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					New Jersey Department of Education                               Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                Newark Public Schools

                                   Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
                                   February 26-27 and March 5, 2007

Introduction

The New Jersey Department of Education conducted a Collaborative Benchmark Assessment review
of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School on February 26-27 and March 5, 2007. This school is designated
as “in need of improvement” for five consecutive years as defined in the NJ Accountability Workbook.
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) §1117: School Support and Recognition requires that the New Jersey
Department of Education (NJDOE) create and maintain a statewide system of intensive and sustained
support for those Title I schools designated as “in need of improvement” for more than two
consecutive years. As part of this required support system, the NJDOE developed the Collaborative
Benchmark Assessment review process as a follow-up to the Collaborative Assessment for Planning
and Achievement (CAPA) process.

The purpose of the Collaborative Benchmark Assessment process is to:
• Conduct a focused visit, tailored and customized to the school needs—determined by the data;
• Review the implementation of the CAPA recommendations and restructuring plan in action—
   keeping to the fidelity of implementation;
• Jointly (with the school and district) perform data analysis, problem solving, decision making, and
   team building; and
• Focus on governance.

The team activities included a review of the documents collected for the school portfolio and data
profile, classroom visitations, and interviews with teachers, building leadership and administration,
district administrators, and school support staff. Following the study of documentation and the
conducting of interviews and classroom visitations, the team discussed selected CAPA indicators and
the school’s restructuring plan. Based on these findings, the team offered its recommendations to the
district and New Jersey Department of Education.

Evidence for findings includes:
• Classroom visitations and walkthroughs
• Interviews with students, school staff, and school and district administration
• 2005 CAPA report
• Most current benchmark summary form
• 2006-2007 District Title I Unified Plan and Consolidated Application
• 2007 School Title I Improvement Plan
• School Highly Qualified Teacher Report
• Data folder provided at December 18, 2006 workshop
• PIPs and related evaluations




                                                                                                 Page 1
New Jersey Department of Education                                  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                   Newark Public Schools


                                        COMMENDATIONS
The assignment of the new principal has given this school a new sense of mission and hope. Under the
principal’s astute leadership, the staff has created an environment that is generally accepted by students
and staff to be safe, caring, and centered on student academic success.

The staff is commended for working collaboratively with the principal to provide an appropriate,
caring, and learning environment for everyone.

The SLT is commended for its intense support of staff in implementing effective instructional practices
via the Balanced Literacy and Math programs.

The school is commended:
• for its outreach to the community and establishing a working partnership with the Urban League;
    and
• for implementing co-labs, inclusive of special needs teachers, which have greatly increased
    vertical planning and articulation among teachers.



                                      RECOMMENDATIONS

DISTRICT
• The current absence of any administrator in a Year 5 or 6 school must be addressed immediately so
   as not to impose an educational obstacle to instruction. This must be done considering the NCLB
   mandate that Level 5 and 6 schools be afforded preferential resources. Any present condition
   inhibiting this action must be addressed using all of the resources of the district.

•   Provide increased and deeper data analysis training for coaches. Consider investigating the
    DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) process for reading assessment that
    delivers different information on student progress in the essentials of reading than does the DRA
    (Diagnostic Reading Assessment).

•   Research and provide appropriate resources, strategies, and/or intervention programs for struggling
    math students in K–4, e.g., in-class tutors, lunch-time tutoring, and use of Urban League tutors
    during the day.

•   Maintain a consistent, fully staffed administration in place for at least five years or have a planned
    succession practice.

•   Control the mobility of teachers into and out of this school. Perhaps reconsider participation in the
    Teach for America program as it institutionalizes turnover every two years.

•   Provide additional special needs resource teacher coordinators (RTCs) to be assigned to schools in
    Years 5 and 6.

•   Place a full-time child study team in each school in Years 5 and 6.

                                                                                                    Page 2
New Jersey Department of Education                                Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                 Newark Public Schools


                              STANDARDS AND INDICATORS

STANDARD 1 - CURRICULUM: The school implements a curriculum that is rigorous,
intentional, and aligned to state and local standards.
1.1    The school conducts regular discussions to ensure that curriculum standards are clearly
       articulated across all grade levels (P-12).
1.4    There is a P-12 district curriculum that is aligned to the NJ CCCS and that is clear and specific
       about what is to be taught to all students by grade level and subject and contains a pacing chart,
       technology, and suggested resources.
5.3    The school ensures access to a common academic core for all students, including special
       education and ELL students.

STANDARD 2 – ASSESSMENT & EVALUATION: Multiple evaluation and assessment
strategies are used to continuously monitor and modify instruction to meet student needs and
support proficient student work.
2.1    The school leadership and faculty ensure that multiple assessments are frequent, rigorous, and
       authentic; aligned with NJ CCCS; and used to gauge student learning and adjust teaching to
       individual needs.
2.3    Disaggregated test scores are used by the district and school to identify curriculum gaps and
       adjust instructional practice, as needed, for all students and subgroups.

STANDARD 3 - INSTRUCTION: The school’s instructional program actively engages all
students by using effective, varied, and research-based practices to improve student academic
performance.
3.1   There is evidence that effective and varied instructional strategies are used in all classrooms.
3.3   Teachers demonstrate the content knowledge necessary to challenge and motivate students to
      high levels of learning.
3.4   Teachers examine and discuss student work collaboratively and use this information to inform
      their practice.

STANDARD 4 – SCHOOL CULTURE: The school functions as an effective learning
community and supports a climate conducive to performance excellence
4.1  The principal and school leadership are responsible for and support a safe, clean,
     hospitable, orderly, and equitable learning environment.
4.2  School leadership, teachers, and staff members hold high expectations for all students
     academically and behaviorally, and inspire their best efforts as evidenced in their
     interactions, attitudes, and instructional practice.
4.3  School leadership and teachers accept responsibility for student success/failure.

STANDARD 5 – STUDENT, FAMILY, AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT: The school works
with families and community groups to remove barriers to learning in an effort to meet the
intellectual, social, career, and developmental needs of students consistent with 6A:10A-3.6
Supports for Parents and Families and NCLB §1118 Parental Involvement.
5.1     Families and the community are treated as partners with the school and district with
        frequent communication via take-home notes (in appropriate languages), e-mail, and phone
        calls when necessary.
5.4     Students who are falling behind receive necessary additional assistance to support their
        learning in and beyond the classroom.

                                                                                                  Page 3
New Jersey Department of Education                               Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                               Newark Public Schools



STANDARD 6 – PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The school provides research-based,
results-driven professional development opportunities for staff and implements performance
evaluation procedures in order to improve teaching and learning.
6.2     School-based professional development priorities are set by aligning the goals for student
        performance with the evidence of achievement and with the Professional Improvement
        Plans (PIPs) of teachers and principals.
6.4     The school leadership uses the employee evaluation and the individual professional growth
        plan to connect improvements in teaching practice with individual classroom goals.

