Creating a Vision and Mission statements.
Reeves For some people, the term strategic planning brings to mind a disciplined and thoughtful process that links the values, mission, and goals of a school system with a set of coherent strategies and tasks designed to achieve those goals. For others, the term induces a cringe brought about by memories of endless meetings, fact-free debates, three-ring binders, and dozens of objectives, tasks, strategies, plans, and goals—all left undone after the plan was completed.
As one frustrated administrator said to me, "When do we get to stop planning and start doing? Who could argue with the need for plans? But as Schmoker noted, many strategic planning processes designed to impel a district to action actually have the opposite effect.
When he worked with schools to create strategic plans in the s, Schmoker found that we wound up setting an impossible number of "goals," even as the word was used almost interchangeably with "action steps" or "objectives. Nonetheless, these annual plans, like the hundreds I've seen since then, The strategic planning process of attero approved pro forma.
There was real fear of criticizing their content and so alienating any of the numerous constituents who had spent their valuable time producing them.
Instructional quality—and levels of achievement—were typically unaffected by any of these processes.
School leaders need guidance to engage in rational planning processes that lead to improved student results. Elements of Effective Strategic Planning Stephen White and I recently analyzed hundreds of strategic plans from schools, central-office departments, and entire districts.
We used this analysis to develop some practical suggestions to get more out of the planning process Reeves, ; White, At least two independent raters reviewed each plan and scored them on about 20 different dimensions of planning, implementing, and monitoring.
We then compared the plan ratings to student achievement at the baseline year and to gains the following year. The findings were striking: Even after we controlled for school demographic variables, schools whose plans ranked higher on the 20 dimensions had higher student achievement and significantly greater achievement gains.
The following specific dimensions were of particular importance: A high monitoring score means that the school conducts consistent and frequent at least monthly analyses of student performance, teaching strategies, and leadership practices.
In contrast, low monitoring scores are associated with schools that engage in the futile exercise of the educational autopsy—an analysis of last year's scores long after it's too late to do anything about them.
A high evaluation score means that every program, initiative, and strategy in the school is subjected to the relentless question, Is it working? Whereas low-scoring schools settle for descriptions in the passive voice "teachers were trained"schools with high scores in evaluation are learning systems in which faculty members challenge themselves to understand the relationship between their professional practices and changes in student achievement.
The distinctive characteristic of schools with superior evaluation systems is that their leaders can identify practices that they have stopped doing because their evaluations found insufficient evidence of effectiveness.
Schools in which leaders and teachers believe that their work is the fundamental cause of student achievement perform significantly better than schools in which leaders attribute student achievement primarily to student demographic characteristics.
This variable is reminiscent of the Pygmalion Effect suggested 40 years ago in a classic study by Rosenthal and Jacobson In this study, teachers were told that certain students were "late bloomers" who would make rapid progress in the coming year, although actually these students had been chosen at random.
Within a single school year, the chosen students had lived up to teacher expectations. Similarly, in the schools we studied whose plans reflected a belief that teaching and leadership affect student achievement, achievement gains were three times greater than they were in schools whose plans reflected a focus on student demographic characteristics as the primary determinants of student achievement Reeves, in press.
This new evidence suggests that the Pygmalion Effect is as strong among educators as it is between teachers and students. One-Page Plans Einstein warned that we should seek to make things as simple as possible, but not more so.
Therefore, I'm not suggesting that we replace piles of three-ring strategic planning binders with catchy slogans. However, there is evidence that schools are well served by one-page plans that are clearly focused and simple enough that every participant in the process understands his or her role in executing the plan.
Joe Crawford, former assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Freeport, Illinois, told me that during five years in which each school and the district as a whole used one-page plans, student achievement improved significantly.
The number of students meeting or exceeding state standards in reading and math increased for all groups of students by more than 30 percent. For each of these key areas, the plan lists two to five goals and measures. Each goal includes a clear statement of actions to accomplish.
For example, the —08 goal for student performance for the district indicates that by June87 percent of students will meet or exceed reading standards, and 92 percent will meet or exceed math standards.
An action plan associated with that measure states that by August 31,each school will identify students who need additional support to if they are move to grade-level performance.
A Focus on the Ends Contrast these two definitions of strategy. Kotter offers simplicity itself: Strategy is a collection of actions that add value.The Web version of the Strategic Plan, rather than focusing on a static set of performance measures, provides priorities, accomplishments, and next steps that are tracked and updated frequently, reinforcing the Strategic Plan’s function as a living, vital document that serves a genuine management purpose.
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The Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years - ("the Strategic Plan") establishes a framework for achieving the EEOC's mission to "stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination," so that the nation might soon realize the Commission's vision of "justice and equality in the workplace.".
Strategic planning: The process by which leaders of an organization determine what it intends to be in the future and how it will get there. To put it another way, they develop a vision for the organization's future and determine the necessary priorities, procedures, and operations.
timberdesignmag.com for the latest news, business, financial and investing news, including personal finance. Strategic planning is a long process with many critical points with must be communicated many times. Active dialogue also allows better productivity and efficiency for all key players involved.