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SUPPORTING EDUCATORS TO MEET HIGH STANDARDS: EXPERT APPLICATION

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. 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.

Applications open on May 23 and close on June 22, 2017 (early deadline on June 7, 2017). 


purpose

With the majority of states adopting Common Core State Standards, schools and school systems around the country are moving towards a rigorous – and shared – 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 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:

+ 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. Review and improve curriculum for open-sourcing.

  • 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.

Experts may be working in schools or school systems or as independent consultants or as employees of well-established school support nonprofits or organizations. What they share is a strong understanding of standards and "in-the- trenches" experience implementing the standards.

How we define expertise

We encourage applicants to reflect on the areas in which they have developed true mastery. Here are some questions to help you identify areas of core expertise:

  • Experience: Have I worked on this domain area for a significant length of time (and ideally in multiple contexts)?
  • Growth: Have I made my mistakes and learned from them? Am I driven to continuously learn and improve in this area?
  • Impact: Can I point to evidence of the impact that I've had through my work in this area? 
  • Applicability of learnings: Will I be able to apply my learnings from one context to another context? 
  • Comfort: Am I confident in my knowledge and expertise so that I can guide others, ask questions and encourage calculated risk-taking?

Here's a thumb-rule: For any given area, a "yes" to all or most of these questions indicates that you've identified an area of core expertise. If you've answered "yes" to only some of the questions, then you've likely identified an area of emerging expertise. We're interested in learning about both, but we encourage you to differentiate between them during the application process!

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 Catalyst:Ed Expert Network. As network members, they will have opportunities to connect with schools, school systems and other education organizations that seek hands-on support with Common Core implementation. 

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

application process

  • Online application opens (May 23): Applicants will be asked to upload their resume and share their areas of expertise.
    • First deadline (June 7) and interview notifications (June 12): All qualified applicants will be invited to a video interview with a Catalyst:Ed team member and asked to submit the names of three professional references who can speak to their skills and experiences. Applicants who apply by the early deadline of June 7 will be notified by June 12 and will have the opportunity to interview earlier. 
    • Second deadline (June 22) and interview notification (June 26)
    • Video interviews and references (June 19-July 14): These conversations help us get to know applicants better, pinpoint their expertise and understand the contexts that they thrive in. 
    • Selection notification (July 24): Selected applicants receive an email notification and an invitation to an introductory webinar.

    APPLICATION POLICIES

    Application deadline: The application will be accessible online from May 23 – June 22, 2017. All application materials must be submitted directly through the application website no later than midnight, Pacific Time, on June 22, 2017.

    Policies regarding firms: Project Directors/Partners at consulting firms may apply as the experts on behalf of their firm. More than one expert from a firm can apply to the network.    

    ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?

    Please email us  at info@catalyst-ed.org with any questions.


    Share with your networks

    We want to cast a wide net, so we would love your help in getting the word out. Here are some options:

    • Nominate an expert
    • Share with your networks:
      • Twitter: "@_catalyst_ed is looking for #CommonCore experts to support schools and educators. Learn more + apply https://goo.gl/Cy2jQi" Pre-populated tweet
      • Facebook and LinkedIn: "Catalyst:Ed (www.catalyst-ed.org) 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. 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. Learn more + apply https://goo.gl/Cy2jQi"