I. Standards & AssessmentsClick through here for the complete document.
1. Implement a curriculum aligned to the Common Core Standards in reading, English language arts, and mathematics.
2. Implement a statewide benchmark assessment system in reading and mathematics that allows measurement of growth throughout the school year.
II. Data Systems
1. Develop or enhance local data systems or tools that track student growth and link students, their course records, and their test scores to teachers to enhance instructional improvement efforts.
2. Support education research efforts by continuing to provide data currently required by state and federal law and new data required for Race to the Top.
III. Effective Teachers and Principals
1. Provide school-based coaches for reading and mathematics at a level sufficient to having coaches in each school in the district at least the equivalent of one full day each week. These coaches must be highly trained and work with teachers in classrooms to implement new curriculum and/or instructional strategies as well as assist teachers in using data effectively to improve instruction.
2. Implement a teacher mentoring program that utilizes an ongoing feedback process that supports teacher growth and development.
3. Implement a principal mentoring program that includes ongoing feedback and supports principal development.
4. Provide professional development and support to staff to implement new curriculum and/or instructional strategies as well as to use data effectively to improve instruction.
5. Develop or implement a rigorous, transparent, and fair annual evaluation system for teachers and principals that differentiates effectiveness using multiple rating categories, takes into account data on student growth as a significant factor, and includes multiple observations or examples of actual classroom instruction.
6. Develop a plan to ensure the equitable distribution of effective teachers in high-poverty and high-minority schools.
7. Adopt criteria for principal placement that includes prior evaluations and student achievement indicators, if principals have prior experience.
IV. Turning Around Struggling Schools
1. Implement a response to intervention model that provides diagnostic assessments, core instruction to all students, differentiation strategies, and interventions in reading and mathematics.
2. (applies only to Milwaukee)
3. Implement or expand interventions for students who need more academic support and instructional time in at least one of the following areas: extended learning time, enhanced transitions, or intensive interventions.
V. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
1. Expanded opportunities for courses in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, which may include but is not limited to:
I think that all of this is worthwhile, and MG is well positioned to meet these requirements. Indeed MG has already gone down much of this path already, we have a leadership role in WI in the implementation and use of growth based assessments, data systems, RTI, teacher mentoring and other elements on the list. I am particularily pleased to see the "Effective Teachers and Prinicipals" efforts outlined in the proposal. The features outlined should be what schools are doing at a minimum, and would be considered fundamental requirements for basic operation in any well run private sector organization. I don't think they go far enough, for example the teacher mentoring requirement only extends to teachers in their first two years.
The problem of course is that these efforts require significant resources, done well the professional development portions alone will need substantial investments of time that in my judgement currently aren't available. To fund these requirements, the DPI has estimated that MG's allotment would be $127K (more might be available if some other districts choose not to participate).