Implement Evaluation Measures to Drive Systems Improvement

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When a district implements evaluation measures a new and different perspective on systems improvement is formed within the district. It begins when a district identifies annual goals, and then cascades these goals through departments/schools through the identification of short cycle goals and progress monitoring measures. As a result, districts use data to inform performance decisions, as described below by one superintendent:

We are data focused and data driven. All procedures and decisions that we make, we are sure to tie back to data. For example, we do a state-wide test every year; we were measuring one data point, but we were using no other data points for seeing how our students were achieving. We now understand the need to gather additional data points and do this quarterly across the district…

The final point the superintendent makes, “We now understand the need to gather additional data points,” grounds systems improvement from a progress-monitoring perspective. That is, leaders see the district’s progress toward annual goals across the year so that adjustments, if and when applicable, can be made. Adjustments may align to the initiatives that align to the short cycle goals or the actions/strategies for each initiatives. For a school district to improve and move toward excellence, every school and every department must achieve excellence.

 

 

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Join Dr. Marcelo Cavazos, Superintendent of Arlington Independent School District (TX), and other superintendents, board members, executive teams, and educational leaders August 6 to engage in systems improvement conversations about evidence-based practices, including 10-minute mini lessons on tactics “key words at key times,” “we/they – manage up,” and “reward recognition.” For more information on this complimentary conference or to RSVP for What’s Right in Education in Chicago, Illinois, August 6, contact Dr. Melissa Matarazzo at Melissa.Matarrazo@StuderEducation.com.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the sixth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

“Improvement is Non-Negotiable” Superintendent Cavazos

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For a school district to achieve excellence, every school and every department must achieve excellence. In the video clip below, Dr. Cavazos addresses questions about his district’s results from its Employee Engagement survey and Parent Satisfaction survey during  What’s Right in Education 2013.

Join Dr. Cavazos and other superintendents, board members, executive teams, and educational leaders August 6 to engage in similar conversations about evidence-based practices, including 10-minute mini lessons on tactics “key words at key times,” “we/they – manage up,” and “reward recognition.”

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Attendees will engage in facilitated conversations with colleagues in education and hear about best practices and results from superintendents and board members from selected partner districts, including Dr. Marcelo Cavazos, Superintendent of Arlington Independent School District.

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Video of Dr. Marcelo Cavazos, Superintendent of Arlington Independent School District, addresses questions at 2013 What’s Right in Education (#WRIE) conference.

For more information or to RSVP for What’s Right in Education in Chicago, Illinois, August 6, contact Dr. Melissa Matarazzo at Melissa.Matarrazo@StuderEducation.com.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the sixth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Try This Tip: “Share Clear Expectations” by Dr. Melissa Matarazzo

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Yesterday, I enjoyed a great, self-reflective discussion with the Cabinet and Lead Principals of the Chippewa Falls Area School District (WI). After reviewing results from a Studer Education  Straight A Leadership Assessmentand a Baldrige Quality Self-Assessment, we analyzed why different district leaders perceived their responsibilities, employees’ engagement, parents’ satisfaction, and the overall success of the district differently. One theme that arose was the importance of sharing clear expectations – amongst each other and all district employees. By engaging in a strategic planning process that will produce a small number of measurable goals that clearly define success, Chippewa Falls employees will gain increased awareness of what’s expected and will be able to celebrate success with pride.

If you think your district’s goals and expectations are clear, consider how the clarity of any message disintegrates as it travels from person to person, like in that old “telephone” game. To check if you are following this tip, ask yourself:

  • What are our annual goals, and how will we measure our success at achieving them? How will our leaders know if we’ve achieved our goals? How will our teachers know? Goals inform everyone what we are measuring, and therefore, what’s important and expected.
  • What are the few, key strategies we will implement this year to achieve our goals? Key strategic actions should be limited in number, identifiable throughout the organization, and aligned to achieving the goals.
  • What will effective implementation of our strategies look like in our school or district? What should we see leaders doing? What should we see teachers doing? What should we see students doing? Clear expectations for what the strategies look like in practice enable everyone to work towards effective execution.
  • How will we know if we are trending towards our goals throughout the year? How will leaders know? How will teachers know? Pre-identifying progress monitoring measures provides everyone with the opportunity to “check-in” on progress and revise ineffective actions before the year’s end.

