Breaking Ranks: A Comprehensive School Improvement Framework for K-12 Leaders

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Two architects of the Breaking Ranks framework provide an in-depth discussion of how NASSP's publication, Breaking Ranks: The Comprehensive Framework for School Improvement, can help school leaders make substantive, sustainable school change that brings improved student performance.

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Breaking Ranks: A Comprehensive School Improvement Framework for K-12 Leaders

  1. 1. A Comprehensive SchoolImprovement Framework for K-12 Leaders John Nori, Program Development, NASSP norij@nassp.orgPatti Kinney, Middle Level Services, NASSP kinneyp@nassp.org
  2. 2. SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT CHAIN LETTER Simply send a copy of this letter to six (6) other schools that are tired of their principals. Then bundle up your principal and send him/her to the school at the top of the list. In one week you will receive 16,436 principals. One of them should be dandy. Believe this…one school broke the chain and got its own principal back. Good Luck!
  3. 3. Breaking Ranks: A Dynamic Framework 1996 2004 2006 2009 2010 2011
  4. 4. The Breaking Ranks FrameworkWhy does your school need to improve?What needs to improve?How do we improve our school?Who? Do YOU and YOUR TEAM have whatit takes to create a culture for change?
  5. 5. The WHY of SchoolImprovement
  6. 6. How Well Does Your School Serve Each Student?Are practices are in place to ensure… Organizational structures and programs foster personalization and banish anonymity? Each student is encouraged to take advantage of challenging courses and activities and receives the support needed to succeed? Teachers use a variety of student data to regularly plan and deliver differentiated instruction and assessment? Each family participates as a critical partner with the school to ensure student success?
  7. 7. BR: Comprehensive FrameworkFrom Appendix 1, pg 152
  8. 8. What is school culture? “The way we do things around here.”
  9. 9. What kind of a culture positively impacts student performance?A culture that is collaborative,supportive, reflective, creative,and safe…and where every day,teachers and students feelinvigorated, challenged, engagedand empowered.
  10. 10. The Layers of CultureObservable Staff handbook, logo, types of meetings, grouping of students, daily schedule, celebrations, signs, announcements, public roles.Values & Beliefs Vision, what we believe about teaching, learning, schooling, education, children and parenting expressed in what we say and do.Collective Assumptions Taken for granted understandings about what’s worth doing; the hidden psychological level. *Greatest leverage for change is here
  11. 11. The culture at my school is most defined by:•A spirit of collaboration and collegiality•District, state and federal accountabilityrequirements•Student demographics and communitysocio-economic status•The relationship between and among thestudents, parents, staff, and administration.•A belief that with support, all students canlearn
  12. 12. Culture, Conversation & Change Culture is the sum of our collective assumptions which we carry in our minds about ourselves, other people, our craft; every aspect of school life. These assumptions shape how we act. They are often untested, unexamined, and unchanging. Conversation (dialogue) is the only way to disrupt assumptions and bring about change.
  13. 13. CultureMindset By Carol DweckArticle in Principal Leadership www.nassp.org/mindsets
  14. 14. Truths Related To Culture Culture is more powerful than any single individual. Culture is often invisible, below the conscious level, shaping the way we do things. Culture, for better or worse, is communicated directly and indirectly to new staff members.
  15. 15. Re-culturing A change in beliefs and a willingness torethink old beliefs and assumptions thatunderlie stuck behaviors. A shift in point of orientation from outwardto inward. The creation of new mental models thatserve us better.
  16. 16. Structural Change ≠Cultural Change
  17. 17. Structural Changes RTI Advisories Detracking Flexible Grouping Inclusion Classes Flexible Schedules Interdisciplinary Teams Ninth-Grade Academies Common Planning Time Small Learning Communities Elementary Departmentalization Professional Learning Communities
  18. 18. Cultural Changes Common Set of Beliefs New Ways of Interacting Heightened Expectations Honest Examination of “reality” Shared Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals
  19. 19. “Culture eats strategies for breakfast.” Peter Drucker Changing culture is the only road to significant and lasting school improvement.
  20. 20. Breaking Ranks: The Comprehensive Framework for Improving Schools Too often, when implementing improvement initiatives,schools neglect to focus on the importance of altering schoolculture. This alteration in school culture can allowimprovements to take hold, flourish, and be sustained.Changing culture requires more than being the first personwith a great idea. Transformations do not take place until the culture of theschool permits it—and no long-term significant changecan take place without creating a culture to sustain thatchange. The question for education leaders at all levels is this: Howcan we foster these cultural changes within schools so thatwe can lead improvement and enhance student learning? Chapter 1, pg 7
  21. 21. Breaking Ranks: The Comprehensive Framework for Improving Schools Too often, when implementing improvement initiatives,schools neglect to focus on the importance of altering schoolculture. This alteration in school culture can allowimprovements to take hold, flourish, and be sustained.Changing culture requires more than being the first personwith a great idea. Transformations do not take place until the culture of theschool permits it—and no long-term significant changecan take place without creating a culture to sustain thatchange. The question for education leaders at all levels is this: Howcan we foster these cultural changes within schools so thatwe can lead improvement and enhance student learning? Chapter 1, pg 7
