Benchmarking Tool

BENCHMARKING TOOL FOR GATES/MARSHALL REDESIGN HIGH SCHOOLS

 

The Gates/Marshall High School Redesign Initiative creates high school/college partnerships designed to enable all high school students to prosper and graduate ready for work, college and life.  It is designed to create new schools and redesign existing low-performing high schools through partnerships between public Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their local public school districts.  This initiative especially targets students who are underrepresented in higher education –students for whom the cost of college is prohibitive, students of color and English language learners

The participating college/high school sites are located in Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina and Texas. With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund serves as the intermediary responsible for the management and facilitation of the redesign grant.

This tool provides long-term benchmarks in various areas.  It has three columns dated June 2006, June 2007 and June 2008, respectively.  In each area, please indicate what you plan to have accomplished by each date.  Please return this document to the TMSF Redesign Office by January 15, 2006.  Each year, at your annual report in July, we will ask you to document your progress against the targets you now establish.

We see this tool as a work in progress.  We look forward to your suggestions.

Inquiries about this document should be made to the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund’s Redesign Office, 414-273-5245.

 

Six Gates/Marshall High School Benchmarks

#1 – Students completing Gates/Marshall high schools graduate with a high school diploma and some college credits. Areas benchmarked are:

  1. Student attendance
  2. Student persistence
  3. Graduation rates
  4. College credit and degrees

 

#2 – Gates/Marshall high schools establish the enabling conditions necessary to prepare students for success in a rigorous, well-structured academic program leading to high school graduation and some college credits. Areas benchmarked are:

  1. Mission
  2. Leadership
  3. School culture and design
  4. College-going culture
  5. Student recruitment and selection
  6. Teacher retention

 

#3 – Gates/Marshall high schools provide comprehensive student supports based on students’ academic and social needs. Areas benchmarked are:

  1. Personalization
  2. College preparation

 

#4 – Gates/Marshall high schools demonstrate effective instructional practices. Areas benchmarked are:

  1. Curriculum and instruction
  2. Student assessment
  3. Continuous improvement
  4. Professional development

 

#5 – Gates/Marshall high schools engage students, parents, community, business, and public agencies in developing and sustaining the schools. Areas benchmarked are:

  1. Leadership
  2. Parent/family involvement
  3. Community engagement

 

 

#6 – Gates/Marshall high schools develop plans for sustainability. Areas benchmarked are:

  1. Financing and long-term sustainability

 

#1 – Students completing Gates/Marshall high schools graduate with a high school diploma and some college credits.

AREA

JUNE 2006

JUNE 2007

JUNE 2008

BENCHMARK

  • Mission
     
  • School, postsecondary partner, and key stakeholders develop a mission consistent with preparing all students for college, work and life.
  • Students, high school and postsecondary faculty know and live the mission daily.
  • Student attendance
     
  • School consistently has attendance rate of 95% or better.

 

  • Student persistence

  

     
  • School has an annual retention rate of 95% with some exceptions .
  • Graduation rates

 

     
  • 90% or better of entering 9th grade cohorts consistently graduate in a timely manner (based on school design).
  • College credit and degrees
     
  • 90% of students graduate with some college credit
  • 90% of graduating HS seniors receive a baccalaureate degree in a timely manner.

 

#2 – Gates/Marshall high schools establish the enabling conditions necessary to prepare students for success in a rigorous, well-structured academic program leading to high school graduation and some college credits.

AREA

JUNE 2006

JUNE 2007

JUNE 2008

BENCHMARK

  • Leadership

 

     
  • School leader and postsecondary partner analyze data and refine their plan to ensure that all students stay on track for completion of some college credits by high school graduation.
  • School leader and postsecondary partner use common planning time for staff to share strategies to improve student weaknesses and build strengths.
  • Use of data is embedded in the workings of the school to demonstrate progress and to ensure sustainability.
  • School culture and design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  .  
  • School, postsecondary partner, and key stakeholders assess and refine school design plan to consistently improve student performance in subsequent years based on the seven attributes of high-achieving schools.
  • School leader, postsecondary partner, and key stakeholders design school to meet the attributes of early college high schools:
    • Common focus on research-based goals and intellectual mission;
    • Shared, clear, high expectations and standards, with all students completing a coherent, rigorous course of study;
    • Small, personalized learning environments with no more than 400 students per high school (Early college high school may also link with feeder elementary and middle schools);
    • Respect and responsibility among students, among teachers, and between students and teachers;
    • Time for teachers/staff to collaborate and for the inclusion of parents and the community in an education partnership;
    • Emphasis on performance, with students promoted based on demonstrated competency; and
    • Technology used as a tool for designing and delivering engaging and imaginative curricula.

