School Improvement: What are the basic Tools?
Why is it that some schools succeed, while others struggle so much?
The answer is simple: School improvement isn’t magic, it’s a science—a matter of taking the proper steps that lead to sustained success time and again.
Schools need to establish a plan to accomplish their goals. Then they need effective educators in their team to fulfill that plan. Also, technology is needed to support it, and a commitment for long term implementation.
Here are basic tools to successful school improvement.
When it comes to school improvement, there’s nothing more important than having a strategic plan. Schools with an established strategic plan have been found to achieve significant gains. For example, when lessons were planned keeping in mind the student interests, more than four times the gains in reading and ten times the gains in math was found over other schools without a plan.
The clear lesson: When schools have a strategic plan in place, teacher buy-in and engagement go up, resulting in significant gains in student achievement.
A plan is valid only if there is an effective process with it. Researchers found that when schools established a clear process to increase educator effectiveness, they experienced significant gains in student achievement. The schools that were examined implemented a process of regular classroom observations, followed up by targeted professional development. The results were remarkable with a significant increase in average test scores as compared to other schools.
Investing in the right technology to support school improvement is just as important as having a strategic plan and process. In this day and age when there is a large amount of options available, schools should definitely take advantage. There is a substantial difference between results of students in schools that use technology and those who don’t.
Implementation and Follow-up
Even with everything else in place, successful school improvement is only possible with a strong commitment to long-term implementation of the strategic plan. This can be challenging, but it’s well worth it. The schools with consistent implementation were not only more successful in the long run, but their rate of student achievement gain increased over time. It’s an approach built upon years of research and validated in more than 20,000 schools and districts worldwide.
This article has been inspired by and contains excerpts from EdSurge website. Read the original here.