Student Success Strategies
Strategies for Student Success Institute
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July 19-20, Portland Convention Center
I. Where are We Now and Where Do We Need to Go? by Michael Kamil, Professor at Stanford
- Literacy is about economic development and our country's future.
- Only about 1/2 of Hispanic, Black and Native Americans are graduating from high school.
- The causes for dropout are:
1. Low literacy level
2. Under prepared teachers
3. Inadequate planning and support
4. Impersonal learning environments
"4th grade canyon" is created by students not getting the literacy
support they did in K-3 so their skills deteriorate and they never
climb back out.
- Only 5% of NCLB funds go to high schools.
students need to have more comprehension and vocabulary instruction. In
elementary schools it is about reading stories whereas in secondary
schools reading is about factual information and students get lost with
- If you can't get students to read on their own they will not become literate. It is about engagement.
- Students who do not learn to read well in elementary school are at a tremendous disadvantage for the rest of their lives.
- Writing in various forms is crucial to improving reading skills.
- The written text on the Internet (in general) is at a high level and its use increases reading skills.
intervention is to have students come in 90 minutes before school
starts to work on literacy. It is an expensive intervention, but it
- Summative assessment lets you know if programs in general are effective.
at the elementary school level literacy leadership comes from the
principal; at secondary schools it has to come from a much more
comprehensive, unified and coordinated group effort.
II. Why Change?
by Tony Wagner, Harvard Graduate School of Education
- "The formulation of the problem is often more essential than the solution." Einstein
- The world has changed very quickly and U.S. education systems have not.
- We dont have a reading gap; we have a Civil Rights problem. The education gap is the Civil Rights gap of the 21st Century.
- Writing is the #1 work/college skills problem. Writing is the placeholder for 21st Century literacy.
- Only 1 in 4, 18-24 year olds vote.
- There is a "shopping mall" culture = passive consumption and instant gratification.
teachers and parents are not failing, the system is obsolete. Reforming
our present system isn't the solution. We need to reinvent it!
- No shame, no blame, no excuses.
- You cant motivate a student you dont know.
- The District that has 10 priorities, has none!!!
- We get what we test for.
- We professionals need to own accountability, we can???t say no to testing or accountability.
is no learning without trust and respect, and neither are granted
automatically by today???s students; they must be earned.
- Committees of practice = collaborative learning opportunities.
- "Isolation is the enemy of improvement." Tony Alvarado
- As leaders we need to move to asking the right questions rather than having the right answers.
III. Using Data Effectively
by Ronni Ephraim, Chief Instructional Officer, Los Angeles School District
- Teachers and schools should not be in private practice.
- Assessment must link to students next term's class selections.
- Don't teach to the test, teach to the standard.
- Edu-Soft is good software for student achievement data collection.
- Leaders need to lead the hard student achievement work.
- The days of planning yearlong staff development are over. You must plan month to month based on formative assessment data.
- Where there are collaborative teacher teams in place, student achievement is up.
- Team meetings are held to examine data and to agree on written improvement plans.
- Schools must determine what resources they need based on their achievement data.
- Teams meet at least twice per month to review the improvement plan.
- Teachers are held accountable but teacher-coaches and administration are not, they need to be.
- You can't evaluate what you don't know really well.
- Everyone must see evidence that the superintendent and district leadership is supporting the core instructional initiatives.
- Need to identify which District indicators must be continually monitored.
- The road to improved student achievement is through adult learning.
IV. Improving Teaching and Learning
by Tony Wagner, Professor at Harvard
- You need to create a district system to improve student achievement
- 6 Disciplines for strengthening instruction:
1. There is not widely shared understanding of what effective teaching really is.
2. All adult meetings are about instruction and models of effective teaching.
3. There are well-defined standards and performance assessments for student work.
4. Supervision is frequent, rigorous and entirely focused on the improvement of instruction.
5. Professional Development is primarily on-site, intensive, collaborative and job-embedded.
6. Data is used diagnostically at frequent intervals by teams of teachers to assess each student's learning.
- ?We are not used to talking about intensive intervention and we do not have a common vocabulary. This is our new work.
- We can no longer do generic staff development.
- We can't even agree on what low, medium or high rigor is.
- The purpose of each lesson should be printed on the board every day in every class.
V. "How Does it All Fit Together?"
by Michael Kamil, Professor at Stanford
students who are struggling with literacy quickly run out of time to
get to grade level proficiency without intensive intervention.
- We are making progress with literacy but it is incremental and it has to be much more rapid.
language arts teachers at the secondary level are not trained to do the
embedded, intensive intervention that is necessary for struggling
readers to make the advancements they need.