STANDARD 7 - LEADERSHIP: School instructional decisions focus on support for teaching
and learning, organizational direction, high performance expectations, creating a learning
culture, and developing leadership capacity.
7.3    The principal plans and allocates resources, appropriately assigns staff, monitors progress,
       provides organizational support, and removes barriers to sustain continuous school
       improvement with a commitment to equity, diversity, and the learning needs of all students.
7.4    The principal gives highest priority to academic performance, sustaining a learning
       environment that promotes development of teacher leaders and efficiency of operations.

STANDARD 8 – ORGANIZATION AND RESOURCES: There is evidence that the school is
organized to maximize use of all available resources to support high student and staff
performance.
8.1   Leadership ensures that staff protects and makes efficient use of time to maximize learning
      and the school schedule reflects instructional priorities.
8.3   The school matches teacher strengths and experience with the needs of students. The school
      intentionally assigns staff to maximize opportunities for all students to have access to the
      staff’s instructional strengths.

STANDARD 9 - COMPREHENSIVE AND EFFECTIVE PLANNING: School leadership and
the SLC or NCLB planning committee communicate a clear purpose, direction, and strategies
focused on teaching and learning through the development, implementation, and evaluation of
the following: vision, goals, NCLB school improvement plan, and report on instructional
priorities for Abbott schools.
9.2     There is evidence that the NCLB Planning Committee or School Leadership Council (SLC)
        analyzes multiple forms of data to update the comprehensive needs assessment and to
        develop the NCLB School Improvement Plan.




                                                                                                Page 4
New Jersey Department of Education                                 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                  Newark Public Schools



         STANDARDS 1, 2, 3:                 STUDENT PERFORMANCE FINDINGS
LANGUAGE ARTS LITERACY
1.1
• The school initiates and continues internal discussion among all teachers to ensure horizontal and
    vertical articulation via grade-level meetings, faculty meetings, and meetings between individual
    staff members.

1.4
• A challenging curriculum with a common academic core is taught to all students, with
    accommodations as necessary for ELLs and students with disabilities. The curriculum is consistent
    with NJ CCCS and is monitored by regular visits by district RTCs and the school literacy coach.
    Training is inclusive and conducted in district meetings and meetings with SLT I.

2.1
• School leaders implement procedures to ensure that classroom assessments are rigorous and
    consistently used to monitor student progress and modify instruction to meet individual needs.
    There is increased support and monitoring of the use of multiple assessments. K–3 DRA
    assessments are given three times a year. All students (K–8) are assessed monthly in writing and
    participate in guided reading instruction. Teachers keep running records and update their
    assessment walls regularly (K–2 every six weeks, 3–8 monthly). Mid-term and final examinations
    are discussed to aid instructional practice. Ongoing training is provided by district RTCs and the
    school literacy coach so that assessments are authentic, valid, and used to drive instruction. BSF:
    page 6

2.3
• The school leaders and teachers use data analysis in grade-level meetings, faculty meetings,
    meetings with RTCs, and one-on-one discussions with teachers to modify curricular, instructional,
    and assessment practices as needed for LAL students. BSF: pages 6, 7, 8

3.1
• Some teachers use student-centered, culturally responsive instructional strategies, while others
    primarily use teacher-directed strategies, e.g., lectures and whole-group instruction. All staff
    members have begun to engage in reflection and discussion of their instructional practices to
    provide meaningful, research-based instruction. BSF: page 10

3.3
• Teachers demonstrate the necessary knowledge of literacy skills (speaking, reading, and writing)
    and include them as a regular part of their classroom activities. This school year the focus is on the
    implementation of Balanced Literacy program as a priority; it is monitored by district RTCs and
    the school literacy coach. BSF: page 10

3.4
• Teachers have received training in and regularly carry out the analysis of student work to identify
    student strengths and needs to make instructional changes. District and school literacy coaches
    provide regular assistance in this task through classroom visitation, individual and group coaching,


                                                                                                    Page 5
New Jersey Department of Education                                 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                  Newark Public Schools

   lesson demonstration, analysis of student work through PDAs and SLT I training to improve
   instruction. BSF: page 11

MATHEMATICS
1.1
• The district continues to provide extensive staff development opportunities to address
    implementation of the NJ CCCS and promote articulation across grade levels. The addition of the
    math coach and assignment of an RTC to the school has increased staff knowledge and
    understanding of the curriculum standards. There is also evidence that the on-site development plan
    includes furthering understanding of the standards. Also, building leadership receives training in
    how to recognize faithful implementation of the curriculum and uses that training in its
    observations. BSF: pages 14, 15

1.4
• The addition of the math coach and assignment of RTC to the school has provided more support to
    ELL and special needs teachers.

2.1
• There is increased emphasis on the use of assessments to drive instruction, e.g., focus on this in
    grade-level and vertical articulation meetings, monthly Progressive Data Analysis, unit test
    analysis, and mid-term and final exam analysis. The results of the final exam analysis are shared
    vertically so that the teachers who will have the students in the following year are aware of their
    strengths and weaknesses and can prepare over the summer. There is some evidence that students’
    needs are being addressed for modification of instruction. There is no specific intervention program
    or resource for supporting struggling students in grades K–3. BSF: pages 16, 17

2.3
• The analysis of standardized test data described in 2.1 is of disaggregated data. Also the monthly
    PDA results are analyzed by gender, ELL, and special needs. The math coach indicates that deeper
    knowledge of data analysis would improve his service to teachers and students.

3.1
• Teachers are aware of their specific needs in improving their instructional strategies. The math
    coach and RTC are assisting teachers through collaborative lesson planning, modeling of
    instructional strategies, reflecting on teaching practices, and providing additional information on
    best practices. Teachers are learning strategies in differentiating instruction. BSF: page 18

3.3
• The majority of teachers K-8 are attending the SLT I and district-sponsored math content
    workshops and weekend math content institutes.

3.4
• Teachers have received training in and regularly carry out the analysis of student work to identify
    student strengths and needs to make instructional changes. The addition of a math coach and the
    assignment of RTCs has increased assistance in this task.




