CVESD Strategies Highlighted in Case Study

CVESD Strategies Highlighted in Case Study
Posted on 09/23/2019
District education leaders share a moment with State education officials.

A new study from the Learning Policy Institute takes an in-depth look at strategies in our District and six others that helped to raise student academic performance above peer groups in other California schools.

LPI released the study, Closing the Opportunity Gap: How Positive Outlier Districts in California Are Pursuing Equitable Access to Deeper Learning, at a recent event in Sacramento. The event included high-profile state education leaders, including state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.

LPI’s chief executive officer, Linda Darling-Hammond, also heads the State Board of Education. LPI examined what CVESD and six other “positive outlier” districts had in common that contributed to their students’ success. For example, CVESD teachers receive training, then practice what they learn while fellow teachers observe them and provide feedback. CVESD also hired resource teachers. In addition, visual and performing arts teachers were hired to provide arts instruction during the school day while simultaneously freeing up time for classroom teachers to have collaboration time each week.

Teacher assisting student“We are honored to have our instructional strategies and the work of our teachers highlighted in LPI’s case study,” said Gloria Ciriza, Ed.D., CVESD’s executive director of curriculum, assessment and instruction. “We have made a collective effort, involving a broad group of stakeholders, to close the opportunity gap while supporting the success of all students.”

The report includes case studies of each selected school district. LPI researchers selected the seven districts from among the more than 100 positive outlier districts across the state because of their geographic and demographic diversity. View the case study of CVESD here.

The case studies are a companion to California’s Positive Outliers: Districts Beating the Odds, which was released earlier this year and used a quantitative analysis to identify factors that appear to distinguish these “positive outlier” school districts — those in which African American, Latino/a, and White students achieved at higher-than-predicted levels, controlling for their socioeconomic status. LPI’s analysis found several commonalities across the districts, including:

• a widely shared, well-enacted vision that prioritizes learning for every child;
• continuous leadership from instructionally engaged leaders;
• strategies for hiring, supporting, and retaining a strong, stable educator workforce;
• collaborative professional learning that builds collective instructional capacity;
• a deliberate, developmental approach to instructional change;
• curriculum, instruction, and assessment focused on deeper learning for students and adults;
• use of evidence to inform teaching and learning in a process of continuous improvement;
• systemic supports for students’ academic, social, and emotional needs; and
• engagement of families and communities.

The study includes a series of recommendations for federal, state, and local policies that can contribute to supporting student learning. Thus, the work of the seven school districts could contribute toward impacting future education policy changes in California, Dr. Ciriza said.

child with hand raisedThe common factors among the successful districts allowed them to leverage the significant changes the state made to its education system over the last decade. Among other things, California adopted new standards for English language arts, mathematics, and science that focus on building students’ skills in analysis, inquiry, and problem solving. It has also shifted to assessments that better measure these skills, requiring greater depth of knowledge and more thoughtful application of skills than earlier assessments.

In addition to CVESD, the other school districts in the case studies are: Clovis Unified School District, Gridley Unified School District, Hawthorne School District, Long Beach Unified School District, San Diego Unified School District, and Sanger Unified School District.

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