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Published 31.12.2014 | Author : admin | Category : What A Man Wants From A Woman

While improvements in educator evaluation are still evolving, the research and policy communities agree that a high quality teacher evaluation system includes several features. A number of reform-minded districts charted an early path implementing comprehensive changes to their evaluation systems. Nevertheless, creating more robust teacher and principal evaluation systems will not, in isolation, lead to significant improvements in educator quality.
Another critical aspect of redesigning evaluation systems is how to meaningfully involve teachers in the process.
Engaging teachers in evaluation reform is an initiative of American Institutes for Research and Public Agenda, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
This free online resource center provides an easy-to-use model for widespread teacher-led conversations on evaluation reform that are constructive and solutions-oriented, using structured conversation tools and activities, with the end goal of increasing teacher input into the policies that are developed. Materials such as moderator’s guides, PowerPoint presentations, and discussion summary templates to help leaders organize discussions with teachers and bring their voices to the table. Closing persistent achievement gaps as well as raising achievement for all students will simply not be possible without recruiting and retaining sufficient teachers of the highest quality for every classroom. Teaching & LearningBy Angela Minnici Most teacher evaluation systems being developed at both the state and district levels rely on a theory of action that implies evaluation is a powerful lever for improving teaching performance and ultimately student outcomes. AccountabilityBy Laura Lefkowits Accountability, as practiced these days under the No Child Left Behind Act and various state systems, purports to be about improvement. Learning EnvironmentsBy Donna James, Laura Lefkowits and Robin Hoffman In the 21st century, the need to prepare students for success in college and career cannot be understated. We do not intend to infringe any legitimate intellectual right, artistic rights or copyright.
As in any field, evaluations provide those managing the organization a clearer sense of each employee’s strengths and weaknesses so that decisions about promotion, professional development, assignment, and when necessary, dismissal can be made in a more thoughtful manner.
Used by evaluators to make consistent judgments of teachers’ instructional practice, classroom observations are the most common measure of teacher effectiveness and vary widely in how they are conducted and what they assess.
Student growth on standardized tests refers to the test score change from one point in time to another point in time. Other student growth data includes information about the change in students’ performance on some measure such as a teacher- or district-developed test over two or more points in time.
Instructional artifacts are used by evaluators to rate lesson plans, teacher assignments, teacher-created assessments, scoring rubrics, or student work on particular criteria, such as rigor, authenticity, intellectual demand, alignment to standards, clarity, and comprehensiveness. Portfolios are a collection of materials that exhibit evidence of exemplary teaching practice, school activities, and student progress. Self-assessments consist of surveys, instructional logs, or interviews in which teachers report on their work in the classroom, the extent to which they are meeting standards, and in some cases the impact of their practice.
For example, in order to address concerns about the fairness of using student test scores to evaluate teachers, Hillsborough County Public Schools, in Tampa, Florida, decided early on to focus on the growth in test scores between two points in time rather than a static achievement measure captured only once a year. For instance, what if some teachers are not willing or not able to improve enough to fully meet students needs, or if there is not a ready supply of excellent teachers and principals to replace those who are consistently not meeting expectations?
Engaging teachers, as well as principals, is essential in order to create evaluations that are well-designed, implemented with fidelity, and sustainable for the long-term. Everyone at the Table has been used with success in Los Angeles, Detroit, Washington state, and elsewhere. An effective accountability system must be anchored in a teacher evaluation system that is informed by research and best practice and includes teacher voice in the design and implementation. Each evaluation system identifies essential teaching behaviors (often in the form of professional teaching standards) that define effective practice. But we all know that improvement requires more than just measurement.  Read complete message Accountability, as practiced these days under the No Child Left Behind Act and various state systems, purports to be about improvement.
Countless researchers and pundits have pointed out the challenges faced by those without a high level of knowledge and skills when it comes to competing in the global marketplace. Read complete message "The Power to Transform” is the bold theme of AdvancED’s 2011 International Summit, a theme designed to push our thinking about school system change from the notion of “tinkering around the edges” to implementing full-scale transformation on behalf of improved outcomes for students. In July 2012, the 26th state received an Elementary and Secondary Education Act Flexibility Waiver, marking relief for more than half of the states from many of the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. In schools, there is an additional emphasis on the role of evaluations in providing detailed, constructive feedback to all teachers, including those that are considered generally effective already, with data that can inform continuous improvement in practice. High quality classroom observation instruments are standards-based and contain well-specified rubrics that delineate consistent assessment criteria for each standard of practice. It may also include growth in terms of behavior, musical performances, or portfolios of student work.
