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Selecting Strategies for Comprehensive School Reform & Improvement

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  1. Selecting Strategies for Comprehensive School Reform & Improvement

  2. The Continuous Improvement Framework Gather school and student-level data, including evaluation results of previous interventions Evaluate results in comparison to school goals and performance targets Analyze data to determine areas for improvement Implement interventions Research and select appropriate interventions/initiatives Identify and prioritize needs Determine/refine school goals, objectives and performance targets

  3. The Needs Assessment Process: A Review • Consider your school’s needs and strengths • e.g., content area, professional development, target populations, standards alignment, community, language resources • Determine priorities • Consider resources • Research and consider different interventions or reform models • e.g., curriculum, governance, instruction, specific content areas, climate, school structure, etc. • Consider district and state mandates • Consider how a strategy or approach will: • fill identified gaps • complement current successful initiatives • meet the needs of your diverse student populations

  4. Selecting Models & Interventions: An Overview • Understanding the variety of interventions and models available • The selection process • using an inclusive decision making approach • bringing together all of your data • Narrowing down your available choices • using research to guide the selection process • speaking with potential providers and their clients • Funding • From model/intervention selection to comprehensive school reform & improvement

  5. Models & Interventions:Different Foci and Approaches • Curriculum and Instruction • subject or grade specific • attention to the core of teaching and learning • Organization and Structure • alternate configurations of teams, classrooms, schedules • governance and management, decision making • Culture and Climate • classroom management, behavior and discipline, school safety, shared accountability

  6. Selecting Models & Interventions: Inclusive Decision Making Strategic and inclusive decision making requires teams. To have effective teams: • form them, provide them with information and responsibility, and give them time to work • promote collaboration and collective inquiry

  7. The Importance of Collaboration and Relationships The ability to collaborate…is one of the core requisites of post modern society…without collaborative skills and relationships, it is not possible to learn and to continue to learn as much as you need in order to be an agent for social improvement. (Michael Fullan, 1993)

  8. Professional Learning Communities When schools attempt significant reform, efforts to form a school-wide professional community are critical.

  9. Professional Learning Communities:What are they? A professional learning community contains the following three elements: • a solid foundation consisting of collaboratively developed and widely shared mission, vision, values, and goals • collaborative teams that work interdependently to achieve common goals • a focus on results as evidenced by a commitment to continuous improvement (Eaker, DuFour, & Burnette, 2002)

  10. Selecting Models & Interventions: Focusing your Selection Process • Summarize and discuss as a team: • Needs assessment results • School level contextual considerations • Current organizational structure • School culture and climate • Philosophy of learning • District and state level considerations • Grade level requirements • District or state mandates

  11. Selecting Models & Interventions: Narrowing Down the Alternatives • Use academic target areas and prioritized results from the needs assessment to begin the discussion • Identify school assets that may support your efforts • Review sources of research-based interventions and whole-school reform programs for potential providers • Try to narrow your choices down to 3 or 4 key models or interventions that will address your area(s) of greatest need

  12. Selecting Models & Interventions: Looking for Evidence of Effectiveness Moving from local data to education research • Engage in a systematic analysis of interventions and models • Use national resources and websites to research your choices - look for evidence of improved student outcomes • Doing What Works • What Works Clearinghouse • Catalog of School Reform Models <> • Meta-Analysis of Externally Developed CSR Models <>

  13. Selecting Models & Interventions: Looking for Evidence of Effectiveness • Where to find research on model implementation and outcomes: • additional websites • peer reviewed journals • reports (e.g. CSRQ Center Report) • Guidelines for judging research-based evidence: • A CSR Practitioner’s Guide to Scientifically Based Research • Identifying and Implementing Educational Practices Supported By Rigorous Evidence • The Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education

  14. Selecting Models & Interventions:Looking for Evidence of Effectiveness When judging research evidence ask: Has this program been… • evaluated in comparison to a randomly assigned or matched control group? • studied for at least one school year? • studied at more than a few schools? • successfully implemented and replicated in diverse settings with diverse student populations? • found to significantly improve achievement?

  15. Selecting Models & Interventions:Judging the Evidence • Is the study relevant to YOUR school in YOUR setting? • Are the findings statistically significant and meaningful? • Are the results consistent across studies using different research methods? • When studies have been replicated, were the results consistent?

  16. Being a Savvy Consumer in a Research-Based World • Understand that not all information about positive effects on student achievement is equally strong. • Comparison-group research designs are identified as more efficient than single group score-gain studies (Borman, 2002). • A positive bias is found more often in evaluations that are conducted by model providers rather than by third-party evaluators (Borman, 2002).

  17. Selecting Models & Interventions:Making the Final Decision • Contact the provider and ask for additional information and a list of schools using their program in your area • Visit or talk to schools using the model/intervention • Negotiate with the model provider or have the district do this on your behalf • Have the provider clearly outline and quantify services to be provided • Include the district and/or school board in all decisions • Align resources

  18. Funding Sources • Reallocate your school’s current budget • Combine existing federal funds to support your initiatives • Titles I, II, III, IV, V • Negotiate district monies regarding professional development, materials, etc. • Seek additional federal grant monies • i.e. Smaller Learning Communities grant, 21st Century grant • EDInfo Mailing List - Weekly email messages describing federal teaching and learning resources and ED funding opportunities. • Seek monies from grant making foundations • The Foundation Center houses an online guide to philanthropy as well as an online foundations database

  19. Moving from Models & Interventions toComprehensive School Reform & Improvement Strategic and inclusive planning means… • aligning the characteristics of selected models/interventions with school needs and strengths • building a coherent and aligned strategy for school improvement and asking “Do all the pieces fit together?” • ensuring alignment with district and state requirements, mandates, and policies • keeping all student populations in mind • sharing responsibility for strategic decision making among teachers, administrators and support staff • developing mechanisms to include parents and community members in discussions (Jerald, 2005)

  20. Final Thoughts… • Both gathering research-based evidence and using professional wisdom are necessary • Stay true to the intent of NCLB • use research-based evidence to inform decision making • continually assess progress and make changes as needed • focus on the student and improving student achievement

  21. Resources on What Works and Reform Model Selection What Works Clearinghouse Catalog of School Reform Models Meta-Analysis of Externally Developed CSR Models Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement Database of CSR Schools

  22. Contact Information 222 Richmond Street, Suite 300 Providence, RI 02903-4226 Phone: 800-521-9550 Fax: 401-421-7650 Web: Program website: