Showing posts from July, 2009

Reflections on Improvement

Sometimes my job is really fun! As part of our school improvement grant this year, I interviewed a variety of principals and assistant principals regarding their AYP success.  What became apparent fairly quickly was that success was not built on a specific initiative. In fact schools that did not have large gains in student achievement looked similar on paper. So what is the discernable difference?Here are some common characteristics of the AYP Success Schools:Sustained building leadership Sustained building visionPatience - Buildings had long-term plans – 5 to 10 years in most cases Relationships and culture were primary considerations. Leaders consciously and strategically built relationships between: Building leadership and teachers Teachers to teachers and Teachers to students Focus on implementation.  Many teams got lost here… focusing on providing the two hours of professional development mentioned in the plan. Schools experiencing success focused on the changes in classrooms as…

Saucon Valley Elementary: An Evolution in Data-Driven Instruction

Saucon Valley Elementary has accomplished what most schools dream of…. they have high achievement and high growth with proficiency scores of 85.4%  in reading and 93% in mathematics on the PSSA. They also have sizeable and consistent gains for growth as measured by PVAAS. Meaning their students in grades 4 and 5 have exceeded a year’s worth of growth.According to principal, Ro Frey, “The big idea is teacher ownership of their students’ success.  Teachers own their student’s achievement data, and make decisions based on that knowledge.  They know specifically what they expect of their students in terms of developed grade level standards in reading and math, they share that with parents and students, and they monitor each student’s progress toward that goal. We support the teachers as they accomplish great things for their students.”Keys to Success:Consensus on grade level expectations, aligned assessments, and accountability for student success.Data in the hands of the teachers.Teacher…