Evaluators typically use an evaluation tool or rubric to make judgments about the quality of student artifacts. They are usually compiled by the teacher him or herself and may include teacher-created lesson or unit plans, descriptions of the classroom context, assignments, student work samples, videos of classroom instruction, notes from parents, and teachers’ analyses of their students learning in relation to their instruction.
Self-assessments may include checklists, rating scales, rubrics, and may require teachers to indicate the frequency of particular practices. That way, teachers of special education or struggling students would not be at a disadvantage compared to classrooms with more gifted or high-performing students. To ensure that all students receive a great education, education reformers must see these new and improved evaluation systems as the beginning and not the end of a larger, systemic set of initiatives to attract and retain educators.
Unfortunately, genuinely engaging teachers in the evaluation redesign process is perhaps the most neglected aspect of the reform process to-date.
Of course, transforming teacher accountability systems as one part of a comprehensive approach to educator talent management and development requires thoughtful planning, prioritizing, and resource allocation. Sherratt has presented on teacher incentives, Generation Y teachers, human capital management, and equitable teacher distribution and is co-author of the book Improving Teacher Quality: A Guide for Education Leaders.
Read complete message Most teacher evaluation systems being developed at both the state and district levels rely on a theory of action that implies evaluation is a powerful lever for improving teaching performance and ultimately student outcomes. Read complete message In the 21st century, the need to prepare students for success in college and career cannot be understated.
In choosing this theme, AdvancED adds its voice to a growing chorus of demands for not just “change” or “reform” of schooling, but for “fundamental transformation” of education to a new, more robust system aligned with our hopes and dreams for the future.The More Things ChangeCalls for changes to the modern American public education system date back at least to the 1983 publication of “A Nation at Risk,” in which the National Commission on Excellence in Education scolded the educational establishment for the mediocrity of its product and warned of grave dangers to our national security and international competitiveness if significant change did not occur. In exchange, these states promised to implement rigorous new teacher evaluation systems that, among other things, include measures of student learning growth. It is now commonly understood that teacher effectiveness is the single most important school-level factor affecting student achievement – with principal effectiveness a close second. Multiple evaluators should spend adequate amounts of time observing teachers on more than one occasion, comparing notes, and sharing detailed written feedback with teachers, while also coaching them to improve in areas of weakness.
Similar to portfolios, evidence binders often provide specific requirements for inclusion and require a final teacher led presentation of the work to an evaluation team. The district adopted pre- and post-tests in each grade and subject, including over 600 assessments. Teacher preparation, compensation, induction and support, strategic recruitment, and the professional environment in schools must all be enhanced.
Based on financial data collected through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s initiative to build comprehensive educator evaluation systems, Harvard professor Tom Kane estimates that done well, a high quality teacher evaluation system is likely to consume two percent of a school district’s budget. She oversees numerous efforts to contribute to policy research and resource development related to every aspect of managing and supporting educator talent including recruitment, compensation, evaluation, distribution and professional development. The scale tells us that we need to lose weight – it doesn’t tell us how or even why we need to slim down. Reactions to results from the OECD Programme for International Assessment (PISA), showing low scores and wide variation among students in the world’s developed countries on achievement tests in mathematics, science, and literacy, have raised additional concerns about the need for change.And yet, though the clarion call for change continues, all over the world the way schools are organized, teachers are prepared, students are taught, and learning is assessed remain stubbornly similar to the past. Similarly, transforming teacher evaluation was a consistent priority for the United States Department of Education through the award of grants such as Race to the Top, the Teacher Incentive Fund, and School Improvement Grants. It is clear, therefore, that the continuous improvement of teacher and principal effectiveness must be an integral part of any efforts aimed at raising student achievement. For example, assessing teacher effectiveness should occur through annual evaluations, but also at the time of hiring and as part of the responsibility of the preparation programs that matriculated the new teachers in the first place. Given the potential for new evaluation systems to produce data that can truly inform continuous improvements in teacher practice, and feed into an aligned system of educator talent management strategies that attract and retain greater numbers of excellent teachers—the cost may well be worth the investment. Without an analysis of our eating patterns, the amount of exercise we get, or even, the ways in which we might use food as an emotional crutch, the number on the scale is pretty meaningless.
