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SUPPORTING EDUCATORS TO MEET HIGH STANDARDS: EXPERT IDENTIFICATION

Catalyst:Ed is partnering with a national funder who invests in and supports high-quality schools to map out the expertise available in the sector to support educators in their work to meet high standards. We're looking for individuals and organizations with deep expertise in helping educators implement high standards and make the key instructional shifts required by the Common Core and other similar College and Career Ready Standards. This list of experts with proven track records implementing high standards will serve as a go-to resource for schools and school systems across the country who seek external consultant support. Ultimately, our goal is to make it easier for schools and schools to tap into the collective expertise of the sector as they undertake to transform their teaching and learning practices.


THE CHALLENGE

With the majority of states adopting Common Core or other similar College and Career Ready Standards, schools and school systems around the country are moving towards a rigorous set of expectations and goals. Yet, few schools have the internal knowledge and experience necessary to translate intent into classroom practice. While the necessary expertise is available in the sector, it is fragmented and dispersed – and there’s very little information to guide schools towards the right expert options.

THE HIGH STANDARDS EXPERT NETWORK

Catalyst:Ed is partnering with a national funder to map out the expertise available in the sector to support educators in their work to meet the Common Core or other similar College and Career Ready Standards. This effort aims to: 

  • identify individuals and organizations with strong expertise in helping educators, schools and school systems translate high standards into practice
  • map out their areas of expertise along several dimensions, and 
  • develop a "go to resource" that makes it easier for schools and school systems to effortlessly identify the right support as they undertake to transform their teaching and learning practices.

Ultimately, our goal is to make it easier for schools and school systems to tap into the collective expertise of the sector, while also extending the reach and impact of the best expertise in the sector.

Who we're looking for

We are looking for individuals and/or organizations with proven track records across five broad areas relevant to schools and school systems as they work to implement high standards (click on each area for more detail):

+ Shared Vision and Needs

  • Visioning: Help leaders and educators develop understanding of the standards in practice including elements such as: (a) What does exemplary student work look like? (b) What are essential mindsets and skillsets of successful teachers? (c) What do effective classrooms and schools look like? and (d) What do scaffolds look like for students who are below grade level?

  • Readiness assessment: Evaluate current student achievement levels, curricular resources, teacher and leader mindsets and skillsets, instructional practices, and instructional systems to gauge school readiness to achieve higher standards.

  • Implementation planning: Identify strategies for closing gaps in knowledge or necessary systems and processes. Develop implementation plan that prioritizes and sequences actions based on needs of students, teachers and school leaders and an assessment of available resources.

+ Curriculum and Assessments

  • Curriculum design and review: Work with educators to design new curriculum, including lesson plans and/or assessments. Review and improve curriculum for standards alignment.

  • Resource selection: Guide leaders and educators through a process of exploration, comparison, and selection of research- and best practice-based curricular and assessment resources, including traditional and online resources, aligned to the academic vision and expectations of the school.

  • Scope and sequence development: Through a backwards-design process, define depth and breadth of each content area within and across grade levels. Work with educators to determine order in which content should be taught to build on past knowledge within a grade and for best learning to occur.

  • Customization: Identify areas where selected curricular and assessment resources need to be modified and/or supplemented to fit the school’s needs. Create, curate, and customize curricular materials, as needed.

  • Assessments: Identify summative assessments aligned with school-wide curriculum. Evaluate balance of growth and proficiency metrics with an eye for minimal instructional disruption and maximum utility in data-driven teaching and learning. Work with teachers to design formative assessments and incorporate into planning and instruction.

+ Classroom Implementation and Professional Development

  • Instructional planning and delivery: Design outcomes-based instructional plans to support students’ academic growth. Align lesson objectives, assessments, and activities with an eye for how engaging lessons are introduced, varied, and paced. Define instructional methods and practices to support deeper learning. Utilize effective techniques, including concept attainment, inductive thinking, inquiry, nondirective, and group investigative models.

  • Differentiated supports: Train teachers on building scaffolds and adaptations to meet unique student learning needs (i.e., second-language learners, students with disabilities, students performing below grade level, students identified as gifted) through content, process, product, and learning environment

  • Scheduling and timing: Design class schedules to provide core instruction, personalized learning, and additional supports to all students. Design school schedules to incorporate time for teacher training and collaboration around elements such as: data analysis, norming responses to student work, unit planning, intellectual preparation for lessons and lesson planning, and practicing of new instructional techniques.
  • Instructional leader capacity building: Train instructional leaders (train-the-trainer model) on topics such as understanding standards in practice; observation, feedback and coaching; assessments for decision-making, etc.

  • Professional development design and delivery: Design professional learning framework, including scope and sequence for instructional leaders and teachers, regular time for professional learning, collaborative learning practices, and external professional learning opportunities and resources. Train instructional leaders (train-the-trainer model) on topics such as understanding standards in practice; observation, feedback and coaching; assessments for decision-making, etc.

