Five years ago, Education Resource Strategies published Resource Check—an online self-assessment tool designed to help school system leaders quickly assess how well they have created the “enabling conditions” for schools to use their resources effectively to improve student outcomes.
In the past five years, we’ve been delighted to see school system leaders put the tool to use in their budget and strategic planning. In Michigan’s Marysville Public Schools, Superintendent Shawn Wightman used it to guide the development of district’s strategic plan. In fact, in 2013 all school systems in Michigan with a “Priority” or “Focus” school were required to take Resource Check as part of their school turnaround process. Since 2014 (as far back as our data goes), we’ve had almost 1,000 views of the Resource Check tool.
Over time, as we’ve learned more from our district partners about the most critical success factors for this work, we have evolved our original School System 20/20 framework into a much deeper set of assessment questions and metrics, which we now call The Strategic System. (You can read more about the evolution here.) And that meant that Resource Check needed to change too. (You can still access your past Resource Check assessments. Check out the instructions below.)
We have revised the Resource Check tool to incorporate these improvements and renamed it The Strategic Snapshot | Mini. The functionality is much the same—as a district leader (or anyone with an interest in school systems), you will be provided with a series of statements in each of seven categories, and be asked to rate how strongly you agree or disagree that that statement applies in your schools (on average) and at the central office. At the end of the tool you’ll see how your results stack up against best practices we’ve seen in high-performing districts and in the research literature.
The tool is aligned to our much more in-depth Strategic System Snapshot diagnostic, which we undertake in partnership with school system leaders. In the larger Snapshot project, we collect data and interview stakeholders to get a more comprehensive and exact picture, and share our findings with leaders in a series of interactive sessions.
The Snapshot | Mini allows anyone to get a flavor of the Snapshot for free and in under 10 minutes, and to see results right away that might suggest strengths and challenges for further investigation. You can take the Snapshot | Mini with a group as well—such as a district leadership team—to compare different perspectives across departments.
If you have taken Resource Check in the past and want to see your results, you can still access them!
We encourage you to share The Strategic Snapshot | Mini far and wide, and to send us feedback. Please feel free to contact Molly Mullen with feedback or questions.