This brief summarizes the March and April 2018 Thought Leadership Forum presentations. March featured a content-based presentation by Bryan Hassel of Public Impact on Opportunity Culture and April featured Denise Watts from Project L.I.F.T. (Project Leadership & Investment for Transformation) profiling this program’s work in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. This brief concludes with recommendations for SEAs and LEAs for pursuing and implementing Opportunity Culture.
Teachers & Leaders
This brief summarizes the January and February 2018 Thought Leadership Forum presentations. January featured a content-based presentation by William Robinson from the University of Virginia on turnaround leadership competencies and February featured Hannah Peria and Elisabeth Peterson from the New Mexico Public Education Department profiling New Mexico’s Principals Pursuing Excellence program. This brief concludes with recommendations for SEAs on how to support and develop turnaround leaders.
The National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) and the National Center for School Turnaround (2018) published the Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: An Implementation Framework as a companion to the Center for School Turnaround’s (2017) recent publication of The Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: A Systems Framework. The aim of this companion paper is to describe how to use the improvement domains in practice.
The purpose of this meeting is to provide states the opportunity to collaborate and discuss key issues as they work to close opportunity and achievement gaps by supporting turnaround in the lowest performing schools and schools with the largest opportunity and achievement gaps. This meeting features panel discussions and leverage peer-to-peer learning with intentional time for state discussions and interaction. The meeting primarily consists of a variety of breakout sessions during which state teams will have an opportunity to determine how the topics apply to their state and what actions they might take next.
Key Meeting Objectives
- Provide an opportunity for within-state collaboration to problem solve and develop strategies to enhance implementation of supports and interventions to assist in closing the opportunity and achievement gaps across schools and districts;
- Engage in peer-to-peer learning within and across states to discuss promising practices and lessons learned from this work, and determine appropriate next steps for actualizing new ideas; and
- Leave the meeting with a deeper knowledge of how other states support efforts to close the opportunity and achievement gaps in the lowest performing schools and with concrete ideas for application within states.
Below you will find a link to download materials from the conference.
A partnership of four education organizations studying issues surrounding school turnaround—The Center on School Turnaround at WestEd, the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, Public Impact, and the University of Virginia Darden/Curry Partnership—have made available materials that can assist state and local education agencies in recruiting, selecting, developing, and retaining school turnaround leaders.
To date, the range of efforts to turn around the nation’s low-performing schools have shown mixed results. A significant part of the challenge has been the lack of turnaround leaders available to lead these schools.
To help school districts find candidates with the competencies necessary for the job of school turnaround leader, the four-agency partnership is producing and distributing a professional learning module on these three topics:
- Part 1: Understanding Turnaround Leader Competencies
- Part 2: Recruiting and Selecting Turnaround Leaders
- Part 3: Developing and Supporting Turnaround Leaders
The materials may be used and adapted to fit the needs of any given state or local context. The four organizations releasing today’s materials recommend a comprehensive and systemic approach to addressing the leadership challenge.
All materials are available on the GTL Center’s Professional Learning Modules website. These materials may be used and adapted to fit the needs of the state context. To cite the content, please use the following statement: These materials have been adapted in whole or in part with permission from the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, the Center on School Turnaround at WestEd, Public Impact, and the University of Virginia Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education.
Over the last eight years, CST partner the University of Virginia Partnership for Leaders in Education (UVA/PLE) has worked with over 50 districts and state education agencies across the country to embark on high-level change at the state, district, and school levels through the use of leader competencies. In this guide, we call upon our practice-based experience, expertise, and insight to provide both technical assistance and thought leadership to districts and systems involved in “school turnaround.”
Specifically, we discuss the behavioral event interview (BEI) and turnaround leader competencies, and we explain how each of these can support the turnaround endeavor. A BEI is a particular type of interview that allows candidates’ suitability for a position to emerge by measuring their competencies, which are ways of behaving, acting, and feeling that support a person’s performance in a particular role. This guide provides a rationale for using BEIs and competencies, and it takes an in-depth look at how they might be used in practice. It also explores how several districts and states use these research-based processes to improve selection as well as other human resource functions, such as school assignment and professional development.