A high school diploma no longer guarantees a middle class job; without a postsecondary degree or certificate, it will be difficult for most students to survive and thrive in our changing world.
Indeed, as educators and policymakers have attempted to respond to the demand for reform from stakeholders throughout society, they have often been met with simultaneous demands to protect the status quo. To improve their eligibility to access federal funding, and to simultaneously achieve their school improvement goals, since 2009, 36 states plus Washington, DC, and hundreds of school districts have passed teacher evaluation reforms, and 33 states have additionally passed principal evaluation reforms. Laine served as the Director of the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality and is the primary author of the book, Improving Teacher Quality: A Guide for Education Leaders, published by Jossey-Bass in 2011.
Once teachers go through this cycle of evaluation and professional learning, they will improve in their areas of need and student achievement will increase. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) believes educators across the P-20 spectrum must increase the academic rigor of high school curriculum, provide structures for student acceleration and support, and create successful pathways for all students from pre-kindergarten through postsecondary education.Dual enrollment and other early college programs offer an avenue toward meeting these challenges. How, reformers ask, can we “fundamentally transform” the educational enterprise in our schools and school systems while still preserving so many of its features that various stakeholders value (e.g., the buildings, the calendar, the teacher contract, the governance structure)? For many states and districts the question of how to measure student learning as one aspect of measuring teacher effectiveness – in ways that are accurate, amenable to teachers, and do-able for teachers whose grades or subject areas are not systematically tested – has consumed much of their time and resources the last few years. This theory of action has been a powerful and persuasive argument for the investment in and adoption of teacher evaluation systems across the country. The scores let us know if we’re hitting the mark or not and, under NCLB, we know which groups of kids are making it and which are not.
There is evidence of success among dual enrollment programs in improving dropout rates and helping to move more students onto a college-bound track.
What do “transformed” schools look like and how do we get there?Caterpillars and ButterfliesTransformation, according to Webster’s dictionary, is a major change in form, function, or nature. Laine earned her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Indiana University. But the question remains: Can teacher evaluation deliver on this promise of professional learning and growth?

This is useful information but insufficient when it comes to moving the line on the scale.Although it has received much less attention than accountability, accreditation has become an important school and district improvement tool over the last decade. Often used to describe biological processes like metamorphosis, the term implies movement from one condition or form to another, followed by consequent changes in function and nature. We argue that while a professional growth orientation is possible for teacher evaluation systems, it requires a significant shift in culture and realignment of resources and structures at the school and district level to support teachers’ development from novices to experts.Understanding How Teachers Develop ExpertiseThe dearth of research on how teachers develop professionally is a serious impediment to the aim of designing evaluation systems that support professional growth. Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance developed more than 100 years ago by American universities and secondary schools and designed primarily to distinguish schools adhering to a set of educational standards.
Think of the awkward, mousy-colored caterpillar clinging desperately to the branch until it transforms into the colorful butterfly free to fly away. Regional accrediting agencies, such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), have a big role to play in ensuring the quality of course offerings in dual enrollment programs.
Watching this process at work, we are reassured by the knowledge we gained as schoolchildren that the outcome will be splendid and that the butterfly – vibrant and free – is in a far more satisfactory form now than before the transformation began.The Only Thing We Know for SureThe aspiration for educational transformation is similar – to change schooling from its current awkward caterpillar-like state, in which achievement lags, bureaucracy stifles, and resources are scarce, into something as beautiful and inspirational as the butterfly. There are now many performance rubric models  that define the progression of key teaching behaviors, knowledge, and skills from novice to expert; Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching is just one such example. The process is fully aligned with the goals of school improvement that challenge educators to commit to continuously push beyond the line of current competence, to frame and ask new and deeper questions, and to realize more than the completion of a management plan.Accreditation is an enriching experience for participating institutions, because they benefit from the transformative power in the process.
