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SMHC District Reform Network Conference Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     Contact: Sara Appleyard
212.260.3401, x7249 or
Sara.Appleyard@Widmeyer.com

EDUCATION LEADERS KICK OFF DISTRICT REFORM NETWORK
TO TRANSFORM HUMAN RESOURCE PRACTICES
Leaders of Urban School Districts Expand Effective Practices in
Recruting, Training, Retaining and Rewarding

March 30, 2009, Chicago, IL- As the U.S. Secretary of Education outlines his support for innovative programs that will help schools in their “race to the top,” Strategic Management of Human Capital (SMHC) and urban school district teams from across the country convened last week to create a strong foundation for those programs by focusing on talent and human capital.  Urban districts participating in the SMHC District Reform Network will work to implement systematic human resource restructuring at the school-district level.

SMHC is the first-ever campaign devoted to significantly advancing school human resource practices to bolster teacher effectiveness and dramatically improve student achievement. Teams of education leaders from some of America’s largest urban school districts gathered to launch the beginning of the SMHC District Reform Network. The network will focus on a variety of issues related to aligning systems to recruit, develop, retain and reward top-teacher and principal talent in large, urban districts.

“Now is the optimal time to engage in the comprehensive transformation of school human resource practices, said Allan Odden, co-director of SMHC and the Consortium for Policy Research in Education.  “Policymakers, educators and others need to unite in coalitions to create stimulus funding plans and it is clear from the interest in the Network that school talent-driven reforms can be one of the ways we organize that work.”

The attending districts will continue to work in groups and commit several years to one or two specific issues. District leaders in attendance were from Fresno, Los Alamitos, and San Francisco, CA; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Louisville, KY; Baton Rouge and Shreveport, LA; Prince Georges County, MD; Minneapolis, MN; Lincoln and Omaha, NE; Albuquerque, NM; Rochester and New York, NY; Cincinnati and Columbus, OH; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, PA; and Austin and Fort Worth TX.

Themes and areas of great interest that emerged from the conference include:
• Human resource program alignment
• Recruitment of top principal and teacher talent;
• The principal’s role as a human capital manager;
• Ways to measure teacher effectiveness; and
• Issues and barriers to HR process reform.
These four areas will guide the future work of the Network. 

Strategies to recruit, place, develop and retain top-principal and teacher talent have driven recent dialogue on education reform. In its 2009 Annual Letter on U.S. Education, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a new commitment to a refined strategy that focuses on the development of effective teachers. Additionally, the U.S. Congress expressed a commitment to the dramatic improvement of the management of school human capital in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, calling on states to develop statewide data systems to improve teacher effectiveness.

At the convening, researchers, policy advisors, and leaders of teacher recruiting organizations advised the teams of district education leaders on what an implementation effort would entail over two to three years, as part of the SMHC District Reform Network. Featured speakers included: John Deasy, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Tim Daly, President, The New Teacher Project; Elizabeth Arons, Senior HR Policy Advisor, New York City Department of Education; and SMHC researchers Herbert G. Heneman, III; Steve Kimball; and Anthony Milanowski.

“The SMHC District Reform Network will enable school districts to seriously evaluate their current human resources practices and identify how their programs can reinforce SMHC’s views of effective instructional practice,” said Jim Kelly, SMHC co-director and founding president of National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. “By coordinating with other urban districts and working with SMHC staff and partners, these districts can realign their human resources practices to reflect the lessons we learned in the SMHC Case Studies.”

The SMHC Case Studies, released in November 2008, catalogue the ways five of the largest U.S. school districts are transforming their human resource operations to fix fundamental recruiting and hiring problems. Through analysis of Boston, Chicago, Fairfax County (VA), Long Beach (CA), New York City, the State of Minnesota, and the recruiting organizations Teach for America, New Leaders for New Schools, and The New Teacher Project, the SMHC Case Studies assess progress on teacher and principal recruitment, selection, and placement; induction and mentoring; professional development; performance management (evaluation); and compensation.

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Strategic Management of Human Capital’s (SMHC) goal is to dramatically improve student achievement in America, focusing on the country’s large urban districts. Strategic talent management involves the practices of recruiting, developing, rewarding and retaining staff in school districts that will drive improvements in classroom instruction that boost student learning.  SMHC is operated out of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and  funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Joyce Foundation.  More information can be found on SMHC’s Web site and blog: www.smhc-cpre.org. 

