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Interventions in Low-Performing Schools and Districts: State Policies

Interventions in Low-Performing Schools and Districts: State Policies. January 2007. NCLB Restructuring Options. Close and reopen as charter schools: 12 states (ECS, 2004) 16 states (Ed Week, 2007) Reconstitute staff in low-performing schools: 12 states (ECS, 2004)

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Interventions in Low-Performing Schools and Districts: State Policies

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  1. Interventions in Low-Performing Schools and Districts: State Policies January 2007

  2. NCLB Restructuring Options • Close and reopen as charter schools: • 12 states (ECS, 2004) • 16 states (Ed Week, 2007) • Reconstitute staff in low-performing schools: • 12 states (ECS, 2004) • 30 states (Ed Week, 2007)

  3. NCLB Restructuring Options • Contract with an entity to operate: • 14 states (ECS, 2004) • 18 states (Ed Week, 2007) • Turn over operation to state education agency (or agency designees): • 24 states (ECS, 2004) • 20 states (Ed Week, 2007)

  4. NCLB Restructuring Options • Implement “other” major restructuring of governance arrangement: • 12 states (ECS, 2004) • 29 states (Ed Week, 2007) • Restructuring policies enacted prior to NCLB: 24 states

  5. Restructuring: Options or Mandates? • It appears that for the majority of states, no one means of restructuring is mandated. • For the majority, a local district or the state board selects one of several options. • How often does this result in a choice of the weakest intervention? Does it matter?

  6. What are we learning?

  7. 2007 report from Mass Insight Three Core Principles • Marginal change yields marginal results.Chronically underperforming schools require dramatic change that is tuned to the high-poverty enrollments they tend to serve. “Light touch” school improvement and traditional methods are not enough. Igniting School Turnaround at Scale: A Framework for State Intervention in Chronically Underperforming Schools, Mass Insight, 2007

  8. 2007 report from Mass Insight Three Core Principles • Dramatic change requires bold, comprehensive action from the state.With rare exceptions, schools and districts – essentially conservative cultures – will not undertake the dramatic changes required for successful turnaround on their own. Igniting School Turnaround at Scale: A Framework for State Intervention in Chronically Underperforming Schools, Mass Insight, 2007

  9. Three Core Principles • Dramatic change at scale requires that states find ways to add new capacity – and galvanize districts to unleash it where it currently exists.States cannot implement turnaround on the ground at the scale of need. Their role is to trigger new approaches that (a) build on what we know from high-performing, high-poverty schools; (b) expand turnaround capacity; and (c) create the conditions in which people can do their best work. Igniting School Turnaround at Scale: A Framework for State Intervention in Chronically Underperforming Schools, Mass Insight, 2007

  10. Igniting School Turnaround at Scale: A Framework for State Intervention in Chronically Underperforming Schools, Mass Insight, 2007 • There is a critical need for leadership consensus-building at the state level (governors, legislature, urban superintendents, board chairs, business/foundations/nonprofits), since turnaround has no natural constituency and is prone to political setbacks such as what happened in Maryland. Igniting School Turnaround at Scale: A Framework for State Intervention in Chronically Underperforming Schools, Mass Insight, 2007 I

  11. A potential state framework From Igniting School Turnaround at Scale: A Framework for State Intervention in Chronically Underperforming Schools Mass Insight 2007

  12. Recent State Policies(2006)

  13. Address school improvement plans

  14. Illinois S.B. 2829 • Peer review process for evaluation of school improvement plans • Parents & outside experts must be involved in development of plans

  15. Florida H.B. 7087 • Local boards annually must approve improvement plans. • Beginning with plans approved for implementation in the 2007-2008 school year, each secondary school plan must include a redesign component based on the principles established in the High School Redesign Act.

  16. Florida H.B. 7087 • School improvement plans are required to, at a minimum, also include: • Professional development that supports enhanced and differentiated instructional strategies • Continuous use of disaggregated studentachievement data to determine effectiveness of instructional strategies • Ongoing informal and formal assessments to monitor individual student progress, including progress toward mastery of the Sunshine State Standards, and to redesign instruction if needed • Alternative instructional delivery methods to support remediation, acceleration, and enrichment strategies.

  17. Perform triage

  18. New Jersey AB 3676 Performance Continuum • Status re-evaluated every three years • Goes as far as “full state intervention” • Allows forpartial state intervention • Can order budget changes • If vacant, can appoint superintendent • May appoint highly skilled professional for direct oversight • Add three members to board of education

  19. Enhance local control, local accountability

  20. Recent policy changes: Virginia Standards for accreditation • For low-performing schools/districts, board writes a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) • MOU can include a turnaround specialist • Local board may reconstitute or close a school

  21. Strengthen building-level leadership

  22. Georgia Academic Coach Program GAC 160-1-4-.271 • Purpose: Provides for the employment of an Academic Coach at a public school based on the teaching and learning needs identified in the school improvement plan for the 2006-07 school year. • Academic coaches work with principals to develop a 2006-07 Focus Plan; the Focus Plan will include a monthly account of the work of the coach and will serve to benchmark the program implementation; and evidence of program implementation will include submission of team agendas; and minutes, schedules for demonstrating, modeling, and observing lessons and reflections. • Eligible recipients. Public school districts and public middle and high schools are eligible to receive funds (application based system). State target areas for the 2006-07 school year were identified as middle school and high school math and science. • Criteria for Award. Improvement plans are reviewed by a panel • For prioritization for funding • Grant awards are awarded based on half-day (three periods) release time for the Academic Coach at the state salary scale of the Academic Coach. • First deadline for application was March 16, 2006.

  23. Arkansas 3-Phase Program: • Expanding the knowledge base and leadership skills of the principal • Requiring the principal to apply strategies and collect evidence of improvement in student learning and school processes • Requiring the principal to publicly demonstrate the ability and skills that lead to sustained academic improvement.