As we embark upon the transformational process in our schools and school systems, however, we lack the reassurance that, as in biological metamorphosis, the outcome will be an improvement over the current state.Indeed, as we contemplate transforming schooling into a new, better, more effective endeavor, few of us have a clear image in our minds of what that will look like. States and districts have also been working to design or modify performance rubrics that define effective practice for their local context.To ensure that teachers continue to move toward higher levels of proficiency, more information is needed about what it takes to move teachers from one level of understanding to the next.
Indeed, it is not the outcome but, rather, the process of accreditation that yields the greatest return on investment for institutions.
Throughout the country today, students enrolled in high schools may be dual-enrolled in programs that incorporate both college-level academic and relevant career preparation courses at a community college or university. In a transformed system, are there school buildings, age-based classrooms, summer vacations?
The research on how professionals become experts offers some valuable insights into this progression.Most researchers of expertise agree that it typically takes about ten years to become an expert in any field, and that it’s difficult to be an expert in more than one domain.
Students who complete dual enrollment programs may earn Associate degrees, diplomas, or certificates at the same time they are earning their high school diplomas.Historically, dual enrollment programs targeted high achieving students who benefited as much from the challenging course work as from earning credit. Accreditation, when done right, treats schools and districts as core components of a system.School improvement team efforts tend to focus their reviews on the data that are used in making accountability determinations, without the benefit of a more comprehensive, objective, causal analysis. Recently, some states have made changes in the purpose, structure, and visibility of dual enrollment programs to provide a pathway to postsecondary work that includes a wider range of students.
Or, might individual students direct their own learning, at times attending “schools” and at other times apprenticing in the community, volunteering overseas, and mastering content of their own choosing and in their own way?We can hypothesize about the future but we cannot predict it. For example, beginning teachers spend significantly more time thinking about classroom management than more experienced teachers who have developed a repertoire of strategies and routines to effectively address this area. This causal analysis, known as diagnostic review, is the centerpiece of the best accreditation practices today.And more recently, accountability system investments have placed a primacy on intervening in the persistently lowest performing schools, whereas a high-quality diagnostic review as part of an accreditation process is a powerful tool when put to regular use in all schools and districts.
These include programs that focus on aiding underserved students who might be considered inadequately prepared for postsecondary work academically and socially.Data on student participation in dual enrollment is limited and in the early stages of being collected.
The lack of certainty about what lies ahead contributes to the familiar resistance to change. When used correctly, diagnostic review can highlight problems early and lead to targeted interventions that may prevent the school from ever becoming low-performing.Accreditation in PracticeAdvancED, the parent organization for multiple regional and international accrediting bodies, accredits over 32,000 schools and districts in 70 countries across the globe. Similar to the old saying, “the devil you know may be better than the devil you don’t know,” change efforts in education are often stymied by the need for certainty, even if we know that what we are doing today is not working for far too many students.Not All Changes are the SameHow can we better understand and engage with transformation?
As individuals become more proficient in their profession, they begin to recognize patterns and develop automaticity for complex tasks. A set of research-based standards, describing the conditions that are necessary for educational institutions to achieve quality student performance and organizational effectiveness, form the foundation of the accreditation process. The standards encompass purpose and direction, governance and leadership, teaching and assessing for learning, resources and support systems, and using results for continuous improvement.  Accompanying indicators and performance levels for each standard describe practices and systematic methods of driving excellence in student performance and organizational effectiveness. Although designed for the business world, these terms and definitions can be applied to educational organizations as well.Developmental Change“Developmental change,” as defined by these authors, is intended to improve the current condition. Researchers have described the concept of “flow” as particularly helpful in thinking about how to increase motivation. The standards are systemic and address major themes across all of them such as continuous improvement, stakeholder involvement, alignment, and equity. All organizations need to change if they are to survive and, in many cases, developmental change that improves existing processes without altering the fundamental structure of the organization is sufficient to ward off the entropy that can cause an organization to become obsolete. Flow refers to an experience of sustained pleasure or the feeling of being completely absorbed in an activity.
