Standards & Instructional Resources

Curriculum & Instructional Resources

1
Curricula and instructional resources are sufficiently rigorous at all grade levels, and teachers are provided with support to implement them.
Key Questions to Consider:

System Conditions

  • Does the district provide school leaders and teachers with rigorous and coherent curricula, instructional resources, and assessments aligned to college- and career-ready standards?
  • Does the district ensure that there are rigorous learning opportunities at all schools?

Access & Support

2
Instructional programming and supports ensure all students have access to rigorous instruction and support for their unique learning needs.
Key Questions to Consider:

System Conditions

  • Do the instructional models for students with disabilities and English language learners focus on content in addition to learning needs?
  • Does the district enable schools to provide targeted, integrated, equitable, and efficient social-emotional learning (SEL) support, services, and programs?

Teaching

Hiring & Assignment

1
A strong teacher pipeline allows all school leaders to hire the right teachers for their school and assign them to teams that support professional learning.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the hiring timeline and process allow for schools to attract high-quality teachers?
  • Do district policies encourage the most effective teachers to work in the highest-need schools?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Does the hiring process result in high-quality teacher hires?
  • Do district recruiting practices result in a pool of high-quality candidates?
  • Do high-need schools have an equal or higher concentration of effective teachers?

Professional Learning

2
Teachers receive high-quality, growth-oriented, job-embedded professional development designed to meet school and individual needs.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district ensure professional learning around the common, cross-district learning needs of teachers?
  • Does the district enable job-embedded professional learning for teachers?
  • Does the district ensure teacher professional learning and/or support at critical career junctures, including induction, remediation, and transition to leadership, as well as support for additional certification in high-need areas?
  • Does the district ensure that teachers receive high-quality, growth-oriented, job-embedded professional learning that supports school and individual needs?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do principals have a manageable span of review?

Performance Measurement & Management

3
The teacher evaluation system is anchored in evidence of student learning and informs all other aspects of the human capital system.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Is the district's teacher evaluation system based on evidence and college- and career-ready standards?
  • Is the teacher evaluation system anchored in evidence of student learning, and does it inform all other aspects of the human capital system?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Are evaluation ratings an accurate assessment of teacher performance?
  • Does the evaluation system result in the ability to differentiate teachers?
  • Is the district’s teacher evaluation process and data used to support hiring, development, and assignment?
  • Does the district retain an effective teaching force and encourage struggling teachers to leave the system?

Career Path & Compensation

4
Teacher compensation models and career paths reward the greatest contributors, promote differentiated roles, and attract top talent to challenging schools.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district leverage the whole value proposition to attract and retain top teacher talent?
  • Does the district use its compensation system and career paths to leverage effective teachers to take on additional responsibilities and extend their reach to students or colleagues?

School Design

Instruction

1
Teachers integrate effective standards-aligned curricula, instructional strategies, and assessments.
Key Questions to Consider

Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do school leaders and teachers share a clearly articulated instructional vision that defines their approach to teaching and learning, includes subject-specific practices, and is informed by rigorous expectations for excellent teaching?
  • Are instructional materials and instructional practice consistently rigorous for all students?
  • Are teachers across the district regularly assessing student progress through formative and interim assessments, and are they using data to adjust instruction?

Teacher Collaboration

2
Teachers are organized into expert-led teams that focus on the design and delivery of instruction and include ongoing growth-oriented feedback.
Key Questions to Consider

Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do teachers have sufficient time scheduled for collaborative work and professional learning?
  • Are teachers organized into balanced teams for the purpose of deepening understanding of standards and planning and improving instruction?
  • Is professional learning supported by qualified and school-based content experts?
  • Is teacher professional learning time used effectively?
  • Are teachers receiving growth-oriented feedback and sustained coaching to improve instruction?

Talent Management

3
Schools attract and retain the best teachers through the thoughtful design and assignment of roles and responsibilities to match skills with school and student need.
Key Questions to Consider

Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do schools assign the most effective teachers to highest-priority areas?
  • Do schools assign teachers to differentiated roles that increase the impact of highly effective teachers and enable additional support for new and struggling teachers?

Time & Attention

4
Student grouping, learning time, technology, and programs are matched to individual student needs.
Key Questions to Consider

Practice and Resource Use:

  • Have schools made cost-effective investments in group size as a lever for individual attention?
  • Are master schedules aligned to ensure sufficient time for content mastery for all students?
  • Do schools adjust supports, interventions, and student grouping frequently based on student data?
  • Do schools support students with disabilities and English language learners (ELL) in a general education setting where possible?

Whole Child

5
Students are deeply known and receive more intensive social and emotional supports that are integrated when necessary.
Key Questions to Consider

Practice and Resource Use:

  • Are schools building and maintaining an effective climate and culture based on shared expectations for values, behaviors, and routines that best support student learning?
  • Are students known deeply by adults and other students in their school?
  • Do schools ensure targeted, integrated, and efficient social and emotional services, including a deliberate approach to incorporating social-emotional competencies into student learning time?

