Giving Compass’ Take:
• In this story from Education Dive, author Andrew G. Houlihan shares his five part method for improving student performance in struggling schools.
• Houlihan was able to invest millions of dollars into implementing this plan. What steps can individual schools take to improve student performance with the resources already available to them?
• Interested in achieving equity for low-income students? Click here to learn how.
I firmly believe that in education, we often identify many school improvement “ingredients” or strategies that work, particularly aimed at school and student performance, but for some reason choose not to align those into a proven recipe for success.
When I began as superintendent for Union County Public Schools (UCPS)… One of the significant challenges quickly identified, after stakeholder input and a laser-like analysis of school performance data, was the improvement of six persistently low-performing schools.
As a result of many hours of deliberation, strategy development and planning, as well as tremendous support by the UCPS Board of Education, more than $3 million was identified in local funding to invest in these schools using a recipe that had been proven to work in other school systems.
An effective principal
The research is clear: while the classroom teacher makes the biggest difference in improving outcomes for students, the building leader is a very close second.
[H]aving access to a highly effective teacher is without a doubt the single most important factor when it comes to learning.
More instructional time
One of the significant aspects of improving student and school performance is time. In addition to highly effective leaders and teachers, students who are persistently below grade level need more time in school.
One of the strongest ingredients in our school improvement recipe was the development and implementation of an intensive in-school tutoring program provided by 55 tutors hired by the district.
Wraparound services to address social, emotional and mental health
The final ingredient in the recipe was a strategic effort to provide additional wraparound services, specifically focused on addressing students social, emotional and mental health needs. Each elementary school received funding to hire a dedicated social worker for their respective school
Read the full article about student performance by Andrew G. Houlihanat Education Dive
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