Report to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Grant #52309: Support for Seattle Public Schools’ Strategic Plan

I. Executive Summary
Project Scope In 2008, the Seattle School Board approved a 5-year strategic plan for 2008-2013 called Excellence for All (EFA). The overarching objective of the plan, now in its fifth year, is to dramatically transform SPS into a system that provides every student with a high quality education – one that prepares them for higher education, family-wage jobs and a productive community life. The plan includes specific academic goals to be reached by the end of the 2012-13 school year. 2 The work to achieve these goals was funded by several public and private sources. The most significant of these investments were from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Broad Foundation. The BMGF awarded this grant of $6,959,430 3 to the Alliance for Education in late 2008. The Alliance subgranted the majority of the grant ($6,247,680) to Seattle Public Schools (SPS) to support the first three years of EFA implementation. The four “strands” of activities conducted under the subgrant are: • • • • College Readiness (Rigor) Data & Assessments Performance Management Communications

The BMGF grant also includes support for two parallel strands of activities undertaken directly by the Alliance budgeted at $579,782: • • School Board Leadership Development Community Engagement activities to increase public participation in local schools by families and other stakeholders.

The Alliance budgeted the remaining 2% of the grant to recover some of the costs of grant/subgrant administration. 4 The grant was originally scheduled to end August 31, 2011. However, the Alliance and SPS asked the Foundation to extend the project through August 31, 2012, with certain no-cost budget amendments. The Foundation approved this request in July, 2011. Pursuant to another limited extension request last summer, two limited pieces of work will continue until August 31, 2013. 5 This report follows BMGF’s Final Report Guidelines and covers the 42 month period ending August 31, 2012.

This report follows BMGF Final Report Guidelines:


These goals are identified prominently in the annual District Scorecard. The grant amount includes two supplements to the original award. 4 Grant/subgrant management costs included project oversight, several budget amendments, monthly subgrant invoice processing, report preparation and other necessary functions. The grant was not charged for any overhead (i.e., rent, utilities, IT support, equipment, etc.). 5 The limited extension approved on July 25, 2012, authorizes $60,000 of the 8/31/12 underspend of $142,000 to be used for support for Executive Directors and for MAP training for teachers.

Summary of SPS Accomplishments The 2008-13 strategic plan has one more year of implementation. With four years completed, there is progress toward all goals. A few highlights on the “plus” side: • • The overall 4-year high school graduation rate has climbed 11 points since 2008 to 73.5%. The percentage of SPS students achieving proficiency as measured by Washington’s Measures of Student Progress (MSP) and the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE) has increased in every grade and subject, and for all races and incomes. 6 o There has been particularly strong growth in the pass rate in the MSP Science test. o SPS performance remains above the state average in nearly all subjects and grades. There is evidence that a performance-driven, student-centered culture is emerging in a number of schools in the district.

Yet progress is uneven and there is still much work to do to achieve the original goals. • • • The growth in the graduation rate of low income and students of color lags that of the comparison groups and wide gaps remain. The goals for MSP proficiency are unlikely to be met in nearly all subjects. Data-IQ and performance management practices are not emerging consistently across the system.

Summary of Alliance Accomplishments Accomplishments in the School Board Leadership Development work include: • Role clarification as evidenced in the adoption of a governance structure that honors the complementary work of the management and clarifies the board’s role in oversight. • A new streamlined process for policy development and review. • A cost-neutral restructure that provides the members with strategic counsel and administrative support. Accomplishments in the Alliance’s Community Engagement (CE) work include: • Development of relationships with diverse communities and organizations • Greater engagement of diverse communities by SPS leadership • Leveraging of the new relationships for engagement on other initiatives such as the advocacy work of the Our Schools Coalition (OSC

Internal and External Changes Affecting Implementation The four years of this grant have been marked by numerous changes impacting all strands of work. These challenges include unusually high turnover in district governance, leadership and cabinet-level positions, and severe revenue shortfalls. See section VIII of this report for details.

Washington’s annual state-wide assessment of student learning (formerly the “WASL”) includes the Measures of Student Progress for 3rd to 8th grades, and the High School Proficiency Exam. They are administered by the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. . Scores are at Excellence for All Report, Grant # 52309, Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools, Nov 2012 Page 2 of 27


Continuing the Work Despite the challenges, much of the work will continue into and beyond the fifth year. • The Philanthropic Partnership for Public Education (in which BMGF is a key participant) has recently decided to support the development of a “refreshed” strategic plan with extended goals to 2016. See part XI, Sustainability. • School board development work is continuing through a recent grant from the Boeing Company. • Community engagement is a core activity of the Alliance and will continue to be reflected in all programs and mission-related activities. 7

II. Progress on Outcomes and Milestones (Appendix A)
The BMGF form “Appendix A” has been completed to reflect the seven strands of work by SPS and the Alliance under this grant (separately attached).

III. Implementation Successes
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS SPS released the District Scorecard for 2011-12 at the State of the District event 8 on November 1, 2012. The scorecard reports progress made toward 2013 strategic plan goals. On the plus side: • There have been double digit increases in the MSP pass rate in Math for: o Free/Reduced Lunch students (increasing 16 percentage points to a pass rate of 51%); o 4th graders (increasing 11 points to 67% pass rate) o 7th graders (increasing 14 points to 67% pass rate) The percentage of students graduating from high school in four years increased to 73.5%, an improvement of 11 percentage points since 2008. The percentage of high school students taking college-level course (AP or IB) increased 14 points to 65%.

• •

7 8

See Appendix B, a one-page description of the Alliance’s mission and programs. The State of the District event was covered by the Seattle Times: Excellence for All Report, Grant # 52309, Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools, Nov 2012 Page 3 of 27

On the district’s Performance Segmentation Framework, 9 nearly half the schools are now in the two highest levels: o The combined percentage of Level 4 and 5 schools increased from 31% of all schools in 2009 to 48% in 2012. o Meanwhile, the combined percentage of Level 1 and 2 schools decreased from 41% of all schools to just 15%.
Segmentation Levels by Year
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

15% 16% 28%

15% 20%



20% 33% 36% 21% 20% 17% 16% 12% 8%


Level 5 Level 4 Level 3 Level 2 Level 1


8% 7%





Though graduation rates of low income and students of color are not reflected on the District Scorecard and were not specifically established as a goal in this grant, the SPS Research Department provided the Alliance with this data. While the graduation rate of each subgroup has increased, the rates of increase vary widely, and overall there are still wide gaps between white students and students of color as reflected in the table below.

Disaggregated 4-year Graduation Rates 2008 and 2012
American Indian Asian/Pac. Islander Black/Afr. American Hispanic/Latino White Multiracial Free/Reduced Lunch 2008 2012

Point Change
+18.8 +6.6 +12.1 +7.3 +12.7 N/A

43.5% 69.1% 48.3% 46.1% 71.7%
Not tracked

62.3% 75.7 60.3% 60.4% 84.4% 82.5% 63.9% 73.6%

49.6% 62.3%

14.3% +11.3



Appendix C explains the framework and lists each school’s performance levels in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Excellence for All Report, Grant # 52309, Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools, Nov 2012 Page 4 of 27

The line graph below shows graduation rate trends from 2007 through 2012:
90.0% 80.0% 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Multi-racial has been tracked only since 2011.

