NASDC Sets Criteria for Winning Proposals
The New American Schools Development Corporation plans to use the following five criteria to select jurisdictions it will work with over the next three years:
- A demonstrated commitment to put a "supportive operating environment" in place.
- A commitment to achieve a critical mass of "transforming" schools within five years, meaning that at least 30 percent of the jurisdiction's schools would have implemented NASDC or other effective school designs.
- A commitment to acquire and allocate significant resources to restructure schools, using NASDC and other designs.
- The presence of institutions and processes that would provide continuity, despite changes in political and educational leadership.
- Evidence of widespread support and participation in reform efforts by local educators and business, higher education, the community, and political leaders.
NASDC believes a "supportive operating environment" is likely to have the following attributes:
- Substantial school-level autonomy, including significant control of budgeting, hiring, curriculum and instruction, scheduling, and the means to demonstrate accountability.
- Common, publicly supported standards of achievement, along with mechanisms for schools to petition for the acceptance of self-developed standards, as long as they are equivalent to or exceed the established ones.
- Rich and reliable systems of assessment.
- Sources of assistance in choosing or developing curriculum and instructional strategies consistent with the standards and responsive to student needs.
- Professional development and certification that is responsive to the needs of schools and school professionals and insures staff members have the skills to help students meet the standards.
- Technology that supports teachers and students and assists in the management and restructuring of schools.
- A community-services and -support system that strengthens family and community engagement and reduces non-school barriers to learning.
- An array of means by which a community and its schools engage the public to develop a broad and deep understanding of, and support for, reform.
- A capacity and willingness to allocate the resources needed to transform individual schools.
- A management and governance system that assures that schools have the guidance, individual autonomy, and support needed to achieve their broad public mission.