Let's begin with Why. . .

"All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.”

"Let's begin with why are we here today and learning this?"-to gel our knowledge, to build connections, to understand the intent of the larger picture, to empower each other as we grow in our knowledge, to reflect and provide feedback, to recognize our strengths and weaknesses and to understand our own vision for what we do."

The Smartest Kids in the World
by Amanda Ripley and implications for instructional leaders and learners.

Professional Development Presented by Mary Ramos, Principal Fellow, Dallas ISD.

January 5, 2015, Ben Milam Elementary

Amanda Ripley, the author, speaks to international education.

Guiding Question: Why do you suppose education outcomes in the U.S. are so mediocre comparatively through an international lens?

Let's pause and Scribe on the comment stream and share some of the reasons that we think students are underperforming.

Is it that we are too diverse? or homogenous geographically? race?  Is it that we have too much poverty?  Is it that we are too violent? What are the reasons?

"The most affluent schools and the most well resourced schools are performing lower in the U.S. Even our best is not working as well."

What is the PISA? Let's take a sample test. . .(learn by doing)

  • Scribe below in the comment stream your thoughts and reflections about the PISA exam.
  • Guiding Questions:  What are the correlations to STAAR? Your thoughts?  What do you suppose is a trend in testing that will occur now and in the future?

A short List of what does not explain our mediocrity. . .

  • Compare this list to what we had previously scribed in our comment stream. Discuss and let's share out.

So as educators, what do we do?  What would be most beneficial for teaching and learning?

  • Reflect and Discuss in a group and consider what you believe that we should do?  Please share out primary ideas in your group.

High Leverage Practices

What is a high leverage practice?  

A “high-leverage practice” is an action or task central to teaching. Carried out skillfully, these practices increase the likelihood that teaching will be effective for students’ learning. They are useful across a broad range of subject areas, grade levels, and teaching contexts, and are helpful in using and managing differences among pupils. The list here is a set of “best bets,” warranted by research evidence, wisdom of practice, and logic.

reference:- See more at: http://www.teachingworks.org/work-of-teaching/high-leverage-practices

Click the following link to view some recommended high leverage practices.  See your handout.  Mark the ones that you feel that you are currently doing  REGULARLY with a green marker.  Use a yellow marker for ones that you might need to develop more and use a red marker to highlight the ones that you are not doing at all.  

  • Guiding Questions: What do you observe and when analyzing your own methodologies, what are some areas of growth that you recognize?  What are some things that you would like to implement more of?  Do these things affect the content or the why and how we are negotiating the content?

Making Connections to Dallas ISD

Guiding Question:  Why do we need to have a means for teachers to look at their own practice?

This is from the MET (Measures of Effective Teaching) that Superintendent Miles referenced.

Guiding questions:  How is feedback relevant for you?  How is feedback with your students valuable?

Destination 2020

How do we make sure every child is engaged in the classroom each day? Teachers are able to determine how students process and retain information based on these strategies:

  • Lesson objective: A lesson objective will answer what students are to learn for the day or class period and is usually introduced at the beginning of the lesson. Lesson objectives are specific, tied to a standard or skill, follow the mapped curriculum and are understandable to both students and parents.
  • Demonstrations of learning: A demonstration of learning is a product through which a student demonstrates learning of the lesson objectives at the end of the lesson.
  • Purposeful aligned instruction: Purposeful aligned instruction is a prioritized list of what students should know and be able to do as framed by the lesson objective and the demonstration of learning.
  • Multiple response strategy: A multiple response strategy is a technique designed to elicit responses from most of the students in a class numerous times during the period and allows the teacher to gauge student progress and understanding.

Guiding questions: How are the these 4 bullets connected with what we learned from High Leverage Practices?  How does destination 2020 connect with the more global impetus to produce stronger learners?

The Core Beliefs

Dallas ISD Core Beliefs

  • Our main purpose is to improve student academic achievement.
  • Effective instruction makes the most difference in student academic performance.
  • There is no excuse for poor quality instruction.
  • With our help, at risk students will achieve at the same rate as non-at risk students.
  • Staff members must have a commitment to children and a commitment to the pursuit of excellence.

Guiding Questions:  How are the core beliefs connected to what we learned from The Smartest Kids in the World?

Closure:  Take Aways? Thoughts?

Please scribe on the following form.


Comment Stream

3 years ago

hi type your reflections here

3 years ago

When the journalist talked about the importance of talking to the students to get the truth, it reminded me of the student surveys that are now included in the TEI.

3 years ago

Change is uncertain and unpredictable. In general, people would rather do what has "mostly worked" instead of something that might work with better results. While I applaud the data and results of educational systems around the globe, I feel that its not about who has this or who has that. Its about having a right to pursue an education for business or pleasure, which doesn't seem to be the case around the world. Similar to what happens in many schools, mostly every person will tell you vertical/team planning and collaboration works and has great value, however it doesn't happen like it should. We should collaborate globally.

2 years ago

thank you for your feedback!😄