50 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap

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    • 00:01

      [50 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap]

    • 00:06

      CAROLYN DOWNEY: Many educators todayare grappling with the problem of higher student achievement.Educators are trying to figure outwhat to do to obtain higher student achievement,as well as close the achievement gap.What we do know is that socioeconomic status should notbe a predictor of student learning.

    • 00:26

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Yet many schools across the countryfloat on their demographics.Some staff, especially of low-performing schools,often feel powerless.They are frustrated because they justdon't know what more to do.The authors of 50 Ways to Close the Achievement Gaphave spent much of the last two decades

    • 00:47

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: working with administrators and working with teachers,helping them have a sense of efficacy in their workand to carry out the practices that will make a difference.It is time to take the mystery out of ever-higher studentachievement and focus on those factors thatwill make a difference.

    • 01:07

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: To examine and to use powerful strategiesfor closing the achievement gap.We know that there are several strategies that can do this.Therefore, we wrote this book as your advocatesto help you level the playing field for all studentsso more students can learn more.

    • 01:28

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: [Goals and Introduction]Hello.I am Carolyn Downey, one of the co-authors of the 50 Waysto Close the Achievement Gap.[Dr. Carolyn J. Downey, Co author and Emeritus Professorof Educational Leadership, San Diego State University]We had three major goals in writing this book.First and foremost, to take the mystery outof tests which identify students as low performing by unmasking

    • 01:50

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: the variables and practices which move schoolsto higher performance.Second, to end the idea that poverty, gender,and race automatically impacts test performance.Third, to provide educators strategies when implemented,provide students opportunities to learn that for which they

    • 02:12

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: are held accountable, and to provideequity of learning opportunities and fairness in terms of accessto those learnings.Let me introduce my three colleagues, Betty Steffy,Bill Poston, and Fenwick English, whowere co-authors with me on the 50 Waysto Close the Achievement Gap.

    • 02:33

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Listen to their comments as to why they thinkthe 50 strategies are of value.

    • 02:39

      BETTY STEFFY: The 50 Ways book, I think,is a terrific compilation of whatwe believe are 50 of the most crucial strategiesthat educators can employ to improve student achievement.[Dr. Betty E. Steffy, Co author and Emeritus Professorof Educational Leadership, Iowa State University]It's not like many books that are out on the market thatare single-focused.

    • 03:01

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: For instance, in developing test items or developing curriculum.This one is a compilation of 50 different strategies.And a user of the book then wouldbe able to use it in many different ways.Because it's designed in such a waythat the chapters are organized around what

    • 03:25

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: is the strategy and then why it's important.Why that strategy is so important to improvingstudent achievement.And then finally, each one of those strategieshas a section where we give helpful hints that if you'rewanting to improve your district'sefforts in this strategy, it has a step one,

    • 03:46

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: step two, step three that district leaders couldemploy to use the book.And in this latest addition, we have dramaticallyimproved the research base upon whichthese strategies are based.It's current.So for instance, if a district decided

    • 04:07

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: they wanted to explore a certain strategy-- monitoringthe implementation of the curriculum, for instance--and they read the chapter on that strategy,they would then be able to have an idea of whatis the current research saying about that process,and what other research materials could I be using.They're cited.

    • 04:27

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: And they would go to the reference sectionand perhaps explore additional resources.

    • 04:33

      BILL POSTON: We've implemented the 50 Ways in school districtsaround the country, following curriculum managementaudits which CMSI does.[Dr. William K. Poston, Jr., Co author and Emeritus Professorof Educational Leadership, Iowa State University]And what we've found is if school districts pay attentionto these factors and really work diligentlyin order to address those issues and solve those problems, whatwe find is that the overall achievement of the student bodyincreases.

    • 04:54

      BILL POSTON [continued]: It elevates.And we have some specific examples, if you'd like.And the gap, the achievement gap, actually can be eliminatedand can be erased.We have this gap between the havesand the have-nots in our culture.And the have-nots come to school with lessof the cultural advantages that the haves bring to school.And the idea is to organize our system--

    • 05:17

      BILL POSTON [continued]: and it takes a system-wide effort--or optimize the system to address the needsof those individual students.And then bring them up and get parity across all groupsand among all students and individuals.The idea is the product is learning.And if an organization is serious about deliveringlearning to all children, then it

    • 05:38

      BILL POSTON [continued]: has to pay attention to a lot of thingsthat affect and impact student achievement,and orchestrate the system in orderto be successful and help those children becomeeffective learners.

    • 05:49

      FENWICK ENGLISH: The book is importantbecause it frames the issue with the complexity thatactually exists.[Dr. Fenwick W. English, Co authorand R. Wendell Eaves Senior Distinguished Professorof Educational Leadership, University of North Carolinaat Chapel Hill]Too often, leaders are looking for silver bulletsand magic elixirs.There aren't any.Because this is the most complex problemthat public education is facing today.And not only in America, but all over the world.

    • 06:10

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: And by getting people's attentionthat there are 50 ways, then right awayit puts something in your mind that, wow, no one thingis actually going resolve this problem.It's going to take a lot of things.And they're going to have to be done simultaneously.I think the value the 50 Ways book

    • 06:30

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: is that it provides a holistic view of the achievement gapissue.That is, it looks at it from the school site leveland from the district level.So it would appeal, and should appeal,to administrators in the central office as well as principalsin the schools.Because it really does show that the achievement gap problem

    • 06:54

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: can't be resolved at any single level.It's really a system problem.And it has to be addressed as a system problem.And that's really the value of the book.[Users' View]

    • 07:09

      CAROLYN DOWNEY: Let's listen to a few individuals whohave implemented many of the strategies,successfully leading others and helping students reachhigher student achievement and in closing the achievement gap.

    • 07:22

      SUSAN HOLLEY: I think that educators should read this bookand attend this training.[Dr. Susan Holley, Associate Executive Directorof the Texas Association of School Administrators]Because we all need to deepen our understanding about exactlywhat the achievement gap is.We've been dealing with the issue of the achievement gapin public schools for over 20 years,and we're really deepening our understandingof exactly what that issue is.

    • 07:44

      SUSAN HOLLEY [continued]: It is an incredibly complex issue,and it is very context-driven in that every achievement gapissue is particular to the place and time, the schoolor the district within which you are looking.So just as the title of the book and the training indicate,

    • 08:08

      SUSAN HOLLEY [continued]: there ought to be 50 ways to begin to address this issue.There are a myriad of problems that all lend themselvesto the issue of the achievement gap.And it is very systemic in nature.And to deeply analyze, through many strategieswhat those are that have the most leverage to make

    • 08:31

      SUSAN HOLLEY [continued]: a difference, not only in what is contributingto the achievement gap in places, but also the context,or the campus, within which it is happening,is really the best way to drive deeperour solutions to this problem.That really is very pervasive in our nation.

    • 08:52

      ROGER ANTON: The 50 strategies have been really crucialfor us, particularly in the last 10 to 12 years,as we've used them.[Dr. Roger Anton, Superintendent of The Salinas Union HighSchool District, Salinas, California]They provided the foundation steps and the guidelinesfor our district to outline what we needed to do.And at that time, we saw that we had a large numberof low-performing students.

    • 09:13

      ROGER ANTON [continued]: We have a very large minority populationof students and many second language learners.The 50 Ways gave us an outline and a foundationupon which to build our curriculum improvementand the change that we wanted.So we initially did a major focus on developing curriculumguides, develop our local benchmark formative assessments

    • 09:35

      ROGER ANTON [continued]: to make sure that we would know whether or not students wereprogressing in the classrooms.We use lots of best practices from the current researchers,like Marzano and Stiggins and Reeves.And then spend a lot of time and a lot of our resourceson professional development for our teachers.

    • 09:56

      ROGER ANTON [continued]: On how to use the guides, how to use the assessments,and how to use best practices in the classroom.

    • 10:02

      MARY CANNIE: The thing that most of the administratorssay that they really like about the 50 Ways book as a resource,it's laid out so you get a synopsis of whatthe strategy is.[Dr. Mary R. Cannie, Former Superintendentand Educational Consultant]With research base, so you could go back and read researchin more detail.And then why that strategy is important in terms

    • 10:24

      MARY CANNIE [continued]: of improving achievement.And the thing they particularly likeis the How section says, and here are some stepsyou follow in order to implement that strategy.So when you have an entire administrative faculty lookingthat any one small component of educational processes,

    • 10:45

      MARY CANNIE [continued]: and everyone is speaking the same languageabout that component, understanding it the same way,then you have opportunities to say to people,now how do we use this one thing to make improvements?

    • 10:58

      JOE BAZENAS: The 50 Ways book is a tremendous resource tool,even at the building level.[Joe Bazenas, Middle School Principal, Booker MiddleSchool, Sarasota, Florida]A lot of the things that you'll find in the bookare at the district level.But I've been able to incorporate so muchof what has been a success for our schoolby going through the book, using the selective strategies,

    • 11:18

      JOE BAZENAS [continued]: and having a positive impact on our campus.[History and Overview]

    • 11:25

      CAROLYN DOWNEY: I have been askedabout the development of the 50 strategiesand how they came about.It began, quite simply, at a dinner meetingwith officers of the Association of California SchoolAdministrators.In 1999, the state of California identifiedlow-achieving schools in need of improvement.

    • 11:46

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Such schools were to undergo an external review,to identify what practices needed improvement.All of us at the table were entrenchedin the curriculum management auditpremises for school districts designed by Fenwick English.We were able to use his framework

    • 12:07

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: to quickly identify about 18 practices that weknew would make a difference.Casually, I said that there must be at least 50 waysto raise student achievement.So I was given the assignment of reviewing the researchand literature to identify the most powerful strategies that

    • 12:29

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: would impact higher student achievementand close the achievement gap.My colleagues reviewed these ideas,and we settled on the 50 strategies.These strategies were used in an individual schoolaudit for the next three years in over 300low-performing schools in California.All of the schools but one moved out

    • 12:52

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: of their low-performing designation in very quick orderwhen they began to use just some of the strategies.Since then, over 100 more individual school auditshave been conducted by the Curriculum Management SystemsIncorporated across the United States,with followup assistance.

    • 13:13

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: We have had great success, as we know you will.We were encouraged to share their knowledgewith others, and thus the book.In our third edition, we validated the 50 strategiesand added more of the research supporting the strategies.And now, this video is part of a multimedia kit

    • 13:35

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: to help you in your study of our book.

    • 13:39

      BILL STRESHLY: California was taking over schools thathad gone financially bankrupt.[Dr. Bill Streshly, Professor of Educational Leadership,Emeritus, San Diego State University]And at the same time, the legislaturewas asking these school districtsto improve their academic programs as well.And so we were charged with taking over schools and school

    • 14:04

      BILL STRESHLY [continued]: districts.And there needed to be something more than, you're just failing.There needed to be a way to improve in some waythat that would show results, and really show results fast.Something that teachers, administratorscould latch on to that would give them

    • 14:25

      BILL STRESHLY [continued]: a proven path to success, and to bring schools into compliancewith the state laws.But also to close that achievement gapthat had been developing between the various groupsthat we serve.And that's what we did.

    • 14:47

      BILL STRESHLY [continued]: Early on, Dr. Downey was developing the 50 Ways.We used those with astonishing success.Schools that had not performed adequatelymoved into the Adequate and Above Adequate category

    • 15:09

      BILL STRESHLY [continued]: almost immediately, within a year or so.And along with that came a pride in the facultythat they could, in fact, make a difference.And close those gaps that they thoughtwere permanent, and had different reasonswhy they existed.

    • 15:28

      CAROLYN DOWNEY: Before you start reading in the book,let me briefly review the six standards.The 50 strategies are grouped into six standards.Standard One is about the curriculumthat should direct teaching.One of the key ideas to watch for as youread about this standard is how critical

    • 15:49

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: it is for the curriculum to be specific, precise,and focused minimally on those learnings in high-stakes tests.[Standard 1: Establish a Well Crafted, Focused, Valid,and Clear Curriculum to Direct Teaching]Standard Two is about system or district assessments.[Standard 2: Provide Aligned Assessmentswith the Curriculum]It's not about the state or national high-stakesassessments.Such assessments are addressed in Standard One.

    • 16:13

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Here we are talking mainly about the formative diagnosticassessments that districts need to provide to teachers sothat they can gather data on whether students havethe pre-entry skills needed for a given learning,their initial acquisition of the learning,and their long-term retention of the learning, or mastery.

    • 16:36

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Standard Three is about making sure programs and resourcesprovided to teachers are aligned to the district's writtencurriculum.[Standard 3: Align Program and Instructional Resourceswith the Curriculum and Provide Student Equality and Equity]We also addressed equal access to the curriculum and equityin terms of use of resources in this standard.Standard Four is about a tried-and-true instructional

    • 16:57

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: model that is seldom used in most classroomsIt is called mastery learning.[Standard 4: Use a Mastery Learning Approach and EffectiveTeaching Strategies]This approach calls for extensive useof diagnostic assessments to makesure the curriculum learnings areat the right level of difficulty for each student.

    • 17:17

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: A differentiated curriculum.Also included in this standard arethe hundreds of effective instructional practicesthat have been well-researched over the years.Now, we have not tried to be exhaustivein the list of practices.There are other books that do this.But we have focused on a few representative practices.

    • 17:41

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Standard Five is about expectations with rigor,how teachers and principals need to monitor alignmentof teaching to the curriculum, and accountability for studentlearning.[Standard 5: Establish Curriculum Expectations,Monitoring, and Accountability]Standard Six, our last standard, is a type of catch-all category

    • 18:02

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: that deals with system functions, including planning,staff development, budgeting, and safe and quality learningenvironments.[Standard 6: Institute Effective District and School Planning,Staff Development Resource Allocation,and Provide a Quality Learning Environment]The six standards are presented linearly in the book,but they actually interact with one another when implemented.Also, the six standards do not exist in a vacuum.