No one standard or set of indicators and performance levels is complete without considering all as a collective whole.As critical as the standards are to determining institutional effectiveness, beginning in 2012 these will no longer be the sole determinant of accreditation status.
In total, 813,000 secondary school students took a college-credit course during 2002-03 (Kleiner & Lewis, 2005). Implementation of comprehensive professional development plans for teachers or enhancements to instructional materials are examples of developmental changes in education. Student performance data, including (but not limited to) scores on state standardized exams, and stakeholder satisfaction data, based on student, teacher, and parent survey results, also will be taken into account. Developmental change may require us to alter our habits and behaviors, but rarely does it require us to change our values and beliefs. When people report states of “flow” they describe it as a balance between ability and challenge, where the task at hand is sufficiently easy to prevent anxiety yet sufficiently challenging to prevent boredom.
With an increase in the emphasis on college and career planning for students entering high school, more students are being encouraged to select an advanced curriculum that aligns with their postsecondary education and career goals.There are recognized economic and educational benefits of these programs. Creating working environments that aim to encourage flow can help with the effort and determination that sustained improvement requires.
School and district profiles are prepared by assembling a host of data related to student and teacher demographics, student achievement, instructional and student support programs, and more. Dual enrollment is seen by parents as a money-saving strategy that avoids skyrocketing tuition costs, because courses are often paid for and taken through the local high school. Transitional change is intended to fix a clearly-identified problem, and within the current system, criteria exist against which the effectiveness of the transition can be measured. When teachers can achieve more moments of flow in their work, they may in turn be more motivated to reinvest their mental resources into learning new skills and expanding their knowledge.Implications for School DistrictsIn too many of our schools, teachers are faced with a “sit and get” model of one-shot workshops and one-size-fits-all presentations of content.
The profiles are living documents, serving as the basis for ongoing self-assessment.The Internal Analysis.
Examples in education might include the downsizing of central administration, the redrawing of school attendance boundaries, or even implementation of comprehensive technology systems in place of traditional analog approaches.Transitional change may affect the entire organization or may impact only certain parts. Professional development in most schools today doesn’t help teachers meet the needs of their students nor does it help them grow and develop in their profession.
District and school leaders work together with stakeholders to conduct a self-assessment based on substantive standards.
Department of Education, for the students who participate in these programs, college credit earned prior to high school graduation reduces their average time-to-degree and the likelihood of graduation.
The change is significant and demanding but it is usually seen in a favorable light by stakeholders, because the problem it seeks to solve is clear and the desired outcome is known. The institution rates its performance on each standard using a set of established rubrics, based on a comprehensive collection, synthesis and analysis of multiple sources of data and best practices, including test scores.
There is also evidence that dual enrollment increases academic performance and educational attainment and decreases the need for remediation at the postsecondary level (Collins, 2011).An emerging body of research and practice suggests that providing college-level coursework in high school has promise to better prepare a wide range of students for college success. First, professional context matters:  teaching practice cannot be divorced from the teaching environment. Additionally, district and school leaders use diagnostic tools to analyze student performance data and stakeholder perception data. The External Review.
Individuals impacted by the redefinition of roles, new school assignments, or even the requirement to move from a Mac to a PC do not always change quietly but, eventually, the benefits of the new condition outweigh the stress of change and most people adapt.Transformational Change“Transformational” change is the most demanding of the three types of change.
How teachers understand practice is directly influenced by the culture of the school and district. At least once every five years, AdvancED provides a more rigorous and impartial assessment of district and school performance through an external review conducted by professionals from within and outside of the institution’s state. The programs in Florida and Georgia follow the traditional trajectory of accelerated learning and providing access to higher education credit for high achieving high school students, while North Carolina has embraced the dual enrollment pathways approach of the early or middle college model.Florida.
Transformation involves a radical shift from one state of being to another and, adding to the challenge, the new state is, as yet, undefined. Professional teaching standards (such as INTASC) and student academic standards (such as the Common Core State Standards) should be the foundation upon which professional practice is built.Second, districts will have to think critically about intentional structures, processes, and personnel needed to promote professional learning through the evaluative process and support district priorities. Rather than transitioning to a new state that can be described and understood before the change takes place, transformational change is required when it is determined that the current system simply no longer works and must be abandoned, even if its replacement has yet to be developed.Transformation occurs in response to a “wake-up” call that reveals the mismatch between the demands and needs of the current and future reality and the capacity and character of the organization as it exists today.
