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MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS –
AT A GLANCE
Largest school system in Maryland
17th largest school system in the U.S.
148,779 students (AA: 21.3%, WH: 33%, AS: 14.3%, HI:
Over 22,000 employees
Over 200 schools (26 HS, 38 MS, 133 ES, 5 Sp. Schools, 7
Students from 157 countries speaking 138 languages
49,394 students receive Free and Reduced Meals
17,407 students with special needs (11.7%)
Quest for Excellence
Montgomery County Public
No Child Left Behind – 2001 - federal legislation
meant to hold schools accountable.
Students were tested each year (grades 3-12)
theoretically forcing schools to improve instruction
for students who historically had been “left behind”
by our public education system. Brilliant title!
Testing needed to show progress. If a school didn’t
show progress – sanctions!
The test very QUICKLY became overemphasized and
misused. Schools taught TEST PREPARATION instead
of implementing curriculum.
Making matters worse, the test was WEAK and didn’t
measure the skills students would need to succeed.
For over 10 years we held onto a business model
that didn’t work.
HOW DID WE GET TESTING MANIA?
Grade 5 – MSA Reading
Trend–Percentage of Students Scoring Proficient or
Advanced by Service Group
Grade 5 – MSA Math
Trend–Percentage of Students Scoring Proficient or
Advanced by Service Group
Maryland School Assessment (MSA)
Grade 5 Test Question:
The art teacher has 824 paint brushes. He wants to put 8
brushes in a box.
How many boxes can he fill?
A. 4 boxes
B. 13 boxes
C. 103 boxes
D. 130 boxes
Nation Maryland MCPS
Nation Maryland MCPS
Percent Taking SAT
Combined Mean SAT Score
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
MCPS BL Participation MCPS BL Performance (3 or Higher)
Black or African
1999 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
College Ready: A Decade of AP Growth
Number of AP Exams Taken by All MCPS Students
Number of AP Exams Scoring 3 or Higher
Slide Credit: EdTrust.org
Data Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), PISA 2006 Results, http://www.oecd.org/
2003 PISA - Math
Over 75% of MCPS
in an advanced level
math course during
their last two years
of high school.
However, 50% of
MCPS students take
a remedial (non-
course their first
year of college.
How the Demand for Skills Has Changed
Economy-wide measures of routine and nonroutine task input
1960 1970 1980 1990 2002
(Frank Levy and Richard Murnane, 2005)
The dilemma of schools:
The skills that are easiest to teach and
test are also the ones that are easiest to
digitize, automate, and outsource
Most U.S. standardized tests are
designed to assess recall and recognition
Assessments in high-achieving nations
increasingly emphasize learning designed
to assess if students can apply what
they’ve learned focusing on inquiry and
explanations of ideas.
Differences Among Assessments
1. What two gases make up most of the Earth's
A) Hydrogen and oxygen
B) Hydrogen and nitrogen
C) Oxygen and carbon dioxide
D) Oxygen and nitrogen
2. Is a hamburger an example of stored energy?
Explain why, or why not.
(U.S. Assessment) National
Assessment of Educational Progress
8th- and 12th-Grade Science
Read the following information and answer the questions which follow.
A farmer was working with dairy cattle at an agricultural experiment station. The population of
flies in the barn where the cattle lived was so large that the animals' health was affected. So the
farmer sprayed the barn and the cattle with a solution of insecticide A. The insecticide killed nearly
all the flies. Some time later, however, the number of flies was again large. The farmer again
sprayed with the insecticide. The result was similar to that of the first spraying. Most, but not all, of
the flies were killed. Again, within a short time the population of flies increased, and they were
again sprayed with the insecticide. This sequence of events was repeated five times: then it became
apparent that insecticide A was becoming less and less effective in killing the flies. The farmer
noted that one large batch of the insecticide solution had been made and used in all the sprayings.
Therefore he suggested the possibility that the insecticide solution decomposed with age.
Source: Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science, National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1998, p. 75.
1. The farmer's suggestion is that the insecticide decomposed with age.
Briefly explain how this suggestion could be tested.
2. The farmer's suggestion is that the insecticide decomposed with age.
Give two alternative explanations as to why "insecticide A was becoming
less and less effective ..."
What do our students need to know and be able to do?
What skills do they need for a future job market?
Learn to solve problems by solving
problems, not by being given the
steps to solving problems.
A FOUR-STEP PROCESS
1. UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM
• * Can you state the problem in your own
• * What are you trying to find or do?
• * What are the unknowns?
• * What information do you obtain from the
• * What information, if any, is missing or not
2. DEVISING A PLAN
• The following list of strategies, although not
exhaustive, is very useful.
