BEHIND BEST PRACTICES: DISTRICT LEADERSHIP IMPERATIVES FOR EXCELLENCE AND EQUITY 2013 AVID NATIONAL CONFERENCE Grapevine, TX December 13, 2013 Robert L. Jarvis, Ph.D. Director of the Delaware Valley Consortium for Excellence and Equity Co-Director of the New Jersey Network To Close the Achievement Gaps Director of the Long Island Consortium for Excellence and Equity Penn Center for Educational Leadership Graduate School of Education University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
ROADMAP FOR THE DAY O What Brings Us Together: Shared Commitments and
O O O O O
Spirit of Collaboration in Creating More Excellent Outcomes For ALL Students From Where I/We Come Moving Toward Excellence and Equity in Policy and Practice: Addressing Opportunity and Achievement Gaps Leadership Matters! System Gaps That Perpetuate Achievement Gaps What We Are Learning: Promising Practices in Creating More Equitable Outcomes in Achievement and Attainment District Sharing of Successes and Challenges
THE SHIFTING CONTEXT OF SCHOOLING O Shifting Demographics: Racial/Ethnic & O O O O
Economics Common Core Teacher and Administrator Evaluation and Accountability-Assessment School Funding and Resources “Choice” Via Charters and Vouchers
What Brings You To The Conversation Today?
FACTORS AFFECTING OUR STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC SUCCESS: IT’S COMPLEX O Past Learning Opportunities and
O Physical Well-Being O Attitudes Toward Learning, School and O O O O
Academic Life Personal and Social-Emotional Well-Being Intellectual Development Learning and Study Behaviors Nature and Quality of Instruction, Curriculum, Assessment and Academic Support
WHAT DISAGGREGATED DATA SHOULD WE BE EXAMINING IN ORDER TO DEFINE OUR “SUCCESS” AS A DISTRICT? O Student and Parent Perceptions of Their Experiences O Student Assessments (State Assessments, AP, IB, PSAT/SAT
Performance, 21st Century Learning Skills and Habits of Mind)
O Student Grades/GPA O Enrollment Patterns in Advanced Placement, International O O O O O O O
Baccalaureate, Honors, Gifted, Math and Science Courses Enrollment Patterns in Title 1-Remedial Programs, Special Education Discipline Referral Rates and Consequences Extracurricular Involvement Attendance Rates and Patterns High School Graduation Rates College-Going Rates/Attending First College Of Choice College Persistence and Success
As Leaders, What Are Your Assumptions As To Why Achievement Gaps Exist Between Subgroups Of Students In American Schools? In Your Schools?
ELIMINATING ACHIEVEMENT AND ATTAINMENT GAPS Confidence (What We/I Believe) Competence (What We/I Do)
PROTECTIVE FACTORS THAT NURTURE STUDENT RESILIENCE AND SUCCESS O High Expectations (Rigor) O Meaningful Participation (Relevance) O Caring Adults (Relationship)
DISTRICT AND SCHOOL ORGANIZATIONAL FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE GAPS O O O O O O O O
Pre-K and K Opportunities Early Literacy Strategies/Initiatives K-3 Variability in Students’ Exposure To Effective Instruction and Learning Experiences School Culture of Adults: Trust-Respect-Collaboration Educators Assumptions About and Communication of Different Expectations For Children Who Are “Outside the Norm” Access and Opportunities To Learn At High Levels: Ability Grouping and Tracking Time To Learn Quality Of and Collaboration Between Family And School
YOUR DISTRICT VISION, MISSION, AND COMMITMENTS
GOALS OF EDUCATIONAL EQUITY O Goal 1: Comparably High Academic Achievement And Other
One sees high comparable performance for all identifiable groups of learners, and achievement and performance gaps are virtually non-existent
O Goal 2: Equitable Access And Inclusion The unobstructed entrance into, involvement of and full participation of learners in schools, programs and activities within schools
O Goal 3: Equitable Treatment Patterns of interaction between individuals and within an environment are characterized by acceptance, valuing, respect, support, safety and security such that students feel challenged to become invested in the pursuits of learning and excellence without fear of threat, humiliation, danger or disregard.