Districts will likely need to employ a variety of personnel to deliver professional learning that is connected to teacher evaluation tools and targeted to individual teachers, teams, and entire faculties.
Using the results of the review process, district and school leaders work together to discover patterns in their data, refute inaccurate assumptions, and move beyond the obvious to focus on the root causes associated with performance. Legislators have historically placed an emphasis on creating and maintaining a credible, affordable, and seamless K-20 educational system via a comprehensive and centrally articulated array of choices to earn college credit while still in high school. One such wake-up call for educators, of course, is found within the plethora of reports documenting the high dropout rates and low standardized test scores of our students.
Through this process, districts and schools gain a better understanding of their current reality so they may confidently build research-based plans that define actions to be implemented for better results in the future.The Continuous Improvement Cycle. The state requires that courses taken count simultaneously for college and high school graduation. Another wake-up call is the inability of government budgets to provide the resources needed to keep the current system operating.
These data should inform professional learning for individuals, groups of teachers, and the entire district, focusing on building both individual and collective expertise. Throughout the year, district and school leaders regularly monitor implementation of their improvement strategies, discuss and analyze what is or is not working, and make any necessary adjustments to the improvement plan.
Dual enrollment is articulated under Florida statute, which mandates that all 28 community colleges and specific four-year institutions offer dual credit course.

Other wake-up calls include the looming teacher shortage and the expectations of “digital native” students regarding access to and use of technology.Reactive and Conscious TransformationOur organizational development experts provide a further helpful distinction between reactive and conscious transformation.
Districts need to ensure that educators have access to the right information and that there are formal plans and structures in place to maximize use of that information.Teacher evaluation is undergoing a change in this country from perfunctory to more robust systems that attempt to accurately assess performance and provide feedback to support teacher growth.
They also continuously collect data to inform the ongoing self-assessment.All institutions will, as always, be directed to implement at least one “Improvement Priority” to support improvement, and all will provide progress reports at various intervals to ensure their commitment to continuous improvement. Dual enrollment is one of five acceleration mechanisms identified by the Florida legislature in 1973 (Collins, 2011).Of the five acceleration mechanisms, dual enrollment is viewed as the pathway to a postsecondary degree not limited to gifted students but also includes those considered middle achievers or those on a career or technical track. This shift requires us to rethink professional learning in our schools and thoughtfully address our outdated structures and understanding about the trajectory of teachers’ development. As a testament to the value that schools and districts see in the accreditation process, a recent survey of AdvancED schools and districts showed that one of the top three reasons they choose to be accredited is the impact the process has on student performance.Integrating the Best of Both SystemsWith millions of dollars invested annually in efforts to improve our education systems, it is a wonder that accreditation, with its long history of making a difference in the quality of teaching and learning, is not front and center in a state’s arsenal of school improvement tools. As a result, participation in dual enrollment grew from 27,689 students in 1988-89 to 34,273 in 2002-03. In this case, leaders resist or deny the wake-up call believing that, like the snooze button on the alarm, if they just roll over and wait, it will stop. Only then will teacher evaluation reforms begin to impact teachers’ professional growth and, ultimately, students’ learning. According to the Florida Board of Education, this growth rate included a high increase in participation among African American and Latino students. We have hope that teacher evaluation systems grounded in an understanding of teacher development have the potential to improve teacher practice for all teachers.
Diagnostic review is included in the key principles of next generation accountability proposed by the Council of Chief State School Officers and is part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization bill passed by the Senate education committee in October 2011.
