From ³Brutal Facts´ to the Best Schools We¶ve Every Had Dr. Mike Schmoker


Because organizations only improve«

³where the truth is told and the brutal facts confronted´
Jim Collins ³We must overcome the awful inertia of

past decades´
Michael Fullan

³Understanding University Success´ Center for Educational Policy Research  Only 7% of low-income students will ever earn a college degree. Haycock. Haycock .Brutal Facts  Only about 50% of students who enter college ever graduate ± primarily because K-12 does not prepare most of them for college. Conley  Only 32% of our college-bound students are adequately prepared for college.

´ William Sanders  Five years of effective teaching can completely close the gap between low-income students and others. Marzano.Brutal Facts  ³The Teacher Effect makes all the other differences pale in comparison. Kain & Hanushek .

Powell. Resnick.  Every study of classroom practice reveals that most teaching is mediocre²or worse Goodlad.´ Tom Wagner only 15 minutes of Harvard Graduate School of Education actual instruction takes place. Learning 24/7 Classroom Study . Sizer.The Real Opportunity«  ³Most of us in education are mediocre In we minute class at whata 45do. Farrar & Cohen.

Richard Elmore  You can¶t expect what you don¶t inspect. Peter Senge .WHY IS MOST TEACHING MEDIOCRE?  The administrative superstructure of schools buffer teaching from outside inspection.

BRUTAL FACTS  Despite hundreds of initiatives. Hess. we still DO NOT INSPECT: 1. Elmore. WHAT is actually taught (essential standards) HOW WELL (effective lessons/units) Gordon. Tyack & Cuban. Berlinger . programs and plans. Marzano. 2.

.EFFECTIVE LESSONS HAVE:        A clearly stated standard Teacher examples (modeling) Whole group practice Addresses Partner practice higher level Individual practice thinking skills Assessment Adjustments based on the assessment results Checks for understand .

literacy instruction .FIRST THINGS FIRST: IMPROVE INSTRUCTION    Replace ³IMPROVEMENT PLANNING´ with a focus on ³IMPROVED TEACHING´ through learning Crayola communities. Curriculum VIABLE CURRICULUM Start with high leverage opportunities.

´ Authur Wise: Teaching Teams: a 21st ± Century Paradigm For Organizing America¶s Schools .LEARNING COMMUNITIES: AN ASTONISHING CONCURRENCE  ³Professionals do not work alone. plan the building. win the lawsuit. they work in teams«to accomplish the goal± to heal the patient.

First: Adopt ³Simple Plans´ to create & sustain LEARNNG COMMUNITIES 1. DATA ± driven (academic priorities) GOALS: that are measurable/tied to an assessment TEAMWORK that produces shortterm assessment results «Anchored by a GUARANTEED & VIABLE CURRICULUM .1. 2. 3.

SET measurable. 3. .DATA DRIVEN PRIORITIES 1. 2. annual goals IDENTIFY lowest ±scoring standards from ASSESSMENTS USE formative assessment data (measurable results from lessons) Teacher teams create tests for non-tested courses.

not just announcements. .AUTHENTIC TEAM-BASED PLC·S: Plan lessons or units teach assess adjust instruction Faculty meetings should focus on teaching. These meetings can be used to build instructional team strategies.

Curriculum Guide = wellmeaning fiction Teaching based on textbooks? .2. GUARANTEED VIABLE CURRICULUM Do schools ensure that a viable curriculum actually gets taught? Often curriculum has no impact on instruction.

When are these graded? During Instruction time? . GUARANTEED VIABLE CURRICULUM Instructional Dead End Cycle The more worksheets a teacher gives The more worksheets to grade.2.

Berliner. Reeves . Marzano. Smith & Andrews. Elmore. LEADERSHIP IN THE PCL  ³The heart of instruction is the monitoring of instruction.´ Dan Lortie  We do not monitor instruction.3.

THE LEADERSHIP ILLUSION  ³Direct involvement in instruction is among the least frequent activities performed by administrators of any kind at any level. It is a matter of misplaced priorities.´ Richard Elmore 200 This is not a matter of work ethic. .

LEADERSHIP   Monitoring: Instruction and Guaranteed & Viable Curriculum LEADERS MUST: Conduct Walk-throughs looking for:    Clear focus on essential standards Critical reasoning/higher-order thinking Essential elements of an effective lesson .

LEADERSHIP ² Team Management QUARTERLY CURRICULUM REVIEW: Leaders and Team discuss«  Quarterly assessments/results Lists of standards taught Grade books reflecting standards Scored student work samples .

RECOGNIZE & CELEBRTE ³Small wins´ to overcome resistance & promote buy-in The #1 LEVER FOR IMPROVING MORALE AND EFFECTIVE PRACTICE  Best leverage Low cost leverage .

´ Ferrandino and Tirozzi: presidents of NAESP and NASSP .4. UNPARALELLED OPPORTUNITY: LITERACY INSTRUCTION  ³Underdeveloped literacy skills are the number one reason why students are retained. assigned to special education. given long-term remedial services and why they fail to graduate from high school.

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY 40 minutes a day for writing 60 minute a day for actual reading .BRUTAL FACTS.

WRITING IMPORTANT?  Writing is the litmus paper of thought«the very center of schooling. Ted Sizer Writing aids in cognitive development to such an extent that the upper reaches of Bloom¶s taxonomy could not be reached without the use of some form of writing. Kurt and Farris 1990  .

BRUTAL FACTS  ³For all its unparalleled cognitive benefits. .´ Kameenui and Carnine We don¶t teach writing«we make writing assignments. little or no real writing instruction takes place in the regular classrooms.

4% were rated ³high´ NAEP study .  National Center for Education Statistics Only 24% write at the ³proficient´ level.K-12/COLLEGE SUCCESS Analytical READING  Persuasive WRITING Only 31% of college graduates can read a complex book and extrapolate from it.

DRAMATIC IMPROVEMENT FOCUS ON: TEAM-BASED Professional Learning Communities  GUARANTEED and VIABLE Curriculum  RADICAL changes to literacy instruction With CELEBRATION of EVERY ´SMALL WINµ  .FOR SWIFT.

WHY BOTHER?  With an average teacher = 30-50 percentile gain in 3 years. Sanders The question is not. ³Is it possible to educate all children well?´ But rather Do we want to do it badly enough?´ Deborah Meier . Marzano.