#Edleaders with a True Commitment to #Excellence, Just Start.

Tags

, , ,

Educational leaders with a true commitment to excellence work with their school boards, district department and school leaders to build an evaluation process aligned to the district’s overall goals. A scorecard graphically organizes the content (e.g., aligned goals, aligned measures) in the process for transparency and feedback for continuous improvement. The ultimate goal is to produce better places for teachers to teach and employees to work, and improve student learning and parent satisfaction.

Just Start. A district’s strategic plan is used to develop accountable and aligned leader evaluations to drive performance. This first step aligns evidence-based leadership essentials to a district’s strategic plan to determine core measures of improvement and tools to use for evaluating leader performance.

Suppose a district’s focus is improved service; their vision: Efficient, effective, and friendly interactions with our district employees, staff, students, parents, and visitors.

On their scorecard, leaders will include goals aligned to this vision and will include multiple measures aligned with the goal(s). Such measures may include results from Employee Engagement, District Services, and Parent and Student Satisfaction. In turn, each of these measures have set targets, for example, “Raise the overall employee engagement score from the current mean rate of 3.86 (May 2014) to 4.06 (December 2014).”

Focus on Transparency. Creating a scorecard for each leader is an essential  part of the assessment and evaluation process. At its core it is transparent to all employees and stakeholders. In addition, the scorecard includes multiple formative measures aligned to the goals of the district and guides leaders on areas working well and areas needing attention and improvement. It includes overall district approved goals aligned to the superintendent’s evaluation and a link to metrics that affect the achievement of the overall goals.

Evaluate and Communicate. The priorities and goals that department and school leaders include on their scorecard align to a district’s overall goals. This means while each leader’s evaluation varies according to his or her specific role and job responsibilities, the superintendent’s evaluation is aligned to the overall goals of the district, and all other leader evaluations are aligned to the superintendent evaluation. A scorecard helps visually communicate this alignment.

In addition to using the scorecard to communicate, districts must make concerted efforts to communicate their goals and actions—their messages—with stakeholders. Here’s an example from my Twitter feed yesterday from Mission Independent School District:

 

MissionISD

 

School districts with a true commitment to excellence value students improving their achievement levels, employees believing their leaders provide a good work environment and one where every staff member and every employee can be successful at the highest level, district employees providing service excellence, and parents feeling satisfied with their child’s education.

SE Logo-RGB

 

______________

Learn from and connect with high performing educational leaders, and discuss the use of a scorecard to set board and superintendent measures and cascade those across all levels of leadership in the district at Destination High Performance Orlando, February 9-10.

Photo clipped from Twitter feed of @StuderEducation.

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. Our goal is to help school systems 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. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh 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.

Five Quick Reads for the Week: #Courage #Hero

Tags

, , , ,

This week’s Five Quick Reads post comes to you from Washington, D.C., where later today I’ll be celebrating the courage of men and women in the Civil Air Patrol honored today with the Congressional Medal of Honor.

GiveMe5Reads

Recently, Mendick told the story of 93-year-old Phyllis Latour Doyle, who at age 23 parachuted into occupied Normandy in May 1944 to gather intelligence on Nazi positions in preparation for D-Day.

As an agent for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), Doyle secretly relayed 135 coded messages to the British military before France’s liberation in August. For seventy years, her contributions to the war effort have been largely unheralded but, last week, the 93-year-old was finally given her due when she was awarded France’s highest honor, the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.

DoyleRead more about Doyle’s incredible story in Wartime spy finally accepts she is a French heroine via The Telegraph.

In Fast Company‘s 6 Ways To Be A More Courageous Leader the message is clear… “If you desire to be a leader who changes the world, you have no choice but to exhibit courage on a constant basis.” The good news, the article says, is that courage can be learned. Read more.

“Demonstrating leadership courage,” this Forbes article describes, is not easy and “can be scary.” However, the author suggests, courageous behavior “fosters trust and sets a crucial example for others to follow…” Read more in 10 Traits of Courageous Leaders.

Courage in leadership: From the battlefield to the boardroom from the Ivey Business Journal states “courage is a necessary trait of effective leadership,” and provides examples of courage in the c-suite and from the battlefield. Check out the courageous actions described in the article.

Bobelle Harrell  earned her pilot’s license August 20, 1945, and served in the Civil Air Patrol. She will be honored today for her service with a Congressional Gold Medal. In Lady pilot to receive congressional medal for wartime efforts, the author calls her a “pioneer.”

She wanted to graduate early from school, and she did,” Ward said. “She wanted to be a pharmacist, and she did. She wanted to learn to fly and she did. She wanted to own her own pharmacy one day. And she did.

HarrellHarrell’s flight instructor would sing, “My Dreams Are Getting Better All The Time,” and her life personified the song’s title. She was the first woman to be accepted into Auburn University’s pharmacy program and graduated with the highest honors… She instilled the importance of education in her five daughters, all college graduates and all finding success personally and professionally. She modeled—courageously—Sinatra’s “I Did It My Way.” A courageous leader and hero; I call her “unmatched.”