    • 18:24

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: They are situated in a larger organization and a largercultural context.A couple more comments about the six standards.The standards and the strategies arepresented in priority order.Standard One is to be accomplishedbefore Standard Two, and so on.So as you read through the book, we

    • 18:45

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: hope you will diagnose where your school or school system iswith respect to the strategies.Then, at the end of your reading,identify the strategies you want to implement.Please put them in the order of the standardsfor better success.One last thing.For each standard, the strategies begin with design,

    • 19:07

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: then move on to deployment, such as staff development,and then end with implementation strategies.Let's listen to a few more individualsabout their overall use of many of the 50 strategies.

    • 19:18

      GINGER HOVENIC: One of the schoolsthat I was principal of was an elementary school.[Dr. Ginger Hovenic, Associate Vice President,Alliant International University]And it became named best school in the nation in the late '90s.And it also became an international model technologyschool.So the techniques of the 50 Ways reallyhelp teachers focus on the work that they do every day.

    • 19:40

      GINGER HOVENIC [continued]: So what it allowed them to do is reallyhave an opportunity to say, OK, we reallyneed to increase our test scores.But more than that, we really neededto increase the level of learning for studentsof second language, students of different types of challengesthat they have in everyday life.

    • 19:60

      SUE SHIDAKER: Well, the wonderful part about itis to have all of those compiled in a convenient anduser-friendly document that we canshare with teachers and administratorsas we work with them.[Sue Shidaker, Independent Educational Consultant]And we know their research base.We know they're accurate.We know that they do help improvestudent learning, student achievement,

    • 20:21

      SUE SHIDAKER [continued]: and organizational success.And what's interesting to me is that I haven't yetfound a school or a school system using all of them.Which tells me that, since many of themare succeeding, that a combination of those, combinedwith the right diagnosis of what the school's or school

    • 20:42

      SUE SHIDAKER [continued]: district's needs are-- can reallymake a powerful difference.I have sat through a process with a coupleof the schools in which the staff and the administrationvery conscientiously went through their data,their information, to determine where their gaps were,what did they really need.And then looking through 50 Ways,

    • 21:03

      SUE SHIDAKER [continued]: identifying some of the first-priority characteristicsto pursue.And it's wonderful to have the opportunityto see people discover the process of matchingtheir needs with these research-based characteristics,and then to track them through two, three, and four years

    • 21:24

      SUE SHIDAKER [continued]: and see the amazing differences.It's heartwarming.It's encouraging.And it keeps me wanting to work with more schools and moreschool districts.

    • 21:34

      SUSAN TOWNSEND: The 50 Ways has been critical.[Susan Townsend, Superintendent of Schools,Weld County RE 3(J) Keansburg, Colorado]As a superintendent, I had the administratorsparticipate in a book study.And having done that, then it's become our complete focus.So we have several new administrators coming on.We'll get those people up to speedwith professional development they

    • 21:56

      SUSAN TOWNSEND [continued]: need so we can continue our focus using the 50 Ways.As a building principal, I probably started the processabout three to five years ago.And took the staff through a book study as well ofthe 50 Ways.And then it became our whole focus.And part of the results during that time

    • 22:19

      SUSAN TOWNSEND [continued]: was that we raised student achievement.We closed our subgroup achievement gap.And actually raised the school from a low-performing schoolto a high average.And we were asked by the state of Coloradoto present at a reading summit talking about how we had done

    • 22:40

      SUSAN TOWNSEND [continued]: that, how we had closed the achievement gapand make those accomplishments as a school.So now I'm carrying those efforts forwardas superintendent of schools for the district.

    • 22:51

      EVE PROFFITT: One of the things that'svery important in higher educationis that we have an alignment with the school districts.[Dr. Eve Proffitt, Interim Dean of All Education,Georgetown University]That we are not a separate entity.That our preparation programs and our extenuation programsfor the growth of teachers connectsto what they're actually doing in school districts.The 50 Ways, the six standards and the 50 strategies

    • 23:12

      EVE PROFFITT [continued]: themselves, connect very nicely to coursework that lends itselfwell to the practicality of what teachers are going to berequired to do in classrooms.It not only connects for the pre-service teacher,but it specifically enhances and allowsus to extend the professional growth of teachersin graduate programs.

    • 23:34

      EVE PROFFITT [continued]: They're seeking additional ways in whichto enhance their professional growth so that they can betterdo their jobs in the classrooms.The six standards very nicely help us align our courseworkto ensure that we are addressing those issues thatis necessary for the teachers once they're outin their school buildings.It's a practical approach to connecting higher education

    • 23:56

      EVE PROFFITT [continued]: to the school district level for teachers.

    • 23:58

      CAROLYN DOWNEY: Several of the excerptsyou will see in this video are of the authors presentingan overview of the book in a 50 Waysto Close the Achievement Gap conference conductedby the Texas Association of School Administrators.Before you move into the first chapter,let's listen to some of the comments made by Fenwick

    • 24:18

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: English as he was discussing some of the background researcharound closing the achievement gap.

    • 24:25

      FENWICK ENGLISH: Schools aren't culturally neutral places.They represent the values of a specific subclassof our population.And they represent a cultural position.And I don't want to talk about what's right and what's wrong.I just want to talk about what is.If you're an anthropologist and you study anthropology,

    • 24:47

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: cultures are not right.Cultures are not wrong.Cultures just are.They exist.And in an institution that serves all the childrenof all the people, the kids that come to us from allthe different cultures and subcultures,I'm not looking at them as right or wrong.I'm looking at them as different.And I have a responsibility to deal with difference

    • 25:09

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: in a non-deficit way.The differences in culture and language,which are intimately connected with the abilities whichhappen in school, means that some childrencome to school privileged.That is, they're already very familiar with the routines thatexist in schools.

    • 25:29

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: And other children are not as familiar.We would call this alignment between certain culturesand what's happening in schools.Schools are not neutral places.They don't treat all children the same.All children do not line up at the same point.And schools do not receive them at the same time

    • 25:49

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: or the same place.Treating all children the same ignoresthe important differences between them.And tests are not neutral.They are far from it.There's abundant evidence about the lackof cultural neutrality between testsand how they're assessing children.

    • 26:10

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: I've got some interesting information,which appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Educationfrom people who have worked at the Educational TestingService, that say that black children do betteron harder test items than the easier ones.And they talk about the wide language differencesin subcultures that come to the test.

    • 26:31

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: I'll give you an example.I had an African American colleagueat the University of Kentucky named Richard.And we're walking down the hall one day.And he said, you know English, you are bad.And I was just shocked.He said, that means you're good.And so I had not heard that before.So if you encounter a word on a testand it says "bad" but it means "good," and I didn't know that,

    • 26:54

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: and some children know that and some don't, youhave a wider vocabulary.You have more ambiguity in the selection of words.Vocabulary, words, cultural development,they're all the machines by which weorganize our mental processes.They are crucial in doing well in schools,and whatever schools do in classrooms

    • 27:16

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: with the intellectual development of human beings.Tests are not neutral.And I talk about value-added measures.If tests are not neutral, school's not neutral,none of these processes are neutral,then how can we talk about accountability?How can we treat them all the same?How can we penalize people, give people bonuses.

    • 27:39

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: You wonder where those bonuses went.I remember in Kentucky when they handed out the bonuses--and they only did it once-- that 2/3of the schools that got the bonuseswere elementary schools.And the penalties went to high schools in the same districts.And there are lots of reasons-- and we'll

    • 28:00

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: touch on some of those-- why that happens in the same schooldistricts.Administrators and teachers who servelarge numbers of the poor-- the poorhave never been well-served in public schools,going back to the Irish immigrants in New York City.You know that some Irish parents in New York City

    • 28:21

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: burned their schools down because the schools wereso anti-Catholic and so anti-Irishthat the parents felt completely alienated from the schools.Which is one of the reasons why Catholics organizedtheir own school system, because of the prejudicethey faced in the public schools.

    • 28:44

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: A historical fact which they often don't teachin education courses.It's not a very pretty picture.There's also not a lot of other very pretty picturesabout our struggle in public educationto serve all the children of all the people.I assume that many of you are servinglarge numbers of children who are poor,

    • 29:05

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: who have a different cultural orientation than the majority.And those are children who are at a disadvantage.The schools are not neutral places.So that's all part of what I'm leading up toin this issue of complexity.[Standard One Introduction]

    • 29:26

      CAROLYN DOWNEY: It is time now to make a few commentsabout Standard One before you read about the strategiesin this standard.The strategies here set the frameworkfor all the other strategies.It is about embedding the high-stakes tested learningsinto the curriculum objectives.And the curriculum objectives must be deeply aligned.

    • 29:52

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: The strategies in Standard One are mainly design issuesand must be attended to by the district.Here are a few excerpts from my presentation in our 50 Waysconference on Standard One.We believe the end in mind, to close the achievement gap,is youngsters who are achieving lower must achieve higher.

    • 30:15

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: I also want to give you a small caveat.Maybe it's not a small one.It's a big one.We recognize that as educators, weare not in the business of having kids score wellon tests.That's not our business.Our business is really to prepare

    • 30:35

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: them to function in life, to live fulfilled lives, satisfiedlives, to be contributors to society,to help enhance society.And a lot of what we're going to talk about here is about tests.So we just want you to keep in mind

    • 30:56

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: that we begin with the test, but we don't end with the test.We recognize that kids performing well on the testsare part of the identification of kids who are not performingas well as others.But I still personally am very concerned that much

    • 31:17

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: of the curriculum that needs to be taught to youngstersis not being taught.To function in society.But that's another whole conference.This one is about closing the achievement gap as measuredby high-stakes tests.So just keep that in mind.That all of us on this team feel strongly

    • 31:39

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: that we're here for a lot more than performing wellon the tests.The words in this standard are very important.It means that you can't just roll over a state framework.You have to think, what specifically are the learningsthat we want youngsters to have?And ensure that it's clear, very precise,

    • 32:06

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: non-duplicative learnings.Student expectations.For young teachers to teach and kids to learn,they need to be focused.And "focused" here means reasonable number of learningsto teach in the available instructional time.

    • 32:29

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: And right here is often when we get applausefrom our teaching staff.Because there are far too many learnings in most stateframeworks than there is time to teach in-depthto long-term memory for kids.So how do you decide what those focused learnings are?And we're going to give you what we believe is our best

    • 32:51

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: thinking about how to do that."Valid" meaning that the content that we're teaching and testingare aligned.So any content-- at least, let's put it this way.Almost all content that's tested we wouldbuild into the curriculum.

    • 33:11

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Occasionally we won't, because some tests test whatwe call outlier information.In fact, one of the things that weknow is often things that are tested in the fourth gradeare actually to be mastered in second grade, for example.So we have to be very careful that we don't just say, well,since this is tested in the fourth grade,we're going to embed it in the fourth grade curriculum.

    • 33:35

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Actually, you can dummy down your curriculumif you're not careful when you do.So just beware of that when you look at what's tested and thenmake decisions about where you're going to place itin the district curriculum.And the other part-- there are these words--all these words are important to direct teaching.

    • 33:55

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: We really want teachers to use the district curriculumto direct what they're going to teach.Not the textbooks.Not something they've taught in the past.Not the programmatic effort.We expect to see a very well thought-out written curriculumthat first and foremost embeds the learnings that kids

    • 34:18

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: are going to have to have access to in orderto perform well on the test.One of the things that we know-- and I mentionedto you about the 70-year-old teacher--is that you can have people using very effective teachingpractices in the classroom.But unless what they're teaching isaligned to the learnings that are tested,

    • 34:41

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: and hopefully a curriculum that has been what we callbackloaded, aligned to the state or high-stakes tests,you're not going to get higher performance.I'm going to give you an example.I was walking into a ninth grade high school class.It was English, ninth grade.And the teacher was teaching the Odyssey.

    • 35:03

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: When you walked into the classroom,you felt a sense of energy.You know what I'm talking about?It felt really good.Kids were highly engaged.They were working in pairs.They were working on a project.The teacher was moving around with great enthusiasm.

    • 35:24

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: And when we went to calibrate, to determinewhat curriculum learning the youngsters were learning,we calibrated it as a first and second grade learning.They were looking at plot, setting,characters in the Odyssey.The Odyssey, right on grade level.

    • 35:48

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: The student expectations being dealt with,the standards, way below grade level.Highly engaged learners, fabulous teacher,but not aligned to the curriculum thatwas going to make a difference for these kidswhen it came to taking a high-stakes test.So in essence, if you can design your curriculum embedding

    • 36:14

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: those learnings from high-stakes assessments--and I'm not talking just about TACs or state tests,but I'm talking about all the other kindsof high-stakes tests, maybe someday National Assessmenttests.We want to make sure that the teachers areteaching the learnings tested.It is that simple.But you can see, the system has to get it in place.

    • 36:37

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: A teacher should not have to go and look at everything tested,do all the disaggregation of the test to determine that.We need to do that at the district level.Now, some people always say, wellyou're telling us to teach to the test.That's unethical.No, that's not what we're saying at all.

    • 37:01

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: What we're saying is teach to the learnings tested.And that's very different and highly ethical.In fact, our kids have a right to that.We have an obligation, I believe, to our kids,to give them the access to the things that are learning.

