William Price attended The Effective Schools training with Larry Lezotte. An explanation of strategies and a powerpoint presentation are shared in this post. Once you review the strategies take time to leave a comment and share the success and challenges of your learning community as you have implemented the correlates.
PowerPoint: Larry Lezottes Correlates
Conducting school improvement and educating students at the same time is like simultaneously cooking and remodeling the kitchen.
Schools should train staff to understand “the principals of human learning” and “human motivation” research.
Safe and Orderly Environment
This correlate is one of the easiest to achieve. A prerequisite is that 1) All adults must honor that they are on duty at all times while they are at work. 2) Teachers must interact and redirect students with consistency.
Clear and Focused Mission
If you were to ask stake holders, “What does the school care most about?” What response would you receive. Does everyone have a clear sense of the mission of the school? Can students communicate a clear mission for the school? Administrators and key communicators in schools must place the communication of the mission as a priority in their daily practice. Consider restating beliefs and mission on morning announcements, newsletters, and at the beginning of all meetings.
Climate of High Expectations for Success
One of the most difficult correlates to achieve. People confuse high standards (for example TEKS, curriculum alignment) with high expectations (values and beliefs). We sometimes lower expectations when we raise standards.
Teacher & Administrator Expectations is critical as we build high expectations for success. 1) Sense of efficacy – do we believe that we can do the job or accomplish the goal. Do we believe both that kids can learn AND we can teach them?
What has the potential to lower efficacy and increase doubt? a) When teachers are charged to teach students they have not previously taught. b) If conditions in the work place change. When a teacher’s or administrator’s efficacy is lowered and doubt increases, a retreat into isolation occurs and gains toward high expectations deminishes. We may not get all that we want, but more often than not we get what we expect.
Opportunity to Learn & Student Time on Task
How to use the time we have efficiently. We have to be conscious and work to prevent anything that causes classroom disruptions (kids coming to class late, kids being pulled from class). From September to June gains for disadvantaged kids vs middle class students showed more gains for disadvantaged students. But over a four year period middle class students showed more gains than disadvantaged students. Reason? Disadvantaged students lost ground over the summer while advantaged students gained ground. Moreover, while disadvantaged students make gains during the school year, the gains made are negatively impacted during the summer months. Technology allows us to diminish the negative impact of loss of exposure during summer months by bringing the world to students. Real world, rich experiences during the summer can be created for disadvantaged students through technology.
Frequent Monitoring of Student Progress
If you do not plan to change what you monitor, do not monitor. Monitor as often as you are willing to change practice. For example, if your leadership team sets a goal to conduct a certain number of walk throughs, make sure the purpose is to give immediate feedback that will enhance instruction in the classroom.
Positive Home-School Relations
As parent involvement increases, accountablity for student success increases. Most schools have little written about parent involvement, most teacher preparation programs do not address parent involvement, a significant number of teachers leave due to negative effects of parent involvement. Teachers and administrators generally feel the least obligated to the parents of lower income students. The Heritage Foundation has done research related to home life and student success. Visit this link: http://tinyurl.com/ycq9v5w
Low income in itself is not a determinant of student success or failure in school.
Strong Instructional Leadership
People do not follow effective leaders because they are afraid of the consequences. People follow effective leaders because their beliefs, values, and vision are aligned with the leaders beliefs, values, and vision.
If the school creates access and opportunity, coupled with student initiative, then student achievement is positevely impacted.
Empowered Leadership: A leadership team is necessary, but for a learning community to be advanced, create a team for each correlate. The function of the team is to look at research and best practice and make informed decisions in the learning community.
The 80/20 Rule: 80% of the beer is drunk by 20% of the people who drink beer. 80% of the discipline problems in school is committed by less than 20% of the school population. 80% of administrators time is allocated to 20% of staff. Advertisers understand the 80/20 rule very well and allocate resources appropriately. As a community of learners we should not be so quick to create school wide policies when the problem rests with the 20%. Instead address the 20% and change their behavior to conform with the 80%.
Root Cause Analysis: When evaluating a problem, ask “Why” 5 times. For example: problem: students are not successful in Algebra. (why #1) Answer #1 They do not arrive prepared for the content. (why #2) They do not learn prerequisites the prior year. (why #3)…..
When a learning community receives funds, how are the funds spent? Funds could be allocated to: change structure of the learning community, change the length of day, change/enhance professional development, change/purchase additional materials, or to change the culture of the building. The team should ask: Does ___ increase rigor for students? Does ___ increase instructional time? Does ___ increase student engagement? Does ____ assure instructional alignment? Does ___ create systems for immediate feedback? As a result of focusing on these questions, Increased motiviation + Increased Learning = Increased Student Performance.
Continuous School Improvement is a cycle of Reflection – Planning – Implementation – Evaluating.
Share your success and challenges as your learning community has worked to implement these correlates.