Summit 2012

Seventh Annual Summit on Evidence-based Education

Building and Sustaining an Effective School Culture: Supporting Educator and Student Success

April 26, 2012

8:30 School Reform and Culture Change:  What We Missed
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  Randy Keyworth, The Wing Institute
Keyworth reviewed the ongoing failure of school reform efforts at the national level (funding increases, comprehensive school reform initiatives, class size reduction, charter schools, No Child Left Behind) in the context of school cultures and the lack of focus on improving teacher effectiveness.  He discussed system deficiencies in two of the most critical components of producing effective teachers – teacher preparation and performance feedback – and identified key strategies for improving both.
9:00 Principals as Agents of Change
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  Jack States, The Wing Institute
States shared research highlighting the critical role that principals play in school performance, including their impact on student achievement and teacher turnover.  He identified critical behaviors that make principals effective, reviewed the performance level of most principals in these areas, and discussed deficits in the current system of principal preparation.
9:15 A Descriptive Approach to Measuring A School Culture
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  Ronnie Detrich, The Wing Institute
Detrich offered a model for directly measuring cultural practices, using analytical tasks based on descriptive data.  The model looked at cultural metrics based on incidence rates and prevalence of desired staff behavior .  Data in these to domains can then be plotted to identify to what extent target behaviors have become part of the school culture.  He concluded by discussion strategies for changing school cultures, altering cultural contingencies, and influencing adoption.
10:00 Work Group # 1:  Identifying Obstacles to Building Successful School Cultures
The first Work Group served three purposes:  (1) providing Summit participants with the opportunity to network, (2) identify and rank obstacles frequently confronted in building a culture of success in schools, and (3) provide a perspective for the upcoming presentations on culture change.
11:00 Creating Culture Change:  Getting Beyond the Conventional Boundaries
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  William Redmon, Ph.D, Manager of Leadership and Development with the Bechtel Group
Dr. Redmon discussed the common challenges and strategies of culture change across different types of organizations.  Challenges in changing school cultures are legend.  Private sector companies are no different.   Both types of organizations face inertia from protective policies and entrenched behaviors that lead to more of the same.   Dr. Redmon described the challenge and summarized methods and tools that have worked in the private sector to get past traditional barriers to innovation.
1:00 Performance Architecture:  The Art and Science of Improving Organizations
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  View Roger Addison's paper
  Roger Addison, Ph.D, Chief Performance Officer of Addison Consulting
Dr. Addison examined school culture change in the context of Performance Architecture, which views each organization as a dynamic system where every part affects every other part.  It has been successfully applied in the private sector as well as education, addressing the Worker (educators), the Work (education), and the Workplace (schools), and does this within a system framework. This session focused on several educational and business case studies, the Performance Architecture models and tools, the recommended solutions, and evidence of success.
2:30 Change Leadership: Innovation in State Education Agencies
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  View Sam Redding's paper
  Sam Redding, Ph.D, Director of the Center on Innovation and Improvement
Dr. Redding presented the case that State Education Agencies play a critical role in successful school culture change, seeing their role as an impetus for reform, standard setter, and innovation stimulator.  He discussed a framework for "change leadership" with four components—intentionality, capacity, implementation, and productivity—contributing to and supporting execution.  The result is a system of recognition, accountability and support that becomes a fulcrum of change for local school districts.
3:30 Work Group # 2:  Completing Organizational Assessment Tools
Each group was asked to pick one of the obstacles to culture change identified in the first work group activity and identify possible solutions using the Behavioral Engineering Model provided by Roger Addison.