    • 37:22

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: But we're not saying, teach the actual test item.We don't even know what the test item might looklike from one test to the next.Although over time, we do get a handle, as teachers,as to what it's going to sort of look like.So there's two ways to really design your curriculum.And we're saying that one way is better than the other

    • 37:45

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: for closing the achievement gap.If you come from a high-performing school systemor school and you don't necessarilywant to have them score even better--I don't think that fits any of you,but should it-- you can do something called front-loading.And front-loading is where you just take

    • 38:07

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: the opinions of the state and say, this is our curriculum.You just roll it over.And so we call that front-loading.You're just designing the curriculum firstand you're not paying any attention to the wayit's tested.Or, what we would recommend to close the achievement gap,is do what we call back-loading.

    • 38:27

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: And that is where you start with the learnings testedand bring that forward into your curriculum.And then expand your curriculum.And then align the teaching to the designed curriculum.[Standard Two Users' Comments]

    • 38:48

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Here are a few comments made by individualswho have used many of the strategies in Standard Twoto make a difference in their organizations regardinghigher student achievement and in closing the achievement gap.

    • 39:00

      VIRGINIA BORIS: Aligned assessmentsare a critical part of a system that the 50 Waysbook is describing.[Dr. Virginia Boris, Co Director of The Central ValleyEducational Institute]I think what's very critical in understanding 50 Ways isit is not 50 separate ideas.But it's really the elements of a cohesive systemthat is going to improve the learning of children.In order to do that, you need formative assessments

    • 39:24

      VIRGINIA BORIS [continued]: so that you proactively anticipateand meet the needs of all children,instead of react to failure.That's the important role of formative assessment.Formative assessment means along the journey of learning,we are looking at the performanceof children against the rigorous grade level

    • 39:44

      VIRGINIA BORIS [continued]: standards we've established.And that key word, "aligned," meansthat the assessments-- and we're goingto modify that-- that the assessments we're givingare going to point our learning effortstowards the high expectations for that grade leveland for that course.So often, what happens is teachers

    • 40:06

      VIRGINIA BORIS [continued]: use formal and informal feedback thatis their best guess of what a standard ought to be.In reality, they may be working very, very hardand giving students a lot of learning.But it isn't the learning that's goingto be measured at their grade levelas a grade level standard.So by having aligned assessments,

    • 40:29

      VIRGINIA BORIS [continued]: then the teacher is ensured that the feedbackshe is getting about her instruction or his instructionis, in fact, spot-on to the rigor of that grade levelfor that course.What that then does is create a clear understandingon the part of the teacher of the goals of that grade level.

    • 40:52

      VIRGINIA BORIS [continued]: So he clearly understands what his childrenare supposed to know and do.And in turn, as he plans instruction,that instruction points towards successon those formative assessments.

    • 41:05

      DAVID LUTKEMEIER: To me, the purpose of formative assessmentis it really tells the instructor at every level,or the educator at every level-- whether a classroom, school,or district-- what kind of progress is being made,and what is the response of studentsto the educational intervention that's going on.[Dr. David Lutkemeier, Former Superintendentof Schools and Board Member]

    • 41:26

      DAVID LUTKEMEIER [continued]: To not do formative assessment is just leaving everythingto guesswork.You don't know what's working and what's not working.And it doesn't give you-- you wouldn't have the informationto make the decisions, as an educator,that you need to make.So it's critical.And formative assessment can be as informal as just classroomassessment.Reviewing homework assignments, quizzes and tests, and so on.

    • 41:50

      DAVID LUTKEMEIER [continued]: Or it can be very sophisticated and commercially produced.The key is how that information is collectedand how it's used to improve instructionin an ongoing fashion.In terms of formative assessmentsthat are necessary to guide instruction,short-cycle evaluations, where you're

    • 42:11

      DAVID LUTKEMEIER [continued]: looking at student performance over relatively short periodsof time, are very important so youcan make mid-instruction or mid-course corrections asnecessary.In addition to that, having a little bitmore formal or comprehensive formative assessmentsevery six weeks or eight weeks can give a little bit more

    • 42:33

      DAVID LUTKEMEIER [continued]: of a global view of student progress in the classroomor at the grade level.To here, again, maybe allow teachersor professional learning community folksto get together and talk about progressof instruction in a somewhat more global fashion.Many districts then go to the next level,which is benchmark assessment.

    • 42:54

      DAVID LUTKEMEIER [continued]: Which are primarily tests used to predict performanceon the annual state assessments.And those types of benchmark assessments are usuallycommercially produced from item banks, valid and reliable,and administered typically three or four times a year. .The idea being to be a little check

    • 43:18

      DAVID LUTKEMEIER [continued]: on progress of the system towards annual goals.

    • 43:22

      BEVERLY NICHOLS: Probably the most important thingthat people need to look at now is formative assessment.[Dr. Beverly Nichols, Independent EducationalConsultant]I think we've come a long ways in our useof summative assessment.And we have to realize that summative assessmenttells us more about the big picture--our programs, our staff development, our curriculum.

    • 43:43

      BEVERLY NICHOLS [continued]: It tells us more about ourselves, about the district,about the system, than it does about the students.Formative assessment done in a timely manneris what helps us to make a difference with kidsand their achievement.So I think just the whole idea of understanding formativeassessment, what it does, how much

    • 44:05

      BEVERLY NICHOLS [continued]: it needs to be aligned with the curriculum.Because questions that students have nothad the opportunity to master the content,questions that are not aligned with the curriculum,aren't helpful in formative assessment.So teachers have to know how to develop formative assessments.They need training in it.Then they know how to use the data.

    • 44:25

      BEVERLY NICHOLS [continued]: You need to know how to use the data to change their classroominstructions.

    • 44:30

      ROBBIN GESCH: We also continued to workon our understanding of our state accountability system.[Robbin Gesch, Director of Curriculum,Round Rock Independent School District, Texas]So we started with back-loading all of our informationfrom the state assessment and lookingat the tested curriculum so that we could better preparefor our written curriculum.And as we did that, we found that there were many things

    • 44:52

      ROBBIN GESCH [continued]: that we needed to give a great deal of detailto, including looking at the test specificitiesand understanding the details of what's expectedfor the tested curriculum.So through that, we began constructing, not onlyusing the state examples of how that particular curriculumobjective may look, but also constructing some of our own

    • 45:15

      ROBBIN GESCH [continued]: through constructive responses or short answer responses,including real world examples.So that we could see that students could transferthat understanding from what we're teaching in the classroomto real-world experiences in their lifetime activities.So that was a real challenge for us.We also began to look at how much time do we really

    • 45:38

      ROBBIN GESCH [continued]: have to teach the objectives, and discoveredthat our time was very limited.So time was important.So we began to look at what were the most valuable teachingand learning activities that we wanted to see happening.And we began to work on that particular piece.Then, as we progressed, we began working on our benchmarksas well.

    • 45:58

      ROBBIN GESCH [continued]: And aligned that with our curriculumso that we could tap into that in our monitoringthrough our walk-throughs and opportunities,to see if that deeply-aligned curriculum is being taught.And looking for gaps in our curriculum as well asstaff development opportunities for our teachers.

    • 46:19

      ROBBIN GESCH [continued]: So we spent quite a great deal of timelooking at several of the strategies,making sure we had the right people on the busto do the work, training our staff,helping them to understand the importance.And the reward was that we saw great improvementin student achievement.And we continue to see that in my current districtas we continue the work in understanding all the 50

    • 46:43

      ROBBIN GESCH [continued]: different strategies.[Standard Three Introduction]

    • 46:49

      CAROLYN DOWNEY: It is time now to make a few commentsabout Standard Three before you read about the strategiesin this standard.Standard Three is about aligning programs and resourcesto the curriculum as it is being taught.The standard also deals with equality and equity issues.

    • 47:09

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Most of the responsibilities in termsof the standards in Standard Threeare with district-level officers.Let's listen in to a few of Dr. Poston's comments in the 50Ways conference as he talks about specific strategiesin this standard in such areas as program alignment

    • 47:30

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: and program evaluation as well as resource alignment.

    • 47:36

      BILL POSTON: The key part of Standard Three dealswith the alignment of resources to the classroomand the priorities in the classroom.[Dr. William K. Poston, Jr., Co author and Emeritus Professorof Educational Leadership, Iowa State University]And of course, our main product is learning.So Standard Three deals with optimizingthings that support or underpin the classroom teacher.

    • 47:57

      BILL POSTON [continued]: So basically, what we're looking for is resources and selectionof programs and other things thathelp the teacher perform the appropriate functions that theyneed to perform.And we call that the Symphony Rule.It's if everything in the organizationis supportive of the classroom.

    • 48:17

      BILL POSTON [continued]: And we're talking about transportation and foodservice and maintenance and custodialand a plethora of other things.If those things are appropriatelysupporting the classroom teacher,then the teacher can be more efficacious, or more effective,in their particular job.And the symphony is that we have to fine-tune all of these areas

    • 48:41

      BILL POSTON [continued]: so that nothing is undermining or interferingwith good classroom teaching and learning.And so there are a number of standardsthat then focus on that.We have some other areas.For example, one of the things in Standard Three we deal withis the nature of individual differences of children.

    • 49:03

      BILL POSTON [continued]: No two kids are alike.But sometimes we teach children as if they are alike.So we talk about equity and equality.Children need equal access to whatever the school districthas to offer.John Dewey said that 100 years ago.Whatever a community can do for the best of its childrenit needs to do for all of its children.

    • 49:24

      BILL POSTON [continued]: So we need that equality of access.But then, because of individual differences in student needsand preparation and background and experience for learning,we need to differentiate and we need to use equity.Which means aligning resources in accordance with need.So it will actually be unequal.And anyone with two or more children of their own

    • 49:46

      BILL POSTON [continued]: recognizes that sometimes some children needs some thingsthat the other child may not need.And so the Standard Three then deals with resource alignmentso that things function well in the classroom.It also deals with individual differences with students,including language needs.For example, a great many places in the United States

    • 50:08

      BILL POSTON [continued]: now have an influx of English language learners.And so we have some functions and operationsthat school districts need to considerto support English language learningin every single classroom in their district.So the idea is to optimize-- or, using the symphony term,harmonize the organization in support of the classroom

    • 50:30

      BILL POSTON [continued]: teacher, so they can be a more effective delivererof learning.There's nothing worse than having a fragmented schoolsystem with everyone doing their own thing,and any commonality is coincidental.And the idea is, here, that we wantto have programs that fit with our curriculum.

    • 50:53

      BILL POSTON [continued]: And then we validate our programs.How do these programs match the actual objectivesthat we're trying to accomplish?And what we're looking for here is goodness of fit.To see if those things are congruent.

    • 51:15

      BILL POSTON [continued]: Do they work together, or do they work in oppositionto one another?And sometimes you find you don't really know.But this is an important thing to do.Because programs kind of suddenlyappear, as if by magic.And it sometimes is something very simple.Somebody goes to a conference, they go to a meeting,

    • 51:38

      BILL POSTON [continued]: they hear about a new, hot, innovative thing.And they think, oh, that sounds great.It's got a real sexy title, like Characteristicsof Dynamic Learning.Something like that.And so you bring it in and you say, let's try this.And next thing you know, you get another one,and so on and so forth.I know one principal that went to a conference

    • 51:59

      BILL POSTON [continued]: in a summer session and learned about block scheduling.And came back and block scheduled his high schoolbefore the faculty came back to work.That was a very interesting intervention.But anyway, then you want to look at comparinghow well these things do.

    • 52:20

      BILL POSTON [continued]: We need to figure out the power-- what percentage-- Idon't want to get into statistical mumbo jumbo.But we want to know the percentage of variancein the achievement that is accountedfor by that intervention.And you might find that some of themhave very little impact on achievement.

    • 52:42

      BILL POSTON [continued]: And you may find that some have a great deal of impacton achievement.Then we want both content, context, and cognitive typeidentified in textbooks.We want it aligned.We want to use textbooks-- Carolyn talked about thisa little bit yesterday.We want to be sure that we do not

    • 53:03

      BILL POSTON [continued]: allow perceptual or marketing data to influence what areour selections in these areas.We need to make sure that those books arehighly aligned with what it is we'retrying to have children learn.[Standard Three Users' Comments]

    • 53:23

      CAROLYN DOWNEY: Here are a few commentsmade by individuals who have usedmany of the strategies in Standard Threeto make a difference in their organizationsregarding higher student achievementand closing the achievement gap.

    • 53:36

      ELIZABETH CLARK: Standard Three, Connectivity and Equity,is a very critical standard.[Dr. Elizabeth A. Clark, Former Chief Academic Officer,Katy Independent School District, Texas]And it's one that requires the districtto have a systematic process for making certainthat we hold tightly the selection of textbooks,other instructional materials, programs,

    • 53:58

      ELIZABETH CLARK [continued]: technological solutions as well.And it requires us to make sure that we understandthe curriculum, that we understand the testingrequirements.Which would be not only the content,the context in which that assessment is goingto be given, what we require students to be able to perform,

    • 54:19

      ELIZABETH CLARK [continued]: but also that cognitive level.So as we select our resources, wehave to bear in mind, what are those curriculum standards?And we have got to control that at the central level.We certainly need to involve other stakeholdersin the selection process.But the way to do that is to developrubrics so that we are clearly delineating

    • 54:42

      ELIZABETH CLARK [continued]: those types of things that we expectfor a carefully-aligned and deeply-aligned resource.And so, in that whole process, youtrain people on what to look for.Program congruence is really important.Because special programs, what we have found--

    • 55:04

      ELIZABETH CLARK [continued]: and what I have found throughout my career--is that because special programs have a funding source,the process has to be no one works in isolation.That is, that connectivity that has to be there.The collaboration through a lot of planning sessions.