                                                                                                   Page 6
New Jersey Department of Education                                 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                  Newark Public Schools

SPECIAL EDUCATION AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS
1.1
• Curriculum standards are now articulated through faculty meetings, literacy and math co-labs
    (verticulation articulation), and literacy and math coaches. The expectations are ongoing and
    reflected in lesson plans, PIPs, and charts and posters that hang in classrooms. Both of the
    aforementioned are in the implementing stage. A number of staff members are able to articulate
    what is expected and why, where they are, and where they need to go. There are infrequent
    visits by the SLT special education LAL RTC. There are no math special education RTCs.
    There are infrequent visits by SLT I math and LAL RTCs.

1.4
• All staff members, including special education, are expected to follow the core academic
    curriculum. However, it is often difficult for some special education students to follow the pace
    due to their disabilities. Though the IEPs indicate adjustments, the teachers often meet with the
    coaches to make adaptations.

2.1
• Though there is an attempt to use multiple assessments, it is sporadic and in its infancy stage, i.e.,
    rubrics. The administrators are aware of the individuals who are using multiple assessments
    correctly and which individuals are in need of assistance and further training. This is an ongoing
    process.

2.3
• The building administration has made a concerted effort to share all data with special education
    staff members. There is a continual analysis and usage of current data that is shared, discussed,
    and reviewed by the entire staff. This has been discussed at faculty meetings and literacy and
    math co-labs, and staff is expected to update student IEP progress quarterly. Special needs
    teachers also complete the monthly PDAs in literacy and math. It is expected that all special
    education staff adjust instructional practice based on these scores; however, this is not currently
    being done by all special education staff. The administration is aware of this and is addressing
    the need to do so.

3.1
• Teachers have had training in varied instructional strategies. Some teachers have incorporated
    these strategies in their daily practice.

3.3
• There has been some improvement of teachers’ content and pedagogical knowledge through their
    involvement in professional development programs and vertical grade-level meetings.



        STANDARDS 4, 5, 6:                 LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FINDINGS
4.1
• School leadership has established operational procedures to minimize disruptions; however, some
    staff members feel the policies are not completely effective. Some teachers suggest the assignment


                                                                                                    Page 7
New Jersey Department of Education                                  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                   Newark Public Schools

    of a security guard on the 3rd floor, which appears to have the most disruptive behavior. Most
    students state that they feel safe as soon as they enter the building, although they are aware of
    potentially distructive elements within the school.

•   Many staff, students, and parents comment on the positive change that has taken place in a
    relatively short time since this administrative team has been here at MLK.

4.2
• School leadership, teachers, and staff hold high expectations for all students academically and
    behaviorally and inspire their best efforts, as evidenced in their interactions and attitudes. Most
    teachers are enthusiastically working towards implementing the same high expectations in
    instructional practice through collaboration with their peers, attendance at professional
    development workshops, and enlisting the support of the district and school literacy coaches.

•   The school leaders have done a commendable job in setting high standards through consistent
    practices and clear expectations as to what is expected and what is not acceptable, and in their
    effort to get the message to students, staff, and parents. They have reached out to the
    community and various agencies to support them in this continuing effort.

•   Staff development is provided by the district for all first-year special education teachers. After
    the first year, specific additional professional development for special education teachers for
    identified needs in practices that affect the teaching of special education students is sparse.
    Special Ed RTCs do not regularly participate in district curriculum, new program initiatives,
    and publisher training. BSF: pages 5, 6

4.3
• The school leaders and most teachers do reflect on an academically challenging classroom based
    on effective instructional practice. Training has been provided and is ongoing to increase effective
    classroom practices. Projects and higher levels of questioning are being implemented in some
    classrooms so that challenging, authentic instruction is provided. Students state that the
    administration and staff have their best interests as a priority.

•   The school leadership put themselves first and foremost in the desire for student success and
    are not reluctant to discuss the shortcomings of the school. Many staff members have joined
    them in this effort, as have the parents and students. BSF: page 6

5.1
• Most teachers regularly contact parents, and students collaborate with staff to initiate opportunities
    to demonstrate progress to their families. Procedures have been adopted for increased outreach to
    parents via Urban League and school activities, e.g., Math Day, Movie Night, and parent classes.

•   Families and community organizations are treated as equal partners in their efforts to improve
    MLK. Various activites are planned that bring the families and the community into the building to
    work cooperatively in providing programs for students and their families. A great deal of time and
    effort have been spent by the building principal, who walked the neighborhood to talk with
    members of the community, inviting them to take part and listening to their concerns. BSF: page 7



                                                                                                    Page 8
New Jersey Department of Education                                Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                Newark Public Schools

5.4
• The school leadership, with the cooperation of teachers, has initiated after-school and Saturday
    programs to provide additional assistance to support learning in and beyond the classroom. In-
    school support is provided by the math and literacy coaches and RTCs. Read 180 and GEPA
    academies have been instituted for CAPA schools. The Urban League assists in off-site tutoring.
    On-site academies for NJ ASK and GEPA are in place. The district is in the process of developng
    plans for addressing the needs of special education students via creative ways of including regular
    education teachers working with special education teachers.

•   The involvement of the PRC (pupil resource committee) prior to student CST referral has greatly
    improved. Parents are referred to the PRC before a CST referral is accepted. BSF: page 7

6.2
• Professional development opportunities are aligned with the school’s learning goals for students,
    staff PIPs, and the school improvement plan. Specificity and detailed analysis have been used to
    extend this goal in the 2007-08 Professional Development Plan. BSF: page 8

6.4
• The school leadership uses the individual professional growth plan to connect improvements in
    teaching practice with classroom goals and teacher goals.



                  STANDARDS 7, 8, 9:                  GOVERNANCE FINDINGS
7.3
• A new principal and vice principal have been assigned.

•   The principal has created opportunities for appropriate staff to disaggregate data to assess student
    groups, and has made some adjustments to guide instruction. The commitment to address the items
    identified in 7.3 exists and the process has begun.

7.4
• The new principal gives the highest priority to academic performance and sustains a learning
    environment that promotes development of teacher leaders and efficiency of operations. The
    interviews with staff members, students, and community members, including parents, support this
    observation.

8.1
• The priorities of the new principal and vice principal assure that staff protects and makes efficient
    use of time to maximize learning. Math and literacy classes meet for more than the required
    amount of time according to district standards. BSF: page 9

8.3
• The new principal is committed to the ongoing assessment of staff and students to align teacher
    strengths with student needs. She is intentional in her decisions regarding personnel assignments.
    Collaboration continues to be active and ongoing to solve student instructional and personal needs.