 

  • College-going culture

 

     
  • School and postsecondary partner document students’ success in entering a college or university.
  • Student recruitment and selection
     
  • Student enrollment consistently reflects targeted population identified in applicant’s proposal.
  • Teacher retention
     
  • High school consistently recruits highly qualified faculty with special attention to recruiting from partnering college’s teacher training program.
  • Average annual retention rate of secondary faculty is 85 percent.

 

#3 – Gates/Marshall high schools provide comprehensive student supports based on students’ academic and social needs.

AREA

JUNE 2006

JUNE 2007

JUNE 2008

BENCHMARK

  • Personalization
     
  • High school and postsecondary faculty continuously improve student support through assessment of formative data, student outcomes, and results from annual surveys of stakeholders.
  • The school, postsecondary partner, and key community stakeholders develop a customized support plan for each student that identifies a referral process and ensures receipt of academic and advisory supports necessary to achieve academic goals.
  • High school faculty follow students for multiple years and know students’ personal strengths, challenges, and goals.
B.  College Preparation .    
  • School, in concert with postsecondary partner, develops a plan for a smooth transition from high school to college that includes:
    • Identification of transferable courses and requirements to enter postsecondary institutions;
    • Methods to assist students and families to complete college applications, apply for financial aid (FAFSA);
    • Plans to prepare students for college-entrance exams, e.g., SAT, ACT, Accuplacer;
    • Plans to acclimate students to the support services available at college

 

# 4 – Gates/Marshall high schools demonstrate effective instructional practices.

AREA

JUNE 2006

JUNE 2007

JUNE 2008

BENCHMARK

  • Curriculum and instruction

 

     
  • School leader and high school and postsecondary faculty consistently review and embed research-based practices in their instruction to improve student performance.
  • High school students achieve significant gains in literacy and numeracy skills that are consistently on track to meet final goals articulated in original proposal.
  • Students and faculty use technology effectively to increase student learning.
  • High school and postsecondary instruction consistently incorporates projects and activities that connect content to students’ lives (including project based learning).
  • High school curriculum fully prepares students for college entrance without need for college remediation courses.
B.  Student assessment      
  • School effectively uses assessments to identify students’ strengths and needs, plan programs, and design professional development to ensure improved student performance.
  • School and postsecondary partner use multiple forms of assessment to evaluate student progress, target instruction, and revise curriculum.
  • Students regularly have opportunities to assess their own learning and mentor others to do the same.
  • High school and postsecondary faculty are proficient in use of performance standards and assessments and use them to document that Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) is met or exceeded.
C.  Continuous improvement      
  • Collects and reviews data to improve academic practice in high school including the data and feedback from the Gates/Marshall evaluators.
D.  Professional development
   
  • Professional development continually improves instructional practice as evidenced by (1) documentation that the PD is integrated with and promotes the school design and (2) teachers show increased knowledge as measured by course follow-up surveys.

 

#5 – Gates/Marshall high schools engage students, parents, community, business, and public agencies in developing and sustaining the schools.

AREA

JUNE 2006

JUNE 2007

JUNE 2008

BENCHMARK

  • Leadership

 

     
  • Distributed leadership model is apparent in school setting and makes significant contribution to school culture.
         
  • Parental/ family involvement

 

  .  
  • School increases parents/guardians participation in meaningful academic and support activities and offers some guidance in the process for those who are reluctant, e.g., parents co-lead with teachers.
  • Community engagement
     
  • Business and community organizations play a key role in school sustainability, such as advocating for the school with public officials, establishing scholarship funds, creating a school foundation, and securing grants.
  • Business/community partners feel an equal benefit to their organizations by involving students in the work place, and influencing future careers.
  • The governance committee regularly reports to business and other community stakeholders regarding the school’s progress.

 

 

#6 – Gates/Marshall high schools develop plans for long-term sustainability.

AREA

JUNE 2006

JUNE 2007

JUNE 2008

BENCHMARK

  • Financing and long-term sustainability
     
  • Five-year budget including start-up costs and projection of actual costs is created
  • Potential funding mechanisms are identified and reasonable plan for covering long-term costs is established.  Funding mechanisms can include:
    • Additional district funding
    • Grants – Government, community, private
    • Other fundraising

 

Depending on the model, key stakeholders may include parents, guardians, students, teachers, postsecondary faculty, district leadership, community-based organizations, community-based agencies, teachers’ union, tribal governments, business partners, and/or local policymakers.

Exceptions include students transferring to another program, moving out of district, leaving due to approved medical conditions or cultural factors, e.g., parental withdrawal at 16.

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