District Management Journal
When confronting myriad challenges, competing priorities, and increasing student needs, the importance of a focused, cohesive, results-oriented district-wide strategic plan is paramount. In this edition of District Management Journal, our Spotlight shares DMGroup's Strategic Planning Framework that can help you create a powerful plan that aligns vision with concrete implementation tactics; our framework also includes an approach to engaging stakeholders in a meaningful and productive manner.
Also in this issue:
Interview: Tech entrepreneur Hadi Partovi launched education nonprofit Code.org in 2013 with a mission to expand access to computer science and in less than three years, Code.org has reached more than 200 million students through its innovative Hour of Code initiative, partnering with 100 of the largest public school districts. In this interview, Partovi discusses Code.org’s successful strategy, the challenges they face, and his vision for the future.
Case Study: New Bedford Public Schools (MA), a struggling district for more than a decade and rated a Level 4—“underperforming” district by the Massachusetts DESE in 2011, hired Dr. Pia Durkin as superintendent in the summer of 2013 to lead a turnaround. The bold work being done by Superintendent Durkin and her team is leading to dramatic, tangible improvement in student results. This case study explores the actions taken to bring clear focus, affect culture change, and build leadership capacity in the district.
Commentary: New Bedford Public Schools (MA) Superintendent Dr. Pia Durkin reflects on her turnaround work in the district and shares the lessons learned. Durkin shares how she tackled the many challenges before her, weathered a vote of “no confidence” from the New Bedford Educators Association, and changed the course in New Bedford by cultivating stakeholder support, building leadership capacity, bringing laser-focus on high-quality instruction through measurement and accountability, and changing the culture of the district to one that is focused on student needs.