The point is to have a quality assurance model—to create efficiencies and effectiveness in how we do the business side of the house. Ultimately, their goal is to free up teachers and principals to focus on instruction and not on operation. Principals need to be instructional leaders, not building managers.
Labor Negotiations – The district’s relationship with PAT has been weak and acrimonious. As a recent example, the district settled quickly and made almost no gains in removing barriers to effective teaching. The goal was “labor peace.” As we speak the union is already grieving one of the only two changes lauded as “wins” in the negotiations: a new high school teaching schedule that means weeks of lost instructional time. The School Board is not acting as a governing body. The most recent “review” of superintendent was based off of Milestone progress, but though the Superintendent fell short of all of her goals she received a glowing review. Project Management: the district’s own plans showed that, to afford a comprehensive curriculum for students, we needed to close several high schools. Instead, when community pressure began the district only closed one, and the district is now decreasing instructional time and saying they cannot afford a new science curriculum as planned.
Everything they do in Salem, from bus schedules (are they getting students in on time?) to instruction, is based off of data that can tell them what’s working and what isn’t. Sandy got buy-in on her customer-service orientation by showing student data to staff over and over again and making the case for change. Lane MS is a low-income Portland school lauded for doubling its reading and writing scores in 4 years) In Portland: No Uniform Approach: Schools that don’t have a specific grant for data teams don’t have reliable formative assessment or grade-level teacher team discussion (some principals say that teachers “grieving” this grade-level meeting makes it impossible for them to meet). No proactive communication of progress to goals : Milestones are not broken down by demographic, and school board members at a recent forum grew very defensive when asked questions about Portland’s graduation rate by demographic.
Principals: Aldine also cites its “grow your own” principal programs as key to success, and have in-district training, mentoring, and skill development so prospective principals can hone their skills. Teacher Mentor Programs : Salem-Keizer cites its teacher-mentor grant as a big reason low-income schools like Hammond Elementary in NE Salem now outperform other schools. The money for the program came from a bill Stand and Chalkboard got passed in the legislature but Portland has not applied for In Portland, when individual schools spend time training promising newer teachers, they are often forced to fire them during budget cuts or have them bumped for more senior teachers Professional Development: Broward County, FL requires all staff submit growth plans every year, aligned with the district’s learning goals and professional standards and linked to an array of development opportunities. Broward County is getting very strong results with its low income population– they have Principal Evaluations : Nancy Golden, Superintendent of Springfield started with rigorous principal evaluations based on student learning. If student learning isn’t improving, the principal is out. Teacher Evaluations: Tillamook has shown double the student growth of comparator districts, and a big part of their work comprehensive, goal-oriented teacher evaluations. Layoffs: New York City, which has seen nearly 20-point jump in graduation rates, negotiated a contract with “ mutual consent” teacher hiring in 2005, meaning that all schools can hire and retain the staff that is best for their kids. Regardless of seniority. In Illinois, Stand helped pass statewide legislation that required performance, not seniority, to be the deciding factor in times of cuts
Portland cannot hire or retain teachers based on how effective they are in the classroom. The contract makes it very difficult to fire teachers, so principals often “unassign” teachers instead of firing them. These teachers then bump less senior teachers at other schools. Building Strong Teacher Teams: “Forced placement” of teachers means that schools can’t hire or retain the best teachers. Layoffs: Right now, high schools have to lay 44 teachers, and base this decision solely on seniority. *the district says it is re-writing its teacher evaluation this year, and next year it will start conversations about factoring in student learning.
Salem Portland Beaverton comparison data
PPS STUDENT PERFORMANCE How we measure up to other districts, and what they’re doing to get results
PPS, Beaverton, and Salem have similar demographics and per-student spending. Each district deals with Oregon’s inadequate, fluctuating school funding.
Demographics Portland Public Schools, Salem Public Schools, and Beaverton Public Schools have similar demographics* *African American population is exception District Total Enrollment Non-White American Indian Asian African American Hispanic White Special Ed ESL Free and Reduced Portland 46, 989 44% 1% 9% 13% 16% 56% 14% 10% 45% Salem 40,638 47% 1% 2% 1% 37% 53% 14% 17% 50%+ Beaverton 38,571 46% 1% 13% 3% 22% 54% 12% 14% 38%
Funding Portland Public Schools spends the most per pupil overall District Operating Expenditures Per Student Capital Expenditures per Student State of Oregon $9,280 $990 Portland Public Schools $11,589 $444 Salem Keizer Public Schools $9,444 $727 Beaverton Public Schools $8,556 $1,140
YET SALEM-KEIZER AND BEAVERTON OUTPERFORM PORTLAND IN GRADUATION RATES FOR EVERY DEMOGRAPHIC.
WHAT ARE MORE SUCCESSFUL DISTRICTS DOING TO GET BETTER RESULTS FOR STUDENTS? WHAT WORKS?
