New learning standards are a great opportunity for our education system to ensure students are college ready, career ready, and ready to succeed in a global economy. However, implementing the more rigorous standards will require educators to plan for instruction and assessment in new and innovative ways. An essential step in ensuring that curriculum, instruction, and assessments are aligned to the Common Core is to deconstruct the standards. Deconstruction is the process of breaking down a broad or complex standard into smaller, more explicit learning targets. Think about deconstruction as unpacking or unwrapping the standard to figure out what it’s made of. Why is this step so crucial? Here are four ways that the deconstruction process brings clarity to standards implementation.
By far, the largest—and most important—investment that districts make is in their people. Who we recruit into teaching, how we retain the best teachers, and how we develop leaders is not only a key to student success, but can impact a district’s culture, performance, and financial stability. With this in mind, a growing number of states and districts are exploring changes to their educator compensation systems—among other human capital reforms—as a way to more effectively and efficiently recruit, reward, and retain great teachers and leaders. Battelle for Kids has partnered with more than 65 districts across the country to successfully design and implement new strategic compensation systems for teachers and school leaders. Using research and lessons learned from this work, we recommend that any district considering a new compensation plan follow several critical steps.
K-12 and higher education leaders are looking closely at how they “do business” and successfully using change management strategies. In particular, many school districts are recognizing the value of including all staff and departments in conversations around accountability, human capital development, process improvement, and other areas critical to improving educational opportunities for students. Here are 10 key strategies that education organizations should take to create a holistic, data-driven, performance-based approach to improvement that helps reduce costs, increase efficiency and ensure sustainable change in schools.
Ask anyone to describe their favorite teacher and you’re likely to hear stories of outstanding men and women who had high expectations, made learning fun, and instilled a belief in students that they could succeed. What you won’t hear are memories of educators skillfully unpacking standards, planning rigorous interdisciplinary units, using data to differentiate instruction, assessing progress in real time, or dozens of other day-to-day tasks important to teaching. The truth is, great teachers make their jobs look easy while artfully employing a level of talent and skill that is truly impressive.
Managing any organization—whether it is a public school district, private business, or nonprofit—can be a bit like navigating a boat on water. One day the elements may be in your favor: calm water, just enough of a breeze, and plenty of fish biting. The next day, a storm could hit, damaging the boat and leaving you racing to bring it to shore. Districts and schools must respond to a constantly changing education landscape, including new standards, economic challenges, evolving demographics, as well as significant policy shifts at the state and national level. How can education leaders prepare to meet these demands? In examining organizations from multiple industries that not only remain stable—but actually thrive under ever-changing conditions—Battelle for Kids found a consistent key to success: their people.