Quick Reads offers us an opportunity to share some of what we’re reading and experiencing each week. Today we celebrate the courage and heroism of leaders and extraordinary people. They are what’s right.

Studer Education

 

_________________

Let us know how you connect with the articles and share with us and WRIE readers what you’re reading.

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. Our goal is to help school systems 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. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh 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: “Be the Change” by Dr. Melissa Matarazzo

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Be the change 2This week I visited with school and district leaders striving to improve their culture and organizational alignment, their service to stakeholders, and their conversations about improving practice. They are committed to these improvements that will make school better for their students, make work better for their employees, and help parents feel more confident about where they send their children each day. What I most appreciated  in my visits this week was the examples set by district leaders who lived Gandhi’s sage advice to “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” The leaders I watched this week modeled dedication, humility, self-awareness, vulnerability, and an openness to transparent accountability . They provided a concrete example of the change they wish to see in their organizations, in ways like this:

  • Reflecting openly about the gift of feedback, even when it didn’t feel like a delightful present
  • Showing the importance of serving stakeholders in ways that make them say, “Wow!” by being present and learning alongside employees
  • Agreeing to public accountability through a transparent and measurable evaluation process
  • Building on current success while also demanding continued improvement, so that all students achieve success in a district’s schools

While we sometimes say, “Walk the walk,” “Practice what you preach,” or “Model the desired behavior,”Ghandi’s version engages my heart and mind. It activates my commitment to making the world a better place. It connects our work in schools to the actions of those far beyond our walls who foster community development, seek electoral office, protect us from danger, march the streets, advocate in courts, and do their part to make our world the place that future generations want and deserve. I am grateful for all of them, and reminded that I, too, must “Be the change.”

StuderEducation

 

_______________

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.

Contact us for more information about coaching for continuous leadership development and systems improvement. Join us in Orlando in February 2015 for Destination High Performance.

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. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh 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.

Children Will Show Us the Way… On How to Use #Data in #Education by @EdmondsonC2C

Tags

, , , , , ,

This post reprinted in its entirety courtesy of Striving for Change blog author Jeff Edmondson. Posted as “Children Will Show Us the Way… On How to Use Data in Education” on by Jeff Edmondson, on by Jeff Edmondson, Strive Together http://strivetogether.org.

StrivingForChangeAs a father of four, I am often reminded how a child’s perspective can help point adults in the right direction. I can’t count the number of times my kids have figured out something I simply thought could not be solved. But I have to say that I was surprised by what I learned last week from children about how we can best use data in education. The students in Menomonee Falls School District proved to me, yet again, that children CAN show us the way.

I had the pleasure of visiting schools at every level – elementary, middle, and high school – in this amazing district and I simply could not believe the power of what I experienced. Superintendent Pat Greco, who was a featured speaker at our recent Cradle to Career Network convening in San Diego, has worked with her team of administrators and faculty to figure out how data can indeed be used as a flashlight instead of a hammer. Their work to apply continuous improvement processes across the district is getting international attention, but it is impossible to grasp the power without visiting. Here’s what I saw:

Menomonee Falls School District

In most classrooms, a data wall like the one pictured above captures several key pieces of information that is updated daily or weekly:

  • Starting on the left, you will see “I can” statements (representing district standards) to help students understand and embrace the sequence of what they will be learning.
  • In the middle is a classroom-generated mission statement and a concrete performance goal for all students. Below this are the results of quarterly benchmark assessments plotted out for each class (no names) to show the progress they are making toward the class goal.
  • And on the right are the 15-day “plan, do, study, act” (PDSA) cycles the class is currently using to meet a specific standard. In simple terms, this means: 1) the class sets a goal; 2) the class reviews the results of mini-assessments that indicate mastery; 3) students give feedback to the teacher (and vice versa) on what is working to achieve mastery; and 4) they all make a plan for how to move forward to achieve their goal.

Every child is engaged in this process of inquiry and improvement. Even kindergarten students highlight what was working for them and the teachers respond based on their experience.

A few insights I took away from my visit to Menomonee Falls:

  • Kids love using data to improve individually and collectively! In one classroom, a teacher was very honest about how challenging this methodology was to use initially, but then reflected as to why he now has come around to embrace the work. As he talked about his struggles a student was visibly agitated, worrying he might not indicate that he liked using the process. When asked why, she simply stated, “This work tells me where we are as a class so we can all improve and we get to share what type of teaching works best for us. I like that.”
  • It pays to start small to go fast. Rather than roll out the work to everyone, the district started small with a core group of teachers that were willing to be early adopters. These teachers embraced the methodology and not only model how to use it with their peers, but train them on how to make the process a seamless part of what they do every day.
  • Transparency creates more engaged learners. A continuous improvement expert on our team noted that the teachers were using what he calls “visual management”.  Rather than simply talking about the data, they put it on the walls so everyone can make sense of it and (hopefully) fully own improvement. Behavior challenges are reportedly down and participation of students and parents (empowered by knowing their child’s progress in real-time) is up.
  • Continuous improvement enables personalized learning. Menomonee Falls struggles with the same budget issues as any district. One teacher noted that he had a teacher’s aide for a half day each week, but other than that he was on his own. That said, by using data to understand what students are learning in real-time and hearing from students about what is working for them he is able to meet students individually and collectively where they are using a variety of teaching techniques. He is able, in short, to personalize learning in ways he could not before.

