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OCTOBER 2014   

Let's say you want to improve elementary literacy scores in your district. You might use a Return on Investment (ROI) analysis to compare which professional development program will most help your literacy teachers for the money invested.

But is a new PD program even the best solution? You might see more ROI from recruiting and retaining better literacy teachers, changing compensation structures, or reorganizing the school day and teacher teams to focus resources on literacy.

As school district leaders think about next year's strategic planning and budgeting, we introduce System-Strategy ROI: a new approach that focuses first on students' needs and the district's vision for success, and aligns resources to that need and vision.


Return on Investment analysis is a valuable way to improve the impact of your limited resources. But the typical approach may be missing an important opportunity. This white paper lays out five steps to a System-Strategy approach: 

  • Identify the core need
  • Consider a broad range of options
  • Define ROI metrics and gather data
  • Weigh investment options
  • Make investment decisions

School districts can change their teacher career path and compensation strategy in ways that impact student achievement, with little or no new investment. We offer four ideas for how.
Read the paper �

Leading from the Front of the Classroom:
A Roadmap for Teacher Leadership that Works
The Aspen Institute has released a practical guide for designing effective teacher leadership opportunities that are designed to advance the most important district priorities.
Learn more �

Teacher Leadership at Aspire Public Schools:
A Case Study
ERS highlights how the California-based charter management network supports teacher leadership.
Read the case study �  
ERS' David Rosenberg responds to a recently published study about how principals use teacher effectiveness data to make decisions, arguing that the district plays a key role.
At the 2014 Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) Network Summit, Karen Hawley Miles participated in a panel on how states can better support districts.

District leaders can focus their strategic planning and budgeting with Resource Check: a quick self-assessment that allows the entire leadership team to highlight resource strengths and weaknesses.

The Center for American Progress evaluates the educational productivity of major districts nationwide. Their approach differs somewhat from ERS', but it provides a fascinating way to think about 


Read the report �


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School System 20/20 Vision See the possibilities �
School Budget Hold'em Explore budget trade-offs �

Education Resource Strategies (ERS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming how urban school systems organize resources--people, time, and money--so that every school succeeds for every student.

Education Resource Strategies
480 Pleasant St., Suite C-200, Watertown, MA 02472  T: 617.607.8000