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MCS TEI Gates Fdn Proposal_Final

MCS TEI Gates Fdn Proposal_Final

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Published by: mcstei on Aug 06, 2011
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Submitted by
 Memphis City Schools
July 31, 2009
Memphis City Schools Proposal | Submitted July 31, 2009 Page
Executive Summary 1Vision of Success 6District Baseline 9Gap Identification 15Strategic Initiatives 16Internal Risks and Challenges 26Organizational Capacity and Partnerships 27Implementation and Results 31Capturing Lessons Learned and Evaluation 51Project Budget 53Sustainability 58Conclusion 59
Memphis City Schools Proposal | Submitted July 31, 2009 Page
 The Memphis City Schools Teacher Effectiveness Initiative (TEI) will deepen and accelerate ourexisting aggressive reform agenda. It will provide the additional fuel necessary to drivedramatically improved student achievement. While many poor and minority youth achieve at thevery highest academic levels, the achievement gap
and its impact
is real. This gap (currentlynarrowing much too slowly) must be closed. Of course, this achievement gap is a matter of access and experience
not ability. We envision every child being taught by an effective teacherevery day,
every year. With such access to high quality learning experiences, our students’ lives
will be changed, and our city will be transformed.D
 The conditions at present in Memphis City Schools (MCS) offer a unique combination of need,opportunity, and momentum. Our students (of whom 92% are minority and 83% are eligible forfree and reduced-priced meals) require a quantum leap in academic achievement: only 6% of MCS students who elect to take the ACT (which corresponds to 3-4% of total students) are
deemed ―college
ready‖ in all four subject areas. There is new, determined energy to change
this, and there is clearly momentum. After one year of new district leadership, acceleratedreforms have laid the groundwork for a laser-like focus on teacher effectiveness. Additionally,MCS is well-positioned to tackle this difficult work due to a productive and collaborativerelationship with the Memphis Education Association and a Board of Commissioners that isdeeply engaged in the policy work needed to sustain education reform. Finally, MCS is in aposition of strength due to experience with value-added measures (i.e. TVAAS; Mathematica)and successful implementation of an incentive pay plan.While MCS has seen some tremendous successes over the past year, there is clearly much work tobe done
especially in regards to how we think about our teachers. As The New Teacher
Project’s recent report suggests, we (like many districts) largely treat our teachers as ―widgets.‖
We operate as if one teacher is as good for students as another. This is evidenced in and drivenby our lack of a common definition of 
―effective teaching.‖ Therefore
, we lack an informativeteacher evaluation process, and we pass by many potentially crucial human capital decisions. Wefail to recognize and reward excellence, and we do not address mediocrity (or worse). From ourworst teachers to our very best
all are provided the same professional developmentopportunities, and all are compensated on the same longevity and degree-based scale.This will change. The district is positioned to implement this Teacher Effectiveness Initiativewith fidelity. The current momentum in the district demonstrates our capacity to conceive andimplement a reform agenda at scale. Memphis City Schools is uniquely poised to set newpatterns of achievement for an urban district in the Mid-South.S
 Against this backdrop, our Teacher Effectiveness Initiative consists of the following powerfulefforts:

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