                                                                                                  Page 9
New Jersey Department of Education                                 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                  Newark Public Schools

9.2
• Under the guidance of the newly assigned principal, the SLC has been revitalized and is
    beginning to take its proper place in the school’s governance structure. It is analyzing data and
    making recommendations for school improvement based on the analysis. There are active
    subcommittees, including a data committee. The leadership and teachers are using forms of
    data regularly to identify student progress. There are some action plans for some strategies,
    although none of the action plans reviewed include an evaluation of the strategies themselves.
    BSF: page 10




                                                                                                  Page 10
New Jersey Department of Education                                  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                Newark Public Schools


Collaborative Benchmark Assessment team members and their affiliations included:


          TEAM POSITION                               NAME                      AFFILIATION

Team Leader                                  Elizabeth Domigan            Educational Consultant

District Liaison                             Harvey Ritter                Newark Public Schools

Governance                                   Margaret Mary Dalton         Educational Consultant

Language Arts Literacy Specialist            Patricia Burwell             Educational Consultant
District Language Arts Literacy              Susie Raymundo
Specialist                                   Camille Gaeta                Newark Public Schools

Mathematics Specialist                       Chris Rennie                 Educational Consultant
                                             Toni Bauknight
District Mathematics Specialist              Giselle McCormick            Newark Public Schools

Special Education Specialist                 Vito D’Alconzo               Educational Consultant

District Special Education Specialist        Nick Columbo                 Newark Public Schools

DOE Liaison                                  Eleanor Jaick                NJ Department of Education




                                                                                                Page 11
New Jersey Department of Education                                  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                    Newark Public Schools



                                  OVERARCHING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ALL SCHOOLS
                                                                   Newark Public Schools – Year 6 and 5 Hold

The CAPA team adopts Michael Fullan’s statements from Turnaround Leadership (excerpts of all 10
elements are in the Appendix) as a guide to proposing the following areas for the district to address.
The following two have most influenced our thought, but, as noted in the excerpt, none of the ten can
stand alone.

“Assume that lack of capacity is the Initial Problem and work on it consistently. The emphasis here is
to rein in judgment at the early part of a turnaround process in favor of working on capacity building.
Assume, in other words, that one reason the situation is not working is that people don’t know how to
improve it or don’t believe it can be improved…. To secure new beliefs and higher expectations –
critical to a turnaround situation – people first need new experiences that lead them to different
beliefs…

Build Internal Accountability linked to External Accountability. Data can be empowering or disabling;
data is not neutral. They do not restore confidence by themselves. What matters is the culture that
surrounds them…. People embrace tools of accountability when they are in control and when the
information empowers them and helps them succeed…. Turnaround schools have to be helped in the
transition from being confronted with the brutal facts to using data to get at improvement and
eventually for celebrating progress. If the other capacities in our set of ten are cultivated, sooner rather
than later, people not only become more comfortable with data but seek data.”

The following statements are statements that pertain to 5-hold and 6 schools that were visited during
the 3-day CAPA process. These schools are: Avon Avenue, William Brown, Rafael Hernandez,
Dayton Street, George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King, Morton Street, Dr. E. Alma Flagg,
Newton Street, William H. Horton, Maple Avenue, and Burnet Street. Although we believe that these
statements pertain to each of the schools, we recognize that there is a continuum of need, with some
schools needing more intense support/direction and some less. We have provided an outline of the key
areas we address.

KEY AREAS FOR CONSIDERATION:
   I. Teaching and Learning                                                                                    Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
         a. Instructional Practices
                  i. Pedagogy
                 ii. Lesson planning and delivery
               iii. Content
                iv. Classroom organization
         b. Curriculum
         c. Professional Development
                  i. Job-embedded
                 ii. Workshops
               iii. Differentiation based on teacher need and student need
         d. Assessment
                  i. Classroom assessment



                                                                                                    Page 12
New Jersey Department of Education                                    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                     Newark Public Schools


                       Data collection and analysis
                      ii.
                       District assessment
                     iii.
                       State assessment
                     iv.
                       Authentic assessment
                      v.
                       Program assessment
                     vi.
                           1. Professional development’s impact on instructional practice
                           2. After-school programs
                           3. Partnership programs – Seton Hall, NUA, Urban League, Montclair
                               State, UMDNJ, etc.
                  vii. Professional assessment (observation, evaluation, PIPs)
    II. Leadership
            a. Instructional Practice
            b. Secondary Education Initiative
            c. Professional Development
            d. Resource Management
            e. Planning and Strategy
    III. Parent and Community
    IV. School Climate
            a. Building greater ownership for improvement
            b. Understand the why of district initiatives
    V. Organizational Practices                                                                                  Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
            a. Personnel
            b. Inclusion


Within these areas the CAPA team offers the following for consideration and discussion:

Key Area
I. a, b, c, d   It is the CAPA team’s experience that the extensive professional development program is
                responsive to the needs of teachers and driven by state assessments and district
                programmatic priorities. There is a need for a structured process to support, monitor, and
                assess the effectiveness of professional development activities.

                The CAPA team acknowledges the support work of the LAL and math coaches and RTCs
                to help teachers and staff internalize the content, practices, and strategies presented in PD.
                However, the CAPA team suggests that the district explore a more explicit method to
                identify teacher competencies in a core subject area and in understanding how children
                learn each subject. Having identified the needs, the district will then be able to provide
                and require appropriate differentiated professional development activities that will enable
                teachers to apply new content as well as pedagogical knowledge to classroom practice.

                The following are specific areas in content, practices, and strategies that are in need of
                more intense focus:


                Content



                                                                                                     Page 13
New Jersey Department of Education                                 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                  Newark Public Schools


Key Area
             •   The underpinnings of the Math and Language Arts Literacy curricula and programs,            Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                 so that teachers understand the “why” of the programs as well as the “what”

             •   A clear understanding of the meaning of “differentiated instruction” as it is used in-      Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                 district, so that there is a uniform understanding at the school and classroom levels

             Strategies
             • The use of effective questions and questioning techniques to deepen student thinking,         Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                comprehension, and engagement

             •   The use of descriptive feedback on student work, particularly that which is provided        Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                 when using rubrics

             •   The student use of rubrics, which fosters ownership and increases task proficiency          Formatted: Bullets and Numbering


             •   The effective use of folders and portfolios as a means of tracking student work over        Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                 time

             •   The flexible grouping of students to meet individual student needs, increase                Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                 engagement, and promote learning based on astute identification of individual student
                 needs

             •   The effective use of technologies and manipulatives that are integrally connected to        Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                 lesson design

             •   The effective integration of all technology that supports differentiated instruction by     Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                 identifying and strengthening teacher knowledge of how to use those resources that
                 support identified student need for reinforcement or enrichment of content concepts

             •   The effective use of strategies that assist both special education and regular education    Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                 teachers and paraprofessionals in differentiating instruction to meet the needs of these
                 populations

             Practices
             • Use of Word Walls that are appropriate for the content being taught, built by students,       Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                and referred to often by teachers and students. Since it is so necessary that students
                build vocabulary, the effective use of word walls is critical.