 

SMHC Case Study Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    Contact: Sara Appleyard
212.260.3401, x7249 or
Sara.Appleyard@Widmeyer.com

REPORTS DETAIL PROGRESS AND PITFALLS OF SCHOOL
DISTRICTS DEVELOPING EFFECTIVE EDUCATORS
Gov. Pawlenty (MN) and former Gov. Hunt (NC) Lead Discussion on Transforming Archaic HR Systems

November 18, 2008, Washington, D.C.: Would you accept and stay in a job with a company that took 60 days to tell you they received your resume, didn’t pay you on time or didn’t define the standards used in your evaluation?

Strategic Management of Human Capital (SMHC) found in their SMHC Case Studies released today that this can be typical of school district management.  The case studies catalogue the ways five of the largest US school districts are transforming their human resource operations to fix these recruiting and hiring problems.

However, these studies underscore that districts still have a long way to go to properly support and develop staff.  SMHC is the first-ever campaign devoted to significantly advancing school human resource practices that will bolster teacher effectiveness and dramatically improve student achievement.

“These districts disprove conventional wisdom, demonstrating that schools with a wide variety of characteristics and challenges can overcome recruitment problems and achieve steady student improvement,” said Minnesota Governor and SMHC Task Force Chair Tim Pawlenty. “However, the districts are still works in progress.  All the steps in the human resources system must be aligned to promote, retain, and reward the most effective teachers and principals.”

The SMHC Case Studies–of five top-performing districts, one state and three “education entrepreneur” organizations–assess progress on teacher and principal recruitment, selection, and placement; induction and mentoring; professional development; performance management (evaluation); and compensation within:

• Boston
• Chicago
• Fairfax County (VA)
• Long Beach (CA)
• New York
• The State of Minnesota
• Recruiting Organizations:
–Teach For America
–New Leaders for New Schools
–The New Teacher Project

“All the highlighted districts overhauled longstanding, often entrenched bureaucracies,” said SMHC Task Force member and former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt. “To realize improvement, districts must be willing to execute more sustainable and comprehensive means of teacher recruitment and compensation than currently exists in most schools.”

Five principal findings emerged from the studies:

1. Urban districts virtually eliminated vacancies and recruited top-quality teachers and principals by partnering with local colleges and national recruiting organizations, and moving up the hiring schedule.
2. Successful urban districts restructured human resources offices to be more customer
focused, and used technology to automate the application, review and selection process.
3. Even in urban districts that have solved their core staffing problems, processes for the continued development of teacher talent to improve student achievement have considerable room for improvement.
4. Strong and stable leadership of the school district, often buttressed by strong support from city officials, is necessary to build and sustain effective systems for strategic management of teacher and administrator talent.
5. Union-management collaboration is requisite to many SMHC advances.

Tangible examples include:
• Fairfax County and Chicago reduced a 61-day application process to 2 days.
• Three years ago, New York City paid 50% of its teachers on time, and now they pay 100% on time.

“Prior to enacting SMHC reforms, these districts had almost no recruitment strategies, widespread teacher vacancies, and stagnant student performance,” said Allan Odden, SMHC co-director and co-director of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education.  “After implementing reforms, all five districts opened this school year with virtually no vacancies. These districts are providing scaleable models for the rest of the nation to adopt.”

A meeting of educators from many of the 130 largest urban districts convenes today to discuss the success of these districts.  Presenters will include: Boston Superintendent Carol Johnson, NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Fairfax Country Superintendent Jack Dale and Minnesota Commissioner of Education Alice Seagren.  Other panels will discuss case studies of Teach For America, The New Teacher Project, and New Leaders for New Schools, and the Broad Foundation.

“The SMHC Case Studies verify that teacher vacancies are not due to a shortage of teachers,” said Jim Kelly, SMHC co-director and founding president of National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. “The problem lies in inefficient methods of teacher recruitment, and unproductive relationships with national organizations and universities.”

The SMHC Web site hosts interactive dialogues that further the project, and assemble and prepare for action SMHC’s national reform network (http://www.smhc-cpre.org/).

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Strategic Management of Human Capital’s (SMHC) goal is to dramatically improve student achievement in America, focusing on the country’s large urban districts. Strategic talent management involves the practices of recruiting, developing, rewarding and retaining staff in school districts that will drive improvements in classroom instruction that boost student learning.  SMHC is operated out of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and  funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Joyce Foundation.  More information can be found on SMHC’s Web site and blog: www.smhc-cpre.org.

SMHC Launch Release, June 11, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    Contact: Sara Appleyard
202-667-0901

STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT OF HUMAN CAPITAL:
CHANGING SCHOOL TALENT MANAGEMENT PRACTICES TO PUSH IMPROVEMENT IN STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

New Organization to Link Student Performance Gains to Restructured Human Resource Practices

June 11, 2008, Madison, WI:  Two veteran education reformers today announced the creation of Strategic Management of Human Capital (SMHC), the first-ever comprehensive campaign to significantly change the school staffing system as we know it to advance talent management practices that will bolster teacher effectiveness and dramatically improve student achievement.  The launch of SMHC is a call to all involved in education to take a hard look at the outdated human capital systems in place, and to recognize the connections between them and the lack of movement in the achievement levels of too many students.