• * Look for a pattern.
• * Examine related problems, and determine if
the same technique can be applied.
• * Examine a simpler or special case of the
problem to gain insight into the solution of
the original problem.
• * Make a table.
• * Make a diagram.
• * Write an equation.
• * Use guess and check.
• * Work backward.
• * Identify a subgoal.
3. CARRYING OUT THE PLAN
• * Implement the strategy or strategies in step
2, and perform any necessary actions or
• * Check each step of the plan as you proceed.
This may be intuitive checking or a formal
proof of each step.
• * Keep an accurate record of your work.
4. LOOKING BACK
• * Check the results in the original problem. (In
some cases this will require a proof.)
• * Interpret the solution in terms of the
original problem. Does your answer make
sense? Is it reasonable?
• * Determine whether there is another
method of finding the solution.
• * If possible, determine other related or more
general problems for which the techniques
Confidence…chipped away at it
because mistakes not
valued…make a mistake…no, I’m
– lose the ability to do this because
Ever been to a workshop…talk to
someone you don’t know…you
right away look for someone you
do know to become your partner?
Doing something right the first time doesn’t mean powerful learning has
occurred; it might mean you didn’t risk enough.
Real learning happens through a process of trial and error; we need to
reinforce this kind of risk-taking behavior.
Making mistakes has become a sign of incompetence instead of a sign of
Lisa’s video – Cody Johnson…
The days of wondering….
BRING wonder back! STEM
Wait time – kids great at this
Wonder – kids are naturals – listen to any 3 year old…WHY? WHY?
WHY?– no need anymore, days are gone thanks to Siri.
STEM brings wonder back.
I am a flexible thinker
I think fluently
I take intellectual risks
I think about how I learn (metacognition (don’t read to me) (foreign outside of
education – Robert)
I am original
I am persistent
Thinking & academic success skills
How to prepare for an unknown
NEW report cards
Unhappy customers (parents)
Teachers feeling incompetent
Leader Teacher Student
Support teachers as they
navigate new curriculum.
Build capacity in teachers.
Support parents who are
nervous about a new
Learn how to work with a new
boss and new expectations.
Learn a new curriculum with a
focus on building own capacity
in order to take students
deeper into the content.
Learn how to look at student
work on a spectrum of
proficiency and evaluate based
Work collaboratively in order
to be open and flexible to new
Create an environment that is
student centered and
promotes problem solving, risk
taking and innovation.
Students need to shift their
mindset from what was
expected during their earlier
WHY USE BALDRIGE IN SCHOOLS?
COLLEGE AND CAREER
READINESS FOR ALL STUDENTS
REQUIRES ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT
BY NOT ONLY TEACHERS, BUT
STUDENTS IN THE TEACHING AND
LEARNING PROCESS. BALDRIGE IS
A WAY OF BUILDING STUDENT
The Baldrige Approach in
MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC
Three Key Principles
• DATA DRIVEN DECISION MAKING
• DISTRIBUTIVE LEADERSHIP/
• OPPORTUNITIES FOR CONTINUOUS
GROWTH & IMPROVEMENT
HOW DO WE BUILD A BALDRIGE
•IDENTIFY & COMMUNICATE CLEAR
•KEEP STUDENT FOCUS ON LEARNING AND
•ENGAGE ALL STAKEHOLDERS IN THE
LEARNING AND DECISION MAKING
•ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO TAKE RISKS
•CREATE A STRONG HOME-SCHOOL
Montgomery County Public Schools
We inspire learning by providing the
greatest public education to each and
Every student will have the
academic, creative problem-solving, and
social-emotional skills to be successful
in college and career.
Leader’s core values and vision must
be shared, public, transparent….
• Remember to laugh and take
care of yourself and your
family. If you’re not having
some fun, it’s time to do
• Remember to help create the
kind of building we want to
work. Speak with each other, to
each other, about each other
• Remember to learn from each
other, use each other’s
WHERE WE WORK
SHERWOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
To provide rigorous instruction in a safe, inclusive environment
of collaboration, respect and high expectations.
We are a community of professionals focused on student
achievement. We are here to teach students to be critical
thinkers. We are committed to sharing best practices and
reflecting on our teaching in order to provide rigorous instruction
to all students.
We are students who work well together in order to learn. We will
make this happen by working collaboratively.
“Sometimes I think the collaborative process would work better
Create the conditions under which
learning can occur by:
CREATE A RISK taking atmosphere.
Flaws ok. Sharing mistakes ok.
Laugh at yourself ok.
I don’t solve people’s problems.
The job of a leader