Areas of Focus
Area One: Effective Teaching and Leadership 

Measurements: One hundred percent of students will achieve more than a year’s worth of growth in a year’s time. Teachers and leaders will narrow the achievement gap between the lowest-performing and highest-performing students.

How do we define effective teaching? How do we measure it? How do we get an effective teacher into every classroom? These three questions lie at the heart of Strategic Plan 2014. How well CMS answers them will determine district success for the next four years and beyond.

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 brought outcome measurement – testing students to see if they are on grade level – to every school district in America. The act also made school districts accountable for results, linking test outcomes to federal funding. It focused on measuring student proficiency, but it did not put an emphasis on student growth.

However, No Child Left Behind did emphasize teacher credentials – focusing on degrees and certifications, rather than on growth in student learning. With the advantage of hindsight and experience gained since 2001, we believe that CMS – indeed, all of public education – would benefit from emphasis on teachers’ effectiveness, rather than on their qualifications. Effectiveness can be measured by how far teachers move their students academically in a single year. This is the highest and best standard. It will be a central part of the measurement system for teachers and principals that we will use.

 

Click here to read more about Focus Area One: Effective Teaching and Leadership.

Key Strategies and Tactics - Updated Version

Each focus area in Strategic Plan 2014: Teaching Our Way to the Top is supported by key strategies and tactics. Below are listed the six key strategies and supporting tactics for Focus Area One: Effective Teaching and Leadership.

Key Strategy 1.1 1:  Clearly define and measure teacher effectiveness.

Tactics:

1.1.1.1  Develop multidimensional measures of teacher effectiveness in tested and non-tested subjects and grades.
1.1.1.2 Create a system to link students to their teachers, so that student performance and teacher performance are connected.
1.1.1.3 Incorporate effectiveness measures into the district's data reports to external and internal stakeholders.
1.1.1.4 Create a communications plan to explain the measures to stakeholders and how they are calculated.
1.1.1.5 Conduct further research on the teacher workforce in CMS as follow-up to the Harvard Study results.

Key Strategy 1.1.2:  Develop a measure for a year's worth of growth for every subject and grade level.

Tactics:

1.1.2.1 Provide teachers with student work samples to gauge the rigor of student work in all subjects and grade levels.
1.1.2.2  Develop assessments for all non-tested subjects and grade levels.

Key Strategy 1.1.3:  Base teacher recruitment and selection on effectiveness, not on qualifications.

Tactics:
 

1.1.3.1 Define a highly effective teacher applicant, using additional data collection from candidates.
1.1.3.2  Establish teaching camps, in which applicants teach in front of a selection panel before being placed in the hiring pool. 

Key Strategy 1.1.4:  Provide access to training that is tailored to student and teacher learning needs.

Tactics:

1.1.4.1 Develop training for PreK-12 teachers to provide a variety of instructional strategies, so that all student needs are met (Differentiation Academy).
1.1.4.2 Train all teachers in the effective use of data to monitor student learning (Data Wise).
1.1.4.3 Provide training modules for K-12 teachers to address rigor in instruction.
1.1.4.4 Design and implement training for teachers that focuses on parent involvement and how to effectively engage families in the learning process.
1.1.4.5 Refine and expand district-wide instructional coaching models.
1.1.4.6 Use professional learning communities throughout CMS. Professional learning communities focus on student learning, working collaboratively and emphasizing results.
1.1.4.7 Design and implement a Response to Instruction (RtI) model for CMS that will help teachers adjust instruction as needed for struggling students.
1.1.4.8 Implement the Big6 inquiry-based research model in kindergarten through 12th grade.
1.1.4.9 Design teacher professional development that is linked to effectiveness as defined by the pay for performance measures.

Key Strategy 1.1.5:  Recruit and retain top talent for school-level positions.

Tactics:
 

1.1.5.1

Define skills needed in an effective educator, using research from the national Measuring Effective Teaching study.
1.1.5.2

Partner with Education Resource Strategies (ERS) to develop a comprehensive staffing model.

