Monday, July 1, 2013

Research Post #1

The following is based on facts from Leaders of Learning, by Dufour and Marzano:
  • "Contemporary American educators confront the most daunting challenge in the history of public schooling in the United States: They are called upon to raise academic standards to the highest level in history with common core standards that are so rigorous and include such challenging cognitive demands that they align with the highest international benchmarks" (National Governors Association, Chief Council of State School Officials, and Achieve, Inc., 2008) 
  • "Schools are to bring every student to these dramatically higher standards of academic achievement. No generation of educators in the history of the United States has ever been asked to do so much for so many. 
  • Teachers and administrators are expected to meet these unprecedented standards while serving an increasing number of students who historically have struggled to find success in traditional schools. 
  • Demands to raise academic standards to levels that were unimaginable to previous generations and ensure every child achieves these standards and eliminate achievement gaps that have persisted throughout American history, and to attain this unprecedented accomplishment with dwindling resources" is our challenge!"
  • "The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers." (Barber & Mourshed, 2007, p.4). 
  • "...quality of instruction students receive in their classrooms is the most important variable in student achievement...what teachers do matters!" 
  • As Pfeffer and Sutton (2006) concluded in their study of effective organizations, "Wide-ranging[s] it is impossible for even the most talented people to do competent, let alone brilliant, work in a flawed system." (p.96) 
  • "We need to focus our improvement efforts on building the collective capacity of educators to meet the challenges they face and seek to create the structures and cultures by which educators continuously improve both their individual and collective professional practice." 

Calendar 2.0 is a commitment to building collective capacity for our educators to teach in an environment in which the professional learning of educators is:
  • "Ongoing and sustained rather than episodic 
  • Job-embedded rather than separate from the work and external to the school 
  • Specifically aligned to the school and district goals rather than the random pursuit of trendy topics 
  • Focused on improved results rather than projects and activities" 
  • Viewed as a collective and collaborative endeavor rather than an individual activity (Annenberg Institute for School Reform, 2005; Elmore; McLaughlin & Talbert, 2006; National Staff Development Council, 2001; Teaching Commission, 2004; WestEd, 2000). "If one of the most important variables in student learning is the quality of instruction students receive each day, then schools must utilize strategies that result in more good teaching in more classrooms more of the time." 
  • "The Professional Learning Community (PLC) represents "an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve." This concept will profoundly impact structure and culture. It is not a meeting; it is "an ethos that infuses every single aspect of a school's operation" (Hargreaves, 2004, p.48).