GOALS OF EDUCATIONAL EQUITY O Goal 4: Equitable Opportunity To Learn
Every child, regardless of characteristics and identified needs, is presented with the challenge to reach high standards and are given the requisite pedagogical, social, emotional and psychological supports to achieve the high standards of excellence that are established
O Goal 5: Equitable Resources
Existence of equitably assigned qualified staff, appropriate facilities, instructional materials and equipment, and all other instructional supports are distributed in an equitable and fair manner
O Goal 6: Accountability
Assurance that all education stakeholders accept responsibility and hold themselves and each other responsible for every learner having full access to quality education, qualified teachers, challenging curriculum, full opportunity to learn, and appropriate, sufficient support for learning so they can achieve at high levels in academic and other student outcomes. Dr. Bradley Scott, South Central Collaborative for Equity, Intercultural Development Research Association
EQUITY AND EXCELLENCE O Uncharted Territory O Often Seen As Competing And Conflicting Goals- Zero-Sum
O Equity - Insuring High Level and Engaging Learning
Opportunities And Focusing On Equity In Outcomes And Results
Access To Challenging Curriculum And Intellectually And Emotionally Engaging Learning Experiences Systems Of Appropriate Support And Acceleration For Students Who Have Fewer Critical Learning Resources Available At Home Or In Their Community
O Powerful Interests Work Against Equity
Long Histories Of Structural Inequality… Exclusion, Segregation and Discrimination: Race, Gender, Class, Disability Privilege and Self-Interest-Parents of Higher Achieving Students Narrow Definitions of Academic Success Teacher s’ Bias And Preferences School/District Level Student Decision-Making Processes Current School Structures/Practices – Assessment, Placement, Time, Tracking District/School Funding Inequities
O O O O O O O
NORMALIZATION OF FAILURE O
You know normalization of failure is a problem in your school if: O
Your staff has grown accustomed to the predictability (particularly with respect to race and class) of academic outcomes
Teachers and administrators rationalize low achievement by pointing the finger at others rather than accepting responsibility
Staff believe that culture and biology determine intelligence rather than access to resources and educational opportunity
There’s no sense of urgency about addressing low achievement Pedro Noguera
CRITICAL OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN GAPS IN OUR SCHOOL SYSTEMS O All Children’s Access to High Quality Preschool and Kindergarten
O All Children’s Opportunities To Learn How To Learn At High Levels
Of Intellectual Engagement Throughout The PreK-12 Continuum
O All Children’s Access To Enriched, Engaging And/Or Pre-College
Level Curriculum in High School
O All Children’s Inclusion In The Most Challenging, Meaningful and
Inspiring Curriculum, Appropriate Learning Support Opportunities, And Most Real-World And Meaningful Learning Experiences The District Has To Offer
SHARING PROMISING PRACTICES AND DIRECTIONS Where are you along the path to excellence and equity and closing the gaps? What is working for you now?
CREATING MORE EQUITABLE OUTCOMES FOR ALL STUDENTS O O O O O
It is a process, not a program. It is about a continuous process of individual and district/community self-reflection, improvement and renewal. It is about a deep belief in the capacity of all students to be able to engage at high levels of intellectual engagement. It is about raising the bar for the adults in the system, and refusing to accept mediocrity in teaching, learning and care for all students. It is about doing “whatever it takes” to assure students’ opportunities to learn in at high levels in engaging and meaningful work. It is about clarity of shared vision and purpose transformed to persistent shared action. It is about courageous and transformational leadership at all levels.
LEADERSHIP MATTERS!!! Forwarding A New Vision Maintaining A Sense Of Urgency For Change Developing Right Policies and Practices Allocating Resources Supporting The People Who Support The Children
KEY DISTRICT LEADERSHIP TASKS O
Committing to Stay and Stay The Course
Doing One’s Own Self-Reflection On Beliefs, Values, Purpose of Schooling
Establishing District and School-Wide Student Learning Goals And Expectations For Staff And Student Performance With Clear “Non-Negotiables”
Organizing A Constructive Process For Using Data For Initiating and Monitoring District-Wide Change And Improvement In Student Learning
Building And Sustaining A Shared Vision For Equity And Excellence With Internal And External Publics
“Getting The Right People On The Bus”
Recognizing And Rewarding Continuous Improvement In Staff and Students
Identifying, Developing, And Scaling-Up Most Promising Practices And Strategies
Developing Connected Constituencies- Administrator/Teacher And Family Community Leadership
Being The “Guardians of Equity”: Assuring Equity In District Policies And DecisionMaking
EXCELLENCE AND EQUITY FROM 30,000 FEET TO GROUND ZERO Who’s At The Table? Community- School Board Leadership Superintendent and Central Office Leadership School Leadership Classroom Teachers Student Support Personnel School Counselors, Social Workers, Nurses, School Psychologists O Parents and Caregivers O Students O O O O O O
INTEGRATION OF EQUITY AND CLOSING THE GAPS GOALS INTO DISTRICT STRATEGIC PLAN O At the Core Is Impactful Teaching and Engaged
O Framing District Goals Through An Equity Lens O Developing High Cognitive Level, Meaningful
Curriculum Tied To Standards
O Assuring Opportunity, Access and Inclusion
LESSONS WE ARE LEARNING O
The Underlying Root Causes Of Student Underachievement In Our School Systems Are Complex!!!