1.1.5.3 Implement the Strategic Staffing Initiative and staffing for Title I schools with New Leaders for New Schools, Leaders for Tomorrow and Teach for America.
1.1.5.4 Partner with New Leaders for New Schools to design a selection process for assistant principals and principals.
1.1.5.5 Recruit and hire effective educators based on student-achievement data.
1.1.5.6 Utilize Harvard study and follow-up research results to modify recruiting and hiring practices.

Key Strategy 1.1.6:  Ensure that school leaders have the ability and resources to meet the needs of students and teachers.

Tactics:

1.1.6.1 Provide training and ongoing support through learning communities. 
1.1.6.2

Train all school-based instructional leaders in the Data Wise process.

1.1.6.3 Design a five-year principal-induction program.
1.1.6.4 Design training modules to address each area of the School Quality Review process.
1.1.6.5 Expand opportunities for principal innovation through Freedom and Flexibility with Accountability.

 

Key Strategies and Tactics - Original Plan

Each focus area in Strategic Plan 2014: Teaching Our Way to the Top is supported by key strategies and tactics. Below are listed the six key strategies and supporting tactics for Focus Area One: Effective Teaching and Leadership.

Key strategy A: Clearly define and measure teacher effectiveness.

Tactics:

  1. Develop multidimensional measures of teacher effectiveness in tested and non-tested subjects and grades.
  2. Create a system to link students to their teachers, so that student performance and teacher performance are connected.
  3. Incorporate effectiveness measures into the district's data reports to external and internal stakeholders.
  4. Use student-growth measures in decisions regarding local pay-for-performance rewards for teachers.
  5. Create a communications plan to explain the measures to stakeholders and how they are calculated.

Key strategy B: Develop a measure for a year's worth of growth for every subject and grade level.

Tactics:

  1. Create and use periodic tests throughout the year (local formative assessments) to measure student learning in reading and math for grades three through eight, science in grades five and eight and Algebra I, biology, civics and economics, English I and U.S. History in high school.
  2. Provide teachers with student work samples to gauge the rigor of student work in all subjects and grade levels.
  3. Develop assessments for all subjects and grade levels that provide measures of teacher effectiveness.

Key strategy C: Base teacher recruitment and selection on effectiveness, not on qualifications.

Tactics:

  1. Define a highly effective teacher applicant, using additional data collection from candidates.
  2. Establish teaching camps, in which applicants teach in front of a selection panel before being placed in the hiring pool. 

Key strategy D: Provide access to training that is tailored to student and teacher learning needs.

Tactics:

  1. Develop training for PreK-12 teachers to provide a variety of instructional strategies, so that all student needs are met (Differentiation Academy).
  2. Train all teachers in the effective use of data to monitor student learning (Data Wise).
  3. Provide training modules for K-12 teachers to address rigor in instruction.
  4. Design and implement training for teachers that focuses on parent involvement and how to effectively engage families in the learning process.
  5. Refine and expand district-wide instructional coaching models.
  6. Use professional learning communities throughout CMS. Professional learning communities focus on student learning, working collaboratively and emphasizing results.
  7. Design and implement a Response to Instruction (RtI) model for CMS that will help teachers adjust instruction as needed for struggling students.
  8. Implement the Big6 inquiry-based research model in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Key strategy E: Recruit and retain top talent for school-level positions.

Tactics:

  1. Define skills needed in an effective educator, using research from the national Measuring Effective Teaching study.
  2. Partner with Education Resource Strategies (ERS) to develop a comprehensive staffing model.
  3. Implement the Strategic Staffing Initiative with New Leaders for New Schools, Leaders for Tomorrow and Teach for America.
  4. Partner with New Leaders for New Schools to design a selection process for assistant principals and principals.
  5. Recruit and hire effective educators based on student-achievement data.

Key strategy F: Ensure that school leaders have the ability and resources to meet the needs of students and teachers.

Tactics:

  1. Provide training and ongoing support through learning communities.
  2. Train all school-based instructional leaders in the Data Wise process.
  3. Design a five-year principal-induction program.
  4. Design training modules to address each area of the School Quality Review process.
  5. Design and implement a comprehensive training program for administrators focusing on family involvement and strong partnerships between home and school to enhance learning.
  6. Establish a leadership development program for senior managers.
  7. Expand opportunities for principal innovation through Freedom and Flexibility with Accountability.