In our work with communities, we often struggle with getting adults to really listen to what the data is telling them and change what they do every day. It is clear in Menomonee Falls that children are able to do just that when empowered with the data…and by teachers who work proactively to help them use it.

I am hopeful we can not only listen, but learn from them about how to overcome our fear of data and let it shine a light on the path we need to take to better outcomes. Children can and will show us the way.

___________________

Special thanks to Striving for Change blog author Jeff Edmondson for allowing us to re-post their blog content; originally posted as “Children Will Show Us the Way… On How to Use Data in Education” on by Jeff Edmondson, Strive Together http://strivetogether.org. Watch a video of Jeff Edmondson and other education and quality experts reflect on Menomonee Falls School District’s continuous improvement approach (11-20-14 CI visit from SDMF Productions on Vimeo).

Discover more about the School District of Menomonee Falls from the district’s website at http://www.sdmfschools.org/.

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. Our goal is to help school systems 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. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh 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.

Drive Systems Improvement and Performance in #Education

Tags

, , , , , ,

Leaders and educators in school systems are challenged to look for leading practices and solutions that move them beyond thinking that their district or their issues are unique, so that they can work towards providing every child with an opportunity to earn an excellent education. This challenge is sometimes difficult and the methods school leaders use to address the challenge often fall short of systems thinking or what Senge describes as “the art of seeing the forest and the trees” (1990: p. 127).

What happens when educational leaders and school system employees execute measurable and aligned evaluation systems focused on students improving their achievement levels; employees believing their leaders provide a best place to work environment; school system employees providing service excellence; and parents feeling satisfied with their  22child’s education?

A school system (or school or department within a school system) can achieve systemic improvement when leaders apply systems thinking to solve difficult problems that influence student achievement, employee engagement, and service excellence outcomes. Specifically, when leaders implement an evidence-based framework aligned to the school system’s strategic plan, aligned behaviors, and core metrics and formative/summative assessments for evaluating performance, they create a process to accelerate improvement in the school system.

What is an evidence-based framework?

An evidence-based framework provides an operational framework to improve execution and achieve outcomes. That is, the framework creates a culture of execution within the organization and empowers leaders to develop and coach employees on tactics and behaviors to achieve outcomes. It introduces consistency and accountability within an organization by defining a structure focused on aligned goals, aligned behaviors, and aligned processes.

EB Framework Grayscale

The aligned goals component included district leaders identifying key (aligned behavior) performance measures aligned to creating a best place to work environment. Data and feedback from these measures coupled with aligned processes (strategies and tactics) for improving internal processes and making strategic changes that accelerate employee engagement and district support services across all district departments and schools.

What happens…

When leaders in organizations and school systems apply the framework they initiate a dynamic way to respond to their unique challenges. For example, if a school district is challenged with teacher turnover or not attracting the best candidates for its leadership pool, the framework provides guidance for the process of establishing smart goals, measures, and strategic actions, for achieving improvements in these areas. At Hunt Elementary School, Principal Raczkowski-Shannon focused her colleagues on one item:

Our lowest score on the [Parent Satisfaction] survey was we didn’t send positive notes or make phone calls to parents. And, we didn’t; the only time we called home was if it was a problem… there were only negative phone calls. So we said, ‘What can we do different?

When teachers and leaders focus on one item, they can make concerted efforts to achieve the results they want, in this example, increased parent engagement through positive notes or phone calls to parents. At Hunt Elementary, teachers completed five (5) positive phone calls home per week, logged the calls, and included the call logs in their evaluations. At first the teachers were resistant; but, they completed the calls with fidelity. Raczkowski-Shannon shares:

There’s not a day that goes by that a teacher doesn’t come up to me with a story. They say it’s the greatest thing they’ve ever done. That parents are now answering the phone. And one of my favorite stories is ‘Danielle.’ She is a first grader and is very, very, very active. She had terrible behavior at the beginning of the school year and we were constantly calling home… Behavior improved and the teacher made a phone call home. By the end of a positive phone call home, the Mom was crying and said, “I have never received a positive phone call.”

The important take-away is that Positive phone calls home reach beyond the framework and reach beyond the survey numbers; that is, connecting with parents through the phone calls is one way Hunt teachers let students and parents know that they care about them. This is one way Hunt Elementary recognizes the importance of parents as a teacher and supporter of their children.

Studer Education

 

________________________

Hunt Elementary School is home to the Junior Vikings! Its mission is to teach all students basic grade level skills and promote social, emotional, physical and academic growth. Check out “Hunt Happenings” and enjoy a virtual tour of Hunt Elementary here.

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. Our goal is to help school systems 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. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh 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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 825 other followers