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July 2013

"The implementation of the Common Core is an unprecedented chance to 'do school differently for greater impact.'" - Opportunity by Design, Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Dear Colleague,
"Doing school differently" can feel like a daunting task when tradition, practice, and policy rigidly reinforce outmoded ways of organizing talent, time, and technology in schools. We hear these concerns from our partner districts all the time. But we've also seen many school systems identify steps they can take now, with a reasonable investment, and with a promising impact on student achievement. In this newsletter, we highlight actionable recommendations and stories of change from around the country. We hope you'll be as inspired as we are.
Karen Hawley Miles

Executive Director

Transforming the Teaching Job

Transforming school design is inextricably linked to rethinking the teaching job.  We need to structure teaching jobs that have doable loads, a challenging and balanced set of responsibilities that matches the teacher's desires and skills, as well as structures that enable teacher teams to work together. Our newest work on teacher compensation and career path reinforces these connections as laid out in the System 20/20 vision.

  • First Steps: What School Systems Can Do Right Now to Improve Teacher Compensation and Career Path: This new, action-oriented brief outlines four key steps districts can take this year to move toward a future vision of the teaching job. Backed by research and ERS' extensive experience, these steps will have a positive impact on student outcomes, require little or no new investment, and lay the foundations for building a highly effective teaching force. Read the paper �
  • Teacher Compensation Workshop: Exploring Design and Cost Implications Through Gaming: Since April, 75 teachers from the TeachPlus policy fellowship have explored effective compensation strategies through the "What Price is Right?" game, embedded in ERS' Teacher Compensation Workshop. After the sessions in Boston, Chicago, and Indianapolis, TeachPlus hopes to share the workshop with policy fellows nationwide. Learn more �

Strategic School Design

  • Cleveland Tackles School Design: Nine schools in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District are taking the summer to flesh out innovative school designs--getting ready for some new responsibilities, come this winter. Read the blog � 
  • Georgia on the Move: Five districts are working hand-in-hand with the Georgia Department of Education to implement innovative changes in school-level autonomy, professional development, and a flexible and responsive school day. Read the blog �  Watch the video about Vidalia City �
  • Resource Analysis with DREAM--Updated!: To take first steps, you need to dream big. We've just updated our budget-visioning tool, DREAM, so that all of our financial data reflects the latest NCES numbers. As always, data can be customized to match your district's particular situation. Start planning now �
News From Our Partners
  • Charlotte's Project LIFT and the Opportunity Culture: Public Impact has produced an excellent case study of four schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg (CMSD) who are instituting an "Opportunity Culture" as a part of Project LIFT, using job redesign and technology to reach more students with excellent teachers without spending more to do it. Read the case study �  Watch our video about Project LIFT �
  • Opportunity By Design: New High School Models for Student Success: Carnegie Corporation of New York authors Leah Hamilton and Anne Mackinnon describe how high schools from New York City to North Carolina have used school design to increase student achievement. The Corporation is launching an initiative, called Opportunity by Design, that supports districts in developing and opening new and innovative high school models, according to their 10 principles for effective school design. Read the report � 


Education Resource Strategies (ERS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping urban school systems organize talent, time, and money to create great 
schools at scale.

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