    • 55:24

      ELIZABETH CLARK [continued]: And looking at resources, looking at that curriculum.And seeing if you're working English language learnersor if you're working with special edor if you are working with bilingual students,or even gifted and talented.What are those resources that reallywill align to the curriculum, meet the program expectations

    • 55:49

      ELIZABETH CLARK [continued]: and requirements, as well as prepare students for whatthe assessment is asking.And also differentiating around the student needs.So you have to have tightness and looseness at the same time.Because special programs are really differentiating

    • 56:10

      ELIZABETH CLARK [continued]: the instruction.So you have to give them some latitudeto pick resources that will comply with their programrequirements.But at the same time, they can't have a separate curriculum.Because no one resource, or no one program, or textbook

    • 56:33

      ELIZABETH CLARK [continued]: is neutral.They all have a curriculum that they emphasizethrough that resource.So the question is, is it the curriculumthat is written and tested?Is it aligned to that?So that's how you have that program congruency.

    • 56:50

      AUDREY HAINS: Strategy 19 is lookingat a variety of programs.[Dr. Audrey Hains, Independent Educational Consultant]There's a lot of varieties out there.And so we look at all the programsthat people have adopted in a system.And to see if they are aligned.

    • 57:06

      PATRICIA WILLIAMS: The strategies of the 50 Waysapply to all students.[Patricia R. Williams, Special Education Administratorand Consultant]As a special ed administrator, I'malways elated when I can have regular ed or general edteachers and special ed teachers work togetherin the course of delivering instruction to all students.I think that these strategies allow just that.

    • 57:29

      PATRICIA WILLIAMS [continued]: It is an opportunity for special educatorsto participate in the general ed classrooms,and to provide instruction.And using the strategies that are provided,they will have an opportunity to increase achievement.And they can work together in teamsor on an individual basis.Special ed teachers, for the most part,

    • 57:51

      PATRICIA WILLIAMS [continued]: have had a few opportunities wherethey feel that they can be in the general ed classrooms.Using the strategies of the 50 Ways will allow that.It will encourage that and it will promote that.And there will be opportunities for the teachersto see themselves, as they work with their students,

    • 58:11

      PATRICIA WILLIAMS [continued]: as delivering instruction to students.Not designated students, but to allstudents within their charge.[Standard Four Introduction]

    • 58:24

      CAROLYN DOWNEY: Before we move into Standard Four,let's listen to a few comments I madein a training session on the 50 Ways as a transitioninto Standard Four.Let me just begin by going back and reviewingwhere we have been and where we're going to be going.So we have talked about our first standard,

    • 58:44

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: which is the curriculum.And we talked earlier yesterday about high-stakes tests.And I want to distinguish between high-stakes testingand Standard Two.Because Standard One is the one thatdeals with high-stakes tests.

    • 59:06

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: And after that, it's over.In fact, it's only the first three strategies that reallydeal with high-stakes tests.So we take the high-stakes tests,and we bring them into the curriculum.And we identify the content.

    • 59:27

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: We look at the context and the cognitions.And then we get to deep alignment.To deeply align in the curriculum,to embed in the curriculum, the tested learnings.After that, we don't pay attention to the test.So I want you to get that clear that distinction.

    • 59:48

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Now, Standard Two is about what?Assessment.So when we add assessment, we're really talking about now--I better keep that going.[LAUGHTER]Would not have been a good place to stop.

    • 01:00:12

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: We're really talking here about district and classroomassessment.And that they need to be aligned to the curriculum.And a couple of key ideas that I thinkare really important to the approach thatwill get to higher student achievementis that these need to be diagnostic assessments.

    • 01:00:36

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: And they need to be differentiated.One school district that I worked in,we were able to differentiate our assessments.We developed pre- and post-assessments

    • 01:00:58

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: around chunks of learning.Sometimes you call those benchmarks.But here, we're really trying to look at-- Oh,but I was telling you a story.We gave that pre-assessment and that post-assessmentto the teachers to determine when theywould administer to which kids.

    • 01:01:19

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: So that a teacher never had to worryabout giving a benchmark test to kidswho haven't had a chance to learn the learning, eveninitially.And again, this goes back to that whole ideaof being very careful about pacing charts,being very careful about benchmark assessments

    • 01:01:40

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: and how they're used.But eventually, our recommendationis that they need to be in the hands of the teacherto use from an instructional perspective.Now, you still may want some school-wide, system-wide data.And you can do that.But you don't need that around the chunks of learning.You might want some pre-assessments

    • 01:02:01

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: and post-assessments around a yearor around course, end-of-course exams or something like that.But we're really encouraging you to rethink the way we,as a system, use assessments.Including them being a focus as a diagnostic tool for teachers

    • 01:02:22

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: to make instructional decisions, and that theybe eventually differentiated.I know that is something you couldn't do right away.But you can phase into that.Now, do you remember the next one?Programs.That's right.And resources.So programs and resources.

    • 01:02:46

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Alignment again.We're always talking about alignmentto the district curriculum, not the state curriculum.Alignment to a curriculum that hasbackloaded the tested learnings and embedded theminto the district curriculum.

    • 01:03:07

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Which is reasonably a feasible number.That was another one of the strategies in Standard One.So our goal now is that everything is aligned.

    • 01:03:29

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Now we're ready for Standard Four, and not before.Many people start doing training on instructional strategies,and haven't yet developed a well-defined curriculum,have aligned assessments, insuredthat the resources that we're giving to teachers

    • 01:03:51

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: are highly aligned deeply.Then we can provide training and a focuson Standard Four, which is about instruction.And a big part of Standard Four is about mastery learning.So remember, there's a sequence to our strategies.

    • 01:04:13

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: So that as you are planning and diagnosing yesterday and todayabout where you are as a system, where you are as a school,you can think about, what do I do first?What do I do next?Well, we've told you what we thinkis the best thinking about the sequence of workingon these factors for higher student achievement.

    • 01:04:36

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: It is time now to make a few comments about Standard Fourbefore you read about the strategies in this standard.Standard Four is about delivering the curriculum,and its focus is at the school level in the classroom.It begins with an understanding and useof mastery learning approach.

    • 01:04:56

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: It then specifies various effective instructionalpractices that help students learn more effectively.Here is an excerpt from my introduction to Standard Fourfrom our 50 Ways conference, whereI am providing an overview of the standard.Standard Four is where we begin to look at howthe curriculum is delivered.

    • 01:05:16

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: [Dr. Caolyn J. Downey, Co authoroand Emeritus Professor of Educational Leadership,San Diego State University]And most districts spend a lot of time training teachersin very important, powerful instructional practicessuch as the Marzano practices or the Resnick practices.And they are very powerful.However, often the very most powerful practicefor closing the achievement gap is not used by most teachers.

    • 01:05:40

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: And that is to use in their planning and their deliverywhat we call a mastery learning approach.As you read through the book, pay attentionto the whole concept of mastery learning.How it has evolved over the yearsto really build in the whole concept of differentiation.We need to differentiate curriculum at the right level

    • 01:06:03

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: difficulty for youngsters.Youngsters do not come to us the same.They are not one-size-fits-all.There's normal variation learners.Some learners have maybe knowledge alreadyabout the learning.Some youngsters don't have the prerequisites,and we need to teach those prerequisites.We need to teach the learning at the right level of difficulty

    • 01:06:27

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: for each youngster to have success.Otherwise, the gap will not close.In fact, the research is very clear.The gap gets larger and larger and largeras we go across the grades because we have notmet each student's needs right where it's right for themto have high success.And by the way, that also impacts their motivation

    • 01:06:47

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: or desire to learn.If you were given something to learnthat you didn't have the prerequisites to do,do you think you're going to be very excited about learning it?Of course not.And we use a lot of bribes and ways to motivate kids.But the best motivator is to havethe learning at the right level of difficulty.So our first strategy in this particular standard

    • 01:07:08

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: is all about mastery learning.And it's got all the research over the years,and how this has evolved, and approachesto how to be a planner and a deliverer using masterylearning.The second area, which really is required in mastery learningin the second strategy, is about just aligning your teachingto the curriculum.

    • 01:07:28

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: But remember, the curriculum has embedded the tested learnings.We go all the way back to Standard One.So one of things to remember is you reallycan't do anything in Standard Fouruntil Standard One has been taken care of, StandardTwo, and Standard Three.These standards are in order of how to carry out the workto close the achievement gap.

    • 01:07:49

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: This is an example of a model, the mastery learning model.We have taken it and modified it slightly.But the original model was developed by Fisher, Carroll,and others when they were at the Far West Laboratory, nowcalled WestEd, in the San Francisco area.

    • 01:08:11

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: And they searched out those teacherswho were getting higher student achievement than others,way back in the mid '70s.And of course, Carroll spent a tremendous amountof time trying to research why some youngsters learnedfaster and better than others.And so it is from his initial research

    • 01:08:33

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: that this model was created.Some very special features about this model,really, are Step Two the pre-assessment,Step six the assessment for initial acquisition,

    • 01:08:53

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: and Step Nine, assessment for long-term mastery.And I'm going to come back and talk about those.A key feature of the mastery learning approachis the use of diagnostic assessmentsto help the teacher differentiate the curriculumfor each youngster.

    • 01:09:14

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: And so it's using the assessment toolsthat we hope that you will have in place from Standard Two.You really cannot do a lot of this model system-wide untilyou have the tools available for teachers to do the diagnosticassessments, especially Step Two.

    • 01:09:36

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Because what you want to do is test not only whether the kidsalready know the learning, but you want to assess,do they have the prerequisite skillsfor the soon-to-be-taught learning?And do you maybe need to do some teaching or reteachingof the entry-level skills before you move in to today's lesson?

    • 01:09:58

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: So quite honestly, you probably cannot do the assessment rightat the start of your lesson, unless you are an extremelytalented teacher and can modify and change your lessonon the spot.And there are some people that can do that.But certainly novice teachers don'thave that skill or capability, accordingto the research by Berliner.

    • 01:10:20

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Another important feature is notice-- well,let's just go to One and Two.One is, what are the student expectations or the learnerobjectives?You have them in mind.You're thinking, this is what I think I want to teach next.It might be a cluster of objectives,it might be a single objective, as you'replanning your lessons.

    • 01:10:42

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Prior to actually teaching that lesson,in enough time that you can modify your lesson as needed--so it's got to be a few days-- youhave pre-assessed where the youngsters are.| on that pre-assessment, you go back to One.Do you see the arrow that goes between One and Two?It goes both ways.

    • 01:11:03

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: You go back to One and rethink the objectivesfor each youngster that would be appropriate.Number Three is then planning your instruction.That's something we do all the time as teachers.If you are going to differentiate instruction,this is where you might think about how each youngster learns

    • 01:11:24

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: best and build that into your instructional plan.One, Two, and Three are about planning.Then, when you get to delivery, that moves from Fourto, really, Eight.But we've built in assessments as we go along.An information and example is making sure, obviously,

    • 01:11:45

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: that somewhere, somehow, either inductively or deductively,through an experiential approach or not,kids obtain the relevant informationand examples that we need.Are you familiar with Madeline Hunter?That's input.That's the input that she would call, in her lesson design.

    • 01:12:07

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Obviously, you then build in practice.And notice on Five a little important feature.And that is practice in multiple contexts.You can remember yesterday, we talked about Thorndikeand his transfer effects.And how we want to think, where would this youngster need

    • 01:12:28

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: this information?Where would he or she use this information?And what you want to do then is create practice scenarioswhere the youngster can practice what is close in proximityto the situations in which they are going to needto demonstrate that skill.So hopefully, our main reason for being is real world.

    • 01:12:55

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: So we really would want to have the kids practicethis in a simulated or real-world situation.But also, when it comes to performing well,as it relates to tests, we then needto have the context that is test-like context.And a variety of test-like contexts.

    • 01:13:16

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Betty talked about open-ended and constructed responses,as well as multiple choice kinds of responses.One of the problems we have is if wedon't reduce the number of learning in the curriculum,the teacher does not have the time

    • 01:13:36

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: available to practice the multiple contexts for kids.And so, then when they get to various placeswhere they might have to demonstrate the learning,it's not as familiar to them.And familiarity is very important to beingsuccessful in demonstrating the learning, whatever

    • 01:13:58

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: the learning might be.Six, again, is assessment for initial acquisition.And decision point is made at that time.That's a formative, diagnostic assessment, Six is.And it's about, is the youngster ready to move onto the next learning?

    • 01:14:19

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: Is the youngster needing some reteaching?Now, Fisher and Bloom and Carroll and othersdeveloped an instructional model thatwas based on large-group settings for teachers.And so, what do you do with the kid that already knows it?They built in, under Number Seven, enrichment.

    • 01:14:42

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: And that was to help us, as teachers,when we're having a large group of kids that we have to teach,as opposed to one-on-one or one-on-few,differentiation is a lot easier.And we won't even get into all the enrichment strategiesthat we use as teachers.That's sort of a holding situation,

    • 01:15:03

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: but yet where kids are still learning.Maybe even using them to peer tutor the other youngsters,by the way, which is very, very powerfulin the research as helping both learnersgrow in their achievement.So let's see.What else can I say about this?So then you reteach or enrich as needed.

    • 01:15:25

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: And then you continue to build in distributed practice.Now, I'll come back and talk in more detail about distributedpractice.But it means you come back to it over and over again,after there's been periods of timewhere you haven't been thinking or askingthe kids to respond to using that particular learning.

    • 01:15:50

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: And finally, you can then look at assessment of mastery,or long-term retention of learning.It is still a formative diagnostic tool.Because if you find the youngster does not stillhave the learning, after multiple practicesand distributed practice, you need to really go back

    • 01:16:12

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: to Number Seven.I probably need to bring an arrow back to reteaching.But hopefully, you're doing a lotof assessments along the way.And I'll show you that in an enhanced model a little lateron.Monitoring and record-keeping, Number 10, is just that.That a teacher is keeping track of where each youngster is

    • 01:16:35

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: on their learnings.And again, we don't say that every teacherneeds to use the same process.We just do want each teacher to know where each youngster is.I personally would not standardize that,because that's over on the right-hand sideof the tightly/loosely hill.

