ERS partnered with the Aldine Independent School District (AISD), located near Houston, Texas, to map its resource use and improve human capital strategy.
Aldine Independent School District has long been recognized for ensuring that its more than 67,000 students – 83% of whom qualify for free or reduced lunch and 32% of whom are English Language Learners – get a quality education, even as it remains an extremely low-funded district.
By 2013, however, Aldine’s student test scores on new state exams had fallen to the middle of the pack of large Texas districts. The district was also implementing a new teacher evaluation and compensation system, which required additional resources.
In this context, Aldine's leadership team partnered with ERS to review the district's use of people, time, and money to ensure they could support this new initiative and other priorities as they worked to turn around student performance:
Our Strategic Resource Map surfaced some of the ways in which Aldine has had relative success with limited resources, including:
At the same time, the Aldine team recognized many opportunities for improvement. The district wanted to take a closer look at “strategic retention” of teachers – retaining its most effective teachers while allowing its least effective teachers to move on. This is particularly acute for teachers in years with three to seven years of experience, who make up 38% of the district’s best (top-quartile) teachers, but represent over half of the top-quartile teachers who leave.
To address this and other human capital challenges, ERS developped the Principal Support Card (PSC). The PSC creates a foundation for principals and their managers to take a data-driven approach to identifying strengths and gaps in each school’s human capital strategy, and then to act to ensure that all children are taught by the best possible teacher. For example, if a principal notices in the PSC data that more of her most effective teachers are leaving than least effective, she can work with her area superintendent to investigate why and make targeted changes.
Looking forward, Aldine’s leaders have expressed a desire to extend the use of the PSC or a similar tool to improve principals’ school leadership practices, with a particular focus on human capital development. They have already decided to add one Area Superintendent to provide more overall principal support.