Phys.org – Talent Is Key To School Turnarounds

Jun 3, 2020 | Education, News

Staff Performance is Key To School Turnarounds

Turning around low performing schools and their districts is not yet an exact science, but specific factors continue to play an essential role in successful school turnarounds. In the recent Phys.org article, “Talent is key to school turnarounds,” the University of Delaware (UD) explains how critical talent management is to the school turnaround process. “New research has demonstrated that the key to implementing successful reform in low-performing schools is hiring and retaining effective principals and teachers,” observes UD. For most schools, the talent management of teachers is primarily achieved through standardized test scores of their students, as well as infrequent (and inorganic) walkthroughs and observations throughout the school year. School leaders do not have the resources to be in every classroom working with every teacher, but tools exist to bring the classrooms to them. Performance management systems, like Performance Scoring, rely on continuous feedback to empower school leaders to develop the high performing workforce needed to stimulate school improvements.

Understanding Staff Performance

Schools must first establish a clear and comprehensive understanding of staff performance to know where coaching and engagement are needed. “Effective turnaround models must establish a stable and capable workforce,” UD echoes. Performance Scoring generates authentic, continuous staff performance data on the factors that drive success in the classroom and with ongoing professional development. “These findings, reported in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA), also note that teacher turnover as well as student mobility and chronic absenteeism undermine potentially positive effects from these reforms.” Increasing staff retention rates is an area where Performance Scoring has a proven return on investment (as noted in our case studies), but continuous feedback brings another element: historical data trends. Losing high performing teachers can be devastating to school turnarounds, but continuous feedback provides schools with the knowledge of the specific factors that made them high performers. This data is not only used to coach up other staff members in areas of weakness, but also serves as a guide for training and onboarding new teachers to be successful. The University of Delaware points out that as much as 40% of positive gains for school turnarounds “could be explained by hiring high performing teachers.” Continuous performance management will develop staff members into high performers and put schools on the path to long-term, sustained school improvements.

Effective School Turnaround Models

As expected, performance management overhauls are seemingly always associated with effective school turnarounds. “’This study points to the importance of focusing on talent management when planning and implementing reforms in low performing schools,’ said Gary Henry, the paper’s lead author and dean of UD’s College of Education and Human Development.” Performance Scoring’s ScoreBoard provides district and school leaders with a real-time understanding of staff performance in each of the ScoreCard Categories that drive success. With a comprehensive understanding of staff performance leaders are directed specifically where coaching and training are needed to develop high performing teachers and support staff. Talent management has been made more difficult with the COVID-19 pandemic shaking up education and introducing new processes and strategies. “Educators are managing staff performance of new processes and strategies in real-time,” explains Jake McEntire, VP of Education at Performance Scoring. “Administrators are working around the clock to prepare for the fall semester, and Performance Scoring adapts with them in real-time,” McEntire continues. School turnarounds take dedication, commitment, and most importantly time; school improvements happen day-by-day as changes occur. Measure and manage the unique turnaround goals of your school today with Performance Scoring.

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