SMHC co-directors Jim Kelly, founding president of National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and Allan Odden, director of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) and professor of educational leadership and policy analysis at University of Wisconsin, will oversee the core components of the movement, dubbed “Human Resources (or HR) 2.0.”  Moving SMHC forward will be a Task Force chaired by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and comprised of other leaders in a variety of fields, an interactive participation-based Web site and information hub, a national reform network, and an annual conference.  These components are all designed to showcase and share the courses of action necessary to make these tough changes in the way school systems manage talent.

“Recruiting and training top teaching and leadership talent are the key components to improving student performance,” said Governor Tim Pawlenty.  “SMHC will put these human capital issues on the national education reform agenda, and will provide tools and information to courageous local leaders.”

SMHC will document leading-edge ideas in recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining talent through in-depth case studies of districts engaged in HR reform, and national organizations working on providing high-quality teachers and leaders to high-need schools–and the related changes in school district operations to put those actions into place.

“We know that cutting-edge HR management strategies can and must be implemented in large urban districts in ways that improve both instruction and student achievement,” stated Carl Cohn, former superintendent of Long Beach and San Diego Schools in CA and Task Force vice-chair.  “Training top talent around powerful instructional strategies was front and center in the improvement of student performance in Long Beach, and was only possible when we engaged the people with the will to make those changes happen.”

SMHC’s Task Force also includes top leaders of urban school districts, such as Michelle Rhee (Washington, DC), Joel Klein (New York, NY), Carol Johnson (Boston, MA), and Beverly Hall (Atlanta, GA); union leaders, such as Antonia Cortese (American Federation of Teachers) and Dennis Van Roekel (National Education Association); experts on strategic talent management in the private sector, such as Edward Lawler (University of Southern California); organizations recruiting top talent into urban schools, such as Timothy Daly (New Teacher Project); and other influential leaders. The Task Force will encourage state and local initiatives to elevate the importance of talent management as a catalyst for improved student achievement. The full roster of Task Force members can be found at www.SMHC-CPRE.org.

“Recruiting, placing, rewarding, and retaining top talent are the means to revitalizing Washington, D.C. schools, and these effective practices are at the heart of our current reform plan,” asserted Michelle Rhee, chancellor of the District of Columbia Public schools, SMHC Task Force vice-chair, and the founding president of the New Teacher Project.  “These practices represent a vast change from the way schools have operated in the past, and require hard work, tough decision making, and political backing to succeed.”

The SMHC Web site will host interactive dialogues that will drive the continued work of the project and the reforms it seeks to implement.  Instead of a group that conducts its work behind closed doors, the work of SMHC will be online, transparent, and inclusive. The Web home of SMHC aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, and collaboration among SMHC reformers.  The site can be found at www.SMHC-CPRE.org.  The Web site will assemble and prepare for action SMHC’s national reform network.

As an additional channel for sharing information, SMHC will bring together policymakers, reformers, leading-edge districts, school practitioners, and other thought leaders in education with their first annual conference on November 18 and 19, 2008, in Washington D.C.  This conference will consist of featured speakers, expert panels, and break-out sessions presenting case studies and research on districts and other organizations that are effectively using talent management of teachers and school principals to boost student achievement and improve instruction.

“Strengthening human capital through effective human resource systems in public education that recruit, support, and retain high-quality principals and teachers is central to Carnegie’s National Program.  Putting these strategies into place is not easy, and will require new thinking, aggressive leadership, change in school bureaucracies, and broad political support,” stated Michele Cahill, vice president, national program coordination and director of urban education at Carnegie Corporation of New York.

SMHC was launched with generous anchor funding from Carnegie Corporation of New York, with additional support provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Strategic Management of Human Capital’s (SMHC) goal is to dramatically improve student achievement in America, focusing on the country’s large urban districts. SMCH will do this by:  1) defining strategic management of human capital in public education,  2) creating a network of leaders actively reengineering human capital management systems in public education, 3) documenting the nature and impact of leading-edge human capital management systems in several districts and states, 4) establishing Strategic Management of Human Capital (SMHC) as a prominent issue on the nation’s education reform agenda, and 5) advancing local and state policies to support widespread adoption of SMHC in public education. Strategic talent management involves the practices of recruiting, developing, rewarding and retaining staff in school districts that will drive improvements in classroom instruction that boost student learning.  SMHC  is operated out of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and  funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

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