White Hispanic/ Latino Black/Afr. American Asian/Pac. Islander American Indian Multi-Racial

The BMGF grant supported several accomplishments within the various “strands” of the work. College Readiness (Rigor) • The district now has common content, standards and expectations for all core academic areas. All comprehensive high schools use the same course descriptions and the same course objectives for the English/Language Arts, Social Studies, Math and Science. • Teachers of core courses share instructional resources, including newly aligned curriculum maps and lesson plans. These documents are stored on a shared network drive with web pages dedicated to each high school content area. Additionally, in October 2012, SPS hosted the first language arts and social studies teacher-led conference. Teachers from high schools across the district presented units and shared student work that grew out of the alignment project. • The district implemented a web-based career and college planning platform. The adoption of ConnectEDU for students in grades 6-12 provides equal access to high quality career and college exploration tools and enhances communication, collaboration, research, planning and tracking of students’ high school and post-secondary progress. Data & Assessments Formative Assessment System The district selected the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) 10 computer-adaptive test as its formative assessment system in reading and math for grades K-12. MAP was piloted during the 2008-09 school year, and implemented district-wide during 2009-10 and after. MAP is typically administered three times each year (fall, winter, spring).

MAP tests adapt to the level of a child’s learning, so each student has the opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude. MAP is aligned to Washington State standards and is used in 131 districts throughout the state. Excellence for All Report, Grant # 52309, Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools, Nov 2012 Page 5 of 27


• •

Results are used for a wide variety of purposes including goal-setting, screening students for interventions and accelerated learning, diagnosing reading and math skills (using detailed performance stand data), mid-year progress monitoring (at the classroom, school, and district levels), and summative analysis and evaluation of programs. The implementation of a common assessment benchmarking tool has reoriented instructional activities at most schools around continuous progress monitoring and data-driven instruction with a focus on growth in addition to absolute achievement. Because of this reorientation, educators across the district have become increasingly sophisticated about different types of assessments and their purposes.

The district is piloting a new battery of assessments in 2012-13. The purpose is not to replace MAP, but to broaden the assessment toolkit in order to develop a next generation “system of assessments” that include screeners and diagnostic tools, interim assessments aligned to grade level standards, and progress monitoring tools that are specific to interventions. Academic Data Warehouse The BMGF grant significantly contributed to a major IT infrastructure improvement: replacing numerous data systems that were obsolete, not user friendly and not integrated (i.e., they did not “talk to each other”). The objective was to have a tool accessible to principals, teachers and CO administrators that could generate real-time information on which to base sound, data-driven interventions related to student performance. The result of hundreds of hours of technical development is the Academic Data Warehouse (ADW). The ADW is a container and report generator for several types of data including student enrollment, attendance, MAP results, coursework and more. Principals and staff use the ADW to generate reports disaggregated by ethnicity, FRL, special education and other user-selected criteria to pinpoint problem performance areas, and then work with instructional specialists to develop targeted interventions. Through the ADW, teachers can view test results within a week of test administration. Data coaches, initially supported through the subgrant, were critical in supporting school leaders and teachers as they learned to use the system to analyze student data and strategize interventions. 11 Given the ongoing impact of the position, the district is continuing to fund a full-time Data Coach. Performance Management One of the ongoing impacts of this grant is the continuing emergence of a data-driven culture at the district, albeit not at the same rate in all corners. Among other things, the district’s performance management model provides differentiated support to schools based on needs and success, and has institutionalized ongoing reviews of central office support. A core principle of the model is accountability. Toward that end, SPS developed vehicles that inform parents and the community at large about progress toward strategic plan and school improvement goals. • The District Scorecard reports: o The district’s progress toward strategic plan goals o Student performance as a whole across the system – from test scores to graduation rates; o Operational performance in areas such as facilities, transportation and family satisfaction School Reports 12 report the progress that each school is making toward its school-specific goals

11 12

The former Director of the Research Department supported data IQ in the schools by personally providing pivot table training. The menu for selecting reports of each school is on the SPS Website at Page 6 of 27

Excellence for All Report, Grant # 52309, Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools, Nov 2012

Communications Despite multiple changes in senior leadership and Communications department personnel, new systems were developed and a foundation for sustaining them is in place. The work was performed consistent with the goals of accountability, transparency, consistency and inclusiveness. • • • To encourage parents’ involvement in their children’s educational performance, student scores are now uploaded to The Source, a web-based resource where families may register and view academic achievement information on a weekly basis. A principal appointment communications process was developed with template letters and a form for Human Resources; this made external communications processes run smoothly and is sustainable long-term. Video recording equipment that is easy to use provided the opportunity to tell the story of SPS via videos. Example: The department developed a video that showcases previous facilities work in advance of key upcoming BEX IV capital levy. Video showcased new Supt. José Banda, PTA president Lauren McGuire, two principals and a teacher. 13 An external communications professional was engaged to develop a report highlighting individual school successes, including how they used data to inform academic decisions (August 2011). The grant improved family engagement at the October 2011 Family Symposium, e.g., it enabled the provision of translators for non-English speaking families, a practice maintained in subsequent symposia. The department engaged an external communications professional to develop the 2011 State of the District materials, including a PowerPoint presentation show to the community (will use same template and process for 2012 and future State of the District events). Funds were used to maintain production and distribution of the SPS wall calendar and family guide. Pursuant to a change in policy that allows advertising, SPS incorporated community sponsors to fund this valuable resource including distribution to all SPS families and staff at no cost to the district.

• • • •

ALLIANCE FOR EDUCATION Accomplishments in the School Board Development work include: • Governance: Through work with Don McAdams from the Center for Reform of School Systems, board members agreed to and adopted a governance structure that honors the complementary work of the management decisions of district staff with the board members’ oversight responsibilities. Policy Audit and Development of a Policy Process: After a third party review of district policies, the board removed outdated policy, collapsed duplicative policies and developed a list of policies to be created in order of priority. 14 There was also a restructuring of the Policy Books based upon the structure advocated by the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA). In addition, the board and staff, in partnership with the Alliance, created a multi-tiered policy development process that is being implemented across the district.

The video can be viewed at The Alliance contracted with a doctoral student in the UW Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (EDLPS) program to review district policies to identify conflicts, redundancies, omissions or other issues. After her review, she made make recommendations for removing or consolidating policy, as well as identifying new ones based on current need.


Excellence for All Report, Grant # 52309, Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools, Nov 2012

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Likely the most important aspect of this accomplishment is the recognition on the part of most board members that policy is a primary responsibility. Office Restructuring: 15 When this work began there were two staff positions providing support (primarily clerical) for seven board members. In the spring of 2010, the office was restructured into a position of Board Manager supported by a single administrative staffer providing strategic support to board members. Both positions were posted and filled with effective and experienced staff. Conference Support and Learning Opportunities: The Alliance funded board members’ participation in conferences including the Council for Great City Schools in Portland, Oregon in October 2009. At this conference, the Alliance hosted an informal dinner for 20 board members from similar urban districts, providing board members with the rare opportunity for peer-to-peer learning. We were contacted by board members from all four school districts sharing their appreciation for the opportunity for informal learning from peers. The Alliance also supported conference participation for the School Board Manager.

The most significant accomplishment of the Alliance’s Community Engagement (CE) work was the development of new relationships across diverse communities. Prior to this grant, the Alliance did not have strong relationships across the diverse communities that make up Seattle’s population. Due to this outreach program, there remain today strong relationships with organizations such as El Centro de la Raza (with the Executive Director serving on the Alliance Board of Directors), Somali Community Services and others. These activities enriched our advocacy work as well by bringing a diverse cross section of representatives into the Our Schools Coalition (OSC), a collaborative of organizations committed to driving systemic change in teacher quality. The relationships built in communities of color were instrumental in engaging a diverse cross section in the advocacy work of OSC. It was through this collaborative that the collective bargaining agreement of 2010 included progressive changes and is ahead of many of our peer districts across the nation. It was noted at the time by the Superintendent, Maria Goodloe-Johnson, that these changes would not have been possible without the external support and pressure that was created through the Our Schools Coalition.

In 2010, another graduate student in the EDLPS program did research on six urban districts (Atlanta, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Portland, Spokane and Washington). The results were instrumental in restructuring the school board office. Excellence for All Report, Grant # 52309, Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools, Nov 2012 Page 8 of 27


IV. Unmet Outcomes and Challenges to Implementation
While there have been gains in performance in all subjects and grades as measured by the MSP, none of the targets established in the strategic plan are likely to be reached by the end of the 2012-13 school year. In some cases, there are double-digit gaps between 2012 actual and the 2013 targets. The 2012 District Scorecard released on November 1 tells the story:
Strategic Plan Milestone
district-wide Goals

Free/Reduced Lunch (FRL) students proficient 16 on the state reading test FRL students proficient on the state math test Percent of students with fewer than 10 absences EL Learners who met typical growth in reading 3rd graders proficient on state reading test 3rd graders exceeding standard on reading test 4th graders proficient on the state math test 4th graders exceeding standard on math test 6th graders passing all classes 7th graders proficient on the state math test 7th graders exceeding standard on math test First-time 9th graders earning sufficient credits Repeat 9th graders earning sufficient credits 10th graders proficient on state reading test 9th & 10th graders proficient on state math test* 10th graders proficient on state writing test 9th & 10th graders proficient on science test Students graduating in 4 years or fewer Students graduating in 6 years or fewer Graduates prepared for a 4-year college Graduates enrolling in higher ed within 1 year Graduates taking college-level course (AP/ IB) Of graduates taking college-level test, % passing

Baseline 2007-08

2011-12 Actual

2013 Target 83% 69% 80% 80% 88% 50% 80% 50% 90% 80% 50% 90% 75% 95% 82% 95% 80% 80% 85% 80% 80% 80% 75%

Growth from 2007-08

Actual 2012 vs. 2013 Target

56% 35% 60% N/A 73% 40% 56% 35% 83% 53% 29% 82% 48% 81% N/A 86% N/A 62% 68% 61% 61% 51% 67%

58% 51% 67% 46% 74% 40% 67% 38% 88% 67% 39% 88% 34% 79% 65% 86% 60% 74% 77% 60% 67% 65% 64%

2% 16% 7% N/A 1% 0% 11% 3% 5% 14% 10% 6% -14% -2% N/A 0% N/A 12% 9% -1% 6% 14% -3%

-25% -19% -13% -34% -14% -10% -13% -12% -2% -13% -11% -3% -41% -16% -17% -10% -20% -6% -8% -20% -13% -15% -11%

Elementary students
7th graders ready for Algebra in 8th grade

9th graders ready for HS 9th & 10th graders passing state tests Students ready for college and work

Included in the Superintendent’s presentation 17 were some grim achievement gap data, including the 42 point difference between Math MSP pass rates of white and black students.
3rd to 8th Grade Mathematics
79.4% 80.6% 77.8% 71.8% 72.3% 82.2% 77.1%



White Asian/Pacific Islander District Average

Percent Meeting Standard

70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0%


67.5% 68.1% 61.7% 47.7% 44.3% 40.7% 62.7% 65.0% 49.9%

Hispanic/Latino Native American African American

58.9% 48.4%

47.5% 40.4% 44.3%


38.9% 38.3%








School Year



16 17

Tests refer to OSPI’s Measures of Student Progress and High School Proficiency Exam . The Superintendent’s presentation is posted here: State of the District Presentation.

Excellence for All Report, Grant # 52309, Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools, Nov 2012

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CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED BY SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS The challenges to SPS’s project implementation fall into three broad categories: insufficient preparation for a higher degree of stakeholder resistance than anticipated; leadership crises coupled with extremely high turnover at every level; and the most serious economic recession in decades that contributed to dramatic revenue shortfalls that are impacting the district’s capacity and ability to sustain the work. Stakeholder Resistance Internal and external negative perceptions about curriculum alignment to standards were consistent challenges throughout the project. Many teachers and community members voiced opposition. In addition to fine-tuning communications about the project, SPS leadership met with staff at each high school to engage in conversations about the purpose of the work and to respond individually to questions and concerns of teachers and administrators. To aid community understanding, community meetings were conducted in four quadrants of the city; leaders explained the work, attempted to allay fears and addressed questions and concerns. At least one of the following leaders was always in attendance: the superintendent, chief academic officer and a school board member. While the superintendent and chief academic officer held explanatory meetings in all high schools and articulated the project during four community meetings, SPS’s Literacy and Social Studies Program Manager states that many teachers and school leaders remained unconvinced that alignment was necessary to improve student performance. “What was lacking was the rationale and research to support alignment, including case studies of schools where alignment increased student achievement and decreased placement of graduates in remediation courses. Because so many teachers and school leaders did not “buy in” to alignment to standards, the implementation focused largely on the materials and the overarching goals of the courses, rather than the discreet standards identified for college and career readiness.” 18 Personnel Changes at All Levels • Superintendent: In the spring of 2011, the discovery of misappropriation of district funds by the manager of a department unrelated to strategic plan implementation led to the dismissal of the superintendent who led the development of the plan. The chief academic officer was immediately named as interim superintendent and was expected to be named to the position permanently this past spring. However, she unexpectedly announced last December that she would not apply for the permanent appointment; in June, she left SPS district to accept the leadership position in a nearby district. In July, the school board hired a new superintendent to fill the position held by three different people in less than 18 months. • Governance: Since 2009, four inexperienced board members have been elected to the sevenmember governing body. With more than half the board being new to their positions, significant time has been needed to orient the new members to the strategic plan. It is important to help the new members gain an understanding of their role in supporting the plan in the context of their governance responsibilities so as to avoid conflict or confusion with staff vis-à-vis their roles. Cabinet: There have been at least two changes to the management structure of the district and a high level of turnover in the actual positions.


See Appendix D for a larger excerpt of the program manager’s perspective. Page 10 of 27

Excellence for All Report, Grant # 52309, Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools, Nov 2012

o The Executive Director of Strategic Planning who developed most of the BMGF grant proposal, served as principle driver of implementation; she drafted most of the first two interim reports left the district 22 months ago, at which point the position was eliminated. o In January 2011, an Executive Director of Research, Evaluation, Assessment and Development was hired and was delegated some of this project’s leadership. In July 2012, he was laid off and the department was merged with IT. o Other cabinet members that have left the district in the last eight months include the Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Director of Teaching and Learning, and Executive Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives, and two Executive Directors. • Project Managers: Underscoring the degree of turnover and other HR changes at the district is this: in 2009, there were 20 different SPS staff delegated tasks related to strategic plan and grant implementation either as project managers or project sponsors. Today, only six of those 20 people are still working for the district, and three of those are now in jobs unrelated to this grant. 19

Despite the fact that the new people in these key positions (some of which are presently vacant) have no history with this strategic plan, the Alliance and others inside and outside the district (including PPPE) are reinforcing the importance of sustaining the effort and continuing this important work for students. Recession and the New Revenue Realities At a recent retreat, one school board member remarked that when the strategic plan was being developed, it was during a period when education funding was the highest it had been in 27 years. By the time this grant was awarded late in 2008, the economy had begun its downward spiral, but few would have predicted its severity and depth, and the extent of its impact on state funding for public schools. Nonetheless, it is clear that the district did not develop adequate contingencies for strategic plan implementation and sustainability in the event of a dramatic revenue downturn. The economic changes that ensued over the subsequent four years resulted in unexpected staffing and budget cuts, reducing the district’s capacity to implement with fidelity. In addition, federal funds supporting some of the strategic plan work has declined. This includes Title I and Title II-A. The district reports that when the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (aka, No Child Left Behind) was not reauthorized, it compromised the foundation on which to build lasting educational programs. Please see section VIII, Organization Capacity, for further discussion on the impact of revenue shortfalls.