Leaders have no say over how the change takes place or what the end result will be.Conscious transformation, on the other hand, occurs when the leaders of the organization recognize and proactively respond to the wake-up call by mapping out a route to change. Although there currently exist redundancies in accountability and accreditation systems, these can easily be resolved and eliminated by a thoughtful alignment of the best of both.In the state of Kentucky, for example, about half of all schools and a quarter of all districts voluntarily participate in the AdvancED accreditation process. In addition, Florida requires every school district to enter into an articulation agreement with a community college to facilitate articulation and acceleration.These programs have been in place long enough now to begin showing results. At the start of the process, the route has no defined end but conscious transformational leaders trust that it will conclude successfully. In 2011, AdvancED and the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) signed a multi-year agreement designed to align the state’s accountability system with AdvancED’s continuous improvement model and to encourage more schools to become accredited. Studies reveal students who have taken dual enrollment courses have a greater likelihood of enrolling at higher education institutions once they graduate from high school (“Florida’s dual enrollment initiative: How state policy influences community colleges’ service to underrepresented youth,” 2006).
Such leaders embark on the journey with relevant stakeholders as their partners, working collaboratively and transparently to confront the many mountains and valleys on the path. Highly encouraging is research demonstrating that Florida students who participate in dual enrollment are retained at greater rates than their counterparts and do as well or better in subsequent college courses once enrolled full time.Georgia. They feel free to fail as well as to succeed, and they expect to face and to learn from multiple challenges along the way. In these states, the best practices associated with accreditation are being integrated into the state accountability model, resulting in a system that benefits from the best of both approaches to school improvement.The Path ForwardOver the past decade, educators have learned many lessons while striving to meet ever more rigorous student achievement goals.
The Accel Program in Georgia is designed for junior and senior high school students enrolled in accredited public or private schools and allows students to pursue postsecondary study at approved public and private colleges and technical colleges while receiving dual high school and college credit for courses successfully completed. In this type of transformation, the goal is not only to survive, but to thrive.Among all types of change described by these authors, conscious transformation is the most challenging. The debate over defining the outcomes of a good education is resolving in favor of the need for every student to leave high school prepared for college or career. The challenge comes from the need for leaders and stakeholders to confront their values and beliefs, to ask the hard questions about whether or not their organizational structure is serving their mission, to accept the reality of changed conditions around them, and to respond creatively to new demands.Transformation and the Status QuoAs a learning organization dedicated to innovation and improvement, AdvancED constantly asks the “what if” questions. The Common Core State Standards, recently developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association, and already adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia, make a strong case for the notion that, in the 21st century, all students must have the skills and knowledge necessary to compete in the global marketplace. These courses represent an articulation between the Georgia Department of Education and representatives of higher education.
For example, what if, now and in the future, developmental or transitional change alone offer insufficient remedies to the problems that plague our schools? This will not happen unless schools make dramatic improvements.Continuous school improvement requires honest, regular self-assessment and diagnosis, along with thoughtful planning and careful attention to an array of program and legal requirements.
Georgia offers dual enrollment programs for Gifted Juniors, Senior Enrichment, and the Advanced Academy of Georgia. So many reforms have been implemented over the years – from demanding greater accountability to providing more resources to increasing parent involvement to improving teacher quality – but far too many children have been left behind. Properly conceived and implemented, accreditation should be part of core school improvement activities designed to promote college and career readiness for all students. The Advanced Academy of Georgia, located on the campus of the University of West Georgia, is a residential, early entrance to college program that targets “carefully selected bright, and motivated high school students who are interested in accelerating their academic careers”(Advanced Academy of Georgia, 2012).In addition, the “Move on When Ready Act” is another option available. Certainly there are many great schools and great school systems around the world, but not all children benefit from these pockets of excellence.
Armed with knowledge resulting from the diagnostic review, more focused and relevant research-based improvement plans can be developed to address not just the symptoms, but also the causes of underperformance. It permits 11th and 12th grade students to leave their assigned high schools and attend postsecondary institutions full-time to earn course credit that will apply towards high school graduation and college credit. And so, we ask ourselves, what if we need to do something radically different from what we have tried before?
This information can and should feed seamlessly into existing, or redesigned, accountability systems, thereby strengthening the impact, utility and efficiency of all improvement efforts. It is limited to students in 11th or 12th grade who have been in attendance at a Georgia public high school for two consecutive semesters in the prior year.North Carolina. What if we need to risk the status quo on behalf of a future we aspire to but cannot yet describe?Navigating the JourneyWe do not take risk lightly. This type of coherent approach to continuous improvement, using the best of accreditation and accountability systems, is required if our educational institutions are to make the gains necessary to ensure that all students graduate from high school college- and career-ready. More than 200 early college high schools, designed to prepare students historically underrepresented in higher education for college, have opened across the United States since 2002 and serve approximately 50,000 students.
