement gaps from 40% to 15%; Increased graduation rate from 67.1% to 90 %.
  • Reduced millage rate from 21% to 19.9% to reduce taxpayer costs. Home values sustained and increased.
  • Increased teacher retention and quality of applicants; 100% of teachers are “highly qualified”. 300+ applicants for every teaching job.
  • 100% of elementary teachers trained in the Expeditionary Learning reform model; 100% of principals certified in teacher evaluation.
ten years later1
Ten Years Later
  • New Early Learning Center provides education birth to age 4. (Visited by President Obama 2/13 and recognized as national model of excellence.)
  • K-3 Expeditionary Learning
  • P-12 World Languages
  • International Baccalaureate Programs middle through High School.
  • High enrollment in Advanced Placement, and top performance on the AP exams
  • College and Career Academy graduates students with a career certification and college ready.
  • High school recognized in top 100 in the nation
ten years later2
Ten Years Later
  • Fiscally sound, all buildings refurbished or built new.
  • Desegregation order lifted by Dept. of Justice.
  • High levels of accountability and a laser-like focus on teaching and learning.
  • Farm-to-Table initiative for food services.
  • Passed special local option sales tax to support infrastructure development.
  • Ten-year tenure of high performing superintendent allowed for fidelity of implementation and sustained improvement.
  • 2012 strategic plan adopted with focus on 21st Century skills, student support, community engagement, leadership and fiscal stewardship.
the governance team superintendent board
The Governance Team = Superintendent + Board

Superintendent = High Performing Education Practitioner and Leader

The Board – Lay People – Usually Elected by Local Voters.

Often a Gateway to Other Local, State or National Political Roles.

eight characteristics of effective boards the center for public education 2011
Eight Characteristics of Effective BoardsThe Center for Public Education, 2011
  • Commit to a vision of high expectations for student achievement and quality instruction and define goals toward that vision.
  • Have strong shared beliefs and values about what is possible for students, and their abilities to learn, and of the system and ability to teach all students at high levels.
  • Are accountability driven, spending less time on operational issues and more time focused on policies to improve student achievement.
eight characteristics of effective boards the center for public education 20111
Eight Characteristics of Effective BoardsThe Center for Public Education, 2011

4. Have a collaborative relationship with staff and the community and establish a strong communications structure to inform and engage both internal and external stakeholders in setting and achieving district goals.

5. Are data savvy: embrace and monitor data, even when the information is negative, and use it to drive continuous improvement.