Twelve SPS personnel contributed content to this report; a number of these contributors were not employed by SPS when the grant began, and none had been delegated project-related responsibilities when the grant began. The Alliance is grateful to SPS’s Grants Director Kevin Corrigan who led report coordination at the district. Contributors included: Eric Anderson, Manager of Research, Evaluation, & Assessment; Steve Wright, Min Yee and Heidi Nguyen, Technical Services; Robert Vaughan, Advanced Learning Manager; David Ogden, AP Incentive Coordinator; Kathleen Vasquez, Literacy and Social Studies Program Manager; Lesley Rogers, Chief Communications Officer; Andrew Olsen, Title I Consulting Teacher and former Data Coach; Michael Stone, Title I Supervisor; and Kenny Ching, Accounting Supervisor. Excellence for All Report, Grant # 52309, Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools, Nov 2012 Page 11 of 27



Conducting the Alliance’s two areas of work under this grant required frequent contact with numerous SPS departments and staff. During the first 3½ years of this work, the majority of our contacts remained steady at the SPS central office. However, in the past year the leadership and staffing turnover has been more significant than in previous years. Specific to the Alliance’s School Board Development activities, these factors impacted the work: • Engagement of Directors: Initially board members were not sold on the value of this program. However, within a very short period of time, board members came to recognize the advocacy role this provided them both working internally with the district and externally with communities. Planning vs. Responsiveness: Alliance staff strove for balance between developing a strategic approach to leadership development, and allowing enough flexibility to respond to the rapidly changing needs of the district. Initially the Alliance project director developed a three year plan, but the ability to respond to emerging needs helped board members realize the concrete value of this project. Ongoing Governance: We underestimated the amount of time and effort it would take to reach agreement about sound governance practices and implement the protocols to support them. We have learned that governance must be an ongoing topic woven into particular areas of work. In the coming year we will use the strategic plan “refresh” process as the framework through which we reinforce proper governance. Election Cycles: The fact that each board position is subject to a 4-year election cycle creates an ongoing challenge for continuity and the sustainability of our work supporting best practices in governance. In 2011, the four board members whose terms were expiring all chose to run for reelection, a coup considering how difficult the roles are. However, two of the skilled directors lost their seats to challengers; this resulted in the loss of their knowledge and good governance practices, as well as institutional continuity. Community Awareness: We believe it is critically important to help community members better understand the role of a school board member. Candidates often run on single issues, ones that are not governance-level decisions, but rather management responsibilities. The general public understandably does not have adequate understanding of the governance role. In the coming year we intend to develop an outreach and education effort aimed at raising awareness. We are building the plan around models already in existence across the country.

In the Community Engagement (CE) work, the Alliance had the opportunity and the challenge to build a program from scratch. The challenges included: • Clarity of purpose: It was difficult at times to determine exactly what the purpose was for this work and to meaningfully communicate to a variety of diverse communities. Over time we learned that outreach was much stronger when it was issue driven; but to be successful the foundational relationships had to already be in place. Capacity: Most of the CE activities were undertaken by the CE Manager. He learned quickly how important it was to collaborate with other organizations and advocates in order to make progress. Although in theory everyone agrees to this, the reduced capacity and high turnover that has occurred in many organizations over the past few years made it difficult for them to follow through completely.
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Excellence for All Report, Grant # 52309, Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools, Nov 2012

Competing priorities: Although many community members and educational advocates have expressed the need for dramatic education reform and increased student/family support, priorities often change when it gets to the details. There is often rigorous competition for dollars, attention and time. Alliance staffers were able to develop the facilitation skills and intuitive ability to surface and invite respectful discourse on complex, sometimes sensitive issues.

V. Strategic Lessons Learned
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS 1. Engage Stakeholders One of the most significant lessons learned is the importance of senior leadership making the investment of time to adequately engage and involve impacted groups in the planning and implementation process and to be open and frank about the future viability of the programming. When the curriculum alignment project began, alignment to college and career readiness standards was not widespread. A few states had written new standards to consider more rigorous benchmarks, and most were still focused on standards and assessments, requiring students to perform at minimum levels of expectations. At the heart of the alignment project was the move toward higher standards to ensure a variety of options for students after graduation. This work pushed extremely difficult conversations forward with teachers and principals: should we prepare all students for such high expectations? In advance of the common core state standards, SPS offered professional development to teachers and principals exposing them to best practices in college and career readiness and forcing a dialogue about a guaranteed curriculum as well as academic supports for students. All of this preliminary work was intended to serve as a foundation for the Common Core State Standards, thus allowing SPS High Schools to understand the impetus behind them. As a result, high school teachers were offered significant preparation for the major shifts the Common Core called forward. However, as documented above by Kathleen Vasquez, Literacy and Social Studies Program Manager, a large number of high school teachers did not feel that the research and the underlying rationale for alignment were sufficient. Offering broader preparation, additional group conversations and opportunities for dialogue could have ameliorated this disconnect. Throughout curriculum alignment, SPS was committed to using an iterative process to bring teachers and teacher-leaders at all levels toward a shared commitment to the curricular changes. The process included as many teachers as possible. All major decisions began with department heads reaching agreement; the next step was department heads taking the agreements to teachers and then bringing the feedback back to the alignment committee. With each round of discussion came a deeper identification and discussion of the barriers and challenges as well as the benefits of the changes. As the district became fully engaged in the alignment process, the Superintendent and the Chief Academic Officer addressed each school’s staff to explain the reason for alignment and to discuss the purpose behind it. The messaging was delivered with a rationale, and it provided an opportunity to engage in dialogue about the vision and expected outcome of the work. The participants, in general, felt respected by the attention and

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appreciated leadership’s direct response to their questions. Further work needs to be done to improve the engagement process at the high school level once permanent leadership is in place in the Curriculum & Assessment division. 2. Develop Funding Contingencies In the data and assessments strand of work, the data coaches working directly with principals and school staff on the interpretation and use of data proved to be both valuable and necessary. The lesson learned, however, is that the district needed to begin the process of institutionalizing this work from day one so that its continuation could weather fluctuations in funding. While it was known from the outset that funding was limited, there was not the means to sustain all of the data coaches beyond the life of the grant. Similarly, a key lesson learned relative to performance management is to tie the sustainability plan directly to the work. When first conceived, the district was able to allocate funds to reward schools for achievement or to allocate funds based on academic need. These included local (baseline), state and federal funds. As the economy faltered, the district continued to move forward with this expansion plan without fully addressing the reduced financial capacity to reward or assist schools. Schools were not advised on how to realign existing resources and were not encouraged to make the hard choice in funding the necessary work. The result was that after three years, the only funds available for performance management were the annual title I or LAP dollars, funds for which there were numerous competing priorities. Future iterations of this work must include a long-term funding strategy that addresses potential ebbs and flows of funding. 3. Maintain a Proactive Communications Strategy Effective communications are not merely reactive and are not done in silos. Strategic communications are proactive. They create a constant drumbeat of message awareness to improve public opinion. The district needs to stay current with all contemporary communication channels to tell its story to internal and external audiences. The district needs to continue working on its long-term proactive internal and external communications. This grant provided an excellent foundation on which to build and has put sustainable solutions in place that will the district will use going forward. 4. Engage Partners in Pursuit of Common Goals See section XI (Sustainability) for a list of CBOs that the district partnered with to leverage impact toward student achievement and strategic plan goals. B. ALLIANCE FOR EDUCATION LESSONS LEARNED 1. It Takes a Stable Village To Support Governance We learned that governance training is not something that can be taught, understood and implemented in a short period of time, particularly when dealing with the highly complex structures, needs and limitations of a large urban school district. Although the quarterly retreats resulted in agreement about governance, moving beyond the theoretical agreement into daily practice was challenged. Despite agreement to the theory, there was not an oversight process to support Directors in governance best practices. In 2010, two things happened:

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Rather than leaving the action items up to SPS staff, Alliance staff followed up on steps taken in those efforts. • Restructuring provided a staff position that could better support the work.

