A Superintendent Writes… A Crazy Idea – Part 1

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In response to the 4/9/15 post, “A Crazy Idea for Accountability Sanctions (Secondary Model),” a LYS Superintendent writes:

SC, You are right. Your plan will never work. It just makes too much sense.  

Here are two other plans, again much too reasonable, that correlate with your research when you worked for the state. 

THE HARD WAY PLAN

Year 1 Low Performing A TEA representative and the campus’ State Representative and/or Senator go to the campus and conducts a meeting with staff and parents explaining the accountability system in a manner the common lay person can understand. 

1. Included in that discussion will be the fact that the politician (or his/her peers in the House and Senate) believe, validated through their actions, that the best way to create great schools is to cut funding and stay mostly silent on matters of guidance and support. The politician must also explain to parents that the best way to assure that a campus become great is to administer ever evolving, one shot, high stakes tests. And if a campus does poorly on even one test, with just one disaggregated student group, the campus gets a poor rating and is dragged through the mud publicly while the State Representative and/or Senator yells, “All schools are failing and we need to take even more money away from them to fund private schools with public money.”    2. The TEA representative admits to the parents and teachers that TEA has no practical expertise in how help schools become models of best practices and they really only excel at creating forms that take administrators hours and weeks to complete, even though these forms in no way, shape, fashion or form actually improve schools. Therefore, the state will send a team of successful campus administrators from high performing schools that match the numbers and demographics of the school in question to work with district and campus leaders to put systematic best practices in place.  This team will also analyze instructional materials, curriculum, and technology and make recommendations. All at the state’s expense. 

3. The state commits to fund the support team’s recommendations.

4. The state will provide a staff development grant to train teachers to adequately implement the support team’s plan. 

5. TEA will publicly celebrate the progress made in the effort towards building exemplar practices.  

6. Should the campus is question be a secondary campus, all schools in the feeder pattern will be included all improvement activities.

Year 2 Low Performing

There probably will not be a year 2, but if there is…

1. Change, not shorten, the school day for students.  Time to be spent in four core areas first and all extra-curricular moved to end of the school day. Elective teachers and coaches who don’t have core, fill in as team teachers/support.  Students love their extra-curriculars, so let’s not punish them. Let’s just get our priorities straight.  

2. Once students go to their extra-curriculars, teachers go to their PLC and plan for instruction, while non-core staff teach and coach.  Any coach that teaches a core class works with his/her PLC until the end of the school day. He/she can coach at the after school practices.  

3. No student leaves for any event, before the four cores are completed.

4. Continued state funding of the support team’s recommendations.

5. Continued state funding of the staff development grant to train teachers to adequately implement the support team’s plan.

6. TEA will publicly celebrate the progress made in the effort towards building exemplar practices.  

7. Should the campus is question be a secondary campus, all schools in the feeder pattern will be included all improvement activities.

THE EASY WAY PLAN

Year 1 Low Performing 1. Implement The Foundation Trinity, district-wide.

2. Implement the Fundamental 5 in every classroom, in the entire feeder pattern. 

Year 2… Problem Solved 

SC Response I would pay money to see the Hard Way Plan presentations.

On the other hand, your Easy Way Plan is pure genius.

Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: TASSP Summer Conference (Multiple Presentations); TEPSA Summer Conference (Multiple Presentations); NAESP National Conference; Illinois ASCD Fall Conference (Multiple Presentations) 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook
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