Eric.ed.gov – Learning from Charter School Management Organizations: Strategies for Student Behavior and Teacher Coaching

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The National Study of Charter Management Organization (CMO) Effectiveness is a four-year study designed to assess the impact of CMOs on student achievement and to identify effective structures and practices. An earlier report from this study documented the substantial variation in CMO student achievement impacts as well as variation in CMOs’ use of particular educational strategies and practices. That report noted that the most effective CMOs emphasize two practices in particular: schoolwide behavior strategies and intensive teacher coaching and monitoring. This report is designed to provide an in-depth description of the student behavior and teacher coaching practices of five high-performing CMOs that rely on these practices. Focusing on five high-performing CMOs, the report seeks to help educators learn more about these promising practices. To identify practices associated with positive achievement impacts, the study team measured impacts on math and reading among the middle schools of 22 CMOs. The authors then explored which practices are more likely to be employed by the most successful CMOs. Four high-performing CMOs in the study place a great emphasis on schoolwide behavior policies relative to other CMOs: ICEF Public Schools, KIPP DC, Uncommon Schools, and YES Prep. Although each of these CMOs approaches the creation of student culture in somewhat different ways, they all believe that success would be impossible without these policies. Four of the five high-performing CMOs included in the study provide relatively intensive coaching for teachers: Aspire, KIPP DC, Uncommon Schools and YES Prep. These two promising practices–high expectations for student behavior and teacher coaching–are important to consider on their own merits, but are also closely related and appear to be mutually reinforcing. Although these CMO leaders have put a great deal of thought and resources into developing their student culture and coaching systems, they caution that the practices should not be considered “silver bullets.” In fact, they may be proxies for other related organizational elements that the survey could not adequately capture. The authors’ interviews suggest that these practices may be more effective when they are coordinated or implemented in conjunction with other strategies, such as the following: (1) Recruitment and training of strong school leaders who can monitor and improve instruction, hold teachers accountable, and set the tone for behavior/school culture; (2) Commitment to college-going expectations and academic supports for all students, regardless of background; (3) Development of strong data systems, time set aside for teachers to analyze and discuss data, and an expectation that teachers will regularly adjust instruction based on evidence; (4) Formulation of school or systemwide instructional goals and frameworks to guide teacher, coach, and principal action; (5) Development of strong, trusting relationships between school staff and students; (6) Provision of resources (such as handbooks and online lesson plans) from the central office to inform teacher practice; and (7) Cultivation of commitments from parents to reinforce school actions. (Contains 5 figures, 7 tables and 23 footnotes.) [For related reports, see “The National Study of Charter Management Organization (CMO) Effectiveness. Charter-School Management Organizations: Diverse Strategies and Diverse Student Impacts” (ED526951); “Charter-School Management Organizations: Diverse Strategies and Diverse Student Impacts. Updated Edition” (ED528536); and “The National Study of Charter Management Organization (CMO) Effectiveness. Report on Interim Findings” (ED516865).]

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som adjunkt hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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