But the ongoing turnover continues to create challenges for the board. The only place that has not experienced turnover is in the Alliance’s management of this work. 2. Ongoing Professional Development (PD) for Board Members School Board support must be ongoing for a variety of reasons. Although you can build a strong governance structure, the rapidly shifting landscape of public education such as the challenging economic environment of the past four years, and the churn of staff turnover bring unanticipated challenges to both district leadership and the school board. 3. A Robust Orientation Module is Required It takes 1 to 2 years for newly elected board members to fully grasp the governance role. Early on in the tenure of a new board member we must provide effective orientation and focused governance training to help them more quickly develop a foundation upon which they can become a fully functioning member of an effective team. 4. Board Members Need Advocates There exists a healthy tension between the governing leaders and the management of a school district. In Seattle, however, there were no advocates for board members within the district who could both push SPS staff for appropriate levels of information and push back with board members when they stepped over the management line. The restructuring of the board office has helped somewhat in providing board members with additional support and advocacy within the district; it also provided staff that could develop the processes and procedures for oversight management. However, the board office has also experienced staff turnover. The office requires strong managers that can help manage the highly political environment. 5. Board Development Support Is Highly Valued – But Maybe Not Right Away Despite early skepticism, this work is highly valued by the board members, current and past, and regardless of their consistency in staying at the governance level. In the coming year the Alliance will expand the work and develop the initial outline for a sustainability plan. Ultimately the work should continue to be managed outside the district to provide the objectivity that is difficult to achieve in the governance/ management relationship. 6. Community Engagement Cannot Be a Stand-Alone Program Initially we attempted to build a Community Engagement program, but found the work needs to be woven into almost all activities both within the district and the community. Our outreach became more effective when we shifted to an issue-driven approach. There are many competing efforts trying to gain the attention of community members; consequently, any engagement effort needs to provide diverse communities with meaningful value, and demonstrate that their voice matters. 7. Building Relationships is Critical Many communities receive numerous requests for their input, but too often there is no followup. What community members rarely see is the result of their input, or persons returning to share how those comments and concerns are shaping the future. The Alliance’s CE Manager met with several groups that were surprised when he returned to provide follow-up information. However,
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we struggled in consistently showing how community voices and responses were used to inform district and Alliance actions moving forward. As we re-envision what CE will look like in the future, we are committed to threading the work across the programs and integrating these lessons into the work. 8. Community Engagement Is Never Done Communities change; school and district staff change; priorities and issues change. The foundation of strong relationships must be regularly nurtured to address the emerging issues and concerns that face community members and the schools that serve them. 9. Consider Collaborative Community Engagement In the future it would be worthwhile for community-based organizations (CBOs) to explore collaborating on outreach efforts. There are hundreds of CBOs serving sectors of our community and they often do outreach to their individual constituents. This results in confusion about how we work together and what the intent is of our work.

VI. Evaluation
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS No outside evaluator was engaged to assess performance on this particular grant. However, the Philanthropic Partnership for Public Education (PPPE) is funding a strategic plan “refresh” and the work of the project manager 20 will include an evaluation of strategic plan progress and performance to date. The district reviews progress toward strategic plan goals through the District Scorecard, individual School Reports (, and the changes in the performance levels of schools per the SPS Performance Segmentation Framework (Appendix C). The curriculum alignment project was developed in such a way as to get feedback from teachers at each juncture. Leadership within the project evaluated to ensure the products would be acceptable and used by most teachers. The standards, the texts, protocols and the course descriptions were vetted by teacher leaders and teachers. Project leaders examined feedback from the teachers and the community and made modifications when needed. School year 2011-2012 proved to demonstrate that all comprehensive schools had shifted to the new course descriptions developed during the project. Course descriptions at the high schools now match the district descriptions, suggesting that all core academic courses have the same learning objectives and all students are taught the same content. In the implementation of ConnectEDU as part of the College Readiness work, counselors are asked to provide feedback both on the professional development they receive and on the tool itself. We are integrating this feedback into PD planning and into our conversations with the ConnectEDU development team. In the Data and Assessments strand of work:


The RFP process is underway and the SPS expects to name the contracted project manager by the end of November. Page 16 of 27

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• • •

There has been continuing refinement of the Continuous School Improvement Plans (C-SIPs). The C-SIPs are two year plans developed at each school that are a direct result of the Data and Assessments strand of this grant. SPS was not able to sustain all the data coaches that had been assigned to schools; however, the district was able to provide initial training and follow-up with a cadre of principals, assistant principals and teachers at each school. A fundamental goal of the strategic plan and this grant was to embed data-driven decision making in every aspect of the educational services the district provides. This concept is now rooted in planning at all levels. It drives the use not only for baseline or “general” funding, it is a required tool in the development of plans to use all resources including Title I and Learning Assistance Program (LAP) at each school. Additionally, as the district and the City of Seattle begin a new, seven-year cycle of Families & Education Levy (FEL) funding, schools are mandated via the City’s Request for Investment (RFI) process to use data in their proposals. The process was developed in collaboration with the district. The required data is more than just surface; it includes data by curricular area, by gender, race and grade level. This enables the schools to target those students most in need. Without the contributions of the data coaches and the creation of the Academic Data Warehouse through this funding, the use of data would not be as rich or as engrained at the school level.

In the Performance Management strand of work, there has been a significant shift in the way schools view and use supplemental resources based on school data. The primary goal was to develop a districtwide approach to leverage dollars to provide academic supports unique to each school. In 2010 the district implemented a school improvement framework that directed resources to schools based on academic performance and needs at each individual school. The funds consisted of a combination of Title I, Learning Assistance Program and baseline funding, along with federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. The framework also provided teachers, administrators and families with clear information about progress at every level of the district. While the district’s ability to maintain the allocation of funds based on performance was not feasible due to the recession and resulting reduction in funds, two solid developments evolved from this work: • • Continuous School Improvement Plans (C-SIPs): As described above, C-SIPs are plans developed by a representative team within each building and are meant to provide roadmap for each school using all available financial information and performance data available. Supplemental Funding tied to Need: Each school in the district receives either federal Title I funds or state Learning Assistance Program (LAP) funds. The use of these flexible dollars has moved from one in which they were used to fund favorite projects or the status quo to their being used to fund academically solid and scientifically-proven programs with the data to support their success.