Growth-Oriented Adult Culture

6
Teachers and leaders grow a collaborative culture in which they share ownership of a common instructional vision and student learning.
Key Questions to Consider

Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do school faculty demonstrate a professional culture based on trust, commitment, shared accountability, and shared high standards around continuous learning of students and adults?

Leadership

Hiring & Assignment

1
A strong leader pipeline ensures recruitment and retention of leaders with the right experience and skills for the job.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Do district policies encourage the most effective leaders to work in the highest-need schools?
  • Does the hiring timeline allow for schools to attract high-quality school leaders?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Does the district strategically place its most effective principals in the highest-need schools?
  • Does the recruiting and hiring process result in high-quality school leader hires?

Professional Learning

2
School leaders receive high-quality, growth-oriented, job-embedded professional development that supports district, school, and individual needs.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district provide school leaders and other instructional experts with significant support and training throughout the school year?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Does the district place strong leaders and promising potential leaders where they can have the greatest impact and growth?

Performance Measurement & Management

3
The school leader evaluation system is anchored in evidence of student learning and informs all other aspects of the human capital system.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district use a clear and rigorous, standards-based school leader evaluation system?
  • Is the district’s principal evaluation data and process used to support compensation decisions, hiring, development, and assignment?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Are school leader evaluation ratings an accurate assessment of school leader performance?
  • Does the district retain effective school leaders and encourage consistently ineffective school leaders to leave the system?

Career Path & Compensation

4
The school leader compensation models and career paths reward the greatest contributors, promote differentiated roles, and attract top talent to challenging schools.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district leverage the whole value proposition to attract top school leader talent?

School Support

Integrated Planning Process

1
Schools receive the support, guidance, and resources they need from cross-functional teams to implement strategic school designs.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the school and district planning process and calendar allow a logical and integrated flow of all critical steps, from visioning to strategy to resource planning?
  • Is data integrated using a system that is easy for administrators, teachers, and central office staff to access and use?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do teachers, administrators and central office staff use data to drive resource allocation and other decisions?

Differentiated Support & Accountability

2
The central office provides sufficient and differentiated support to schools based on student and school leader need and holds schools accountable to goals.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Do school calendars and schedules provide adequate time and flexibility to meet student needs (or support strategic school designs)?
  • Are there clear performance targets for which schools and school leaders are held accountable?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Does the district provide sufficient support that varies based on school needs?
  • Does the district outline a set of research-backed priorities for schools and guidance to support implementation?

Service Quality & Efficiency

3
The central office actively manages costs and service quality within central departments and across the district.
Key Questions to Consider

Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do central office budgeting practices focus on service quality, district priorities, and fiscal sustainability?
  • Are central office departments held accountable for providing high-quality, coordinated, and cost-effective services to schools?

Funding & Portfolio

Equity

1
Funding is allocated equitably across schools, adjusting for student and school needs.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Are the district's staffing and funding systems designed to consistently provide additional resources to students with greater learning needs?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Does the district consistently provide additional resources to students with greater learning needs?

Transparency

2
Clear rules guide the “where, how, and why” of the flow of dollars in district and school budgets.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Do school budgets provide a clear picture of how and where resources are allocated?

Flexibility

3
Schools have the flexibility to use resources to support their needs and strategies.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Do schools have the flexibility to vary resource use based on student, teacher, and school needs?

Utilization & Efficiency

4
The school portfolio fully and cost-effectively utilizes physical facilities.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district make (or plan to make, if enrollment is changing) full use of existing facilities? Does the district have small schools either due to not using existing facilities or small buildings?
  • Does the district have a clear and cost-effective plan for staffing small (<350) and under-filled schools?

Governance & Programming

5
The mix of school operators and programs provides high-quality offerings and innovative designs across the district that are sustainable over time.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Has the district aligned programs, grade configurations, and school size across school levels so that students who move through a specific feeder pattern or choice area experience continuity of programs across school levels?
  • As permitted by state policy, does the district’s use of external school operators, if any, maximize local capacity and expertise within available resource levels?

Choice & Assignment

6
Student assignment policies maximize equitable access to high-quality programs within cost constraints to meet student needs.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Is there equitable access to high-quality programs and innovative designs for students of all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • How distributed are students of color and economically disadvantaged students across schools?

Community Engagement

Community Resources

1
The district and schools actively and effectively partner with community providers.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district partner with or support schools in partnering with community or alternative providers?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do schools partner with community or alternative providers?

Family Engagement

2
Schools actively and effectively engage families.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district encourage and support schools to partner with parents around meeting student learning goals?
Practice and Resource Use:

  • Do schools partner with parents around meeting student learning goals?

Stakeholder Engagement

3
The district and schools actively and effectively engage key stakeholders.
Key Questions to Consider

System Conditions:

  • Does the district engage with the local community around strategic resource planning?
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