- Very few people get paid to read literature, it is reading and understanding information that is important.
tutoring is what we need to work on regarding reading and writing. The
writing needs to be about solutions, argument, explanations, critical
- Coordinate all literacy efforts.
VI. "A Model for Designing Daily Literacy Lessons,"
by Anita Archer, Professor from the University of Washington
- If instruction is not interactive, secondary students check-out. We must have the students actively learning.
- Vocabulary needs to be pre-taught.
- We cannot assume that students have background knowledge on any given topic.
- Interventions need to take place before students read for content and vocabulary meanings.
- One of the most important things we can do in secondary schools is to teach vocabulary.
choice tests are at many important junctions in our lives: SAT, drivers
license, etc. It is important that teachers help students learn how to
be very successful with multiple choice tests.
VII. "Literacy Reform: Lessons Learned,"
by Tim Shanahan, Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago
- Chicago has moved to all K-8 schools.
- Chicago has 85% free and reduced lunch students.
a great pre-K - 5 literacy program and not emphasizing literacy in 6 -
12 is like winning the first 1/2 of a football game and losing the
second 1/2 and thus the entire game.
- How do we improve secondary literacy:
the amount of instruction. Embed it in subject matter areas of language
arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Give strugglers an extra
literacy period. Mandate 2 hours of reading and writing instruction per
day. Don't go at it from integration or it will never happen -- go at it by daily time.
This requires departmental agreements. Sustained Silent Reading does
not do it. The time needs to be spent dealing with each subject
matter's content standards.
- More time is needed for struggling readers through an extra intensive period of direct literacy instruction.
- Many districts are good at mandating things and bad on implementing and following up.
an increase of instructional time, the next best thing you can do is to
emphasize what you want improved in the curriculum.
- The essential reading skills and strategies:
- Oral reading fluency
- Decoding (only for some)
- Reading Comprehension requires the use of text materials from subject matter areas so that the students work on:
- Text structure
- Inferring (filling in the gaps)
- Teaching vocabulary
- Build networks of meaning
- Lots of repetition and review
- Oral reading fluency
- Do paired reading, not all class oral reading, teenagers do not like it.
- Grade writing in each content area.
teachers in all subject matter areas in the entire school may emphasize
a given topic, like summarization for a period of 4 weeks so that
students get the technique learned really well.
- Require literacy leadership teams at each District school. Have the principal head it up for accountability purposes.
VIII. "Leadership for Change,"
by Ronni Ephraim from Los Angeles School District, Chief Instructional Officer
teacher evaluations should not be done; teacher teams should be
evaluated (like say the science department or the entire 3rd grade). It is not smaller learning communities that make a difference it is teacher teams that do.
- It is our responsibility to gain time for our teachers.
- The Central Office is not the top of the system, it is the bottom of the system -- the base of support of everything.
- They have a 6-week monitoring and intervention cycles.
- Teams can go to conferences and workshops but individuals can't.
good leadership -- our schools will not improve. And if you only think
of principals as the leaders, change will not take place. Need to move
to distributive leadership.
- Theory of Action from L.A. Superintendent
- Managed curriculum
- Highly skilled instruction
- Collaborative leadership
- Professional Development/Coaching
- Period Assessment/Use of Data
- Competence brings commitment.
- You cannot lead what you don't know.
- Leadership comes from many roles and groups within a school.
- Characteristics of Leadership That Work:
- Shared mission, goals and values
- Collaborative teams
- Collective inquiry into best practice vs. our current reality -- looking at the gaps
- Action-oriented, experimentation
- Results-oriented, decision making
- Hold on to what is best for students and not favorite programs.
- Gates money is about structure instead of instruction and student output.
- We need to stop doing much of what we are now doing.
- Principal meetings must be around what works for that schedule and not the Central Office schedule.
- Trying to stop --
- Large staff meetings
- General topic meetings
- Sending individual teachers to conferences instead of teams.
- Moving toward
- Common curriculum
- Specific professional development
- Departmental meetings
- Linking budgets to goals
- Biggest change
effective principals hope that teachers will implement new professional
development learnings, highly effective principals expect teachers will
implement new professional development learnings.
- ASSESSMENT DATA SAYS MORE ABOUT TEACHING THAN IT DOES ABOUT STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT.
- 5% of students will not meet standards. They expect 95% of students to achieve standards.
- The difference between intervention and remediation is that intervention is timely and purposeful.
- There needs to be a common understanding of what an effective team is and what collaboration is.