ALLIANCE FOR EDUCATION In an informal review of the Board Development and Community Engagement work, the Alliance identified these results: • • • A deepened understanding among board members regarding the roles and responsibilities in governance, particularly with respect to board’s role vs. superintendent/staff role A new and streamlined process for policy development and review Development of processes that support board members in oversight management

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• • • • •

Improved document management protocols Execution of a cost-neutral restructuring of board office staff to provide a higher-level of support and strategic counsel to board members Access to governance resources across the country, informing decision-making. New relationships with diverse communities through the Alliance’s Community Engagement activities An increased voice of organizations of color through their participation in the Our Schools Coalition (OSC). 21

VII. Intellectual Property
This does not apply to this project.

VIII. Organizational Capacity
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS The four years of project implementation have been marked by significant external and internal changes and challenges impacting capacity. Most of these were described in section IV above, Unmet Outcome/Challenges. The revenue shortfalls have had the greatest impact on the Data & Assessments and Performance Management strands of work. Maintaining a sufficient number of qualified personnel has been the most significant capacity challenge in the Data & Assessment work. The district relies on contractors to assist in this work. Funding for these contractors is not stable at this time. A key element of the Data & Assessment work was the hiring of data coaches to work with administrators and schools on interpreting and responding appropriately to the data presented. Reductions in state and federal funding resulted in severe cuts in central budgets, including for data coaches. The district was able to sustain the work of just one coach past the life of the grant. Certain programs, such as Title I, have been able to provide some data support for specific schools, but the Research and Assessment department has been severely stretched in its efforts to provide meaningful assistance during 2011-12 to the present. In the Performance Management area, the lack of funding for differentiated support to schools influenced the ongoing impact of this initiative. However, the district has been able to continue improving the reports available to principals, staff, parents and the community. Cuts in state and federal funding led to discontinuing the allocating of funds to schools based on their performance and need. In 2009 and 2010, the district used federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and Education Jobs funding to offset cuts that would have otherwise occurred. This, however, was only a temporary fix, and served only to lessen the funding cliff that was caused by cuts in state funding (e.g., Learning Assistance Program (LAP) and I-728 funding). As a result, only the provision of refined school and district reports was sustained. On the positive side, the steady work of community based organizations (CBOs) that partner with the district or individual schools has positively impacted the capacity to improve academic outcomes. 22

See SPS is grateful for these partnerships. At the same time, they does place a stress on district capacity in terms of incorporating the outcomes-related data needs into the workload of district’s limited IT and research staff. In the case of ConnectEDU implementation, SPS is learning from San Francisco Unified School district as they implement the tool and work through collaboration and FERPA compliance issues.


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Communities in Schools, the YMCA’s Community Learning Centers, City Year, Rainier Scholars, Garfield Scholars, Big Brothers Big Sisters, numerous college access providers, health and mental health providers, and several other CBOs have leveraged federal, city or other funding for school-based services that impact attendance and academic performance. The Alliance has started programs, often with support of BMGF, that are directly aligned with the district’s goals. These Alliance programs include the Seattle College Access Network, the Intensive School Partnerships Project and the Our Schools Coalition. See Appendix for a onepage description of Alliance programs.

ALLIANCE FOR EDUCATION The Alliance had a transition in executive leadership in 2010 that did not negatively impact the capacity of the organization to carry out this work. While our net revenue and unrestricted net asset balances declined in 2008 and 2009 due to recession-related factors, we have re-engineered our fund development plan and increased the effectiveness of our fund raising the last two years; moreover, there has been no operating deficit during this time. Through a grant from the Boeing Company, the Alliance will continue to have the capacity to provide support to the school board. As to the CE Manager, these grant funds acted exactly as they were intended - as catalytic. As the 3-year, grant-funded CE Manager position came to an end, the Alliance transitioned its organizational approach to one in which community engagement is fully embedded within each of our distinct programs.

IX. Financial Report (budget template)
The budget report template will be separately submitted.

X. Project Budget Narrative
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS Against a $6.2 million subgrant budget, there was a 2.2% balance ($142K) on August 31, 2012. BMGF has authorized a no-cost extension which allows $60,000 of the underspend to be used for specific purposes in the 12 months ending August 31, 2013. 23 This will reduce the underspend to about 1.3%. The underspend was in these BMGF budget categories: Personnel and Benefits: Against a budget of $1,515,449, there was a 2.3% underspend of $31,123 that was due primarily to lower than expected cost for the one (1) data coach for the 2011-12 school year. Consulting & Professional Fees: Against a budget of $ 4,026,203, there is a 1% balance of $37,252. • The “Telling the Story” video project started under Dr. Enfield’s tenure was suspended when it was clear that there would be a change in leadership.


The limited extension authorizes $60,000 to be used for support for Executive Directors and for MAP training for teachers.

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Actual costs of online professional development (PD) from Educational Impact, Inc. and The Danielson Group were less than budgeted. 24

Other Direct Expenses: Against a budget of $627,495 there is a balance of $74,857 (12%). Within the several costs of this category, the outliers include: • MAP Technical Lead Extra Time: Underspend of $5,000. Technical Lead on the MAP project did not require the anticipated extra time during the 2011-12 school year. • PD for Language Arts & Social Studies: Underspend of $22,948 was a result of a reduced usage in the amount of professional development for teachers and school leaders due to fluctuations in support of alignment of curricula to standards. PD that did occur focused largely on the materials and overarching goals, rather than the discreet standards identified for college and career readiness. Administrators and site leaders required more preparation to understand the potential impact of the alignment work and to fully support teachers in the various stages of implementation leading to full implementation • Teacher Advisory Council Stipends: Budget was overspent by $5,141. Stipends were budgeted at $1,000 for 20 participants in the Teacher Advisory Council (TAC). There were actually 21 participants paid $1,000 each during 2011-12. This expense should have included mandatory benefit costs at roughly 19%. The extra participant and the unbudgeted benefits account for this overspend. ALLIANCE FOR EDUCATION Against the $580,000 budget for School Board Development and Community Engagement work, there remains a $15,000 (2.5%) balance. The underspend was primarily in the “Other Direct Expenses” category.

XI. Sustainability Plans
While the district had developed sustainability plans for the work, the extent of the challenges (identified above) has compromised those plans. The grant will continue into a 5th year pursuant to a limited no cost extension which authorizes $60,000 of the 8/31/12 underspend of $142,000 to be used for support for Executive Directors and for MAP training for teachers. Unrelated to the extension, key aspects of the work have been sustained and are continuing: • While the district has not been able to provide funding for differentiated services to schools after the first three years of the grant, it has been able to continue refining and providing school reports that site teams use to develop school improvement plans. In doing so, it has given the schools the ability to look at their data and their available resources and then plan for the greatest and highest use of these funds. Ongoing costs for maintaining and supporting the Academic Data Warehouse and MAP were built into the BTA-3 levy approved by Seattle voters in February, 2010. Funding for this is secured though FY13.

24 The two year structured contract for PD in the Danielson Framework was based on usage and the breadth of the program selected by participants. Two options were available: a streamlined “Danielson Only” series and a broader “Online Academy including Danielson” series. Underspend was due to participants opting for the less expensive, streamlined version of this program.

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The college readiness work has stabilized in the past year with the hiring of a full-time manager to oversee programming. This is reinforced with the adoption of college and career readiness by the City’s Office for Education as one of the main priorities in the new, seven-year cycle of the Families & Education Levy which began in September 2012. The communications work was designed to be sustainable by focusing on building internal communications capacity across departments and providing common tools and on-line supports.

With support provided by Philanthropic Partnership for Public Education (PPPE), SPS will engage a contractor to conduct a formal review of strategic plan performance, and will begin a process to refresh and refine the strategic plan to 2016, with extended goals. The school board will be involved at key points through this process and will receive a final recommendation in September, 2013. ALLIANCE FOR EDUCATION The Alliance’s School Board Development work in the 2011-12 school year was undertaken with an explicit awareness that this grant was scheduled to end in August, 2012. Thanks to support from BMGF we were able to extend it to cover the fall retreat, held on September 22, 2012. We have recently received a commitment from the Boeing Company that will enable the Alliance to continue and expand the program in 2012-13. This will include components that support sustainability including: o A robust “on boarding” module for newly elected directors to assure that they are oriented to the fundamental principles of governance and their specific roles and responsibilities. o Individual coaching to help board members perform their duties as strategically and productively as possible o A community education program to raise public awareness about the role of a board and the attributes of boards operating consistent with best practices in governance. In the coming year, we will work to reinforce understanding of best practices in role clarification, policy development, communications strategy and other key areas to encourage self-policing of governance practices, another component of sustainability. Regardless, professional development (PD) and other support will be required beyond the term of this grant. Accordingly, the Alliance is helping the district build a sustainable model, recognizing the district’s financial challenges. We will encourage that a portion of the professional development be supported by the district; however, we believe there is ongoing value in the perspective and objectivity brought by some level of third party involvement in this work. In Community Engagement, we have both a short and long term strategy for sustainability. The Alliance’s former CE Manager implemented a variety of outreach strategies, nurtured important new relationships, and built a solid foundation. In the short term we intend to identify a couple of key issues for outreach, e.g., college access/success and teacher effectiveness. The long-term sustainability of this work requires: • An outreach program built on strong relationships with individuals and organizations across the diverse communities of Seattle. • Information, resources and materials to share with community members in their home languages.
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An effort to build capacity within the communities to support students in their homes and in the organizations they participate with in their daily lives.