There Are No Quick Or Easy Solutions To Closing Gaps in Learning For Individual Or Subgroups Of Students- The Work Is About Adaptive Change , Is Difficult And Everyone In The System Has A Critical Role To Play.
We Need To Actively Promote And Institutionalize Environmental Protective Factors In All Of Our Schools That Foster Student Resiliency And Success: Caring Relationships, High Expectations And Meaningful Participation (Rigor, Relationship And Relevance).
No Two Districts Are The Same: Community And School District Context, Shifting Demographics And History, Especially In Terms of Race Relations And Economics, Play A Key Role In Defining How The Gaps Play Out And Why They Persist.
There Are No “Silver Bullets”- There Are No “Magic” Literacy/Math, Tutoring, After-School, Summer School or Mentoring Programs.
LESSONS WE ARE LEARNING O
Sustained and Committed Leadership At The Top And Shared Leadership And Mutual Accountability At The School Level Are Critical To Successful Efforts… District And School Leaders Must View Themselves As The “Guardians Of Equity”.
Districts That Are Moving Forward Are Organizing And Developing Focused Action Plans: Concepts Of Equity, Access, Inclusion And Closing The Opportunity To Learn Gaps Are Engrained In District Goals And Strategic Plans.
Districts Need To Apply “Value Chain” Thinking To The Prek-12 Continuum So That Educators At All Levels Understand Their Role In Adding Value To Eventual Student Outcomes-Especially For Their Most Challenged Learners
District Leaders Need To Be Sharing All Of The Relevant Data And Having Extensive “Courageous Conversations” About Race-ClassGender Achievement Disparities With Internal And External Publics, And Confronting The Effects That Beliefs About Race And Achievement Have On Student Performance!
Achievement Gaps In Our Districts Are Reflections Of “Opportunity To Learn” Gaps: Learning Experience Gaps That Exist As Children Enter Our System, And Gaps That We As A System Have Created.
Our Lower Expectations For And Assumptions About Our Underachieving Students Significantly Impact Our Decisions About Them, Our Choice Of “Interventions” And Ultimately Their Future “Success Trajectory”.
LESSONS WE ARE LEARNING We Need To Seek To Better Understand The School Experiences Of Our Diverse Students Who Live “Outside The Mainstream Culture” Of Our District: Both Those Who Are Successful And Those Who Are Not! Our Students O Our Individual And Collective Assumptions About Intelligence And Subgroups Of Students Abilities-Capacities-Potential To Learn Need To Be Seriously Reexamined. O
Our Goal Must Be To Develop And Sustain System Capacity To Get ALL Students Connected To The Best, Highest Level And Most Engaging Learning Experiences The District Has To Offer.
Our Traditionally Unexamined Practices Of Ability Grouping At The Elementary Level And Tracking At The Secondary Level Exacerbate The Observed Achievement Disparities.
Our Historic Focus On Measuring And Sorting Must Be Replaced By An Emphasis On Discovering, Unpacking And Nurturing Talents In All Of Our Students: Moving From A Risk/Deficit Model Of Schooling To A Resilience/Asset Perspective.
Achievement Gaps In Our Districts Are Reflections Of “Opportunity To Learn” Gaps: Gaps That Exist As Children Enter Our Schools, And Gaps
LESSONS WE ARE LEARNING at We As Systems Have Created… Our Traditionally Unexamined Practices Of Ability Grouping And Tracking
Exacerbate The Observed Achievement Disparities O Additional Resources And Support Must Be Allocated To Schools In The District With The Greatest Need. O
All Students Need Access And Exposure To High Quality Preschool And Kindergarten Programs- Especially Students Who Are Coming From Relative Economic Disadvantage.
All Students Need To Be Challenged To Higher Levels of Thinking, Sense-Making, And Understanding And We Need To Explicitly Model And Teach Them Strategies For Learning At Deep Levels Of Understanding.
Caring, Respectful, Supportive And Trusting Student-Teacher Relationships Are At The Core Of The Challenge, And Are Essential For The Success Of Our Diverse Children.