  24. Arkansas 3-Phase Program: • Administered by the Arkansas Leadership Academy • Provides annual bonuses for qualified principals serving in schools in academic distress • Bonuses highest for “master” principals serving in the highest-need schools – up to $25,000 a year, with an additional $15,000 after three years and another $10,000 after five years.

  25. Virginia Governor Warner’s Turnaround Specialists • Program designed to develop a cadre of principals who specialize in turning around chronically troubled schools • Ten specialists a year for two years • Focus on business and education strategies that have proved effective in turning around low-performing organizations.

  26. Virginia Governor Warner’s Turnaround Specialists • Each specialist serves under contract as the principal of a low-performing school for a minimum of three years • Specialists are eligible for incentives such as additional retirement benefits or deferred compensation.

  27. Tennessee • Schools that are not making AYP receive intensive weekly services on site through the Tennessee Exemplary Educator Program • Program targets schools with the greatest need to improve student achievement.

  28. Tennessee • Selects and provides training to a cadre of recently retired educators who work for the department as independent contractors • These individuals begin working with a school once it has been identified by the state and put on notice that it is in need of improvement, and continue to work with the school until it makes AYP for two years.

  29. Selected Tennessee educators: • Model innovative teaching strategies • Serve as mentors to principals and teachers • Analyze student performance data • Connect schools with professional development providers • Build capacity for continuous improvement.

  30. Deregulate

  31. Massachusetts Guidelines for Commonwealth Pilot Schools Option • The Commonwealth Pilot School (Co-Pilot) model is framed around the following principles: • Provide maximum autonomy over resources, in exchange for increased accountability for student results • Ensure buy-in and ownership of the Commonwealth Pilot School model by the school community • Ensure that the right conditions are in place for each school to be successful • Closely document the progress and process of each school, so that there is ample data and feedback to use in mid-course correction and improvement • http://www.doe.mass.edu/sda/news06/pilotguide_draft.pdf.

  32. Massachusetts DRAFT Guidelines for Commonwealth Pilot Schools Option • The Board of Education has agreed to offer four chronically underperforming schools a choice: • To become a Commonwealth Pilot School, patterned on the Pilot School model developed and implemented within the Boston Public Schools, or • To be declared a chronically underperforming school, making the school subject to increased state intervention and oversight and expanding district and school leadership authority in accordance with state law.

  33. Commonwealth Pilot School Option • Patterned largely after the Pilot School model that was created within the Boston Public Schools • Partnership among the Boston Mayor, School Committee, Superintendent, and Teachers Union (BTU).

  34. Free from constraints in order to be more innovative; pilot Schools are subject to state and federal laws but are exempt from district policies and mandates Pilot Schools’ governing boards have increased authority over traditional school councils. Pilot Schools

  35. Massachusetts Pilot Schools • Teachers are exempt from teacher union contract work rules, while still receiving union salary, benefits, and accrual of seniority within the district • Teachers voluntarily choose to work at Pilot Schools; when hired, they sign what is called an “election-to-work agreement,” which stipulates the work conditions for the school for the coming school year. This agreement is approved by the school’s governing board, and revisited and revised annually with teacher input.

  36. Provide regional assistance

  37. Ohio’s Statewide system for School Improvement Support • Emphasizes a collaborative partnership in which members of the Regional School Improvement Teams (RITs) engage with district and instructional leaders in a dialogue regarding district and building data using an integrated framework for aligning data and planning.

  38. Ohio Regional School Improvement Teams • 12 teams, each specializing in specific aspect (technology, for example) • Each works with districts using a Tri-Tier, with the lowest performing districts receiving the greatest intensity of services to increase student achievement(triage approach).

  39. Provide models

  40. Virginia • Established criteria for reading and math models or programs • Published descriptions of programs that have been approved by the state board of education, along with instructional materials that have proved successful with low-achieving students.

  41. The North Carolina state board is required to: • Identify schools that successfully made AYP • Study the instructional, administrative and fiscal practices and policies used by these schools • Create assistance models based on these policies and practices, with the assistance of the schools of education in the state university system and the University of North Carolina Center for School Leadership Development.

  42. The North Carolina state board must: • Provide technical assistance first to those districts with high concentrations of schools that are not meeting AYP (triage) • Determine the number that can be served effectively in the first two years.

  43. Quality assurance (too little of this)

  44. Quality Assurance: The Delaware Department • Commissions an annual independent survey to determine the level of satisfaction – school boards, school administrators, teachers, parent organizations and the business community – dependent on the department’s services and policies.

  45. More state approaches to restructuring

  46. Missouri – If a school is found to be “academically deficient” after two educational audits, policies target both the school and board: (1) The local school board may suspend, after due process, the indefinite contracts of “contributing teachers” (2) The state commissioner may, on the recommendation of the second audit team, conduct a recall election of local school board members

  47. Missouri (cont’d.) (3) The local school board may not grant tenure to any probationary teacher until one year after the “academically deficient” designation is lifted (4) The local school board may not issue new contracts or renew contracts to either the superintendent or the principal for a period of longer than one year.

  48. Colorado Restructuring Provision • Requires the state board to recommend that the school be converted to an independent charter school, unless the school case it is allowed to continue to operate makes a specific amount of improvement, in which under the improvement plan for another year • If school “unsatisfactory” after the second full year of its improvement plan, the state board must then seek proposals from contractors to manage the school.

  49. Louisiana’s Recovery School District: The recovery school district may assume jurisdiction over a chronically low-performing school if any of the following conditions exist: • A local school board fails to present a plan to reconstitute the failed school to the state board of education • A local school board presents a reconstitution plan that is unacceptable to the state board.

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