    • 01:16:56

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: If I was a principal, I just wouldwant that the teacher was able to tell mewhere every kid was on a particular set of learnings.We have technologically advanced programsthat can help us do that.And more and more teachers are using those.So that's a very quick overview of the mastery learning

    • 01:17:17

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: approach.And what I want you to be thinking aboutis, is it in use in your district or not?So here they are, just as a quick overview.The first one is about implementing a mastery learningapproach.What is your instructional model, as a district?

    • 01:17:39

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: What are your expectations of the wayteachers plan their lessons and deliver their lessons?There has been, for years, a very well-researchedinstructional model, the mastery learning model.

    • 01:17:60

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: However, it is not very often used in schools.But it's highly researched.Goes way back into the '70s and continuesto get just unbelievable results whenit's used by teachers as they design and delivertheir lessons.Now, a third one we've talked about, but we focus on now.

    • 01:18:23

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: And that is providing differentiated curriculumand differentiated instruction.Most of the books out on the marketare about differentiated instruction.Using kinesthetic approaches, leftbrain, right brain, the learning styles of youngsters.

    • 01:18:43

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: But quite honestly, from our perspective,that's not where the power lies for closing the achievementgap.The power is in differentiating the curricular learningsso they're at their right level of difficulty for studentsto learn.So we're going to just quickly talkabout that particular strategy and how important it is,

    • 01:19:04

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: and also to distinguish between the two.Probably I've already done it for you.Practice, practice, practice.It's such an extremely powerful instructional approachthat we want to talk a little bit about it.I briefly alluded to it yesterday,when I talked about mass and distributed practice,

    • 01:19:28

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: and how important distributed practiceis to long-term retention.So we're going to talk about that one.Now we can talk about using effective teaching principlesand practices.Bill mentioned Resnick's principlesof learning, which are very powerful and verywell-researched.Many of you are familiar with Marzano's research practices,

    • 01:19:50

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: which is sort of a synthesis of some of the research.But there are others that may be as powerful if not morepowerful.In fact, one that is more powerful than Resnick'sor Marzano's is actually Number 29.First and foremost, teachers needto be teaching the learnings we want them to teach.

    • 01:20:14

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: And we want to focus training in that areabefore we focus on training such as the other kindsof effective teaching practices.So there's a sequence to your staff development with respectto this area that we would highly recommend for you.Because it's so important for youngsters

    • 01:20:35

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: who are low-performing youngsters,we have identified vocabulary developmentas one of the key strategies.And in the book, we share with you the latest researchand a synthesis of the research on vocabulary development.And Texas, right on your TEA site,

    • 01:20:56

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: there's a document about powerful vocabulary developmentstrategies.It's maybe 15, 16 pages.If you haven't downloaded that, I encourage you to do that.That was one of about 100 referencesthat we used to work on just this strategyas it was written in the book.

    • 01:21:16

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: And then we also want to briefly talkabout the use of individual learning plansand the value of those.Down the road, as we become more sophisticatedabout orchestrating differentiated curriculumfor each youngster, we can develop an individual learning

    • 01:21:40

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: plan for each youngster.Right now, that seems overwhelming.But when we have youngsters take a part in setting their goals,tied to the student expectations and objectiveswe want kids to learn, And with the technologywe have at our fingertips, this will notbe that difficult an issue.

    • 01:22:02

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: And if you think about Marzano's research, one of themsays having kids set goals and monitoring and lookingat their achievement on those goalsas a very powerful tool for helpingkids have high expectations and celebratethe learnings they have.So that's sort of a quick overview

    • 01:22:22

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: of our strategies in this area.[Standard Four Users' Comments]Here are a few comments made by individualswho have used many of the strategies in Standard Fourto make a difference in their organizationsregarding higher student achievementand closing the achievement gap.

    • 01:22:43

      PATRICIA DICKSON: Of all of the areasthat are covered in the 50 Ways, the whole conceptof mastery learning is probably the most important.[Dr. Patricia Dickson, Independent EducationalConsultant and Former Superintendent,San Leandro, California]Because it really gets at what we want,which is that students will master the learningand retain it so that they can use it long-term.They can apply it over a lifetime, hopefully.And it's probably the area that'smost challenging for teachers and for administrators

    • 01:23:05

      PATRICIA DICKSON [continued]: working with teachers.So I see the biggest need here, the biggest challenge,but also the biggest payoff.Just if I could talk briefly about mastery learning.In terms of looking at mastery learning, particularlyas it gets to the issue of differentiation,one of the things we look at is time.Because the major issue behind mastery learning is webelieve that all students can learn.

    • 01:23:28

      PATRICIA DICKSON [continued]: But it may take more time for some students.So we differentiate in terms of the time spectrum.The other piece that's important isthat students are learning at the right level of difficultyfor each student.So that requires differentiation as well.You can't simply give all students the same standardsand objectives at the same level at the same time.

    • 01:23:49

      PATRICIA DICKSON [continued]: So you may need to differentiate there.And for teachers to do that successfully,that requires a couple of pieces earlyon that I see them having some difficulty with.One is the whole issue of-- first of all,figuring out what your target objective isand making sure you're clear about what's involved in that.And then secondly, backing out of that.

    • 01:24:09

      PATRICIA DICKSON [continued]: So what are the prerequisite knowledge and skillsthat will lend the student to be able to learn that targetobjective?And you need to do some pre-assessment before you startteaching so you can figure out, well,who has those prerequisites and who doesn't?Because that's the first place that you might want to startdifferentiating.You may need to do some reteaching for groups

    • 01:24:30

      PATRICIA DICKSON [continued]: of students or maybe even individualswho don't have some of those prerequisitesbefore you start teaching the target objective.Then you can differentiate.When you're teaching the target objective,you can begin to look at maybe some studentsare ready for me to do the whole objective at once.Maybe some students need for me to chunkthat objective or divide it up differently sothat they have access to it.

    • 01:24:51

      PATRICIA DICKSON [continued]: And then of, course, after you dothat you can begin to look at how do I differentiateany remediation I have to do so that students who didn't get itthe first time through, as I go throughand try to bring them to mastery,I can differentiate the approachesin terms of that remediation.So those are, I think, the biggest piecesaround remediation as they relate to mastery.

    • 01:25:11

      PATRICIA DICKSON [continued]: One of the issues is that a gap oftenexists because students don't comewith the prerequisite knowledge to beable to have access to the target learning objectives.And so if they don't come with that prerequisite knowledge,you teach only the target objective, in the same way,to every student, they're just goingto get further and further behind.That's why it's really important to do the pre-assessment,

    • 01:25:32

      PATRICIA DICKSON [continued]: determine what it is you need to doto build those prerequisite skills that they may bemissing, and accelerate the learningso that they can then have accessto those target objectives.And that will help to close the achievement gap, at leastin that initial phase of the mastery learning process.

    • 01:25:46

      OLIVE KULAS: The mastery learning approachis a powerful tool for teachers to use.[Dr. Olivia Kulas, Independent Educational Consultant]In that it really helps them to focus on the learner,versus getting consumed by delivering curriculumand pacing instruction, sometimes at a mad pace thatdoesn't allow for recognition that learners

    • 01:26:08

      OLIVE KULAS [continued]: are different and learners need various amounts of timeto acquire the learning.And they also need a variety of strategiesto help them to acquire the learning.Within the mastery learning model,we really focus on aligning instructionto the target learning that students

    • 01:26:28

      OLIVE KULAS [continued]: are going to be held accountable for but thenwithin the learning process itself,we use a variety of approaches to meetthe various needs of students, to help everybodyto access that learning and to acquire it.And when we have used a variety of explaining, modelling,or demonstrating-- or we may use inquiry-based methods,

    • 01:26:50

      OLIVE KULAS [continued]: where we have the student discover the meaningand the attributes of the learningthat we want them to attain-- we then make surethat we provide the kinds of practice opportunitieswhere the student is making meaningof that learning in very meaningful ways.And initially, those practices are very focused

    • 01:27:12

      OLIVE KULAS [continued]: on that initial learning.But what sets mastery learning apart from other approachesis that after the student has reallypracticed that learning, that we distributethe practice over time.We come back to that concept at various timesthroughout the week, throughout the month, over several months.

    • 01:27:37

      OLIVE KULAS [continued]: We distribute the practice so that theyget opportunities to apply that learningin a variety of contexts.And when we assess them, we use our tasksthat we assessed them on to help us to diagnose whether or notthey still are comprehending that concept,

    • 01:27:57

      OLIVE KULAS [continued]: whether or not they really have a sound grasp of it.And we then intervene if we feel that thereis any misunderstanding or there is any dropin the learning process.And that intervention is really targeted--we call it reteaching.And sometimes we have to reteach the concept, if for some reason

    • 01:28:20

      OLIVE KULAS [continued]: the student really has not grasp the impact of a concept.And if students have gained that concept,we differentiate our instruction in such a waythat those who have understood it reallyhave extended opportunities with thatlearning in a variety of other applications.While the teacher takes the time to pay attention

    • 01:28:44

      OLIVE KULAS [continued]: to those students who haven't gained mastery.Effective teaching practices reallyhelp to hold the students' attention.If we really want students to learn anything,they really have to be motivated.They have to be engaged.They have to find meaning in it.Good teachers have a variety of teaching approaches

    • 01:29:06

      OLIVE KULAS [continued]: where they can engage a broad spectrum of students.And it means that one size of lessondoes not suit every child.So they have to differentiate the kinds of strategiesthey use across a group of students,find different approaches for studentsto get engaged in that learning and to find meaning for it.

    • 01:29:28

      OLIVE KULAS [continued]: And those can hopefully evolve from good researchbest practices.And some of those strategies alsoare really being realistic about the way our brain works.And our brain is a pattern-seeking device.And we really need, when we're presenting information

    • 01:29:51

      OLIVE KULAS [continued]: to students or new learning to students,to try to connect that learning with something that makessense to them in their own lives,something that's meaningful to them in their own background,something they have previously learned or experienced.And so all of those connections are very important.And if we are going to bring students

    • 01:30:13

      OLIVE KULAS [continued]: through various levels of complexity with the concept,it's really important that we bring themto full fluency with that conceptby staying with them until they have mastered itbefore we move them on to greater complexity,so that they can build those connectionsbetween another level of learning

    • 01:30:35

      OLIVE KULAS [continued]: and what they already know.Because their brain will really build on that connectivity.

    • 01:30:41

      EDMOND MARTINEZ: My reaction is that it'sbeen very useful for the team.[Edmond Martinez, Principal, Mountain View High School,El Paso, Texas]We have a lot of varying novice teachers.And it's given them insights that they were notprepared with when they went through their college courses.And I have to admit that we as a district

    • 01:31:02

      EDMOND MARTINEZ [continued]: have not done enough to prepare the teachers to doexactly what needs to be done.We've brought them into a model that is an outdated model wherethey teach and test.And it's giving them some insightinto the complexity that has existed for a long time,but we wanted to oversimplify it.

    • 01:31:25

      EDMOND MARTINEZ [continued]: And in the meantime, I think we'vedone a disservice to the studentsand we've done a disservice to new teachersand to veteran teachers who feel very frustrated, because theyknow that whatever they're doing is inadequate.But haven't had the guidance and the knowledge to change that.

    • 01:31:42

      HOLLY KAPTAIN: As a consultant with English language learners,I think what I like about this strategy for workingwith English language learners in Standard Fourwith the 50 Ways book is that thereare specific suggestions for all teachers of any content area.[Holly Kaptain, Independent Educational Consultant]Ways that those teachers, again, in any content area,

    • 01:32:05

      HOLLY KAPTAIN [continued]: can modify their instructional practices and their approacheswith students in the classroom to hopefully increasenot only student achievement and their mastery of the contentand those objectives, but also their engagementwith the learning.[Six Standards Sequence]

    • 01:32:26

      CAROLYN DOWNEY: Before we move into Standard Five,let's listen to a few comments madeby Betty Steffy in a training session on the 50 Waysregarding how the six standards fit together.

    • 01:32:40

      BETTY STEFFY: I hope that you're seeingthat when we started with Standard One around curriculum,we were focused on design issue thatwasn't the responsibility of the classroom teacher.Whose responsibility was it primarily dealing

    • 01:33:01

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: with this Standard One curriculum development?The local district curriculum development?Central office.So I put district up here.And for Standard Number Two, we dealt with assessment.And I was so glad that Carolyn this morningreinforced that this assessment is matched to that district

    • 01:33:25

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: curriculum that was developed.So you have full range here in terms of developing assessmentsthat go beyond and deeper than the state assessment system.And I think that's a real plus for you at the district level.But we're still involved-- who's involved here?

    • 01:33:45

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: Primarily central office again.And if you go back to what Ben had to say on our very openingday, that most of our problems are reallycentral office problems.Not problems of teachers and classrooms.We got down to resources and programsthat Bill talked about, and again, it had a district focus.

    • 01:34:09

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: That we're trying to be sure that the materialsthat we put in the hands of our expert master teachersare materials that make their jobs easier.That's what we're after here.We're trying to make the jobs of classroom teachers easier.

    • 01:34:29

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: Make them doable.Because I have to tell you right now, in some casesI think we've overloaded our classroom teachersto the point where I'm not sure it's still doable.That we're giving them tasks that Idon't know whether I could performwhen I was a classroom teacher.

    • 01:34:50

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: But as we get down here, especiallywith Carolyn's mastery learning, now we're into the classroom.We're into the principal's office and the classroom.And that's going to continue herewith what I want to present now with Standard Five.

