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New Study names states to be featured in report

Posted: Updated: Oct 8, 2012 02:30 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C., (KNOE 8 News) -Five states were featured in a new study, "Modernizing the State Education Agency: Different Paths Toward Performance Management," by the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington.

The report underscores the need for state education agencies (SEAs) to shift from a compliance management model to a performance management model in order to successfully increase outcomes for all students in under-performing schools. To that end, the study compares eight states that are at the forefront of this transformation and are currently engaged in improving their lowest performing schools. The Chiefs for Change states included in the research were: Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Tennessee.
 
"We know that changing the leadership and management structures in our lowest performing schools is key to their successful improvement," said Dr. Tony Bennett, Chairman of Chiefs for Change and Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. "The states included in this study are taking this charge seriously and are paving the way for other states and school districts to make the changes necessary to succeed."
 
"Louisiana is taking bold measures to better prepare students to attain a college degree or succeed in a professional career. The Recovery School District, a unique reform model recognized around the country in the search for solutions to transform low-performing schools, is pioneering this effort," stated John White, Louisiana Superintendent of Education. "Because of the work happening in our schools, the Recovery School District is leading the nation in increasing the achievement of students who for years have attended struggling schools."
 
"It is clear that if our goal as a state education agency is to support student improvement, then we need to operate much differently than we have in the past. This will require shifting from a mindset where compliance equates to success to one where we are successful if all of our students, regardless of background, are graduating from high school ready for college and career," said Chris Cerf, New Jersey Commissioner of Education. "In New Jersey, we have done this by completely reorganizing our staff around the areas that will drive student achievement, while at the same time cutting red tape from high-performing schools and intensifying our efforts to turn around persistently failing schools."
 
"We are pleased that the Center on Reinventing Public Education has looked to Rhode Island for an example of a state on the forefront of change in transforming education. As Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist emphasized to the authors of the study, we at the R.I. Department of Education are committed to building district capacity as a key component in accelerating all of our schools toward greatness," added David V. Abbott, Rhode Island Acting Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education.
 
About the Study
The report examines the approach taken by each of the states included in the study and categorizes them into three main strategies: the All-In strategy, which aggressively restructures the SEA and establishes a separate entity to manage failing schools; the Results Without Rancor strategy, which restructures parts of the SEA for performance management, but invests more effort in building capacity at the local level to improve failing schools; and the Bounded Disequilibrium strategy, which structures incentives and disincentives so that districts act to improve school performance. Though each state included in the study made concessions to fit their own historical and political contexts, it was concluded that all of their approaches were driven by evidence-based decisions.

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