Implementing with Intentionality:
Leadership, Quality Instruction, & Assessment

May 11-13, 2011 • Sheraton Society Hill • Philadelphia, PA

More rigorous standards have been launched, new assessments are being developed, and the government has infused nearly $100 billion into the stimulus plan to promote innovation and change in the way the nation’s schools are doing business. The effective infusion of active pedagogy and content-rich instruction can make a significant difference in student achievement. This is especially useful now that assessments and their supporting tools will be designed to help states dramatically increase the number of students who graduate high school ready for college and careers. These assessments and their supporting aids provide students, parents, teachers, and policymakers with the tools they need to help students - from grade three through high school - stay on track to graduate fully prepared. Are districts really ready to take the plunge? And will they have a plan that will bring about meaningful educational change - the kind of change that makes a difference for all students, especially students of color and students with disabilities?

What kind of plan can actually change teaching practice? What will cause teachers to move away from teaching the way they always have? What if only their talk changes, yet their practices do not? Will the new assessments carry enough weight to support desired changes in practice?

Most everyone agrees that the desired change will require a significant adjustment to current practice. So what will leaders do to help teaching practice change? How will they scale this practice to every classroom in America?

What will that pedagogy look like and sound like? Will the professional development offered to teachers and school leaders change or will it simply be more of the same with new language attached to it? What will a plan have to look like in order to build ownership for these new pedagogies and what it will take to actually provide quality instruction that prepares all students for college and the workforce? Can we close the achievement gap between students of color and white students?

This conference brings together leaders who understand that providing quality teachers and supporting their work are both critical to the success of any education reform. They know that if we improve the level of rigor for teachers as well as help school leaders understand how to support this kind of teaching, then our diverse student population can access a quality education. Presenters and participants will engage in conversations that can lead to the critical reform that our nation needs. Effective reform today goes beyond increasing achievement on state tests; it means higher levels of high school and college completion at a competent level that will allow our graduates to compete worldwide. This conference is designed to explore these issues at the level of implementation so that participants:

  • understand the new accountability of more demanding standards and assessments,
  • know how to effectively expose children of color and poverty to robust language and literacy in early childhood,
  • know how to use talk in ways that builds intelligence for every student,
  • know what robust teaching looks like and sounds like for all students,
  • understand how to assess students as they learn and after they learn,
  • know how to lead and support teachers to do this cognitively demanding work, and
  • know what it will take to scale effective practices to every classroom.

Partners Meeting — Wednesday, May 11th

12:00 - 1:30 PMPartners Lunch
1:30 - 4:00 PMPartners Meeting: Designing Improvement with Intentionality: An Implementation Guide
5:15 - 6:00PMPartners Reception
6:00 - 7:00 PMPartners Dinner

National Meeting Day 1 — Wednesday, May 11th

7:00 - 8:30 PMUpdating A Nation At Risk: The New National Commission on K-12 Equity & Excellence
Christopher Edley, Jr.
Christopher Edley, Jr.
Distinguished Chair and Dean of Law School, University of California Berkeley
8:30 PMDessert Reception

National Meeting Day 2 — Thursday, May 12th

7:00 - 8:15 AMContinental Breakfast
8:15 - 9:45 AMScaling Success in Education
Christopher Dede, Ed.D.
Chris Dede, Ed.D.
Harvard Graduate School of Education
9:45 - 10:00 AMBreak
10:00 - 12:00 NoonConcurrent Sessions:
  • Designing Reading/English Language Arts Assessments for College and Career Readiness
  • Taking a Slice Out of the Math CCSS's: How a Math Idea Evolves
  • From Leadership to Instruction in Science: Looking Across a System to Implement Rigorous Instruction
  • Online Course Session
12:00 - 1:00 PMLunch
1:00 - 2:30 PMConcurrent Sessions:
Exposure to Language and Literacy Pre-Kindergarten through Elementary School: Social and Motivational Context — What do teachers need to know?
Catherine Snow, Ph.D.
Catherine Snow, Ph.D.
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Accountable Talk®: An Update for Use in the 21st Century

Sarah Michaels, Ph.D.
Sarah Michaels, Ph.D.
Department of Education, Clark University
2:30 - 2:45 PMBreak
2:45 - 4:45 PMConcurrent Sessions:
  • English Language Learners: Policies and Practices to Support Learning Academic English
  • Where’s the Science in CCSS? Understanding and Implementing with Intentionality and Tackling the Transition
  • Today’s Math Performance Assessments: A Blueprint for Instruction
  • Creating High Quality School Leaders: Using Tools to Become Expert at Key Practices
Dinner on own