    • 01:35:10

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: There'll be this focus on classroom and school.But this happens only after all this happens.So if you're looking for the accountability for puttingthis system in place, it starts with central administration,central administration, central administration.

    • 01:35:31

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: And with the involvement of principals and teachers.But the accountability is with central administration.You get down here to mastery learning,and we've never ever in this country beenable to impact classroom teaching to the extent we

    • 01:35:52

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: might be able to impact it, we believe, with this model.All of this research that's been quoted in the last two dayshas been on the books for a long period of time.And yet we haven't seen it materialized in classrooms.

    • 01:36:13

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: And I think we haven't seen that happen yetbecause this is not in place.All of this is missing or not well done.Not tight enough.And so that has to be happening so that we can get downto mastery learning.If we want to implement that model,

    • 01:36:35

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: the teachers have to have access to those pretests.If we want to implement that model,they have to have access to curriculum documents thathave clear objectives that teachers understand.That I can give this table the new curriculumdocument in the area of science at the sixth grade level,they could each read the objectives.

    • 01:36:56

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: And they would all agree on what it meant.Not so today.And as we continue here, Bill's goingto be talking about effective system and school planning.Now we're moving back up to a system responsibility.

    • 01:37:17

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: And I called it system rather than districtbecause I think these are individual peoplewithin departments handling some of this.These are schools and classrooms where the major focus is here.And when you get back up here, it'sthe total system and everybody in it.So that was one reflection.

    • 01:37:42

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: [Standard Five Introduction]

    • 01:37:44

      CAROLYN DOWNEY: It is time now to make a few commentsabout Standard Five before you read about the strategiesin this standard.Standard Five deals with several areas including expectations,monitoring, and accountability.Here are a few excerpts from Betty Steffy's presentationon Standard Five from our 50 Ways conference

    • 01:38:07

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: as she introduces the strategies in this standard.

    • 01:38:11

      BETTY STEFFY: Standard Five deals with delivery.[Dr. Betty E. Steffy, Co author and Emeritus Professorof Educational Leadership, Iowa State University]Where the first standard and the second standardare primarily focused on design issues,Standard Five is clearly a delivery issue.So we're down in the school, we're in the classroom.And we're trying to determine whether or notthe curriculum as designed is being

    • 01:38:32

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: delivered in the classroom.Key areas in Standard Five.There are three.The first one deals with setting high expectations for students.And high expectations for studentson the part of the classroom teacherimpacts a student's motivation level, impacts

    • 01:38:53

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: their achievement level, impacts howthe student feels about themselves in the learningenvironment.It's very, very powerful.And it's highly related to whether or nota student would be resilient in your class.Meaning that the student feels comfortable and confidentthat they can learn.So that's one aspect of Standard Five.

    • 01:39:16

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: Another very large aspect of Standard Fivedeals with monitoring the implementationof the curriculum.And since we developed the three-minute walk-through book,it's heavily focused on the role of the building principalin monitoring the implementation of the curriculum

    • 01:39:36

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: and engaging in reflective dialoguewith classroom teachers.The third area of Standard Five deals with accountabilityof teachers.How teachers are evaluated, and the processis connected with that.It deals with establishing expectations.

    • 01:40:01

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: It deals with monitoring.And here the role of the learning leaderis paramount in monitoring.It deals with accountability in terms of the principal's rolein helping teachers deal with all that data.

    • 01:40:22

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: We've got more data than we can digest.But is it the right data for teachersto use to differentiate that instruction?That's another theme.And the last theme in this particular standarddeals with the congruence or the character, the characteristics,

    • 01:40:46

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: of the appraisal system within a district.And I would just say that in the course of doing audits,that we all do, one of the activities that wedo consistently in an audit when we go into a district,we'll ask for names taken off blind analysis of teacherappraisal forms.

    • 01:41:09

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: And depending on how large the district is,maybe we'll review 100, 200 of those.And then we present an analysis of whatwe learned from viewing those.Rarely, rarely do we ever find one of thesewhere the teacher isn't rated at very high levels.

    • 01:41:30

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: Excellent, excellent, excellent.Someone else had-- yes.

    • 01:41:35

      AUDIENCE: There's not a tie to the curriculum.

    • 01:41:38

      BETTY STEFFY: Right.Right.There's no tie to the curriculum.Well, that's just one little example.What we commonly find-- and we've talked about this.Almost all of us have mentioned thisin some way, shape, or form.What we commonly find in classrooms--and I'll just quickly put this up-- almost all studentsdoing the same thing.

    • 01:41:59

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: Primary resource is the textbook.The type of cognition is at a low level.There's little evidence of instructional differentiation.And when students are asked, what are you learning?They have difficulty answering that question.And you may agree or disagree, but this

    • 01:42:20

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: has been our experience.And we're wanting to change what wesee in classrooms with this process of the 50 Ways.So the first strategy deals with creating and communicatinghigh expectations.

    • 01:42:41

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: Now, I don't know about you, but Ithink this is probably one of the fundamental planksin our foundation.And it doesn't cost money.I'm always looking for things that don't cost money.

    • 01:43:05

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: Being able to convey high expectations to studentshas many, many benefits.And when there's high expectations for students,students tend to feel good about themselves and their learning.

    • 01:43:27

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: They know they're learning something tough,and they feel really good when they achieve it.So this first one is around high expectations.Now, there is no district among the 15,000, 16,000districts in the country that I would walk in the door

    • 01:43:47

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: and I would say, do you have high expectations?And what would the answer be?

    • 01:43:51

      AUDIENCE: Yes!

    • 01:43:52

      BETTY STEFFY: Ha ha!That was good.Absolutely yes, we have high expectations!But do they really?I'll have some things to say about that.And also the connection of high expectationsto the concept of resiliency.Secondly, I want to talk about monitoring the curriculum.

    • 01:44:13

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: Now, the Downey walk-through has been out for some--we were talking the other day.We did our first training in Tampa, Florida10 years ago with the Downey walk-through model.And we just sent the final copy--Carolyn's editing this one.We sent the final copy of the second book

    • 01:44:35

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: to Carolyn within the last month.And we've talked to Corwin, and itseems like we might have a publication date of Fall.It takes about six months, if we get our ducks all lined up.And in this new book on walk-through,it expands the reflective conversation.

    • 01:45:01

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: I think a lot of people out of the first walk-throughexperience took the five steps of whatyou look for in classrooms-- how many people hereare familiar with the Downey walk-through training?Not everybody, but some.We've got all kinds of models for walk-through going onout there.The Downey walk-through model has two parts, as most of you

    • 01:45:23

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: know.One is, what do you look for in the classroom?And secondly, after you know that,what do you do with that knowledge?And we think that using that knowledge to engage teachersin reflective conversations leadsto the change of the culture of your school.And I'll have quite a bit to say about that.

    • 01:45:44

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: And I want to talk with you a little bit about wherethe second book fits into that.Because that reflective conversation piece,people had difficulty with.So there's quite a few chapters in the new bookabout how you engage in reflective conversationsand how you institutionalize to build capacity

    • 01:46:06

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: within your school building to havethese kind of conversations going on.So that's the second strategy.Connected to that is visiting classrooms and providingthis reflective follow-up.So that's another strategy.There are only five strategies in this particular standard.

    • 01:46:27

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: The fourth standard deals with this disaggregation of data.And that's another theme that hasbeen through most of our presentations--disaggregating data.But here, we're looking at that data disaggregationat the classroom, school level.And how it impacts instructional planning.

    • 01:46:52

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: And finally, focusing staff appraisalon professional growth as opposed to simply completingthe form and filing it in some file,and it really doesn't impact change in that classroom.So those are our five strategies that we'regoing to be dealing with this afternoon.

    • 01:47:12

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: And I perceive them down here, major focusat the classroom, school level.I want to talk a little bit about this conceptof resiliency.I think it's been in the literature about 10 years.And the research on it started by looking

    • 01:47:34

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: at students who have been able to overcomevery diverse situations and still achieve.But with this strategy, we're not interested so muchin the slogans and the board policy.We're interested in, how does it get played out in classrooms?

    • 01:47:58

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: [Standard Five Users' Comments]Here are a few comments made by individualswho have used many of the strategies in Standard Fivein making a difference in their organizationsregarding higher student achievementand closing the achievement gap.

    • 01:48:13

      CURTIS CAIN: I think that staff development needsto be extremely strategic in nature, very purposeful, onein which you're looking at an entire year.[Dr. Curtis Cain, Associate Superintendentfor Educational Services, Shawnee Mission SchoolDistrict]There needs to be, regardless of actually the experiencefor the teacher.A teacher can come into the district,have 30 years of experience.But if they're from another state,if they're accustomed to another form of pedagogy that's

    • 01:48:34

      CURTIS CAIN [continued]: used for instruction, they need to be aware of what's taught,how it's taught, and when it's taught in their new reality.So that's true of the 30-year veteran, that'strue of the 10-year veteran, that's true of the brandnew teacher as well.And so it needs to be a multi-layered as well.There needs to be contact from a person that works or teachesin a very similar condition or content area.

    • 01:48:56

      CURTIS CAIN [continued]: And also someone from the districtlevel to ensure that there's a consistency that'sbeing provided as well.So the idea is that you wrap support around the individualas they enter the school districtand make sure that they're supported.And that support is sustained over the course of the schoolyear.

    • 01:49:12

      DARRYL CROSS: I think when you have those conditions in place,you've got an individual that's going to do exceptionally well.The process that I use in working with districtsis a process called School View, whichwas also designed by Curriculum Management SystemsIncorporated.[Darryl Cross, Independent Educational Consultant]And it is a process where we go into classroomsand actually take a look at what students are actuallydoing in classrooms, what strategies teachers are

    • 01:49:34

      DARRYL CROSS [continued]: choosing to use, and then after leaving the classroom,to take a look at that against curriculumand see the degree of alignment that is taking place.As well as take a look and talk about whatinstructional strategies teachers arechoosing to use with students.It allows us to see the level of student engagementthat's going on in the classroom.

    • 01:49:54

      DARRYL CROSS [continued]: It allows us to see what type of professional developmentmight be needed in that district.But the process is a very simple onein that we spend a very short amountof time in every classroom.Going in, gathering data around the objective that'sbeing taught, the instructional strategies that are being used,doing some analysis if reading is taking place.

    • 01:50:16

      DARRYL CROSS [continued]: And then leaving the classroom.Recording and pulling all of that data together as trenddata so it can be taken back and presentedto that faculty, staff, or to that curricular department.

    • 01:50:27

      MARY CANNIE: One of the things I recognized very quicklyas the superintendent is that very little attention hasbeen given to administrators and their professional development.[Dr. Mary R. Cannie, Fomer Superintendentand Educational Consultant]And I recognized that if I wanted to make changein low-performing schools, I reallyneeded to have administrators on boardwith the latest strategies and understandingthe practices that needed to be implemented

    • 01:50:50

      MARY CANNIE [continued]: at the district and the building levelto improve student achievement.So I engaged in a very comprehensiveadministrative professional development program.I've trained all of my administrators,as a superintendent, in many of the products thatcome out of Curriculum Management Systems.The baseline for that thinking was they needed

    • 01:51:13

      MARY CANNIE [continued]: to speak the same language.They really needed to have an understandingof the concepts that make a difference in managingcurriculum and instruction.I didn't actually train my staff in the 50 Ways.We used the 50 Ways book as a resource.So each administrator could go back to the 50 Ways bookand say, I need a little more information on differentiation

    • 01:51:36

      MARY CANNIE [continued]: of instruction.And they could read that on their ownand then have conversations around that concept.But everyone would be reading the same informationabout a concept.

    • 01:51:48

      JOE BAZENAS: In Standard Five, using the accountability,the monitoring, and the high expectationshas been invaluable for me as a site-level principal.[Joe Bazenas, Middle School Principal, Booker MiddleSchool, Sarasota, Florida]The expectations, being able to build mutual respectand understanding of what the clear high expectations arefor our students with the staff is very importantso that it's very clear that everybody is on the same page.

    • 01:52:10

      JOE BAZENAS [continued]: The monitoring is a way for us to continue that over time.I really prefer to use the Downeythree-minute walk-through and the reflective conversations.It makes it a very collegial conversation,and really provides the opportunityfor those instructors to be valued as true professionals.They take the opportunity to move forward

    • 01:52:33

      JOE BAZENAS [continued]: with their students on a daily basis.Being able to monitor them as I go through walk-throughsand then have those conversationsafterwards has been very insightful for all of us.In Standard Five, with the accountability piece,it's essential for us as site-level administratorsto be able to have documentation to work with our staff and work

    • 01:52:53

      JOE BAZENAS [continued]: with the students to show that the gains are current,keeping everybody on track.Using the accountability tools that are part of the 50 Wayshas been one way for us to be able to stay on track.

    • 01:53:04

      JAMES A SCOTT: These strategies in Standard Fiveprovide a way for districts to maintainhigh-performing people that will help them reach their goals.[Dr. James A. Scott, Independent Educational Consultant]And you start off with the first one,which is setting high standards for curriculum development

    • 01:53:25

      JAMES A SCOTT [continued]: and curriculum delivery in the classroom.They need to be measurable.And then you go to the next step.You get people down into the classroomto see what's going on-- that's from the central officeall the way down to the principal level--

    • 01:53:45

      JAMES A SCOTT [continued]: to see how the curriculum is actually being delivered.Meantime, you have people from the central office monitoringthe curriculum to be sure that the development activities areconsistent with the level of expectationsthat the district has.These observations should produce some kind of data.The data collection is the third strategy.