Successful urban school district have a relentless, unwavering focus on student achievement <ul><ul><li>This means… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong Leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear Goals and Assessments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High-performing principals and teachers workforce that is supported to succeed </li></ul></ul>
Strong Leadership <ul><li>Strong districts have a superintendent and leadership team who embody a relentless focus on teaching and learning and ensure people at all levels of their organization embody this goal, too. </li></ul><ul><li>When Sandy Husk arrived in Salem, she implemented a “customer service” initiative to ensure that her staff at all levels sees service to students as a top priority. Staff all explain their work now in terms of benefit to students. </li></ul><ul><li>In 4 years, Salem has seen jumps in reading and math performance. </li></ul>
Leadership in Portland <ul><li>For at least ten years, PPS has not been characterized by strong, consistent leadership. </li></ul><ul><li>High Superintendent turnover </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of customer service orientation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Widespread parent and educator dissatisfaction with PPS management, especially staff below the executive team </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Portland School Board not attracting top talent </li></ul><ul><li>Contract Negotiations: acrimonious, not yielded positive changed for students, and dominated by PAT </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of clear strategic plan with clear objectives and performance metrics </li></ul><ul><li>No clear emphasis on strong teaching and student learning as the number one objective </li></ul>
Clear Goals and Assessments The best urban district ensure that educators use student learning data all the time to inform their teaching. They communicate clearly about expectations for students and what success looks like. <ul><li>Teachers in Salem-Keizer, whose graduation rate for LEP students is twice Portland’s, use data constantly to ensure their students are progressing. </li></ul><ul><li>Successful Portland schools like Lane MS and Jason Lee K-8 do the same </li></ul><ul><li>Portland as a district, however, does not the will or ability to instill this as a priority district wide: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thousands of low income kids are in schools that are not using the kind of formative assessments that have been proven to improve student outcomes. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Achievement for like-demographics varies tremendously school-by-school </li></ul></ul>
High performing teacher and principal workforce that is supported to succeed <ul><ul><li>This looks like: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Early recruitment of top candidates (who are familiar with district practices) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Aldine TX, winner of “best urban school district” establishes strong partnerships with nearby colleges of ed so graduates have student-taught in Aldine and know the culture. They also have a very strong program to develop their own principal talent </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mentoring and development so teachers and principals remain in the district and improve </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Salem-Keizer cites a teacher mentor program as key in turning around a low-income elementary schools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluations that give timely, relevant feedback and are based off of student learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tillamook cites its student-learning-based teacher evaluations as key in doubling growth on reading/math scores; Nancy Golden in Springfield gained trust and increased learning by implementing student-based principal evaluations. If kids aren’t learning, the principal is out. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Layoff and placement decision that factor in the quality of the teacher, not just their seniority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>NYC Schools have seen a nearly 20-point jump in graduation rates, and negotiated a contract with “mutual consent” hiring to allow all schools to hire the staff best for their students </li></ul></ul></ul>
Teachers and principals workforce in Portland <ul><ul><li>Recruitment: Portland hires late and loses out on the strongest candidates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In 2007, 50% of applicants to Portland withdrew applications before we even started interviewing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Student teachers who learn a school culture and practice have no consistent path to getting hired </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contract dictates that all senior teachers have to find job before anyone can hire </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mentoring in Portland is inconsistent , and professional development is underfunded and considered a waste of time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher evaluations are 30 years old, principals and teacher are often not evaluated* </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The quality of evaluation vary widely school-to- school (many teachers are told to evaluate themselves) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>There are no clear professional standards, and evaluations are not linked to student learning. This is something the district has pledged to work on </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>There are no 360 reviews for principals, and deputy sup’t spend very little time evaluating principals. They are not consistently evaluated on student performance. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Layoffs in Portland are done by seniority only </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Senior teachers often bump less senior teachers from their jobs, regardless of quality </li></ul></ul></ul>
Union Relationship <ul><li>Strong relationships mean shared sacrifices for students: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When Nancy Golden became superintendent in Springfield she brought in a trained facilitator to their union discussions and slowly turned a broken relationship into one of mutual trust and collaboration. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>8 years later, the union and district have agreed to preserve the length school year (even though it means pay cuts) and to work on 2 of their 7 unpaid furlough days </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Springfield district also proved that non performers would be moved out of system. Merit is now considered in placement decisions. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>In Portland, the union and district have distrustful relationship: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This distrust makes positive change for kids and positive interactions with the community very difficult </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Firing one teacher takes 10-20 hours every week for principals </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult to find parent-teacher contract time because not in contract </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No discussion about shared sacrifices of hours during tough budget times, no acknowledgement that seniority layoffs are a problem for students </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
What needs to change in PPS? <ul><li>PPS needs to adopt a long-term goal for student learning and resist any temptation to get off of this course. To do this, we need: </li></ul><ul><li>Strong leadership with track record of success who embody this goal, starting with executive leadership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clearer strategic plan with milestones and metrics based on student achievement that dictates decision making at all levels </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Data-based decision making at district and in every school </li></ul><ul><li>Elevate teacher and principal support as top priority: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stronger partnerships with colleges of ed to recruit the strongest candidates and to hire our best student teachers (and to recruit more teachers of color) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop stronger “grow your own” principal training programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher and Principal evaluations that give useful feedback based on student learning, evaluate principals and deputy superintendents on whether or not they are properly evaluating staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>exit chronically low-performing teachers out of the system </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>exit low-performing principals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implement mutual-consent teacher hiring to allow schools to hire the best possible teachers for the job </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Layoff decisions that include more than seniority </li></ul></ul>
References <ul><li>Information on teacher mentoring in Oregon: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.statesmanjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009905250329 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.stand.org/Document.Doc?id=1980 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Broad Foundation Best Practices (includes documents from individual districts): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.broadprize.org/resources/tools.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aldine principal expectation documents: http://www.broadprize.org/asset/1543-instructional%20leadership%201.pdf </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Broad Summary and Focus Article: http://www.hepg.org/document/126/ </li></ul><ul><li>Springfield article on union/district collaboration: http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/26230232-41/district-springfield-teachers-2011-12-employee.html.csp </li></ul><ul><li>AYP report cards by district: http://www.ode.state.or.us/data/reportcard/reports.aspx </li></ul><ul><li>Per pupil expenditure by district: http://www.ode.state.or.us/sfda/reports/r0051Select.asp </li></ul>