             •   Use of a structured approach to the analysis of student work to drive instruction that is   Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                 known by all practitioners and followed routinely

             •   Preparation of lesson plans that include essential elements and an explicit description     Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                 of strategies for each element of the lesson and types and examples of assessments to
                 be used during the lesson



                                                                                                  Page 14
New Jersey Department of Education                                Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                Newark Public Schools


Key Area
             •   Faithful implementation of the lesson plan’s key areas in the delivery of instruction     Formatted: Bullets and Numbering


             •   Use of PIPs that are based on assessment of teacher competencies and student              Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                 achievement data. There should be a process of teachers identifying their needs and
                 documenting their progress in meeting those needs, such as participation in
                 professional development activities to include workshops, mentoring, coaching,
                 collaboration, and conferencing. (See graphic under Professional Development.)

             It is the CAPA team’s experience that the district has provided conscientious, committed,
             and, in most cases, knowledgeable RTCs and coaches to the schools. We see a need for
             strengthening the ongoing training and providing more feedback to coaches on their work.
             The CAPA team suggests that the district consider providing more than one literacy coach
             and math coach so that the early grades and upper grades are more effectively served. If
             the school is so small as to not warrant such assignment of resources, the district might
             provide teams of such coaches to serve more than one school, so that there are coaches
             with early childhood/upper/middle level experience available to each school in need.
             There is great need for teachers to see appropriate, effective lessons modeled/taught
             collaboratively on a fairly regular basis so that teachers’ competence can be built as
             quickly as possible.

I. c         There is need to provide workshops and support to building administrators and teachers,
             by SLT grouping, to advance the better development of PIPs, including instruction as to
             how to complete the activities and timeline section of the PIPs. PIPs should be tightly
             connected to the school’s student achievement goals, as well as to identified needs from
             summative evaluations. These workshops should also provide guidance in assessing the
             attainment of the PIP’s identified goals. We suggest SLT groupings because there is a
             great difference in SLTs as to the current understanding of and proficiency in developing
             PIPs as described above.
             It is recommended that the district assist each school in selecting the three most critical
             areas of professional development on which to focus, so that staff and administration can
             more readily assess levels of implementation of practices by staff, focus professional
             development for staff, evaluate success of practices on student achievement, and tie goals
             for students with PIPs.

             The CAPA team recommends that the district ensure increased opportunities for study
             groups in all SLTs that will provide depth to the understanding of the selected best
             practices that are being implemented in a school.
             It is recommended that the district assist the schools in connecting student goals with
             student equity and teacher and program goals. The following is a sample of how
             interconnected goals might look. This description comes from Doug Reeves’s work.

             Student Achievement Goal
             • An achievement goal identifies what indicators are to be targeted by strategies for         Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                improving overall student achievement.




                                                                                                Page 15
New Jersey Department of Education                                 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                  Newark Public Schools


Key Area
             Student Equity Goal
             • An equity goal identifies what indicators and which groups of students are to be               Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                targeted by different strategies for eliminating the achievement gap.

             Teacher Practice Goal
             • A teacher practice goal identifies a key practice (or practices) that teachers will be         Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                implementing as part of the theory of action - and indicators to assess this
                implementation.

             Organizational Goal
             • An organizational goal identifies what school and staff practices will be changed to           Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                support progress toward your student achievement and equity goals.

             Samples:
             Achievement goal: 65% of our 10th grade students will pass the CAHSEE ELA this year
             on their first attempt (up from 49%). 60% (30 of 51) of our 11th graders who failed last
             year, will pass this year.
             Equity goal: Our 10th grade pass rate for both African-American and Latino LEP
             students will increase by 20% this year.
             Instructional practice goal: All of our teachers will be able to use at least two key
             scaffolding strategies for English Language Learners.
             Organizational goal: We will have developed a writing rubric that teachers have begun to
             use this year and are committed to implementing fully next year.

I. d. ii     There is need for the district to provide the school personnel with more intensive training
             in the collection, analysis, and applications of data at each of the levels: student,
             classroom, grade, grade cluster, and school. The district framework must provide tools,
             processes, and support for this work. The support must include the time necessary for
             appropriate staff to engage in this intensive training, in the implementation of the training,
             and in monitoring the application of the results of data analysis to classroom practice. The
             CAPA team found that some schools are more rigorous and knowledgeable than others in
             the analysis and applications of data. It is noted that only two schools, of the 12 visited,
             were addressing data at the individual student level. It’s important that, as the district
             recognizes that schools are on a spectrum, the more intensive training needs to be
             differentiated.

             The development of the framework, tools, and processes should be undertaken by the
             district as soon as possible so that its implementation can begin in September 2007. The
             framework should include
                 • a decision tree for using aggregated vs. disaggregated data                                Formatted: Bullets and Numbering

                 • a formal protocol for looking at student work – a district adoption of Lesson Lab
                      used in many schools should be considered
                 • the inclusion of data analysis in the Coaching Collaboration Cycle for coaches and
                      RTCs working with teachers
                 • a systematic professional development program for all staff in



                                                                                                  Page 16
New Jersey Department of Education                                  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                   Newark Public Schools


Key Area
                         o the multiple types of assessments
                         o the use of multiple assessment strategies to evaluate student performance
                         o deeper levels of data analysis and application
                         o deepening understanding of and clarifying the use of rubrics so that it is
                           clear when, where, and why rubrics are to be used and how to provide
                           effective feedback to students
                         o extending the use of rubrics to include student use
                         o referencing the district’s data management system as a critical resource

             The district is encouraged to investigate ways of providing specific, regular
             information to teachers via processes such as the computerized Dynamic Indicators of
             Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) for LAL, which gives information three times a
             year and helps to organize the information and identify specific interventions for
             students so that these intervention strategies can be targeted to individual students in
             need. The district can build on its identification of key skills that has been provided to
             the Lesson Lab schools in order to identify Critical Learning Instructional Paths
             (CLIPs) as described in Michael Fullan’s book, Breakthrough.

I. d. vi     There is need for the district to provide additional training to all administrative staff on
             how to assess effectively the use of instructional strategies and the implementation of
             programs.

II. a        There is need for the district to monitor and offer resource assistance to ensure that all
             subgroups are formally included in all organizational and instructional programs, e.g.,
             vertical and horizontal grade-level meetings and professional development. It is the
             CAPA team’s experience that many schools are not, as effectively as possible, including
             bilingual, ESL, and special education teachers in grade-level meetings; that content RTCs
             need a clearer understanding of their role regarding special education, bilingual, and ESL
             teachers; and that there is no structured communication among special education RTCs,
             bilingual/ESL RTCs, CST members, and content RTCs. Some SLTs have made it clear
             that there is a role for content RTCs to support all programs within a school, while other
             SLTs have not addressed the role and responsibilities of content RTCs to special
             education, bilingual, and ESL teachers.