The long-term plan has always been to build sustainable capacity within communities. In our college access work (SCAN), we are seeking funding to do just that. The strategy is to develop teams within communities and provide stipends, materials and training opportunities. This will provide a student support infrastructure within their homes and community venues including social and recreational organizations, places of worship and other settings. We recognize that in the short term many community partners still need fundamental support to help them strengthen their voices to effectively advocate for students and shape their communities. We are therefore researching other funding sources to extend this important work beyond the life of this grant.

XII. Reports/Publications
A recent example of sharing data outside the district was Executive Director of Schools Carmella Dellino’s presentation at the annual conference of the Council of Great City Schools about how a principal used data to drive change at a previously low performing school (Indianapolis, October 2012). See Appendix G. SPS is constantly sharing data with parents and the community through The Source and through the annual publication of the District Scorecard and School Reports. Other reports available to interested parties are:
• •

A presentation by SPS’s REA staff at the BMGF Education Pathways retreat last spring The Teacher Advisory Council report (facilitation of TAC was funded as part of the extension of the subgrant that was approved for the period September 2011 to August 2012).

XIII. Foundation Relationship
The grantee and subgrantee very much appreciate the Foundation’s partnership approach to grant making. We especially appreciated the opportunity to present at the BMGF Education Pathways retreat last spring. 3 of 3

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A. Outcomes and Milestones (separately attached) B. Description of Alliance for Education Programs C. Bar graph showing the changes in number of schools per level from 2009 to 2012 and a table showing the segmentation levels of each school from 2009 to 2011 D. A Manager’s perspective on the limited progress toward the Reading goals E. A presentation about SPS’s use of data and performance management to PPPE on July 18, 2012 (separately attached). F. Teacher Advisory Council report (separately attached). G. Executive Director of Schools Carmella Dellino’s presentation at the annual conference of the Council (separately attached).

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Alliance for Education Mission and Programs
The Alliance for Education is Seattle’s local education fund. 25 Our mission is to ensure that all students in Seattle Public Schools are prepared for college, career and life. The Alliance was formed in 1995 through a merger of three groups with similar missions. The objective was to serve as an independent catalyst to improve performance of Seattle Public Schools. The Alliance supports public education in Seattle in three specific and interconnected ways: Funding - leveraging private resources for systemic change that raises student achievement; Advocacy - acting as an independent voice and external catalyst for change; and Community Engagement - convening leaders to facilitate action around education issues. Within that construct, we focus on three core priorities: • • Academic Rigor to set a high bar and help transform the district into a college and career ready culture; Effective Teaching, supporting greater accountability and opportunity within the teaching corps and developing new pathways for high quality teaching talent to enter SPS; and Leadership Development, including support for School Board, Superintendent, Cabinet and principals.

Appendix B

Since 2008, a primary focus of our partnership with SPS has been the 5 year strategic plan, Excellence for All. The plan sets ambitious academic goals and describes how the targets will be achieved. To date, the Alliance has generated over $9 million to implement the plan. Our work has contributed to an 11 point increase in the high school graduation rate since 2008, reaching 73%; 26 academic proficiency increasing in nearly every subject and grade on state assessments; 27 and the Proficiency of 3rd through 8th graders exceeding the state average; and the emergence of a performance management culture. Alliance Programs The Alliance operates its own programs pursuant to the three core priorities. • • • • Seattle College Access Network: We organized 40 independent providers and are facilitating a collaborative plan to increase post-secondary enrollment of low income and students of color. Intensive School Partnerships: We collaborate with SPS on the launch of a new partnership framework at three pilot sites. The new framework strengthens coordination, alignment and evaluation of schoolbased service providers consistent with the goal of improving academic outcomes. Our Schools Coalition: Co-leading the Coalition 28, we conduct research and organize issue-focused public campaigns to improve student achievement. Influenced by our advocacy in 2010, evaluations of teachers now reference students’ academic growth, and educators have enriched career opportunities. Teacher Residency Program: This partnership with SPS, the UW College of Education and the Seattle Education Association is applying the medical residency model to prepare teachers for placement in high-need schools. A multi-stakeholder curriculum and program planning process began in August, 2012; the first cohort of residents and mentors will start in August, 2013. School Board Leadership Development: The Alliance provides support for improving the policy development process, orientation of newly elected directors to their demanding new roles and responsibilities, and organization of retreats and trainings to reinforce best practices in governance. Direct School Support: The Alliance provides fiscal services to over 200 individual schools and school support groups, including PTAs. Funds raised by these groups support programs in academics, the arts, languages, public service, technology, sports and other enrichments. Our service includes serving as their 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, and processing more than 5,000 donations totaling over $1.3 million annually.

Local education funds (LEFs) are community organizations dedicated to improving education in a particular geographic area. LEFs are independent and are not just “school foundations.” Many develop and promote policy, conduct advocacy campaigns, and operate their own programs. See Data in this section is from 2011 State of the District, SPS Performance Page, District Scorecard, and High Schools Report. 27 See Measurements of Student Progress, Washington’s annual assessment of student learning ( 28 Co-leaders of the coalition are the League of Education Voters and the Technology Alliance. See
25 26

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Seattle Public Schools uses a performance framework known as the School Segmentation Plan. Every year, the district ranks schools from Level 1 (low) to Level 5 (high). This system allows the district to design customized support for schools and students, while providing clear measures of success for families and community members. The rankings are based on both absolute scores that show how close schools are to achieving district-wide 2013 targets, and growth scores that show each school’s rate of improvement, as well as the progress students are making based on similar students' progress at other schools. Lower-ranked schools receive more oversight from the district office, and may receive targeted interventions. Higher-ranked schools receive more autonomy in terms of professional development and discretionary spending. Annual segmentation plan results are released in November for the school year ending the previous June. NOTE: K-8 schools were segmented as a single entity for the first time in 2010-11. In previous years, K-8 schools were segmented separately for their ES (elementary) students and middle school (MS) students. For more detailed information, see The following image is from the Superintendent’s presentation at the 2012 State of the District held on November 1, 2012.

School Segmentation 2009-2012
The number of Level 1 schools has declined from 20% to 7% since 2008-09 The proportion of Level 1 & 2 schools (combined) has declined from 41% to 15% since 2008-09 The number of Level 5 schools has grown from 15% to 27% since 2008-09 16 schools increased by at least one level this year
Segmentation Levels by Year
100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

15% 16% 28%

15% 20%



20% 33% 36% 21% 20% 17% 16% 12% 8%


Level 5 Level 4 Level 3 Level 2 Level 1


8% 7%






Changes in Levels by Schools from 2009 through 2011
(SPS will provide an updated list for 2012 shortly.)

Does not include new or re-opened in 2010 or 2011.

