The Answer Is in the Room: How Effective Schools Scale Up Student Success / Edition 1

The Answer Is in the Room: How Effective Schools Scale Up Student Success / Edition 1

by Alan M. Blankstein
Pub. Date:
SAGE Publications
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The Answer Is in the Room: How Effective Schools Scale Up Student Success / Edition 1

Learn the secrets of successful schools

Citing wisdom from top educational experts and building on what is already working, award-winning author Alan M. Blankstein offers tools for finding excellence in schools, scaling these practices across learning communities, and transforming low-performing schools into high-performing schools. His five-step process includes:

  • Identifying and assessing excellence
  • Creating an action plan
  • Assigning resources such as time, materials, etc.
  • Transferring excellence in the form of knowledge and skills throughout the school and district
  • Sustaining the excellence

Also included are effective strategies for sustaining student gains, closing gaps within and between schools, building leader capacity, and increasing community commitment.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781412998765
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Publication date: 06/02/2011
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures x

List of Tools to Help Answer the Question in the Room xi

Preface xii

Acknowledgments xv

About the Author xxi

Dedication xxii

1 Why We Can't Wait to Scale Student Success 1

The Power of Positive Deviance Saves Millions of Children in Vietnam 2

Applying Positive Deviance to Education 2

Good News for Scaling Student Success 3

About This Book and Chapter 4

Some Common Core Principles of Networking and Positive Deviance 5

Challenges to Scaling Success in U.S. Education 6

The Moral and Economic Imperative for Change Is Now 9

What Works, What Doesn't, What's Next? 10

The Big Question 11

2 A Process to Create Sustained Student Success 13

A Movement Is Born in U.S. Education-and Exported to Other Nations 13

The Catalyst to Change 15

The Create Process 15

The Advantages of the Create Process 24

The Big Question 24

3 The Courage to Commit to the Work 25

Defining Courage 26

A Pillar of Courage 31

Building a Collective Commitment to Scale Up Student Success 31

7 Tools for Constructing a Large-Scale Community Commitment 32

Create and Courageous Leadership: Qualities of the Courageous Leader 36

The Big Question 39

4 Resources Are in the Room 40

The Most Valuable Resource: Focused Commitment Over Time 42

The Second Major Resource: Patience and Urgency 45

The Third Major Resource: Steering Committee 45

How to Get Time to Collaborate 47

Getting Down to the Details 47

The Big Question 48

5 Taking Stock of the Excellence in the Room 49

Is There Excellence or Positive Deviance to Be Found? 50

Defining Excellence Is Done Twice by the Lead Teams 50

Developing a Community to Question the Answer: Language, Purpose, and Norms 52

Improving Instructional Practice: Change the Methods and You Will Change the Outcomes 57

The Big Question 60

6 An Action Plan for Engaging the Entire Learning Community 61

Developing a Common Language for the Action Plan 62

Key Challenges to Address in the Action Plan 64

Reentry Plans to Engage the Larger School Community, Build Trust, and Ensure Transparency 64

Developing Smart Goals That the School Community Wants to Achieve 66

Successful Implementation of Smart Goals 68

Identifying and Assessing Excellence 70

The Big Question 72

7 Transference of Knowledge and Skills Throughout the Learning Community 74

Transferring Knowledge and Skills Within the School 75

Transferring Knowledge and Skills Throughout the District 79

Tuning Protocol 80

The Big Question 83

8 Embedding the New Learning in the Culture for Sustainability 84

Three Pillars of Embedding the Process in the School Culture 87

The Big Question 92

Tools to Help Answer the Questions in the Room* 93

Tool A Writing an Instructional Smart Goal Worksheet 95

Tool B Strategies for Making Time 97

Tool C Agreement of Purpose Worksheet 99

Tool D Creating Group Norms: Facilitator Guide Example 101

Tool E An Example Participant Handout for Creating Group Norms 105

Tool F Steps of Instructional Learning Walks 107

Tool G Indicators of Quality Instructional Learning Walks Observation Sheet 109

Bibliography 111

Index 114

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