             There is an ongoing need for many teachers to get a better understanding of the
             curriculum and how it relates to every child, with special attention to special education
             and ELL students; to know that the curriculum guides include pacing guides and specific
             accommodations for special needs students, ELLs, and high performing students; and to
             know how to use the guides and accommodations to meet the needs of all students.

             This is especially crucial, given the district’s move to inclusion in school year 2007-2008.
II. a        There is need for the district and SLTs to ensure that school-based administrative
             walkthroughs, including collaborating district/SLT/school walkthroughs, are regularly
             scheduled, appropriately planned, and conducted with time for analysis of the
             walkthrough data, and that timely feedback is provided to staff on instructional practices.



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New Jersey Department of Education                                  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                   Newark Public Schools


Key Area

II. b        There is need for the district to ensure that the Secondary Education Initiative is reviewed
             with the school-based administrative staff in middle schools and that all aspects are
             reflected in the school’s improvement and restructuring plans.

II. c        There is need for the district to better customize the professional development program
             for 5-hold and 6 administrators. The district might consider using a formal assessment,
             such as a research-based tool (NAESP), to identify specific needs of each site-based
             administrator. Some of the immediate areas that need to be addressed are:
                 • distributed leadership                                                                     Formatted: Bullets and Numbering

                 • systems thinking as applied to leadership
                 • how to maximize the use of resources, i.e., staff assigned to the building, RTCs,
                     content supervisors, coaches, etc.
                 • giving timely and appropriate feedback to all staff

II. d        There is need for the district to clarify for schools the role of the SLC and provide
             substantial assistance to these teams to effectively undertake the role of overseeing the
             implementation of the school improvement plan as identified in state regulations. The
             training of the members of an SLC planning subcommittee, including the instructional
             leaders of the school, should be consistent with the Action Planning training identified
             above. The task of following up on the implementation of the plan should be given to this
             subcommittee and reported out by them to the larger council monthly.

II. d        Due to the nature of 5-hold and 6 schools and the mandate of NCLB, there is need for the
             district to respond with a sense of urgency to the school’s identified and justified needs to
             provide 100% highly qualified teachers and additional personnel (including additional
             math and literacy coaches; RTCs: regular, SPED, and ELL; tutors in math and literacy
             and for bilingual students; and CST members) and to respond quickly when either
             permanent or temporary vacancies in critical areas occur.

             There is need for the district to hire and retain highly qualified teachers (HQT) and
             principals who are committed to restructuring and can facilitate implementation of
             strategies in 5-hold and 6 schools. If the staff reflects a less than 75% majority of HQTs,
             then an on-site program of PD must be instituted immediately to address the needs of
             those staff not Highly Qualified. Since most of the Math and LAL classes are conducted
             in the morning, the job-embedded PD required to get staff to the level of HQ should be
             considered for afternoon sessions with itinerant staff to provide teaching in other content
             areas, such as social studies, etc.

             There is need for the district to monitor all resources at the school to help the site-based
             administrator identify resource needs and receive replacements in a timely manner (for
             mid-year retirements, long term absences, district personnel available in time of crisis,
             etc.).

             It is recommended that the district formally include the building administrator and give



                                                                                                   Page 18
New Jersey Department of Education                                  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                    Newark Public Schools


Key Area
             weight to his/her recommendations when interviewing and hiring teachers for the school.

II. d        There is need for the district to provide intense technical support to the school’s
             administration when that administration identifies tenured individuals who are not
             competent to serve after all avenues of improvement have been exhausted. (This is a
             critical recommendation for 5-hold and 6 schools.)

II. e        There is need for the district to consider that “less is more” and refrain from imposing or
             mandating new initiatives in level 5-hold and 6 schools. These schools need and request
             the opportunity to deepen the best practices recently implemented before taking on others.

II. e        ALL programs INCLUDING PD, SPED, ELL, the school’s Organizational Practices,
             SLC, Partnerships, and Leadership configurations are at present siloed and do not share
             an articulated way of thinking so that they “make sense” to one another in the academic
             environment of the school. Therefore, there is need for the district to provide intensive
             training in “systems thinking” to create a school-based administrative team dynamically
             precise in the creation of action plans to provide a solid structure to implement effectively
             the district’s balanced literacy, math program, and other school-based programs.

             Once the administrative team of a school receives this training, the district should commit
             to repeating the systems thinking training for a team of school staff (SLC) and SLT
             resource staff specifically assigned to the school. Every effort should be made to have
             this training in an intensive, week-long session during the summer break. A precise, all-
             inclusive, school-wide action plan incorporating all significant priorities identified by the
             district and DOE as well as the schools’ goals, objectives, and strategies, is the expected
             product resulting from this training. The training would best serve the school if it is
             customized using the school’s unique data and program priorities. Once the school’s plan
             is created, the district should support its purpose and avoid imposing spontaneous or
             contradictory mandates that may be counterproductive to the mission of the school.

             The administrative team at the school level, if appropriately trained, will be able to think
             in a way that can best ensure success in the restructuring process. The team will learn to
             consider the six domains that must be addressed when creating plans to address needs:
                 1. Organization (Roles and Responsibilities)                                                  Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
                 2. Systems (Infrastructure)
                 3. Policies (Formal Guidelines)
                 4. Procedures (Steps or Routines for Accomplishing Tasks)
                 5. Practices (Habits of Acceptable Behavior)
                 6. Personnel (Evaluating and Training Staff)
                          Excerpted from “Look Before You Leap—Key Areas of Governance” page 6 of MACC
                         (Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center)

             There is need for the district to provide intensive training, as soon as possible, by experts
             in Strategic Planning with emphasis on creating Action Plans for:
                 • Differentiated Instruction (NSDC, ASCD models to be considered as providers)                Formatted: Bullets and Numbering




                                                                                                    Page 19
New Jersey Department of Education                                  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                   Newark Public Schools


Key Area
                 •   Infusion of Technology into teaching and learning
                 •   Block Scheduling for the improvement of teaching and learning. This training by
                     its nature would include training staff in the strategy of Team Teaching. (identify
                     a research based provider)
                 •   Restructuring classes to assure minimal class size even if Team Teaching is the
                     strategy. Simply putting two teachers, even if trained, in the classroom with 20+
                     students does not recognize the need for intense small group instruction in small
                     classes to assure personalization and embedded assessment of student growth
                     during each lesson.