National Meeting Day 3 — Friday, May 13th

7:00-8:30 AMBreakfast
8:30-10:00 AM Technical Service Sessions (Requires pre-registration):
  • The English Language Arts Story on Curriculum, Complex Texts, and Discourse: Preparing Students for College and Career Readiness
  • Implementing with Intentionality: Planning for Your 2011-2012 School Year
  • Ramping Up to Reasoning in Mathematics Classrooms
  • Analyzing Your Science Professional Development Plans and Design
  • Do Your Science Curriculum Frameworks Pass the Eye Test?
10:00-10:15 AMBreak
10:15-12:00 PMTechnical Service Sessions continued

Analyzing Your Science Professional Development Plans and Design

Examine your professional development plans to evaluate the cohesiveness at the school and system levels – i.e., how does principal PD align with teacher PD? Look at the design aspects, study how the plans address your district needs, and consider the message(s) the plan communicates regarding the focus and priorities of the district work. We start by reviewing district student data, starting with global data and then focusing in on content examples from science test items data (if available) and other needs analysis data that you have available. Using this data and IFL tools, we create a map of your professional development needs and analyze existing PD plans.

Do Your Science Curriculum Frameworks Pass the Eye Test?

Can you say with confidence that the instructional activities in their science classes are rigorous; that is, they require students to socialize intelligence through reading, writing, and reasoning as a scientist? Could you look a parent in the eye and say, "If your child actively engages in these activities, he/she will develop conceptual understanding while thinking and learning as a member of a learning community. He/She will have an opportunity to learn and understand these concepts to meet or exceed the Standards."? Could you also say, "If your child isn't getting it or already has a good understanding, there are tools, strategies, and resources to advance his/her understanding."? These are the types of questions we will use to guide our analysis of your curriculum frameworks in science. Together, we will review and document evidence to support our analysis and consider gaps and next steps to strengthen the frameworks. A pre-assignment will be sent in advance of the session.

Implementing with Intentionality: Planning for Your 2011-2012 School Year

A major challenge for district and school leadership is to effectively leverage the processes they count on to drive progress and deliver results. In this session participants will examine and analyze their district-wide strategy for improving teaching and learning.

Ramping Up to Reasoning in Mathematics Classrooms

Round tables on:

  • The Best Made Plans Get Carried Out
    We will discuss the pros and cons of lesson planning tools and their use by teachers and then consider the “fit” between these tools and your work with teachers in your school district. Opportunities exist for sharing, comparing and contrasting planning tools so bring copies of your materials.
  • Giving Your Curriculum a Tune-up
    We will examine several strategies that can be used to embed daily opportunities for your students to engage in reasoning and sense-making within your existing curricular materials. You will then try out one of these strategies with a sample from your existing materials. Bring a text, unit, or at least 5 sample lessons with you to the session (grades 6 – 12).
  • Assessing the Assessments
    We will consider differences between assessments that examine students' capacity to reason and make sense of mathematics and other types of assessments that do not. You will examine ways to infuse items that assess reasoning and sense-making into teacher-made and benchmark tests in their system. Opportunities exist for sharing and comparing assessments, so bring along some district teacher-made tests and benchmark tests from which to think and work.
  • Addressing the Challenges of Challenging Content
    We will examine resources and strategies that can be used to deepen teachers’ content knowledge to support reasoning and sense-making. We will consider the importance of building on NCTM’s Essential Understandings series and other research-based resources when preparing to teach challenging yet critical math concepts and practices. Participants will consider existing opportunities that teachers in their district have to engage in this kind of professional growth and brainstorm new ways to build a learning community with a focus on deepening content knowledge needed for teaching.

The English Language Arts Story on Curriculum, Complex Texts, and Discourse: Preparing Students for College and Career Readiness

Round tables on:

  • Designing Curriculum for College and Career Readiness: (Secondary Focus)
    We will examine the processes and issues surrounding designing and implementing research-based curriculum in English language arts at 6-12, and discuss key tools and resources for districts to use as they design and implement a common curriculum.
  • Text Complexity: A Complicated Story (Elementary and Secondary Focus)
    We will examine research-based reasons for reading complex texts with students, provide examples of complex literary and informational texts, and discuss key roles and resources for districts to use to assess literary and informational texts.
  • Text Talk in Early Childhood and Elementary Education: (EC and Elementary Focus)
    This roundtable discussion will examine the Text Talk approach as a developmentally appropriate meaning-based read aloud experience for early childhood and elementary students that helps to develop oral language and comprehension through experience with decontextualized language, requiring students to actively make sense of text ideas along the way. This discussion will also examine how implementation of this literacy approach is supported to occur in the classroom.
  • Content-Focused Coaching®: Getting a Read on Readiness: (K-12 Focus)
    We will examine the issues involved in implementing an effective coaching model at the district and school levels, taking into consideration the district's context, student learning needs, and instructional focus.
  • Assessing Teacher Professional Learning Communities to Support Instructional Improvement in ELA: (Secondary Focus)
    We will encourage participants to self-assess a teacher learning group's interactions and discuss what helps and hinders the level of teachers' engagement with the student learning problem at hand.