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Just for the Kids-New York


Just for the Kids-New York Questar III Superintendents Meeting October 24, 2008 Janet Angelis Partnership of The Business Council of NYS, State of New York, and – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Just for the Kids-New York

Just for the Kids-New York Questar III
Superintendents Meeting October 24, 2008 Janet
Angelis Partnership of The Business Council of
NYS, State of New York, and University at
  • Nationally, Just for the Kids began in 1995
    (UT-Austin) JFTK-NY began in 2004
  • Relies on achievement data (state assessments)
    over time
  • JFTK-NY has completed three in a series of
  • Elementary schools (2005)
  • Middle schools (2007)
  • High schools (2008)
  • (2008-9 Middle school science)

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Our Sample
  • 10 consistently HP schools with 5-6 similar but
    consistently APs, based on 3 years of NYS
    Assessment data
  • Favor poverty (F/RL)
  • Urban, rural, suburban
  • Open admissions
  • NYS average per pupil expenditures
  • In consultation with our Advisory Board

Just for the KidsNew York Best Practices
Studies 2005-8
Higher-performing Elementary Schools
Higher-performing Middle Schools
Higher-performing High Schools
  • The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
  • Conference of Big 5 School Districts
  • Foundation for Education Reform Accountability
  • IBM
  • McGraw-Hill Companies
  • NY Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
  • NY Charter School Association
  • NY City Department of Education
  • NYS Association of School Business Officials
  • NYS Association of Small City School Districts
  • NYS Association of Teacher Educators (NYSATE)
  • NYS Congress of Parents and Teachers, Inc.
  • NYS Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS)
  • NYS Education Department (NYSED)
  • NYS Governor's Office
  • NYS School Boards Association (NYSSBA)
  • NYS United Teachers (NYSUT)
  • School Administrators Association of New York
    State (SAANYS)
  • State Farm Insurance

Advisory Board Representatives of
  • Made 2-day site visits
  • Interviewed teachers and administrators using
    JFTK survey questions
  • Collected documents
  • Analyzed and wrote a case study for each site
  • Conducted and wrote cross-site analysis
  • Wrote summary report
  • Cases and reports available at

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1. Trusting and respectful relationships
2. Social/ emo-tional well-being
3. Teamwork
4. Evidence- based decision making
5. Shared vision of mission and goals
Higher-Performing Middle Schools
JFTK-NY cf. NYS Essential Elements
  • Relationships
  • Emotional Well-Being
  • Collaboration
  • Evidence-Based Decision Making
  • Shared Vision
  • NYS Essential Elements
  • Basic goals
  • Intellectual development/academic achievement of
    all students
  • Personal and social development of each student

JFTK-NY cf. NMSA This We Believe
  • Relationships
  • Emotional Well-Being
  • Collaboration
  • Evidence-Based Decision Making
  • Shared Vision
  • NMSA This We Believe
  • Culture Matters
  • Collaboration
  • Shared vision
  • Safe environment
  • High expectations for all
  • Adult advocate for every student

Relationships Lay the Foundation
5 Key Elements
  • Trust and respect make possible
  • - security, well-being for students and faculty
  • - constant collaboration/teamwork
  • - honest evaluation of results adjustments
  • - shared vision developing and enacting it
  • Each necessary but not sufficient alone
  • or with only a few others.

  • The single most important thing . . .
  • is to build trust with your faculty.
  • Trust
  • Deliberate and planned
  • Family
  • Provides safety to disagree, to share challenges,
    even failures
  • Set it as a priority from the top

  • I feel totally comfortable to talk about concerns
    with the principal. When the principal comes into
    my classroom, we have strong support and trust.
  • We have had a trusting administration they put
    full trust in us. Weve learned to embrace the
    state exams if you cant beat them join them.
    What the state tests are asking for is what were
    asking for weve tried to look positively at
    the state tests.
  • Queensbury Teachers

  • Board for the professionals
  • The Board remains strategic . . . They respect
    the leadership of the Superintendent.
  • Administrators for teachers
  • Their association is their safety net. Our work
    is too challenging to be worrying about
    professional mistrust.
  • Teachers and administrators for students
  • There is a measure of respect and loyalty
    everyone has for each otherwe truly believe in
    the kids.
  • Educators for the community and parents
  • . . respectful of the diversity and value it as
    a positive.