    • 01:54:08

      JAMES A SCOTT [continued]: And those data should tell you how well the district staffis doing to meet the district standards that you set backin Step One, or Strategy One.Then you take those data, and theyshould be turned over into some kind of evaluation system,

    • 01:54:32

      JAMES A SCOTT [continued]: personnel evaluation system, so that youcan use that information on the individual's needsto develop your professional development activities thatwill improve them and lift them up to the standardthat you expected back in Strategy One.So it's a complete cycle.

    • 01:54:54

      JAMES A SCOTT [continued]: Very often I have found that the cycle breaks down.And that's why some districts-- that's one reason whythey don't perform well.You find that the standards that the district has set backusing the first strategy is not reflected in the performanceevaluation systems that you're usingto find out how curriculum is being delivered or designed.

    • 01:55:18

      JAMES A SCOTT [continued]: And so when that happens, there'sa disconnect between what you wantand what you're getting, essentially.And that has to be fixed if you're goingto really close that loop.And then there are other places wherethe system or the strategies can failif you don't collect the data that actually reflect

    • 01:55:39

      JAMES A SCOTT [continued]: what you want to achieve.That's a problem.But frequently, it's the fact that the appraisal system,the personnel appraisal system, doesn'treflect the high standards that you want for students.[Standard Six Introduction]

    • 01:55:59

      CAROLYN DOWNEY: It is time now to make a few commentsabout Standard Six before you read about the strategiesin this standard.Standard Six is our final standard,with several strategies that we call systems factors.It includes planning approaches for change,staff development aligned to initiatives

    • 01:56:20

      CAROLYN DOWNEY [continued]: for continual improvement, and budget.Here are a few excerpts from Bill Poston's presentationon Standard Six from our 50 Ways conference.

    • 01:56:32

      BILL POSTON: Standard Six is for the people at the systemlevel and the organization.[Dr. William K. Poston, Jr, Co author and Emeritus Professorof Educational Leadership, Iowa State University]And in terms of the support functionsthat need to be delivered system-widefor teaching and learning.And so it deals with a higher levelin the organizational operation.For example, some of the things that

    • 01:56:53

      BILL POSTON [continued]: are addressed in Standard Six include system planning.And how to look down the road 5 or 10 yearsand prepare for the changing needs of the organization.It's very important that planning for school districtsnot be static.Because conditions are changing.The clientele are changing.

    • 01:57:14

      BILL POSTON [continued]: And so the organization needs to respond accordingly.And once the system has a direction in mind,then we talk about connectivity.Which means that the school's planningneeds to reflect and be congruent with the systemplanning.So the system planning is a very important characteristic

    • 01:57:35

      BILL POSTON [continued]: or part of Standard Six.Another part is the need for training.People need to be trained in whatit is that the child is supposed to know, think, do, feel,or be like.And they need training in how to best deliverthe learning they need at the various levels--the cognitive, the contextual, and the content areas.

    • 01:57:55

      BILL POSTON [continued]: As well as the sequence, so that children'slearning moves smoothly and positivelyand achievement begins to continue.Another major part of Standard Six,which is always of great interest to superintendentsand central office administrators,is what we call the performance-based budgetingand allocation of resources.

    • 01:58:16

      BILL POSTON [continued]: Resources are scarce in schools.No question about it.But we need to organize our budgeting and our allocationof resources in accordance with needs.So we're talking about helping organizations learnto move their budgeting process to higher levels of budgeting,such as programmatic budgeting, incremental budgeting, activity

    • 01:58:37

      BILL POSTON [continued]: budgeting.And then measuring performance so the programshave to deliver positive evaluative results.So it's no longer a matter of simply allocating moneyto a program and not monitoring its effect.And over time, systems that have done thishave become much more efficient, much more effective

    • 01:58:58

      BILL POSTON [continued]: with their scarce paucity of resources.Also in Standard Six, folks will findsome of the attributes of a quality learning environment.What does it take to structure and providea classroom in which children have a greaterlikelihood of learning?And that involves, within the classroom, what

    • 01:59:18

      BILL POSTON [continued]: we call a quality environment.And that environment has to be characterizedby a number of factors that do affect, support, or sometimesinterfere with learning.And so in addition to that, then wehave a consideration of quality facilities.I've been in schools where teachers

    • 01:59:40

      BILL POSTON [continued]: were trying to teach with leaks in the roofand they were dodging these drips of water coming downfrom the ceiling.It's a little hard to teach if the facilities are notup to par.So in Standard Six, we deal with system supportof teaching and learning.And so we're at a little different levelof consideration.Very important things.

    • 02:00:01

      BILL POSTON [continued]: I've actually seen many cases in my career of system factorsundermining classroom teaching.So the idea is that we try to optimize the system.We try to get the system working in concert.And it gives it a much greater likelihoodof achieving its goals and its priorities.

    • 02:00:21

      BILL POSTON [continued]: Our first strategy is that schools have plansand systems have plans.They need to fit together.One needs to predict the other.So what I like to do is I take school improvement plansand I identify their, say, four or five major goals.And I create a matrix.

    • 02:00:42

      BILL POSTON [continued]: I put all the schools on a list.And then I put their four or five goals across the topand make columns.And whatever that goal is, I make an xif they have that goal.Across all the buildings, I may have 30 or 40 different goalsor major objectives.

    • 02:01:02

      BILL POSTON [continued]: But I've got this matrix that shows where they are.Then I take the school district plans and goalsand I compare the school district goalsto the individual school plans.And I see if there's congruity.Once in a while, I will find a district goal that is not

    • 02:01:24

      BILL POSTON [continued]: in any school improvement goal.So that means that they're really not connected very well.And so I frequently find a lot of things in school-level goalsthat are not in the district plan.So it can work both ways.But if we're really talking about increasing studentachievement, this is not an individual school undertaking.

    • 02:01:47

      BILL POSTON [continued]: It's a system undertaking.We're in it together, and we need to do it.The first thing we look for is, has the system set direction?Does it have a mission?And I'm not talking just a mission statement.I'm talking about a mission.Something they want to accomplish, they seek to do,

    • 02:02:09

      BILL POSTON [continued]: they seek to achieve.So do they have a mission?And is that mission commonly shared across the system?Or is it held in the hands of a preciously small group?We also look for critical analysis,which means we don't just cook these things up

    • 02:02:30

      BILL POSTON [continued]: in our cerebral membranes.We actually use data and informationand we elicit data and information,which helps us understand problems, issues, needs,requirements, future conditions, current circumstances,

    • 02:02:52

      BILL POSTON [continued]: a variety of things.So we're not just shooting in the dark.We're actually gathering solid informationabout our status and our destiny.Then there are certain componentsthat you need to have and build those into the plan.Now, the model has levels and the model

    • 02:03:13

      BILL POSTON [continued]: has a number of characteristics.And one of the things we look at is,are there targets that are identified for accomplishment?Are there objectives?Are there statements of what we want to be,what we want to be like, what we want to accomplish?And so on and so forth.

    • 02:03:34

      BILL POSTON [continued]: And any plan worth its salt-- and you're hearing this from usall the time because we believe in rational organizations.And rational organizations have purposeand they have knowledge of their performance.And they use that in planning their activities.So we need to have ongoing evaluation as well.

    • 02:03:56

      BILL POSTON [continued]: And in deployment of direction, thatmeans you're actually going to do something with your plan.You're not going to create it and put it on the shelf.You're going to actually create it, develop it, design it,and then deliver it.You're going to put it into practice.So we have action plans.We integrate plans together.We include budget and timelines.

    • 02:04:17

      BILL POSTON [continued]: And we put those into some relationshipso that budgeting is a part of the plan, not the other wayaround.If you have a plan and it does not include the budget,then you have two plans.Because the budget is a plan.It's a plan for spending.

    • 02:04:37

      BILL POSTON [continued]: But it will actually control other thingsbecause if you have noble ambitionsin your conceptual plan and you don'tinclude budget ramifications and budget consequencesas a result, then you really aren'tgoing to be able to accomplish whatit is you want to accomplish.[Standard Six Users' Comments]

    • 02:04:59

      CAROLYN DOWNEY: Here are a few commentsmade by individuals who have usedmany of the strategies in Standard Fiveto make a difference in their organizations regardinghigher student achievement and the closing the achievementgap.

    • 02:05:13

      RANDY CLEGG: Planning is somethingthat school districts engage in all the time.[Dr. Randy Clegg, Superintendent of Schools,Burnsville Eagan Savage School District, Minnesota]However, many school districts failto really find a clear focus for their planning initiativesand efforts.As a result, they end up with a variety of plans in place,often going off in different directions,not clearly focused on the goals of the system,and often don't look at what are the actions that

    • 02:05:36

      RANDY CLEGG [continued]: have to take place in order to reach the goals thatare designed for the system.Well, the budget really becomes a reflectionof the goals and priorities of the schoolsystem in a budgetary format.And ideally, the budget and planning processneed to go hand-in-hand so that there'sa allocation of resources-- not only financial,but human resources-- that are aligned

    • 02:05:58

      RANDY CLEGG [continued]: with the initiatives of the district,the goals that have been set for the district,so that there is the capability in the districtor the capacity in the district to actually implementthe plan that has been designed.The 50 Ways book and the six standardsreally becomes a guide for school leaders

    • 02:06:18

      RANDY CLEGG [continued]: to help them plan their work and prioritize their work.It leads them from curriculum designto planning to resource allocation.And by keeping those 50 components in mind,it really is a helpful guide.And I've been a superintendent for 24 years.I use the book all the time.

    • 02:06:41

      RANDY CLEGG [continued]: It's always a nice resource to go back,I'm thinking about a plan, make sure I've gotthe components clearly my mind.So that when I'm meeting with the board or meetingwith my leadership team, I have everything wellconceptualized in my mind.

    • 02:06:54

      W MARK GESCH: Well, one of the greatest difficultieswe have in school districts is because of the bureaucracy,we continue programs that are no longer being effective.And we continue to fund them and to finance them.[W. Mark Gesch, Assistant Superintendent of Operations,San Angelo Independent School District]That eats away at our resources.And the performance-driven budgeting process reallygives you an opportunity to go in and annually evaluatethe success of programs and really put your resources where

    • 02:07:14

      W MARK GESCH [continued]: they can be the most effective for studentsand for student success.

    • 02:07:18

      KEVIN SINGER: One example would bewhen I was with a suburban district in the Kansas Cityarea, we had developed a long-term plan, five-year plan.[Dr. Kevin Singer, Superintendent of Schools,Topeka Public Schools, Kansas]And we used some of the strategiesin the deployment of that plan.Working with our principals, workingto make sure that our building plants cascadedfrom the district plan.All those are outlined strategies within 50 Ways.

    • 02:07:39

      KEVIN SINGER [continued]: It was very successful.We implemented everything on time, on budget.We had some pretty significant student achievement growth.In a Texas district, we had a similar experiencewith the plan being tied to administrator goalsand implementing everything as we had had planned.

    • 02:08:00

      KEVIN SINGER [continued]: It was the first time in history of that districtthat all of the schools in the entire districtreached Exemplary on the Texas Academic Program standards.You first have to look at aligning your overall planwith your district goals.And that goes back to having a long-range plan.But from that, you have to differentiate by building need

    • 02:08:22

      KEVIN SINGER [continued]: and by individual staff member need.Because not everyone's going to need exactly the same thing.And that's one of the things that theytalk about in 50 Ways is the differentiationpiece on staff development.Of course, there's different levels of growth for teachers,whether it's starting as an apprenticeor moving toward a master level.And the differentiation takes care of that.

    • 02:08:45

      KEVIN SINGER [continued]: It recognizes the fact the teachers areat different levels and tries to make surethat what's provided for their trainingis appropriate for what their needs areand where they're at in their career.

    • 02:08:56

      JOHN ROUSE: Staff development in a districtreally needs to be tied into the needs of the district.[John Rouse, Superintendent, Salida School District,Colorado]When you're looking at trying to work with your staffto focus on what's important for them to learn,it has to be tied into the overall visionarymission of the district.And those things, again, are driven

    • 02:09:17

      JOHN ROUSE [continued]: by the needs of the students in termsof their student achievement.So we focus our staff development around that issue.How exactly do we address that for everybodyin the system to focus on those needs?Whenever a district is looking at staff development needs,it's really important that they keep that focus on the student

    • 02:09:38

      JOHN ROUSE [continued]: achievement.And sometimes what might happen is a campusmay choose its own initiative and go down one directionwith staff development based on what-- maybe a teacher heardabout a particular workshop or something that she thoughtmight be interesting.And they go down that pathway.

    • 02:09:60

      JOHN ROUSE [continued]: But that may not be a pathway thatlinks back to the particular needs of that district.So it's important that there is a discussionand there's a plan for the staff developmentand the professional growth within a districtthat keeps that focus back on the mission.And the mission being to achieve growthin the student achievement.

    • 02:10:22

      JOHN ROUSE [continued]: [Themes]

    • 02:10:24

      BETTY STEFFY: I think there's a themeon the congruence of the written,taught, and tested curriculum.I don't think there's any standardthat we don't have that little triangle in there somewherein the slides that we're showing.So I identified that is a theme that permeates these 50 Ways.

    • 02:10:45

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: Another theme was looking at content, context, and typeof cognition.Congruence among that, alignment of those three.Looking at all three.I saw that as a theme.The next one-- and I guess it's a passion for me.

    • 02:11:09

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: I think most of us in administrative positionswork very hard to help teachers, to make the work of teacherseasier.Teachers are busy, teachers are busy, teachers are busy.And if we can find ways to help teachers make sense out

    • 02:11:32

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: of their work environment and give them the confidence that,I can do that.That's something I know how to do,and I'm getting the help that I needfrom central administration.So I put down as a theme, help for teachers.I don't know whether you see it in what we're saying.But I did.