eight characteristics of effective boards the center for public education 20112
Eight Characteristics of Effective BoardsThe Center for Public Education, 2011
  • Align and sustain resources, such as professional development, to meet district goals, even in the midst of budget challenges.
  • Lead as a united team with the superintendent, each from their respective roles, with strong collaboration and mutual trust.
  • Take part in team development and training, sometimes with their superintendents, to build shared knowledge, values and commitments for their improvement efforts.
group activity
Group Activity
  • Using the Eight Characteristics of Effective School Boards, which did the CSD board demonstrate?
  • What did they do? (Tasks)
  • What were their outputs?
  • How did the superintendent support the school board?
  • How did they support her?
somewhere city
Somewhere City
  • An educator, Dr. Peterson, who had grown up in Somewhere City, taught there and then moved away and worked in a high-performing school district in another state. She returned to her home town city school district as an assistant principal and was eventually promoted to principal at the middle school.
  • A couple of years later she was promoted to Associate Superintendent in the system which was the same size as the City Schools of Decatur.
  • When the superintendent announced his retirement the board hired Dr. Peterson.
  • The board worked with her and supported her.
  • Over three years the district implemented many of the same changes as Decatur Schools.
somewhere city1
Somewhere City
  • Implemented a strong, viable standards-based curriculum and standards-based instruction.
  • Added and developed strong participation in Advanced Placement courses.
  • Added the high school International Baccalaureate program.
  • Implemented formative testing to ensure students are on track and to provide remediation and acceleration as needed.
  • Implemented dual enrollment with the local college for students to graduate from high school with two years of college completed at no cost.
somewhere city2
Somewhere City
  • Implemented standards-based grading
  • Increased graduation from 76% to 83%
  • Closed the achievement gap between all ethnic groups to within 5% difference in percent passing state tests
  • Opened a College and Career Center and Early Learning Center.
  • Balanced the budget.
  • Earned Board of Distinction award from state school board professional association.
november 2011
November 2011
  • Three board members retired and three new board members were elected.
  • Board members disagreed on direction for the system.
  • Three new board members engaged in private meetings with teachers and community members. Many of the teachers involved were those who had been required to improve their teaching practices and performance.
  • New board members refused to attend training about board roles and responsibilities.
  • Board members would not attend system and school improvement planning workshops.
by 2013
By 2013
  • Board voted to eliminate the standards-based grading.
  • Board refused to approve any of the candidates offered by the superintendent that she recommended for principal and other administrative roles. Told her the woman she felt was qualified for a middle school principal position was a nice person, but they needed a strong male in the role.
  • Enrollment in AP classes dwindled – students were unable to pass the AP exam due to ineffective teaching.
by 20131
By 2013
  • Moved the high-performing high school principal to transportation and hand picked a former coach to take the job, against the recommendation of the superintendent.
  • Promoted a board member’s daughter to assistant principal.
  • The new board-selected high school principal created an academy within the high school at the board’s direction that was almost totally white and students had no contact with the general school population.
  • Told the superintendent not to have contact with the schools, “Just stay in your office, and we will deal with the principals.”
by 20132
By 2013
  • Closed the Career Academy and the Early Learning Center.
  • Refused to sign state-required ethics documents.
  • Fired the superintendent and hired a superintendent who would do what the board told him to do.
  • Student achievement as indicated by state tests steadily declined.
  • Students left the public school system to go to private schools in the area.
  • Former Superintendent is considering legal action.
slide28

Board

Works with CEO to develop strategic plan and the district’s vision, goals and objectives; provides oversight so the CEO can focus on implementation; avoids involvement “below the line.” Builds community support, engagement and investment.

“The Gray Zone”

Superintendent (CEO)

Provides the board with information to inform “above the line” work; makes policy, budget and program recommendations; administers policies, resources, personnel and the educational program. Leads the change effort for improvement.

analyze the performance of the scs board
Analyze the Performance of the SCS Board
  • What did they do that went “below the line”?
  • How big is the gap between where they are and where they need to be?
working as a small group
Working as a small group…
  • How could the analysis of the performance of the Somewhere City Schools produce actionable data that you could share with stakeholders?
small group presentations
Small Group Presentations
  • Present your suggested steps.
  • Provide feedback to others.
what we are doing
What We Are Doing
  • The Institute for Performance Improvement supports Communities of Practice of individuals committed to helping improve education using Human Performance Improvement practices.
  • The CoPs form their own plans to learn, develop, network to help achieve their individual and collective goals.
  • There is a national crisis in school board performance.
we encourage you to
We encourage you to …
  • Learn about what school boards should and should not do to be effective.
  • Help inform others.
  • Offer to facilitate strategic planning.
  • Provide board training in collaborative support of the strategic plan without going below the line.
  • Offer support to superintendents and their boards as a CPT.
  • Network with likeminded people and form CoPs to support improved school governance in your state or district.
how can you
How can you …
  • Apply the HPT standards to facilitate school governance improvement?
a sample exercise
A Sample Exercise
  • Attend a board meeting in which the board is voting on the strategic plan.
  • Offer to support the board in developing a work plan for meaningful work of the board in service to the strategic plan.
given those goals
Given Those goals
  • What results does the board desire to achieve through its work?
  • What deliverables (outputs) must the board produce through policy, advocacy for the strategic plan and its related annual school improvement plan with the community, and alignment of the budget to the strategic plan?
  • What behaviors will produce those results and outputs?
  • What development or support does the board need to do those things?
your thoughts
Your Thoughts
  • Questions?
  • Reflections?
to learn more
To Learn More
  • Contact us at:
    • Deb@TIFPI.org
    • Judy@TIFPI.org
  • Or check out www.TIFPI.org