High Explicit Expectations
  • Routines and consistency across the school . . .
  • Two rulesrespect and responsibility . . . are
    posted in the office, in classrooms, and in other
    places around the building. Teachers refer to
    these rules, and they form the basis for decision
    making about program and policy. Students hear
    about them on the first day of school and every
    day after that.
  • . . . and rewarded
  • The teams recognize student achiever of the
    monthfor example, improvement, was failing and
    now has an 80 average or success comes from
    being respectful.

Sharing Responsibility
  • Some teams know each others standards
  • Choosing new materials and programs in light of
    shared vision and evidence of success with
    similar students
  • Literacy across the curriculum
  • Support rather than blame

For example, the scores on last years ELA were
lower than we wanted. Rather than a reprimand or
finger pointing, the assistant superintendent
asked what more the administration could do to
help us be more successful.
Social and Emotional Well-Being
5 Key Elements
  • Its lack interferes with learning
  • Connect with every student
  • - teaming, looping, guide rooms,
    activities, social services
  • - special attention for those at risk
  • Transitions ES MS MS HS
  • Safety, security, diversity

  • We . . . focus on whats common among us and not
    on what is different.
  • We define success also as the ability to work
    in a group, be a member of a team and a good

Collaborative Conversations/Teamwork
5 Key Elements
  • Purpose student learning achievement
  • - collectively, individually
  • Consistent, expected, frequent
  • Scheduled and unscheduled
  • Teams, committees
  • - within, across, grades and subjects
  • - within, across, outside of school

You need to work as a team theres nothing a
teacher can accomplish alone.
  • We communicate from one grade to the next. We
    respect teachers in the grades below.

Evidence-Based Decision Making
5 Key Elements
  • Multiple sources
  • - student performance data
  • - teacher and administrator experience
  • - student, parent, and community input
  • - adopted program data (piloting and assessing)
  • Ongoing and acted on
  • Focus beyond the state assessments standards

  • We invite students back after a semester or two
    at college and ask what was most helpful . . .
  • and not so helpful.
  • The school improvement model we chose expects
    teachers to make professional choices.
  • We analyze the state exam
  • kid by kid, question by question.

Shared Vision
5 Key Elements
  • Raising learning and achievement for all students
  • Built by all
  • Clearly articulated
  • Echoed from central office to classroom
  • Never done

  • You never arrive, you are always becoming.
  • Its a goal without a finish line.
  • Complacency bothers me.

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What makes high schools work
The higher-performing high schools can be
characterized as
  • Rigorous
  • Innovative
  • 3. Transparent
  • 4. Evidence-driven
  • 5. Strategic

Higher- Performing High Schools
Wilcox, 2008

What makes high schools work
  • Other research re effective high schools
  • Close monitoring of student progress
  • Develop particular habits of mind
  • Master teachers
  • Course variety and innovative scheduling
  • Achieve, Goldware Housman, Huebner Corbett,
    et al.


What makes high schools work
  • Some middle school concepts work e.g.,
  • Smaller learning communities
  • Teaching cognitive strategies
  • Interrelatedness of some skills and content
  • ACT, Adelman, Conley, et al.

Rigorous Curriculum, Expectations
  • Provide a rigorous curriculum
  • Focus on encouraging -- and supporting --
    typically lower-performing students to enroll and
    succeed in honors and AP courses .

