You are on page 1of 9

Claudius MLADIN

Arad County School Inspectorate

The presentation aims at highlighting some of the
currently popular school reform strategies, from teacher
performance and putting mayors in charge to turnaround
schools and data-driven instruction.Based on some of
the bold and edgy studies in the domain, the
presentation is intended as a sharp analysis of today’s
realities in European and world-wide education.

Key words: reform, strategy, education, performance
David Blazer from Harverd University and Matthew A. Kraft from
Brown University have focused their research on how teachers
affect students’ achievement on standardized tests despite
evidence that a broad range of attitudes and behaviors are equally
important to their long-term success. Thus, they find that upper-
elementary teachers have large effects on self-reported measures
of students’ self-efficacy in math, and happiness and behavior in
class. Students’ attitudes and behaviors are predicted by teaching
practices most proximal to these measures, including teachers’
emotional support and classroom organization. However, teachers
who are effective at improving test scores often are not equally
effective at improving students’ attitudes and behaviors. These
findings lend empirical evidence to well-established theory on the
multidimensional nature of teaching and the need to identify
strategies for improving the full range of teachers’ skills.
According to The Research Alliance for New York City
Schools, Turnaround schools shared three conditions that
principals and teachers reported were essential to their
capacity to improve student achievement, namely: aligning
needs with goals, creating a positive work environment, and
addressing student discipline and safety.

Principals and teachers also attributed their school’s success
to the implementation of specific
strategies aimed at improving teaching and learning like:
developing teachers internally, creating small learning
communities, targeting student subpopulations, and using
data to inform instruction.
According to the same research, he figure below shows
the relationship between the essential conditions and the
strategies for improving teaching and learning in these
schools. As illustrated, the essential conditions were the
foundation upon which strategies for improving
teachingand learning could be implemented.

Fundamentally the alignment of needs, goals, and actions
in the schools drove the selection and use of strategies to
improveteachingand learning. The positive work
environment helped ensure the success of
thesestrategies,whileaddressing safety and discipline well
made it possible for teachers to focus more energy on
teaching and learning. It was the multi-pronged effort of
these schools that ultimately led to academic
Essential Conditions and Key Strategies for Turnaround Schools

Academic Progress

Creating Using data to
smaller inform
learning instruction
communities Devel
Targett oping
ing teach
studen er’s
t capac
subgro ity

Strategies for Improving Teaching and Learning

Essential Conditopns

Aligned needs/goals/actions Aligned needs/goals/actions Aligned needs/goals/actions

Beginning Proficient
No Implementation Exemplary Implementation
Implementation Implementation
1. Look Fors: Look Fors: Look Fors: Look Fors:
Leadership No training for LT LT members LT members have LT members have received training
Team members have received received training in in leading analysis meetings and
No DDI training in leading analysis meetings supervising teachers for
responsibilities for LT leading analysis and supervising teachers implementing action plans
members meetings and for implementing action LT members have clear
LT members are not supervising plans responsibilities for DDI work, and
leading analysis teachers for LT members have clear responsibilities are robust,
meetings according to implementing responsibilities for DDI LT Members effectively implement
the principles in action plans work 90% of the elements of the guide
“Leading Effective Responsibilities LT Members effectively “Leading Effective Analysis
Analysis Meetings” for LT members implement 80% of the Meetings”
for DDI are elements of the guide o Preview asst
outlined “Leading Effective o Predict outcomes
LT members are Analysis Meetings” o Model how to do
attempting to Preview asst analysis for teacher
implement Predict outcomes o Analyze results before
effective analysis Model how to do analysis meeting with teacher
meetings, but for teacher o Review action plan
ther are not Analyze results before o Get the teacher to do
proficient meeting with teacher the cognitive work
Review action plan using scaffolded
Get the teacher to do the questions
cognitive work using
scaffolded questions

In the current European context the next years will either
prove a success of a certain theories or a failure of most of
them. Therefore it is the task of the teachers primarily and of
the decision factors ultimately to make sure that the
educational process including all components of teaching–
learning – assessment will somehow go on to the benefit of
the students.
Jane L. David and Larry Cuban, Cutting Through the Hype
Essential Guide to School Reform
Chester E. Finn, Jr., Bruno V. Manno, and Brandon L. Wright,
Predicaments, Paradoxes, Possibilities
Frederick M. Hess and Bruno V. Manno, Beyond Whole-School
Ben Levin, How to Change 5000 Schools, A Practical and
Positive Approach for Leading Change at Every Level