  22. 22. The WHAT of SchoolImprovement
  23. 23. The “WHAT” of the Breaking Ranks® Framework Cornerstones Core Areas Recommendations Leadership Assessment Curriculum,  Collaborative  Instruction &  Leadership AssessmentEquity 9 recommendations 12 recommendations Relationships Improved Student PerformanceCulture Instruction Personalizing your  School Environment Curriculum 8 recommendations Organization Professional Development
  24. 24. Collaborative LeadershipSample Recommendations The principal leads in developing, articulating, and committing to a shared vision and mission focused on student success The school provides meaningful decision- making roles for staff members, students and parents All members of the school community actively collaborate to develop and implement the agreed-upon learning goals and improvement plan
  25. 25. PersonalizationSample Recommendations The school establishes structures and practices to banish anonymity and individualize the learning experience for each student. The school creates a safe, caring environment characterized by interactions between adults and students that convey high expectations, support, and mutual respect. The school implements scheduling and student- grouping practices that are flexible, meet each student’s needs, and ensure successful academic growth and personal development.
  26. 26. Curriculum, Instruction, & AssessmentSample Recommendations The school identifies essential learnings and the standards for mastery in all subjects. The school connects its curriculum to real-life applications and extends learning opportunities beyond its campus. Teachers plan and deliver challenging, developmentally appropriate lessons that actively engage each student; emphasize depth over breadth; and develop skills, such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, and communication.
  27. 27. An integrated approach… Leadership Assessment Curriculum,  Collaborative  Instruction &  Leadership AssessmentEquity 9 recommendations 12 recommendations Relationships Improved Student PerformanceCulture Instruction Personalizing your  School Environment Curriculum 8 recommendations Organization Professional Development
  28. 28. Matrix ofCornerstones,Core Areas,andRecommendations BR: Comprehensive Framework, pg 39
  29. 29. The How of SchoolImprovement
  30. 30. Change “The only person who likes change is a baby with a wet diaper.” - Mark Twain
  31. 31. Which quote best illustrates an experience you’ve had with change?1. When you are through changing, you are through. ~Bruce Barton2. If you want to make enemies, try to change something. ~Woodrow Wilson3. Just because everything is different doesnt mean anything has changed. ~ Irene Peter4. In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. ~ Eric Hoffer5. This bridge will take you halfway there - the last few steps you will have to take yourself. ~ Shel Silverstein
  32. 32. TRADITION
  33. 33. There is Light at the End of the Tunnel
  34. 34. AProcessCircle forLeadingChange BR: Field Guide, pg 20
  35. 35. The Process in Action:Implementing Student-led Conferences BR: Field Guide, pg 24
  36. 36. Change “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” - Albert Einstein
  37. 37. The Who of SchoolImprovement
  38. 38. Select the experiences that helped you get to be as good as you are. Teacher and/or principal preparation program On the job experience Learning from mistakes Mentors/Role Models Professional development experiences
  39. 39. “10 Skills” is about…
  40. 40. 10 Skills: pg xi
  41. 41. 10 Skills: pg 12
  42. 42. How do you get to be better?
  43. 43. Build on your strengths – Manage your weaknesses Lead with your strengths
  44. 44. Behavioral Indicators Setting Instructional DirectionArticulates a vision related to teaching andlearningArticulates high performance expectations for selfand othersEncourages improvement in teaching and learningSets clear measurable objectivesGenerates enthusiasm toward common goalsSeeks to develop alliances outside the school tosupport high-quality teaching and learningAcknowledges achievement or accomplishmentsSeeks commitment to a course of action
  45. 45. The Breaking Ranks FrameworkWhy does your school need to improve?What needs to improve?How do we improve our school?Who? Do YOU and YOUR TEAM have whatit takes to create a culture for change?
  46. 46. School Culture…determines WHY schools need tocontinuously improve.determines WHAT needs to changein each school.determines HOW schools can go about making changes.determines WHO will be equipped to make changes.
  47. 47. Why does your school need to improve?To provide equal opportunity to eachstudentTo hold each student to the same highstandards and challenge each one equallyTo make learning personal for eachstudentTo enable each teacher to reach eachstudentTo engage each family in meaningfulinteraction with the school
  48. 48. What does your school need to address? Leadership Assessment Curriculum,  Collaborative  Instruction &  Leadership AssessmentEquity 9 recommendations 12 recommendations Relationships Improved Student PerformanceCulture Instruction Personalizing your  School Environment Curriculum 8 recommendations Organization Professional Development
  49. 49. How will your school improve?
  50. 50. Who will bring about the improvement?
  51. 51. Special offer for webinar viewers:Use Code W913 for an on-line order of these books and get20% off – plus free shipping and handling.Expires 10/13/2011 www.nassp.org/store
  52. 52. Contact Information Patti Kinney John Nori Middle Level Services Program Development kinneyp@nassp.org norij@nassp.org 1-703-860-7256 1-703-860-7263 NASSP www.nassp.org

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