Just for the Kids-NY
Our high school objective is 70 of students
getting an advanced Regents diploma.
  • Decrease tracking
  • Add more inclusion classes
  • Emerging scholars program for minority
  • Open enrollment in AP courses

We put the middle kids in the most challenging
classes. We try to hit kids early on in honors
track to get the motivation. Even if they
falter, they can pick it up again later.
  • Variety of electives to capture and hold interest
  • Academics-athletics-arts
  • Loss of extra curricular activities and sports if
    failing (lower than a C)

Rigor How AP and HP schools differ

What makes high schools work
  • Focus on meeting state determined performance
  • Tracking and self-contained SPED classrooms
  • Lower expectations and willingness to accept
    limitations (e.g., student poverty)
  • State determined targets not sufficient
  • Higher-level courses offered to more students
  • All students challenged academically and to
    contribute to the larger society

Innovative Instructional Programs, Practices
  • Innovation and risk taking encouraged
  • Resources, including teacher expertise, deployed
    where most likely to have the greatest impact
  • Creative and flexible scheduling
  • New ideas and suggestions taken up, considered,
    nurtured if relevant to needs
  • Disciplined proposed innovations must meet
    identified needs

Micro-managing stifles innovation. You need to
develop a culture of participation throughout
the school.
  • What if . . .? questions encouraged
  • Teachers report department chairs, curriculum
    coordinators supportive
  • Teacher suggestions often the source of an
  • Technology use supported and encouraged, with
    adequate training

We insist on maintaining flexibility with the
master schedule. When we need to move kids
around and reassign teachers mid year, we have
done it.

What makes high schools work
Innovation How AP and HP schools differ
  • Schedule inflexible how its always been done
  • Work from failure backward
  • Technology without adequate training
  • Flexibility assign resources according to need
  • Keep students on track before AIS needed
  • Technology supported with adequate training

Transparent Communication
  • Reporting student performance
  • Developing and articulating goals and strategic
  • Sharing successes, challenges, problems.

Just for the Kids-NY
Know your teachers, students, and parents. Take
the temperature and pulse of your school
We have parents at the table with the
instructional support teams at the very first
sign of a problem about a childs needs.
  • Trust and transparency feed each other
  • School the heart of the community
  • Know all students well being of each student
    everyones business shared responsibility

  • Humility, lack of face-saving behavior when
    facing problems
  • Willingness to acknowledge problems and make them
    opportunities to innovate
  • Mechanisms for knowing students and communicating
    with families

The kids know if they need something in this
building . . . they can turn to somebody.

What makes high schools work
Transparency How AP and HP schools differ
  • Top-down approach to articulating goals and
  • No curriculum map or just begun
  • School-community tensions
  • Dialogue around goals and vision
  • Transparent curriculum available to all
  • School the heart of the community

Evidence-Based Decision Making
  • A variety of evidence used in making decisions
    about new initiatives.
  • Systematic sharing and use
  • of test score data (formative, summative, and
    state) to inform instruction and interventions
  • parent and student input
  • surveys
  • exit and post-grad interviews

Just for the Kids-NY
Its not just having the data and dispersing
them, but making sense of them.By the time the
results come from the state, weve already had a
headstart on the data
  • Use of data embraced by all
  • Data constantly analyzed and used


What makes high schools work
Evidence How AP and HP schools differ
  • Data analyzed primarily by administrators
  • Still resistance to evidence-based decision
  • Close analysis and discussion of data among
    teachers and administrators
  • Embrace of the use of a variety of evidence to
    inform practice

Strategic Targeting of Resources
  • All resources targeted where they are most likely
    to have the greatest impact on student
  • Teachers
  • Programs
  • Time
  • Talent
  • Technology

Just for the Kids-NY
We will not Adopt any new program or service
unless it is consistent with and contributes to
our mission accompanied by an analysis of the
resources and the staff development needed for
its effectiveness accompanied by a plan to
assess its ongoing effectiveness.
  • Proactive look for trends in data to spot
    potential problems
  • Assign strongest teachers to neediest students
  • Vary class size by need
  • Vary class length by need
  • Outward and inward focus


What makes high schools work
Strategic How AP and HP schools differ
  • No particular professional development agenda
    linked to evidence
  • Use of data to inform specific interventions not
  • Lack of continuity and clarity of priorities and
  • Professional development foci informed by teacher
  • Strategic use of data to target interventions
  • Constant dialogue re vision and plans to reach it.

Just for the Kids New York www.albany.edu/aire/
kids Case reports Cross-case reports Documentary
evidence Self-surveys
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