             The district must ensure that personnel assigned to the school (RTCs, SLT personnel
             including the leaders) receive the Action Planning training along with the on-site
             personnel to assure cohesiveness and to share a common language. In turn the district
             will be in the position to provide focused year long coaching, monitoring and adjusting of
             the processes to assure the best opportunity for success.

III          There is need for the district to provide all school-based professional staff a professional
             development opportunity using Joyce Epstein’s “Six Kinds of Parental Involvement”
             from her book School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Your Handbook for Action,
             so that each school can assist its staff in understanding the various ways that parents can
             be involved in their children’s education, and then to be able to identify appropriate
             additional ways to strengthen the parents’ involvement with their children’s learning.

             School staff need to be aware of those areas over which they have influence but not
             control, so that they may focus on those areas where the school has control, while still
             providing opportunities to influence other areas that are also critical to students’ learning,
             such as home learning atmosphere.

III          There is need for the district to clarify and ensure that school staff understand that
             transportation is available for all students who are eligible for after-school activities and
             who are living outside of the school neighborhood, and that staff provide this information
             in a timely fashion to parents.

IV           The district must provide strong guidance and support to schools to handle issues raised
             by unions that interfere with the educational operation of school.

IV           There is need for the district to assist each school in developing a school-wide mentoring
             program to ensure that all students have an adult advocate at the school, particularly for
             students in grades 6–8, to fulfill the Secondary Education Initiative requirement.

             The district is encouraged to continue its movement in facilitating community
             partnerships with the Newark schools, especially the 5-hold and 6 schools. The CAPA
             team found that where there was a viable partnership, there was a healthy school climate.

             There is need for the district to ensure that after-school programs are coordinated with and



                                                                                                   Page 20
New Jersey Department of Education                                 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                  Newark Public Schools


Key Area
             supportive of the regular school programs and evaluated to ensure that the needs of
             students are addressed.

             There is need for the district to assist all school staff to move to taking greater ownership
             for those areas over which the school has control, which will help to move staff farther
             away from a sense of compliance to commitment. In those 5-hold and 6 schools where
             leadership has a deep sense of this, it is moving forward. However, all schools can use
             district support to strengthen this movement.

             There is need for the district to assist all administrative staff in finding creative ways to
             deal with seemingly intractable issues, e.g., issues that are a result of past practice and,
             therefore, accepted as “the way it is.”
V.           The district should make every effort to inform teachers of their grade-level assignment
             for the following year in June. If, during the summer, assignments need to be changed,
             teachers should be informed. Prior to any staff reassignment, consideration must be given
             to grade-level/content/program-specific training in an effort to maintain the integrity of
             instruction. Any deviations would be rare and the result of a clearly articulated and urgent
             school need.

             There is need for the district to assign only highly qualified teachers to level 5-hold and
             level 6 schools when openings occur or to find creative ways to support their
             advancement to highly qualified status.

             The district should ensure that collaborative teams operate at the SLT level in all SLTs.

V. a         There is need for the district to ensure that each school’s PRC is appropriately constituted
             and trained.

V. b         Although it is known that each individual school has submitted an inclusion plan to the
             district for review, the CAPA team has identified an urgent need for a detailed, explicit,
             categorized district action plan to support each school’s implementation of inclusion
             throughout school year 2007-2008. If the district’s support plan is not created before the
             opening of the school year, the inclusion program, to have the best opportunity for
             success, needs to be postponed.

V. b         The CAPA team recommends that the district consider changing the model for after-
             school programs in 5-hold and 6 schools, so that the programs are truly extended-day
             programs, not after-school programs. The district should consider how to give the school
             administration more control or provide better collaboration between district and school so
             that the programs are clearly aligned with instruction during the regular day and so that
             there is regular communication among the extended-day providers and the classroom
             teachers about student progress.




                                                                                                   Page 21
New Jersey Department of Education                                 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                  Newark Public Schools


RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RESTRUCTURING:

V.           The CAPA team recommends that the district consider creating a 6th cohort for 5-hold and
             6 school principals. This cohort would be best led by an experienced individual with
             recognized competence in reforming a struggling school. This individual should have a
             strong research-to-practice background and know how to foster deep professional
             collegial relationships. This individual must exhibit a deep sense of enlightened
             professional practice and a commitment to the moral imperative of school leadership in an
             urban environment. The principals of the 5-hold and 6 schools, many of whom are new
             principals, need specific guidance and support. They are not only new to the role, but
             have the added challenge of coupling that newness to the reforming of a failing school.

II. c        The CAPA team recommends that the district consider formalizing a PD plan and
             establishing a network/critical friends group for the administrators of the level 5-hold and
             6 schools. Some topics to be considered are Organizational Practices (school based),
             Instructional Practices, individual administrator needs in identifying best practices in
             Leadership, data applications, and other issues as identified by this special group of
             administrators. The consultancy protocol could be considered as a technique/strategy to
             drive discussion and development of specific plans and or challenges.

             Consider requiring that non-highly qualified teachers attend district-sponsored
             professional development.

             Consider realigning the distribution of highly qualified teachers across the district in order
             to address the needs of the lowest achieving schools.

             Ensure that there is an alignment of district initiatives that includes monthly articulation
             and collaboration among LAL, Math, and Special Needs RTCs that service all schools
             with focus on cross-curricular content areas with special emphasis on 5-hold and 6
             schools.

             Bring other content RTCs (e.g., science, technology, social studies) into the process of
             supporting 5-hold and 6 schools through planned collaboration with their Math, Literacy,
             and Special Needs colleagues.




                                                                                                   Page 22
New Jersey Department of Education                                 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                   Newark Public Schools


THE NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SHOULD:

State V.     The State Department of Education should report the test results for special education
             students in the results for the school they attend, not their neighborhood schools, so that
             the appropriate school is held accountable for student results.

             Assure that budget decisions are in place to allow districts to allocate personnel resources
             as per the district recommendations in II.d.

             Provide districts and schools with timely and in-depth understanding of the CAPA
             processes, both 5-day and 3-day. Involve school personnel and appropriate CAPA team
             leads and members in focus groups to discuss and make recommendations for improving
             the process. Ensure that district staff are integral partners in the CAPA process.

             Give clear guidance and sufficient review and feedback for all state-submitted reports.

             Use DOE resources to encourage the district to provide rigorous professional
             development to the administrators and school-level teams of the level six schools in
             Strategic Planning, Action Planning, and Systems Thinking. This training must be
             research-based, authentic, and supported, once given, in a way that clearly shows the
             district's belief and understanding of the importance of these efforts if School Reform is
             to occur. This is critical if the district's commendable efforts to provide resources are to
             affect student achievement positively.

