School Improvement Strategies That Promote Growth and Achievement

Presenter: Dr. Bobby Moore, Senior Director, Battelle for Kids

Summary:  There are 10 strategies learned from high growth districts. To move a strategy to into powerful practice requires using a rubric with four quadrants – collaboration, creativity, structure and achievement.  Focusing on one zone too much creates a toxic culture.

10 strategies learned from high growth districts:

  1. Limit goals – focus on what really matters. Have no more than six goals. Then work to achieve the goal by using four quadrants – collaboration, creativity, structure, achievement.
  2. Collaboration and Teacher teaming. Structure collaboration where teachers share work and discuss student learning
  3. Establish important structures and routines. What would you do to promote collaboration, creativity or student achievement?
  4. Redesign the school day to meet the needs of students, not adults. Aim for 80 minutes or more in math and ELA a day. Let teachers be creative in deciding how to find to more time in the school for reading and math. They will own and be responsible for the redesign.
  5. Embed formative instructional practices.  Have clear learning targets and share them with students. Then collect evidence of student learning; provide effective feedback to students; and develop student ownership of learning.
  6. Use response to intervention and implement it with fidelity. High growth districts are faithful to RTI and respond to those who master material and those who are struggling. Some believe that high performing students can’t improve – look at raw points, don’t focus on cut scores.
  7. Create common, quarterly, rigorous assessments. Must have collaboration and creativity of teachers for this strategy.
  8. Embrace value-added information. Don’t use for blame, but to inform improvement. Build relationships to help teachers get better.
  9. Use multiples measures of data.  Using only one measure has 10% error rate; using 5 measures has .000003% error rate.  Don’t react – respond to data.
  10. Promote leadership district wide – in high performing districts, there is no one leader.

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