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2012 Broad Prize in Urban Education: Miami-Dade County Public Schools Florida District Profile

2012 Broad Prize in Urban Education: Miami-Dade County Public Schools Florida District Profile

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Published by Peter C. Cook
About the Winner

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Florida
DISTRICT PROFILE
Superintendent Alberto Carvalho was appointed superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) in September 2008. Carvalho has held a variety of positions within the district, including teacher, assistant principal, public information officer and associate superintendent with responsibility over intergovernmental affairs, grants, Title I and community services. Rudolph “Rudy” Crew served as superintendent of M
About the Winner

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Florida
DISTRICT PROFILE
Superintendent Alberto Carvalho was appointed superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) in September 2008. Carvalho has held a variety of positions within the district, including teacher, assistant principal, public information officer and associate superintendent with responsibility over intergovernmental affairs, grants, Title I and community services. Rudolph “Rudy” Crew served as superintendent of M

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Published by: Peter C. Cook on Oct 31, 2012
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Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Florida
(based on 2011/12 school year data) 
DISTRICT PROFILE1.2%
 
Asian/PacifcIslander
65.9%
 
Hispanic
23.9%
 
Black 
8.3%
 
White
0.6%
Other
About the Winner 
$4.3 billion
Annual Budget
$8,512
Per Pupil Expenditures
4
Rank Among U.S. School Districts
349,664
Number o Students
21,646
Number o Teachers
435
Number o Schools
21%
Students Designated asEnglish Language Learners
74%
Students Eligible or Free andReduced-Price School Lunch
Superintendent 
Alberto Carvalho
was appointed superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) in September2008. Carvalho has held a variety of positions within thedistrict, including teacher, assistant principal, publicinformation ofcer and associate superintendent withresponsibility over intergovernmental affairs, grants,Title I and community services.
Rudolph “Rudy” Crew
served as superintendent of M-DCPSfrom July 2004 until September 2008. Previously, Crew servedas chancellor of the New York City Board of Education, andas superintendent at both Tacoma Public Schools and theSacramento City Unied School District.
Governance 
Nine-member school board, elected by geographic regionto serve staggered four-year terms.
Teachers Union 
United Teachers of Dade
 
02
STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
A greater percentage o Hispanic and black studentsreached advanced academic levels in Miami-Dade thanin other urban districts in Florida.
In 2011, the percentageof Miami-Dade’s Hispanic students performing at the highestachievement levels (Levels 4 and 5) ranked in the top 30 percentstatewide compared with Hispanic students in other Floridadistricts. Miami-Dade’s Hispanic students outperformed theirpeers in reading and math at all school levels (elementary,middle, high school) and in elementary and middle schoolscience. Between 2008 and 2011, Miami-Dade was also moresuccessful than at least 70 percent of Florida districts atincreasing the percentage of black students who performedat the highest achievement levels in elementary and highschool reading, math and science. For example, the percentageof Miami-Dade’s black students performing at the highestachievement levels in elementary school math increased by6 percentage points, while the average increase for other Floridadistricts was 4 percentage points.
Black and Hispanic graduation rates increased asterin Miami-Dade than in other urban districts nationally.
 Miami-Dade’s black and Hispanic graduation rates, as shownby the average of three nationally recognized graduation rateestimation methods, both increased 14 percentage points from2006 to 2009.
Miami-Dade increased the percentage and scores ostudents participating in college-readiness exams morethan other urban districts nationally.
 Between 2008 and 2011, participation rates and scores on theSAT exam simultaneously increased for all students in Miami-Dade, as well as for black and Hispanic students separately. Forexample, SAT participation by Hispanic students increased6 percentage points, and SAT scores increased 15 score pointsduring this period.
Miami-Dade outperormed other similar Florida districts atall school levels.
In 2011, Miami-Dade students outperformedstudents in other Florida districts that serve students withsimilar family incomes in reading, math and science at allschool levels (elementary, middle, high school), according toThe Broad Prize methodology.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools
 
03
The district is able to continuously improve teaching,learning and operations because it has a strong data-driven perormance culture in which teachers andadministrators rely on in-depth data analyses to driveimprovements.
While many districts keep careful track of student assessmentdata, Miami-Dade has done a particularly good job of using thisinformation to empower students, teachers and administratorsto improve performance each year. Administrators and teachersuse student data to make their instructional decisions and aresavvy at accessing, interpreting and using data to plan andadjust instructional strategies when necessary and re-teachuntil students meet or exceed learning standards.Administrators routinely pore over data such as interimassessments in reading, math and science or absences andtardies by school, class or student. Many of them engage in thedistrict’s Data/COM process, a unique problem-solving strategyto help challenged schools improve their student performance.During Data/COM sessions, leaders of struggling schools meetwith the superintendent and his cabinet to hash through real-time assessment data from their schools and determine whatthat data reveals about the challenges and obstacles they mustovercome. The group brainstorms options about how to addressthe issues and determines which will have the best probabilityof success.In Data/COMs, leaders may consider school-level challengesthat range from stemming the dropout rate to ensuring thatkindergartners come to school ready to learn. The leaders thendebate potential solutions, including what has worked in otherschools in the district and nation, and provide the school withan immediate infusion of tailored resources to implement thosesolutions quickly.Across the district, administrators, principals, teachers andstudents also regularly engage in collaborative “data chats”—conversations about the strengths and challenges of individualstudents, teachers and schools—as well as conversations aboutteaching and learning objectives, all informed by real-time data,and all seeking new ways to improve. Administrators have datachats with principals, principals have data chats with teachers,and teachers have data chats with students. They review datareecting student, teacher and school-level progress anduse them to set goals and identify strategies to continuouslyimprove. The point is to help each individual understand whathe or she needs to do to reach the next level of performance.Teachers and administrators also receive training on how to usethe district’s comprehensive data warehouse—which allowsthem to run color-coded reports on everything from grades toattendance to test scores to community service hours, at theschool, classroom or individual student level. Teachers canchoose among prepared reports or run their own customizedversions to pinpoint individual and group needs and gureout steps that should be taken to accomplish specic goals likehelping students acquire missing credits or increasing readingcomprehension scores. Teachers and administrators say thedata warehouse is easy to use and suits their needs well. A webportal also allows parents, students, employees and communitymembers to access relevant data online.
District leaders have worked to create a district-wideculture that is ocused on achieving results, continuouslyimproving and providing students with equal opportunitiesto learn.
District leaders have modeled their management styles andstrategies after successful leaders of other organizations, bothpublic and private (including Apple, IBM and Toyota), that keeptheir eye focused on results, accountability and efciency.For example, when new district initiatives have been rolledout, employees found that district leaders communicated aclear and compelling vision, set high expectations and requiredaccountability for performance. Employees report that this hashelped create a culture within the district that values studentand programmatic results, as well as continuous improvementand innovation.The superintendent has also worked hard to communicatefrequently and maintain excellent relations with the Miami-Dadeschool board, which often reaches unanimous decisions that areconsistent with the superintendent’s strategic recommendations.
The district ensures that as many resources as possiblereach the classroom by being fnancially sound,implementing prudent fnancial planning processes anddisplaying strong fscal accountability.
In 2008, the district’s nances were in rough shape. Itsunrestricted nancial reserves were just $5.9 million out of an annual budget of $2.8 billion, and its credit rating fromMoody’s had fallen signicantly, resulting in higher interest
EXEMPLARY PRACTICES RELATEDTO STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
Miami-Dade County Public Schools

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