+ School-wide Supports

  • Project management and change management: Additional support during the initial roll-out period to ensure high-fidelity implementation on-time and within-budget, with regular review of progress and responsive adaptation as needed.

  • Resourcing: Human capital: Identify human capital needs to support implementation and determine talent gaps to be filled through hiring or procurement. Budgeting: Forecast costs of supporting implementation and help identify potential funding sources and strategies.

  • Communication: Consult and communicate with stakeholders including students, families, teachers, school leaders, support staff, and the wider community.

+ Evaluation and Iteration

  • Data systems: Develop data systems for gathering, managing and analyzing data to inform instruction and track implementation. Develop efficient systems for organizing and using computer assisted learning data as needed

  • Evaluation: Analyze data to evaluate for impact on student outcomes. Leverage analysis to inform process of reflection and continuous improvement. Capture and share lessons (quantitative and qualitative) with others to facilitate sector-wide learning.

Towards this end, we're looking for individuals and organizations with a track record of success in helping educators, schools and school systems translate high standards into practice, and an interest in pursuing structured consulting/professional development opportunities. This includes: 

  • Established national groups that support the transition to high standards
  • Regional/smaller school support organizations
  • Independent consultants
  • Educators, school leaders and school system leaders within districts/charter networks who may have some capacity to consult on the side

HOW EXPERTS BENEFIT

Selected individuals and organizations will be profiled in a summary report that will be shared with the funder and other sector stakeholders. They will also be included in the Higher Standards Expert Network. As network members, they will have opportunities to connect with schools, school systems and other education organizations that seek hands-on consulting/professional development support with implementing higher standards.

Catalyst:Ed model | Mission and impact | How it works for experts |  FAQs


NOMINATE AN EXPERT

Do you know any "rockstars" with deep expertise in one or more of our identified need areas? We would very much appreciate you taking a moment to nominate them. We are committed to diversity, so we would especially appreciate connections to experts and leaders of color.

Nominated experts will be invited to share information about their work and impact through a guided process, aimed at mapping their expertise across several dimensions. Individuals and organizations with demonstrated expertise will be profiled in a summary report that will be shared with the funder and other sector stakeholders. They will also be included in the Catalyst:Ed Expert Network. As network members, they will have ongoing opportunities to connect with schools, school systems and other education organizations that seek hands-on support with Common Core implementation.

To nominate experts, please click on the button below. Your inputs will help us in this critical data collection effort aimed at helping educators tap into the collective expertise of the sector and amplifying the impact of the sector’s best talent. In appreciation, we will share with you a summary report of our findings at the conclusion of this effort.


Faqs

Why is this effort being undertaken?

With the majority of states adopting the Common Core or other similar College and Career Ready Standards, schools and school systems around the country are moving towards a rigorous set of expectations and goals. Yet, few schools have the internal knowledge and experience necessary to translate intent into classroom practice. While the necessary expertise is available in the sector, it is fragmented and dispersed – and there’s very little information to guide schools towards the right expert options. This effort aims to: (1) surface the best expertise in the sector to support high standards and (2) map out their areas of expertise. Ultimately, our goal is to make it easier for schools and school systems to tap into the collective expertise of the sector as they undertake to transform their teaching and learning practices, while also extending the reach and impact of the the best expertise in the sector.

What will you do with any information I share?

Nominated experts will be asked if they would like to be included in this data collection effort. If so, they will be invited to share information about their work and impact through a guided process aimed at mapping their expertise across several dimensions. Any information you share will be treated as confidential and will not be shared with anyone (including your nominees) without your explicit permission.

How long will the nomination process take?

We have designed the nomination process to be quick and simple (<2 minutes) for those who are strapped for time, while also providing additional detail for those who might be interested in learning more.

How will experts benefit?

Nominated experts will be invited to share information about their work and impact through a guided process, aimed at mapping their expertise across several dimensions. Individuals and organizations with demonstrated expertise will be profiled in a summary report that will be shared with the funder and other sector stakeholders. They will also be included in the Catalyst:Ed Expert Network. As network members, they will have ongoing opportunities to connect with schools, school systems and other education organizations that seek hands-on support with Common Core implementation.

Can I nominate myself?

Yes!

What will I receive for participating?

Through your participation, you will contribute to a national effort aimed at helping educators tap into the collective expertise of the sector and amplifying the impact of the sector’s best talent. In appreciation, we will share with you a summary report of our findings at the conclusion of this effort.

How long will the nomination process be open?

We will accept nominations until end of day on June 16, 2017.


Additional questions?

Please email the Catalyst:Ed team (leona.christy@catalyst-ed.org or bebe.ryan@catalyst-ed.org) with any questions.