 

Once you’ve answered these questions, cascade your responses throughout the district. Use all of your communication channels to share clear expectations and empower district staff to work towards your shared goals with greater energy and effectiveness.

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MatarazzoMelissa is an Evidence-Based Leadership coach for Studer Education, located in Pensacola, FL. Previously, she served as the Executive Director for Achievement and Accountability in the Charleston County (SC) School District. She earned her Ed.D. through the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s (HGSE) Urban Superintendents Program, and received both a Masters in School Leadership and a Masters in Education Policy and Management from HGSE. Melissa has also served as a middle school principal in the Peabody (MA) Public Schools, and as an 8th grade teacher and assistant principal in the Derry (NH) Cooperative School District. Melissa has coached aspiring and novice leaders at KIPP Jacksonville, FL; supervised teacher interns at the College of Charleston, SC and instructed graduate students in administration at American International College in Springfield, MA. Follow Dr. Matarazzo on Twitter at @LrngLdr and follow Dr. M’s weekly post “Try This Tip” here.

Questions were adapted from the book How to Lead Teachers to Become Great, by Dr. Pilcher and Dr. Largue, where Principle 1 (of the book’s 5 principles) is When Teachers Know What to Expect They Perform. In addition, I integrated Studer Group’s Principle 2: Measure the Important Things, which is discussed in detail in the book Hardwiring Excellence, by Quint Studer.

Interested in learning strategies for setting and sharing clear expectations? Contact us for more information about our coaching for continuous leadership development and systems improvement. Register now for a complimentary 1-day learning session with our partners in Chicago, August 6, at #WRIE: What’s Right in Education.

Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the sixth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Achieve an Excellence-Based Culture with Principle-Driven Leadership: Measure the Important Things

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Measure the Important Things is the second of The Nine Principles® which serve as a roadmap for leaders to develop and achieve an excellence-based culture. By measuring the important things, leaders drive performance to reach excellence. Key metrics aligned to organizational excellence include:

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Establishing and then measuring these key metrics help leaders hardwire or establish processes by which they or the organization, department, team, or individuals integrate behaviors or actions; and, hardwire a culture of excellence across all departments and schools in their school district, and across essential pillar goals goals aligned with the district’s strategic plan.

Santa Rosa has earned an “A” grade from the Florida Department of Education each school year since 2004; it’s one of only five school districts within the state to do so. It consistently ranks as one of the top districts in Florida for student achievement and performance. The district’s student performance measures show that Santa Rosa County is a great school district. The district’s challenge is sustaining its tradition of excellence, improving employee engagement and district support services, and creating a best place to work environment.

KeysSanta Rosa County is one example of a district and its school leaders taking action to create a systematic approach to drive employee engagement and service excellence results in support of all of the district’s goals. A key component of continuous improvement and achieving an excellence-based culture.

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Join us August 6 in Chicago, IL, for What’s Right in Education for the keynote address “Driving Excellent Organizational Performance” by Quint Studer, Founder of Studer Group and best-selling author and international speaker. Learn about Evidence-Based Leadership℠ and creating a culture of execution that empowers organizations to move quickly and effectively, driving performance. Want more information about What’s Right in Education – Chicago? Check out the interactive agenda. Contact Dr. Melissa Matarazzo at melissa.matarazzo@studereducation.com to request complimentary attendance.

Read about “Commit to Excellence,” the first of The Nine Principles®, in this What’s Right post.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. The goal of our work with school districts and leaders is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the sixth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

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