    • 02:11:54

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: The next one I had was principal as learning leader.We've had principal as instructional leaderfor years in the literature, in our language.But to say, "instructional leader,"you are focusing on the teacher and the design

    • 02:12:16

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: of the instruction.If you're talking about a learning leader,you're looking at the students in the classroomsand what they are learning.So I like that movement from instructional leaderto learning leader.And then another theme for me was tightening.

    • 02:12:42

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: It wasn't that we were suggesting you do new things,really.We were tightening things you already do.We were suggesting, perhaps, that youwork smarter-- if I can take one of those slogans--in your work.

    • 02:13:05

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: [Planning Using the 50 Ways]

    • 02:13:07

      BETTY STEFFY: People should plan on usingthe book as often and as much as they possibly can.[Dr. Betty E. Steffy, Co author and Emeritus Professorof Educational Leadership, Iowa State University]And they can use it in order to improve their schoolimprovement plans.They can use in their strategic long-range planning.They can use it in helping individuals,principals for instance, to prioritizeinitiatives for a year.

    • 02:13:29

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: One of the best uses of the book is for the districtto put together an advisory team made upof teachers, school administrators, central officeadministration.A whole cadre of roles of a district.And that cadre studies the book, looks at the strategies,

    • 02:13:53

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: and prioritizes those strategies thatare most important for the district to pursue.In that way, if they're having a representation of allthose roles, the district is on much firmer groundin having input from all those teachers, principals,school administrators.

    • 02:14:14

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: And it really gives the system a stepforward when they actually have the planand they're implementing the plan.There's knowledge about the plan.So it's a wonderful needs assessmentof where a district is now.Because districts are improving all the time.And their efforts have been ongoing,

    • 02:14:34

      BETTY STEFFY [continued]: and they're getting better and better over the years.So it's important to use the bookto see what we've done well and where we still need to placeour efforts for the future.

    • 02:14:47

      JANET BAKER: We've been doing the parts of the 50 Ways,except we haven't been doing it cohesively.[Janet Baker, District Instructional Officer,Ector Independent School District, Texas]And so generally, those of us that have been in the fieldfor a long, long time, have known.This is not new information, but it's been fragmented thoughts.And this has given us a way to pull it in as a whole,

    • 02:15:10

      JANET BAKER [continued]: given us an end and given us a guideto get there over many years.It's a way to harness our strengthsand to get clarity and consistency in the workthat we do.Now, specifically for the teachers and childrenthat I need to help, our need right

    • 02:15:32

      JANET BAKER [continued]: now is to have an aligned curriculumso we can move the what to teach outof the way of the assessment and the instructional strategiesand the learning climate.Those are all four dimensions of a whole.And that's been clarified with the 50 Ways.

    • 02:15:54

      JANET BAKER [continued]: Specifically for our curriculum work,we want to go into the content and the contextand the cognition, which also hasa direct effect on the instruction that we haveand the assessment.If our assessment changes to includethe content, and the context, and the cognition,

    • 02:16:15

      JANET BAKER [continued]: and our teachers understand that part,it's going to affect the assessmentsthat we build and it's going to affecthow we deliver instruction.The biggest part, I think, is goingto change our learning climate.Because it won't be just random teaching.It'll be specific teaching done at high levels.

    • 02:16:38

      JANET BAKER [continued]: Our kids will be different.Our teachers will be different.It gives us a way to map our journeyand harness our strengths so our staff's not overwhelmed.

    • 02:16:50

      ROGER ANTON: As I've looked at the 50 Ways,I believe we are actively doing 40 of the 50 at this point.[Dr. Roger Anton, Superintendent,Salinas Union High School District, California]And that provides that base that we need to do,from working with training for teachers,to committing our resources to performance-based budgeting,to providing individual plans for students,

    • 02:17:11

      ROGER ANTON [continued]: to differentiating instruction.And that's why I believe that we'veseen the growth that we've seen in the last 10 years.

    • 02:17:18

      DARRYL CROSS: I think 50 Ways is a very important piecefor any district to be involved in.[Darryl Cross, Independent Educational Consultant]Because, as I mentioned before, it doesgive you a common language to have discussion around.There are many terms that we use in education,many instructional strategies that are out there.And again, it really gives us a common languageto have the right types of discussions around instruction

    • 02:17:40

      DARRYL CROSS [continued]: so that we're helping every student to be successful.

    • 02:17:43

      GINGER HOVENIC: I absolutely recommend 50 Ways.It really does focus the work that teachers are doing.[Dr. Ginger Hovenic, Associate Vice President,Alliant International University]And it really does help as teachersare trying to find their way with so much curriculum, somuch information.That it really gives them the opportunity to say,OK, this does make sense.

    • 02:18:04

      GINGER HOVENIC [continued]: This does give us the opportunityto have conversations with each other about what'shappening in our school and with our students.And what kinds of achievement thingswe can achieve as a school, as a district,for greater student success.

    • 02:18:21

      JOHNNY VESELKA: 50 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap isan excellent tool for superintendents, principals,and teachers as they implement changesin our educational system and as they attempt to closethe gap among students.[Dr. Johnny Veselka, Executive Directorof the Texas Association of School Administrators]I think it's important that superintendents

    • 02:18:42

      JOHNNY VESELKA [continued]: try to explore strategies that will makea difference in their schools.And if they access the strategies thatare outlined in this book, they will find many waysto address those issues and the problems that they face.

    • 02:18:55

      EVE PROFFITT: I think that in education today,we need some practical books.[Dr. Eve Proffitt, Interim Dean of All of Education,Georgetown University]And I think that this book is a very practical approach.It's something that is reasonable to useas a professional development tool to assist teachersand to assist school building personnel,as well as district personnel, as they're

    • 02:19:17

      EVE PROFFITT [continued]: trying to determine what it is we need to be doing in termsof student achievement.It's very readable.It's very doable.And it's prioritized.And I think that if they just start taking each pieceand start working through it, that they're goingto find that they see results.And that immediacy of feedback for them

    • 02:19:37

      EVE PROFFITT [continued]: is going to be very critical.It's a positive approach to the student achievement issuethat we have in The States.And I think that it's very important for peopleto have something that's practical, usable,and friendly.

    • 02:19:51

      COLE PUGH: I've been the superintendentof four different districts in Texaswhere we've been able to significantly improvestudent achievement.[Dr. Cole Pugh, Superintendent of Eagle Mountain SaginawIndependent School District, Texas]And I think the 50 Ways book has been very instrumentalin those improvements.Actually, I was asked to teach a graduate-level collegecourse at a college in Texas, and we use the 50 Ways book

    • 02:20:13

      COLE PUGH [continued]: as our textbook.So I think it's one of the best single resources for a schooldistrict on how to improve studentachievement of which I'm aware.Another area that we look at in a school districtfrom the 50 Ways is the area of assessmentsaligned to the curriculum.We tried to develop local formative and summativeassessments.We focus more on the formative.

    • 02:20:35

      COLE PUGH [continued]: We need to disaggregate our data,say where our weaknesses are, and then makeinstructional decisions based on the data.And so I look at the assessment in a school districtis very important to improving student achievement.Our next area that's important in improvingstudent achievement is the area of instructional resources.

    • 02:20:56

      COLE PUGH [continued]: The primary resource a lot of teachers use across the countryis the textbook.And we found that most textbooks are poorly alignedto the external assessments.So we have to develop our own local instructional resources.And we find after teachers have had a little bit of trainingthat what they develop is much better than the resources

    • 02:21:18

      COLE PUGH [continued]: that we might purchase.So many times, when you find low-level student achievementat a campus, if you analyze the resources,you find poor resources.So the better the resources, we find,the better the student achievement will be.Another area of the 50 Ways is high expectations for students.

    • 02:21:39

      COLE PUGH [continued]: We actually had a campus present to our board of trusteesrecently.And they said, in the beginning, theydidn't feel like their students could do any better than theywere doing.So they felt like they were complacent.And once they raised the expectationsfor themselves and their students,then their student achievement began to go up.So we feel like it's very important

    • 02:22:00

      COLE PUGH [continued]: to have high expectations for everyone in the schooldistrict.Another area that's been very importantis the monitoring piece.We've actually done the Downey walk-through training.So we have someone from central office that goes to campusesand does walk-throughs with the principal.We think principal monitoring in the classroom

    • 02:22:21

      COLE PUGH [continued]: is very important, asking reflective questionsand providing constructive feedback.So the monitoring piece is very important in a school district.And then there's accountability section.We need to look at our test data,disaggregate it, look where our strengths and weaknesses are,

    • 02:22:42

      COLE PUGH [continued]: and then focus staff development training on our areaswhere we're not doing as well as we would like to do.Some other important areas to improving student achievementare, first, district planning.Most districts, when I go there, have a one-year annual plan.We move that out to a more long range.

    • 02:23:04

      COLE PUGH [continued]: At least three years, and we would liketo move even longer than that.So there needs to be a multi-year district plan.And then the campus plan should align with the district plan.When you write an objective or a strategy or activity in a plan,if it requires staff development,we like to go ahead and write in the required staff

    • 02:23:26

      COLE PUGH [continued]: development in the plan.Resource allocation tied to your prioritiesis very important when you develop budgetsat the district level.You need to know what your goals and priorities areand then focus your resources on the improvementsyou want to make.Also, we like to have quality learning facilities.We have mostly new campuses, and our older campuses

    • 02:23:49

      COLE PUGH [continued]: have been renovated.So we feel like the physical environment is very important.But also, there needs to be a safe environment wherethe student knows the teacher cares about them.So there has to be a quality learning environmentin a school district.

    • 02:24:03

      KEVIN SINGER: Yeah, I would recommend it.[Dr. Kevin Singer, Superintendent of Schools,Topeka Public Schools, Kansas]I've used it in differing ways.I just started a brand new district herewithin the past year.And Dr. English came out and presented the 50 Ways.All of our principals wanted a copy of the book.And that will be a book study that we'regoing to do this coming year.And then just slowly implementing the strategies

    • 02:24:25

      KEVIN SINGER [continued]: in there.

    • 02:24:26

      FENWICK ENGLISH: My advice is that they carefullyconsider the six standards and look at the implementationstrategies.They all relate to closing the gap,and they have to all be considered.It's not a menu.You don't go in and pick the ones you like.You have to do them all.You have to look at it in the long term.

    • 02:24:47

      FENWICK ENGLISH [continued]: You can do a few little things on the short term that'll bumpyour test scores a little bit.But you're not going to get any sustained resultsunless and until you do them all over an extended periodof time.You have to really sustain your effort.And that is very hard work.And that's really the challenge.

    • 02:25:06

      BILL POSTON: The concern that we addressedin the 50 Ways is the phenomenon in our culturewhere we have some students who do well in schoolfrom the first step out and other students whodon't do well.And what we find is that the tests thatare in practice and that are being usedare measuring the socioeconomic status as muchas they're measuring learning.

    • 02:25:28

      BILL POSTON [continued]: And the poorer children, or the low socioeconomic groups,do not do as well on these high-stakes tests.So the idea is that we want to helpall children get to a successful level of learning.And something that John Dewey said--I think it was 1905 or something--he said, "whatever a community cando for the best of its children, itneeds to do for all of its children."

    • 02:25:49

      BILL POSTON [continued]: And that's our aim.That's our goal.Is to help all children succeed and be successful in learning.[Conclusion]

    • 02:25:59

      CAROLYN DOWNEY: We are eager to hear from youabout your success with the 50 Waysto Close the Achievement Gap.Be sure and plan carefully and useall you know about change strategiesto move your organization to higher student achievement.Thank you for joining us.

    • 02:26:19

      HUDSON PERIGO: You know, it's such a rare opportunityto bring together four incredible experts in the fieldof school improvement.[Hudson Perigo, Executive Editor, Corwin Press]And we bandy about the word "expert" all the time.But these four individuals have about 160 yearsin showing schools how to improve.And I think that once school district leaders leave

    • 02:26:41

      HUDSON PERIGO [continued]: this workshop, they're going to find specific strategies thatwill make a difference the very first day theygo into the classroom.It's incredibly practical.The 50 strategies, if used in conjunction with one another,will make a remarkable difference.And we know this.The research shows this.We've seen it happen in school districts.

    • 02:27:04

      HUDSON PERIGO [continued]: It really works.And we have the wonderful opportunityof being here with the four people who created this system.It's just such a wonderful opportunityto have a brain trust of these individuals with this kindof significant background who can come together and bounceideas off of one another and expand the 50

    • 02:27:25

      HUDSON PERIGO [continued]: strategies that they've developedto improve schools and close that achievement gap.

    • 02:27:32

      NARRATOR: To purchase additional copies of 50 Waysto Close the Achievement Gap, or to learnmore about other products from Corwin Press,visit our website at CorwinPress.comor call 800-233-9936.[Corwin Press, www.CorwinPress.com,800-233-9936]

    • 02:27:53

      NARRATOR [continued]: Doctor Carolyn Downey can also bebooked for additional training through the Corwin PressSpeakers' Bureau.[Corwin Press Speakers' Bureau, www.CorwinPressSpeakers.com,(800) 831-6640, press 4]

    • 02:28:32

      NARRATOR [continued]: [CAW CAW]

    • 02:28:37

      NARRATOR: Corwin Press presents 50 Waysto Close the Achievement Gap, featuring Dr. Carolyn Downey.[Corwin Press, 50 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap featuringDr. Carolyn Downey]

50 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap

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Unique ID: bd-educ-inpr-50ways-AA00967


This film introduces the findings from the book, “50 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap,” and offers a review of its six main standards.

50 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap

This film introduces the findings from the book, “50 Ways to Close the Achievement Gap,” and offers a review of its six main standards.

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