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Continue the Transformation


Guiding Principles

The pace of change in today’s society will continue to reshape the understanding and skills students will need to be successful. Greater flexibility will allow school systems to respond to changing expectations and conditions and help continuously improve student learning.

Key Issue 1

There are four broad categories that identify a transformed district. They are: Effective Leadership, Quality Teaching and Learning, Support for System wide Improvement, and Clear and Collaborative Relationships. The categories are integrated and interrelated—they are important to district effectiveness but not sufficient in isolation.

Recommendations

113.  State statutes and regulations should have provisions that encourage and reward innovation through reduced regulation, recognition and financial incentives based on improving learning outcomes and opportunities for children.

114.  The state should have a Research and Development (R&D) fund to support innovation in public education to reduce the achievement gaps related to poverty and globalization as well as to raise student outcomes. Priority for selection of initiatives should be based on areas of student need.

115.  In the transition, until all statutes and regulations that control inputs are eliminated, there should be a streamlined mechanism to waive statutes and regulations for an extended period (three to five years) (or) based on promising proposals to increase child outcomes. In addition, the state should grant Boards of Education the authority to waive statutes and regulations in order to foster innovation to improve student outcomes. District waivers should require evaluation periodically to receive renewals of waivers.

116.  Districts should have streamlined mechanisms for teachers and administrators to propose and receive approval for innovative practices that have the potential to improve child outcomes. Approval and renewals would be linked to evaluations of practices over three to five years.

117.  Districts should have incentives to promote continuing transformation to improve student outcomes.

118.  Districts should have an R&D fund that is a minimum of 1 percent of the school district budget. The minimum R&D budget should be required in state statutes. A group that includes the Board of Education and representatives of stakeholders, including teachers, administrators and parents, would govern the R&D fund.

119.  Districts should have the capacity to upgrade technology and learning resources necessary to be current.