NW SE W W NW Central NW SE NW NE Central W SE W NW SE W SE NE SE Central Central Central W

Enrolled Oct 2011
473 658 355 363 321 371 1636 452 656 548 581 1239 819 391 393 309 861 364 1278 324 1415 423 1721 484

% Free/ Reduced Lunch
YELLOW: Above SPS avg

Level 2009 2 3 3 2 3 1 3 2 3 4 3 2 1 3 5 1 2 1 4 1 2 4 4 3

Level 2010 3 1 3 2 2 1 3 3 2 4 5 3 2 3 5 1 3 1 4 1 3 5 4 2

Level 2011 3 3 3 3 2 1 5 2 2 5 5 3 3 2 5 3 3 1 4 1 3 4 4 2

1 Year Change 0 2 0 1 0 0 2 -1 0 1 0 0 1 -1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0 0

Absolute Score 70 33 77 63 49 11 81 50 50 96 93 63 48 51 91 37 56 27 91 25 65 96 82 59

Adams ES Aki Kurose MS Alki ES Arbor Heights ES B.F. Day ES Bailey Gatzert ES Ballard HS Beacon Hill ES Broadview-Thomson K8 Bryant ES Catharine Blaine K8 Chief Sealth HS Cleveland HS Concord ES Daniel Bagley ES Dearborn Park ES Denny MS Dunlap ES Eckstein MS Emerson ES Franklin HS Frantz Coe ES Garfield HS Gatewood ES

26.6% 82.7% 31.3% 38.8% 38.0% 91.6% 19.1% 62.4% 58.2% 8.4% 12.6% 56.2% 72.8% 78.0% 13.7% 85.1% 65.9% 83.5% 22.3% 84.6% 64.5% 16.1% 38.2% 39.9%

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Does not include new or re-opened in 2010 or 2011.

SE NE NW NW SE W NW Central Central NE NW SE W NE Central Central Central NW W Central SE SE Central Central SE Central NE NW NW Central NE NE SE W NE SE NE W NE NW W W SE Central NW NE Central NE SE NE Central NE W W NW NW NW SE

Enrolled Oct 2011
388 264 332 919 296 434 949 530 404 247 460 471 547 420 440 378 616 401 828 315 480 349 483 298 924 238 1144 315 231 340 267 469 489 490 143 365 1662 377 260 617 302 463 594 371 278 371 451 501 532 590 1123 446 406 995 473 983 460 351

% Free/ Reduced Lunch
YELLOW: Above SPS avg

Level 2009 2 4 3 2 1 2 2 5 3 3 4 3 5 4 5 1 4 5 3 1 3 1 2 5 3 5 3 5 1 1 3 3 2 1 1 4 1 2 4 2 5 3 3 5 1 3 2 5 4 5 1 2 4 3 4 2

Level 2010 2 3 2 4 1 1 2 5 2 3 4 3 5 4 4 1 4 5 3 1 3 1 3 5 3 4 3 5 1 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 4 1 3 3 2 5 2 4 3 5 3 4 2 5 4 5 1 2 4 4 4 3

Level 2011 2 5 3 4 1 1 3 5 2 3 4 3 4 4 4 3 4 5 3 1 5 1 5 5 5 4 4 5 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 2 4 3 4 5 2 5 3 4 5 5 4 3 3 4 3 5 3 3 5 4 5 3

1 Year Change 0 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 1 0 2 -1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 2 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 -1 1 -1 -1 0 2 1 1 0 1 0

Absolute Score 49 85 78 93 10 13 66 99 55 65 100 67 95 99 96 29 95 98 74 24 86 9 80 97 85 95 88 96 20 52 34 78 51 71 53 34 86 24 84 83 57 89 60 81 82 82 80 79 51 97 74 100 27 64 96 85 100 60

Graham Hill ES Green Lake ES Greenwood ES Hamilton MS Hawthorne ES Highland Park ES Ingraham HS John Hay ES John Muir ES John Rogers ES John Stanford ES Kimball ES Lafayette ES Laurelhurst ES Lawton ES Leschi ES Lowell ES Loyal Heights ES Madison MS Madrona K8 Maple ES Martin Luther King Jr ES McClure MS McGilvra ES Mercer MS Montlake ES Nathan Hale HS North Beach ES Northgate ES Nova HS Olympic Hills ES Olympic View ES Orca K8 Pathfinder K8 Pinehurst K8 Rainier Beach HS Roosevelt HS Roxhill ES Sacajawea ES Salmon Bay K8 Sanislo ES Schmitz Park ES South Shore K8 Stevens ES The Center School HS Thornton Creek ES Thurgood Marshall ES TOPS K8 Van Asselt ES View Ridge ES Washington MS Wedgwood ES West Seattle ES West Seattle HS West Woodland ES Whitman MS Whittier ES Wing Luke ES

60.6% 17.0% 31.3% 16.0% 80.1% 78.1% 45.5% 12.5% 53.7% 34.8% 7.4% 58.4% 15.7% 7.6% 11.6% 61.6% 16.4% 4.2% 40.6% 65.1% 62.3% 83.1% 31.7% 13.8% 72.1% 8.4% 30.2% 11.1% 88.3% 24.7% 73.4% 29.9% 29.2% 33.7% 46.9% 78.1% 18.9% 78.0% 25.4% 12.8% 54.6% 12.3% 56.9% 38.5% 14.4% 9.7% 35.0% 28.1% 78.8% 4.4% 46.7% 7.2% 88.2% 43.8% 9.1% 27.8% 11.1% 81.8%

Excellence for All Report, Grant # 52309, Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools, Nov 2012

Page 26 of 27

Appendix D Program Manager’s Perspective on the Limited Progress toward Reading Goals
The following is excerpted from a contribution to section IV of this report (Unmet Outcomes/Challenges)provided by Kathleen Vasquez, SPS’s Literacy and Social Studies Program Manager provides “As a result of the BMGF grant, Seattle high schools now offer core academic courses that are more consistent in quality and content, but student achievement has only risen minimally since 2008. The theory of action was that if core academic courses were aligned to career-andcollege-readiness standards through content and uniform objectives across the district, student achievement would increase. The alignment project did not meet its high school achievement goals in part because the conditions to successfully implement a standards-based accountability system were not in place. “One condition necessary for successful implementation of standards alignment is the preparation of the teachers and school leaders. Though the superintendent and chief academic officer held explanatory meetings in all high schools and articulated the project during four community meetings, the teachers and school leaders, as a whole, remained unconvinced that alignment was necessary to improve academic instruction and student performance. What was lacking was the rationale and research to support alignment, including case studies of schools where alignment increased student achievement and decreased placement of graduates in remediation courses. Because so many teachers and school leaders did not “buy in” to alignment to standards, the implementation focused largely on the materials and the overarching goals of the courses, rather than the discreet standards identified for college and career readiness. Administrators and site leaders required more preparation to comprehend the potential impact of alignment and to understand what teachers would need to be ready for implementation. “Perhaps the most important component of alignment to standards is the common interim assessments used to inform teachers about whether students have achieved the standards. The initial project deliverables included the development of common assessments for the core academic courses. However, the interim assessments were dropped; they were substituted with a protocol related to whether teachers’ individual tasks were aligned to the standards. The movement away from common assessments was a direct result of the pushback from teachers and school leaders. Without common assessments, teachers had no consistent way to accurately determine instructional needs in a timely manner and then make the modifications necessary to support students’ mastery of the learning targets. For these reasons, student achievement remained stagnant even though significant changes were made to the academic program. “District and school leadership has an opportunity to revisit this as the country embraces the Common Core State Standards. It will be important for district leaders to provide school leaders with research demonstrating the impact of standards based instruction on student achievement. Ultimately, common, interim assessments must be administered in a timely fashion by all teachers to ensure they have the information needed to monitor student progress and adjust instruction to better address student needs.”

Excellence for All Report, Grant # 52309, Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools, Nov 2012

Page 27 of 27

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