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Board of Education
Reform Framework - Theory of Action
The Board’s Theory of Action describes how the District will organize and align its actions to accomplish our goals. It will inform the District when setting priorities, making plans and budgets and undertaking initiatives.
The district’s revised Theory of Action combines existing elements of our current system of centrally managed instruction with new elements of “Performance Empowerment”. The district will continue to centrally manage core elements of the instructional model, the key components of which are a baseline core curriculum, coordinated professional development and interim formative assessment. Central direction around these elements of instruction is designed to accommodate for the district’s high mobility rates, facilitate quality professional development around a common curriculum, and efficiently provide quantifiable interim assessments to guide differentiated classroom instruction. Balancing the benefits of a common core curriculum and centralized support for instruction with flexibility to differentiate both instruction and professional development is key to our theory.
The three core pillars of Performance Empowerment are capacity, autonomy, and accountability.
- Capacity indicates the existence of the skills, leadership, and resources necessary to succeed. DPS will dedicate itself to building capacity in classrooms, schools, and at the district level by focusing on the recruitment, retention, development and rewarding of excellent teachers and principals.
- Autonomy enables those individuals and schools with capacity to direct those skills and resources in a manner which drives optimal results. DPS will augment its centrally controlled instructional practices by promoting autonomy for schools in the areas of people, time and money. The concept is to provide critical supports to schools while ensuring that autonomy is closely coupled with accountability for results.
- Accountability ensures that the district, schools and individuals are held responsible for results through rewards, interventions and consequences. DPS will support accountability through its new accountability policy and the Student Performance Framework, one of the most comprehensive tools in the country for measuring school progress. Incentives will be used to drive and reward accomplishment of district goals while interventions for struggling schools may include allocation of additional resources, personnel changes or school closure. The creation of innovative new schools will be utilized to replace failing schools, respond to community needs and provide options for students with different learning styles in each quadrant of the city.
For Performance Empowerment to succeed, it is critical for all three of the pillars of capacity, autonomy, and accountability to be in place.
Our community expects and deserves rapid improvement in overall student achievement, and in the teaching and learning conditions across the District. By putting this theory of action into practice, the district will go beyond incremental change and accelerate the gains in academic achievement for all students. It will transform the conditions of teaching and learning on a district-wide scale and improve its operating infrastructure so it can better support the differentiated needs of schools, classrooms and students.