I want to personally commend the work of the Center for the Reform of School Systems (CRSS), for their efforts in working with school boards and school districts to improve their governance structures. As a recipient of CRSS training, I appreciated the approach by CRSS to put in place a comprehensive assessment of the educational environment and the steps needed to transform it.
CRSS engaged a case study approach, which were based on actual school districts, in their training that offered an opportunity for discussion and critical analysis. What became obvious as a result of this approach was the sheer complexity of issues confronting urban school districts.
The reform governance model asks a direct question about the district’s fundamental or core beliefs as they pertain to students and its commitment towards those beliefs. The next question involves the management structure best suited to enable the district to move forward. This step is critical and is accomplished by asking the question, what is the district’s theory of action for change. The district’s response to this question sets the stage for a comprehensive assessment of district strategies and the policies that will be needed to carry them out.
The transformation in place at Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) is a reflection of discussions made to “close the achievement gap” through an analysis of core beliefs and building sustainability as part of that commitment. The steps involved consisted of setting strategic goals for the district. The superintendent, in turn, set personal goals based on the district’s goals, and members of the school board, in turn, review those goals, adds to, or modifies them prior to board approval. The superintendent’s goals become the working goals for staff. The superintendent’s annual performance evaluation is based on his annual goals. Moreover, the board is also vested in the superintendent’s goals.
In conclusion, the opportunity to be the recipient of training provided by the Center for the Reform of School Systems has been instrumental in the forward progress of the Long Beach Unified School District. More importantly, school districts that were and continue to be part of the training provided by CRSS have been able to show systematic improvement in closing achievement gaps.
I look forward to a continuous working relationship with the Center.
Felton Williams, Ph.D., Member
Board of Education
Long Beach Unified School District
The quality of training from the Center for Reform of School Systems (CRSS) was top notch. I have attended numerous seminars and workshops as a non-profit board member outside of the education sector and have not seen the depth of information/discussion and respect for starting/ending on time. As a new trustee eager to get started making a positive impact in my school district, I came away from the CRSS training feeling empowered and confident in my new role. The staff is friendly and professional. You can sense the organization's mission in everything they do and the staff's passion to make it happen. I would encourage every school board in the country to contact CRSS and see the many ways they can customize training and resources to fit your specific needs.
As someone who's seen all levels of the education system, I can't stress how important and invaluable CRSS has been and continues to be to our country's school districts. The continuing education CRSS provides for our nation's superintendents and school board members has helped mold minds in a variety of innovative ways, because I believe that training for school boards is the missing link in the education reform strategy. The commitment to improving upon time-tested methods has been instrumental in keeping the proverbial blade of learning razor sharp.
The Center for Reform of School Systems (CRSS) has empowered school district leadership teams to positively impact student achievement. As a former School Board Member (Duval County) my district's leadership team received 13 months of comprehensive and professional training that directly translated into a more effective and efficieint operating system. As a Consultant, I am thoroughly impressed with the level of proficiency, professionalism and overal level of excellence that CRSS provides its clients.
I learned so much from this program. These people were such a help to me as I didn't know alot about the things I needed to know. I was so proud to be a part of this program. I would like to say that since I had these things taught to me I have become a much stronger board member. Thank you for letting me learn all of the things I have learned.