The LRSD Strategic Planning Commission is is currently working on an updated Strategic Plan. Please review the following links and documents for more information.
Target 2015: Boosting Performance in the Little Rock School District
6 Key Targets:
Target #1: Ambitious, eye-popping goals
It is essential that the district establish eye-popping goals that will get each of us (students and adults alike) striving to attain them. Not only do we need more students to reach the level of proficient AND advanced on standardized tests, we must work to eliminate the achievement gaps that exist across the district. Our five year goals expect that 85 to 90 percent of all Little Rock students achieve to at least the proficiency level on state tests in reading and math, and to have 50 percent or more of all minority students achieving at the advanced levels as well. Attainment of these goals would establish Little Rock district as one of the highest performing urban districts in the country and dramatically reduce the current achievement gaps.
Target #2: Research proven strategies for attaining our goals
To meet the goals established in this document, the district will need to:
a. Develop annual and five year improvement goals for each school
b. Adopt a new curriculum with a greater focus on whole class, teacher directed instruction, with a more systemic approach to reading across the entire district
c. Develop a comprehensive and more parsimonious battery of student assessments with a strategic mix of diagnostic, formative, benchmark and summative assessments
d. Create school schedules that enable collaborative work by Professional Learning Communities of teachers
e. Enhance and focus ongoing professional development on improved instruction in reading, math, writing, and science, and provide instructional coaches to support teachers across all schools and classrooms
f. Reduce the number of student interventions, and improve the effectiveness of those interventions that remain in place.
Target #3: Adequate and effective funding for our schools
Our district has adequate fiscal resources to meet our goals. State funding, combined with our own local tax effort, combined with targeted Federal resources for special education and Title I, provide enough money to deploy all the strategies identified as essential to our students’ success. What is now needed is a budget process, resource allocation guidelines and resource reallocation structures, and an accounting system that will enable us to allocate resources to areas of greatest need and programs that are most effective throughout the district.
Target #4: Recruitment and retention of a high quality staff
No urban district in the country can implement a smart and strategic education improvement strategy without talented teachers, principals and central office staff. Nearly all districts that have been successful in moving the student achievement needle by large amounts, and reducing the achievement gap in the process, have expanded their talent pool beyond just individuals available in the local market for educators, while appropriately enhancing diversity of their teachers and principals. Little Rock is no exception and will need to implement strategies – including more national recruitment for top teacher and leadership talent – that have been successful elsewhere if we are to ensure that our children have access to the best teachers, and our teachers receive the support of talented and performance-oriented site administrators.
Target #5: Data and Accountability
Little Rock needs a streamlined data and accountability system that links students, teaches and schools so growth and value-added analyses can be conducted, and includes performance on formative, anchor, end-of-course, SOAR and state assessments along with appropriate demographic data. This assessment system will be the structure within which all programs students and teachers are evaluated on a regular basis, including consideration of a new salary schedule for teachers.
Target #6: Effective, performance driven leadership
This strategic plan, with its powerful focus on dramatically increasing student performance and closing the achievement gap, puts the Little Rock school system on a path toward major change. All community and school district stakeholders will be carefully watching the elected leadership of the school system to measure its collective commitment to the bold changes outlined in this plan. In order to send a clear message that the school board understands the need for fundamental change throughout the school district, the board must itself become a prime example of change that leads to improvement.