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					    EFFECTIVE SCHOOLS RESEARCH
            AND THE ROLE OF
PROFESSIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES


                      Terry McLaughlin
          Assistant Superintendent, Student Services
      San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools
                                                        1
             TOPICS


   Coleman Study
   Effective Schools Research
   New Expectations and the J Curve
   Total Instructional Alignment
   Continuous Improvement Model
   Professional Learning Communities
                                        2
      Equal Educational Opportunities Study
         1966, Professor James Coleman

“Schools bring little influence to bear on a child’s achievement
that is independent of his background and general social
context; this very lack of an independent effect means that the
inequalities imposed on children by their home,
neighborhood, and peer environment are carried along to
become the inequalities with which they confront adult life at
the end of school. For equality of educational opportunity
must imply a strong effect of schools that is independent of
the child’s immediate environment, and that strong
independent effect is not present in American schools.
                             Professor James Coleman
                                                             3
      In Response to Coleman Study
   30 Years of Effective Schools Research
                  Larry Lezotte
                  Ron Edmonds
                  Douglas Reeves
                  Kati Haycock
                  Robert Marzano
                  Gerald Anderson
                  Rick Dufour
                  Linda Darling-Hammond
                  Mike Schmoker
The ultimate success of academic standards depends on
 effective educational leaders who grasp the difference
     between a fad and a VALUE…Values endure.
                                                          4
                 FINDINGS

   Schools can and do make a difference in
            student achievement.
       Definition of an Effective School
An Effective School is a school that can, in measured
student achievement terms, demonstrate the joint
presence of quality and equity. Said another way, an
Effective School is a school that can, in measured student
achievement terms and reflective of its “learning for all”
mission, demonstrate high overall levels of achievement
and no gaps in the distribution of that achievement
across major subsets of the student population.
                                                             5
     Common Characteristics of
        90/90/90 Schools
1. Laser-like focus on student achievement
2. Clear curriculum choices: Agreement on what
   should be taught
3. Frequent assessment of student progress and
   multiple opportunities for improvement
4. An emphasis on information writing
   (nonfiction)
5. Collaborative scoring of student work

                                                 6
     Effective Schools Research

Characteristics of Effective Schools
1.   Clear and focused mission
         Urgency regarding Learning for All
2.   Strong instructional leadership
3.   Safe and orderly environment
4.   Climate of high expectations
5.   Opportunity to learn & student time on task
6.   Frequent monitoring of student progress
7.   Positive home-school relationship
                                                   7
Educational Expectations of Standards-Based
        Accountability and NCLB

If those within the school believe that the causes of student
learning lie outside their spheres of influence, school improvement
will be viewed as futile. Therefore, staff must believe in their
individual and collective capacity to bring about change that
benefits students.




         J-Curve            %
                       Demonstrating
                           Skill


                                              Time                    8
    VARIABILITY


 When Time is Constant
   Learning is Variable

When Learning is Constant
     Time is Variable

                            9
      The Power of Professional
       Learning Communities
The most promising strategy for sustained,
substantive school improvement is building the
capacity of school personnel to function as a
professional learning community. The path to
change in the classroom lies within and through
professional learning communities.
                               Milbrey McLaughlin

                                                  10
Need for a Collaborative Culture

Throughout our ten-year study, whenever we
found an effective school or an effective
department within a school, without exception
that school or department has been a part of a
collaborative professional learning community.
                           Milbrey McLaughlin

                                                 11
Need for a Collaborative Culture

If schools want to enhance their capacity to boost
student learning, they should work on building a
collaborative culture…When groups, rather than
individuals, are seen as the main units for
implementing curriculum, instruction, and
assessment, they facilitate development of shared
purposes for student learning and collective
responsibility to achieve it.
                                   Fred Newman
                                                     12
     Foundations of a Professional
        Learning Community
1. Collaboratively developed and widely shared mission,
   vision, values, and goals (fundamental purpose of
   schools)
2. Collaborative teams that work interdependently to
   achieve common goals
3. A focus on results as evidenced by a commitment to
   continuous improvement and a recognition that
   “Learning for All”is the purpose of schools

     “School effectiveness should be assessed on the basis of
                 results rather than intentions.”
                                                                13
    Characteristics of Professional
      Learning Communities
   1.   Teams work together to clarify intended outcomes
   2. Develop common assessments
   3. Jointly analyze student achievement data
   4. Establish team improvement goals
   5. Share strategies and materials (Best Practices)
   6. Engage in collective inquire and action research
      regarding student learning
“In a professional learning community, collaboration is EMBEDDED
   into every aspect of the school culture and there is a shift from
                         belief to behaviors.”
                                                                       14
   Critical Corollary Questions:
If we Believe All Kids Can Learn:

 What is it we expect them to learn?
 How will we know when they have
  learned it?
 How will we respond when they don’t
  learn it?


                                        15
If the purpose of school is truly to ensure high
levels of learning for all students, schools will:

   Clarify what each student is expected to learn.
   Monitor each student’s learning on a timely basis.
   Create systems to insure students receive
    additional time and support if they are not
    learning.
   Align all resources to support student learning.
   Examine all of the practices, policies, and
    procedures of the school in light of their impact
    on student learning.
                                                         16
  The “Big Ideas” that Should Drive
          Your PLC Efforts
 We accept learning as the fundamental purpose of our
  school and therefore are willing to examine all practices in
  light of their impact on learning.
 We are committed to working together to achieve our
  collective purpose. We cultivate a collaborative culture
  through development of high performing teams.
 We assess our effectiveness on the basis of results rather
  than intentions. Individuals, teams and schools seek
  relevant data and information and use that information
   to promote continuous improvement.
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