Districts Need An Integrated K-12 Curriculum Articulated With State And National Learning Standards.
L Students Need To Be Exposed To Intellectually Rigorous Instruction, CurriculumO
LESSONS WE ARE LEARNING O
Race Matters-As Do Class And Gender: We Need To Notice And Reflect On Ways In Which Racism, Classism and Sexism Are Alive And Well In Our Schools, Communities and Society!
Realities of Differential Power, Privilege, Access To Critical Knowledge/Social Capital Need To Be Talked About.
Appropriate and “Student-Validated” In-School and After-School Structures And/Or Programs Will Be Essential To Support Our Underachieving Students.
Student And Parent Perceptions Of Their Experiences In And With Our Schools Are Critical In Helping Us Better Understand What Is Behind Their Test And Academic Performance.
Our Diverse Students Are Hungry To Be Heard And To Be Part Of The Solution! We Need To Listen And Offer Meaningful Avenues For Their Participation, Problem-Solving And Solution-Finding.
Our Individual And Collective Assumptions About Individual And Subgroups Of Students AbilitiesCapacities-Potential To Learn Need To Be Seriously Reexamined. Our Lower Expectations For And Assumptions About Our Underachieving Students Significantly Impact Our Decisions About Them, Our Choice Of “Interventions” And Ultimately Their Future “To Seek To Better Understand The School Experiences Of Our Students Of Color And Other Students Outside The Mainstream Culture- Those Who Are Successful And Those Who Are Not! Do You Have An “Empathy Gap”?
LESSONS WE ARE LEARNING O
In All Districts Teacher Assignment Matters- Our Most Experienced And Effective Teachers Need To Be In Front Of Our Most Challenged Students.
All Educators In The System Need To Be Individually And Collectively Expected To Take Responsibility For Improving Student Learning: There Should Be Some Non-Negotiable Expectations For Sharing And Using Agreed Upon School And Classroom “Best Practices”.
We Need To Closely Monitor Our Underperforming Students’ Progress Through More Frequent Formative Assessments Of Their Learning.
We Need To Better Understand And Practice Essentials Of “Culturally Responsive Practices” : Understanding And Respecting Differences, Diversifying Instructional And Assessment Approaches And Increasing Diverse/Multicultural Perspectives In Our Curriculum.
Students Are Hungry To Be Heard And To Be Part Of The Solution! We Need To Listen And Offer Meaningful Avenues For Participation An
LESSONS WE ARE LEARNING O
Beyond Our Traditional Thinking About Parent Engagement We Need To Be Thinking About How We Can And Will Initiate Family And Community Partnerships.
Our Diverse Parents/Caregivers Need Our Support In Navigating The Complex Formal And Informal Systems In Our Districts, Supporting Their Children At Home, And Advocating For Their Children Within Our Schools.
It Truly “Takes Village”- Family And Community Involvement And Partnership In Providing Support To Our Children Is EssentialDistrict Leaders Need To Initiate Structures And Processes For Making It Happen.
Internal Accountability And Sense Of Responsibility Are Ultimately More Important Than External Forms Of Accountability In Promoting High Achievement For All Students In Our Schools.
Districts And Schools Will Be More Successful Working In Collaboration Than Working In Isolation; Inter-District Collaboration Is Powerful As There Are Many Promising Programs. Practices And Interventions Within Our Local Districts And Beyond That Need To Be Shared.… There Should Be Some Non-Negotiable Expectations For Using Agreed Upon
School/Classroom “Best Practices”
DISTRICT SELF-ASSESSMENT Where are you along the path to excellence and equity? What are your strengths/assets in moving forward and what are the barriers? What are your learning needs? Next steps for action planning?
TEN HIGH LEVERAGE EQUITY PRACTICES O O O O O O O O O O
Engaging in self-reflection and growth for equity Developing organizational leadership for equity Constructing and enacting an equity vision Supervising for improvement of equitable instruction Fostering an equitable school culture Collaborating with families and communities Influencing the sociopolitical context Allocating resources Hiring and placing personnel Modeling ethical and equitable behavior Oregon Leadership Network LEADTool http://leadtool.educationnorthwest.org/
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." - Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird
CONTACT Dr. Bob Jarvis Penn Center for Educational Leadership Graduate School of Education University of Pennsylvania 3440 Market St Room 504 Philadelphia, PA 19104 Office: 215-746-7375 Mobile: 215-990-5788 email@example.com
Published on Mar 23, 2014