             Provide the district with access to consultants who can provide professional development
             in deeper levels of data analysis to:
                 • assess student needs and                                                                   Formatted: Bullets and Numbering

                 • devise strategies that support all students in reaching high state standard
                 • emphasize building the capacity of the school staff to improve the quality of
                    instruction in classrooms.

             Establish a public collaborative relationship between the QSAC and CAPA initiatives.
             CAPA and QSAC team leads should meet regularly to share information and experience,
             learn purposes and processes, and identify commonalities.

             Provide expectations for reports within reasonable timeframes and refrain from making
             any changes to its expectations (reports) during the school year.

             Assist district and schools to develop district improvement plans that differentiate for
             each 5-hold and 6 school based on its needs.




                                                APPENDIX




                                                                                                   Page 23
New Jersey Department of Education                                               Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                                   Newark Public Schools


Excerpt from Turnaround Leadership by Michael Fullan
Chapter 3 – Change
pp. 44-67: The Elements of Successful Change:
A MEAL NOT A MENU – ALL OF THESE MUST WORK TOGETHER
1.   Define closing the gap as the overarching goal. Raising the bar and closing the gap cannot be just a slogan. It             Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
     captures a host of issues that go to the very core of how a society functions.

2.   Attend initially to the three basics (literacy, math, and well-being). The first two are critical as well as the third.     Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
     The third basic is one we all know about but do little to invest in, even though it unlocks just about everything else.
     Emotional health is strongly associated with cognitive achievement.

3.   Be driven by tapping into people’s dignity and sense of respect. Some students and teachers do not deserve respect,         Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
     but the reason I emphasize this goal is that it is the key to people’s feelings and thus to their motivation. Teachers in
     turnaround school feel (and are made to feel) unworthy, and whether this is deserved is not the motivational point. To
     take an extreme example… the research literature on violence clearly shows that the trigger to violent acts is people
     feeling they are disrespected and threatened with loss of face….The goal in getting out of this vicious cycle is to
     suspend pejorative judgment at the initial stages of working with turnaround schools…. This is about dignity and
     respect as a source of motivation…. I am also saying with Campbell that fostering professional learning communities
     should include forums for teachers to collectively reflect on and collaborate on the ethical and moral dimensions of
     their work and behavior….The goal is to simultaneously empathize with teachers in difficult circumstances while
     calling for and reinforcing higher ethical standards.

4.   Ensure that the best people are working on the problem. We saw that the most talented never show up because                 Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
     policies and practices work again the flow of teachers most appropriate for school in difficulty. The opposite must
     happen. It is obvious that leadership is crucial in all of this.

5. Recognize that all successful strategies are socially based and action oriented. Collaboration is one of the three            Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
     key elements in confidence and winning streaks (the other two are accountability and imitative, both of which are
     reinforced by collaboration). Restoring people’s confidence, says Kanter, requires four kinds of action: 1. Getting
     connected in new ways through conversation, 2. Carrying out important work jointly, 3. communicating respect, 4.
     demonstrating inclusion—that everyone is part of the picture….Put more starkly, the difference for a student’s learning
     and achievement between getting an effective or an ineffective teacher is huge….Cultures do not change by mandate;
     they change by the specific displacement of existing norms, structures, and processes by others; the process of cultural
     change depends fundamentally on modeling the new values and behavior that you expect to displace the existing ones.
     We have suggested in our Breakthrough book a plan for systematically involving all schools and school systems in
     improving elementary school reform. It requires a full press toward intensive and focused improvement of all
     classrooms and school in a given system….Several of our guidelines reinforce the notion that purposeful action is the
     route to new breakthrough. Socially based strategies mean that the emphasis is on doing rather than elaborate
     planning….This is not a message that says abandon all planning. It means reduce the distance between planning and
     action—formal planning documents are less important than (indeed interfere with) implementation, execution, and
     monitoring. Put another way, the planning is built into the doing, feedback, and corrective action.

6. Assume that lack of capacity is the Initial Problem and work on it continuously. The emphasis here is to rein in              Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
     judgment at the early part of a turnaround process in favor of working on capacity building. Assume, in other words,
     that one reason the situation is not working is that people do not know how to improve it, or they do not believe it can
     be improved….To secure new beliefs and higher expectations—critical to a turnaround situation—people first need
     new experiences that lead them to different beliefs.


     The five big barriers to action:
     1. when talk or planning substitutes for action                                                                             Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
     2. when memory is a substitute for thinking (we have always done it this way)
     3. when fear prevents acting on knowledge (big problem for turnaround cases)



                                                                                                                     Page 24
New Jersey Department of Education                                              Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School
2006-2007 Collaborative Benchmark Assessment Report                                                  Newark Public Schools

    4.   when measurement obstructs good judgment
    5.   when internal competition turns friend into enemies ( a lot of initial blame goes on in failing schools)

    ….Capacity building experiences develop skills, clarity (as you become more skilled, you become more specifically
    clear), and motivation.

7. Stay the course through continuity and good direction; leverage leadership. Leaders developing leaders is at the           Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
    heart of sustainability… The main mark of a principal at the end of his/her tenure is not just the impact on the bottom
    line of student achievement but equally how many good leaders the principal leaves behind who can go even
    further…Everything can look like a failure in the middle….Wins are the result of persistence, of not giving up when
    everything seems to be in jeopardy.

8. Build Internal Accountability linked to External Accountability. Data can be empowering or disabling; data is not          Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
    neutral. They do not restore confidence by themselves. What matters is the culture that surrounds them….People
    embrace tools of accountability when they are in control and when the information empowers them and helps them
    succeed...Turnaround schools have to be helped in the transition from being confronted with the brutal facts to using
    data to get at improvement and eventually for celebrating progress. If the other capacities in our set of ten are
    cultivated, sooner rather than later, people not only become more comfortable with data but seek data.

9. Establish conditions for Evolution of Positive pressure. The evolution of positive pressure means taking all the           Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
    excuses off the table. As we add more resources, new capacities, and examples of other (similar) schools that are being
    more successful, reducing the distracters (unnecessary paperwork, ineffective bureaucratic procedures, bad industrial
    relations with unions, and so on) eventually being judgmental relative to a situation of persistent bad or mediocre
    performance is justified….The idea is to evolve a system where there is left no legitimate reason to be unsuccessful.

10. Build Public Confidence. You know that you are successful when public confidence soars. Confidence is not granted         Formatted: Bullets and Numbering
    by requesting it in advance of performance. It is a chicken-and-egg problem: we need support to perform better, and
    better performance garners further support….To accomplish this, leaders must use the ten elements of successful
    change discussed in this section to motivate and obtain the individual and collective involvement of everyone in the
    organization necessary to pull this off.




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