We understand the need to keep some anchors in the water while navigating the tumultuous (at times, shark-infested) seas of change. While 25 states have at least one early college, North Carolina leads the nation with 71 early colleges. To that end, we offer our continuous improvement process, grounded in Standards for Quality Schools and Systems, as a potential pathway to change. The Early College High School Initiative Student Information System and the National Center for Education Statistics show 86 percent of early college graduates enroll in college immediately after high school. In addition, of the 3,000 early college graduates in 2009, 25 percent had earned two full years of college credit or an Associate’s degree.North Carolina’s early college initiative, which started in 2004, focuses on preparing students for the education needed in a “post-manufacturing knowledge economy”. North Carolina early college students participate in an accelerated program of blended high school and college coursework that provides academic and social supports. The North Carolina New Schools Project, a public-private organization dedicated to the development of innovative high schools, has been instrumental in North Carolina’s having the most early colleges and substantial data regarding best practices within this environment.
According to the database, 46 states have common statewide policies in place for dual enrollment or other, similar, programs. These policies vary, with 12 states requiring post-secondary institutions and high schools to participate in dual enrollment programs and 20 states suggesting voluntary participation.
Five states’ policies combine voluntary and mandatory conditions and nine states’ policies do not specify this aspect. For example, in spite of significant evidence of the many benefits associated with dual enrollment, currently only about 70 percent of school districts and higher education institutions participate in such programs. Instead, state policy should allow for the consideration of a student’s demonstrated ability to succeed in college course work, as shown by college placement exams or prior coursework, as a standard for eligibility. Policies also should make explicit that successful completion of college course work is eligible for both high school and college credit in order to reap the full benefits of the option. Only 28 states explicitly allowed this in 2008.States also should require participating institutions to proactively communicate with parents and students about the availability of dual enrollment options and should make tuition the responsibility of the state education agency, the district, or the postsecondary institution, or some combination of the three and avoid charging students tuition. The need to pay tuition could discourage many of the same students most likely to benefit from the dual enrollment option.
That is, when a high school student successfully completes a college course that is paid for by the state, there should be no additional cost to the state, or student, when that same student earns college credit for the course. One of the benefits to postsecondary institutions of the successful completion of college work at the high school level is a reduction in the cost of remediation when those students enter college.Although it is critical to the continuing development and improvement of dual enrollment programs to collect data on access, quality, and outcomes, only 18 states require this kind of reporting. State policy should require comprehensive reporting of data related to student characteristics, course completion, course grades, transferability of credit, and high school and college completion rates to state leaders and the public at large.The Role of Accreditation in Dual EnrollmentEnsuring quality of dual enrollment programs is of primary importance.
There is little point in improving access to dual enrollment options for students, if the learning experience is not truly at a college level.
Accreditation plays an important role by ensuring that programs and courses offered through dual enrollment are held to the same standards as required of the colleges awarding the credit. Faculty teaching these courses must possess the appropriate academic qualifications, related work experience, professional licensure and certifications, and other demonstrated competencies.
Accredited colleges assume responsibility for the academic quality of the coursework and are required to ensure that courses and learning outcomes are at the collegiate level and comparable to those in their other degree programs.ConclusionThe myriad challenges facing leaders in our country’s education system include not only the traditional issues of preparing students to be able to read, write, and compute effectively, but also the necessity to compete in a world that is shrinking due to the impact of technology and globalization on our everyday lives.
In order to remain competitive with other industrialized nations, we must ensure that every student enrolled in our institutions successfully completes a curriculum of study that is both rigorous and effective in ensuring the development of skills for life and work. Dual enrollment programs, and other similar options to engage high school students in college course work, make an important contribution to this goal and should be supported through federal, state, and local policy as well as accreditation. ReferencesCollins, J. White Paper, University of South Florida, Community and State College Relations.Education Commission of the States.
New Directions for Dual Enrollment: Creating Stronger Pathways from High School Through College.
The postsecondary achievement of participants in dual enrollment: An analysis of student outcomes in two states.

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