Steven Weber

Superintendent or Asst Super

Fayetteville, AR

Interests: Curriculum design and...

  • Posted 1 Month ago
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Return On Investment (ROI): Are You Investing In The Right Things?

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Each week, teachers and administrators make decisions that impact K-12 education. Textbooks, Chromebooks, new facilities, professional development, classroom materials, a new reading program, a tutoring program, and the summer leadership retreat are among the financial decisions that educators make. In business, medical professions, and banking, professionals use the term Return on Investment (ROI).

 Educators could benefit from asking, “What is the return on this investment?” Determine the desired outcomes before making the decision. Once you have made the investment or a decision, reflect on the ROI. Did your program or decision have any impact? Did you add value to students? Did students have a deeper understanding because of the purchase? This article highlights a few areas where educators can determine ROI.

 

Blended Learning

  1. What are the desired outcomes for the district’s 1:1 initiative?

  2. Are we using the SAMR model to analyze how we are designing assignments and assessments?

  3. Did we purchase the devices so we could announce to the community that we are a 1:1 school district or did we have bigger goals for teaching and learning?

  4. Do teachers and administrators have a clear understanding of the type of instruction we are aiming for with the new devices?

  5. Is ROI based on what the teachers are doing with the devices or what the students are doing with the devices?

 

Curriculum Development

  1. What are the goals for this content area or program?

  2. Are we meeting the intended goals?

  3. Do we have curriculum alignment in the written and taught curriculum?

  4. Are the teachers implementing the written curriculum?

  5. Are we seeing student growth and continuous improvement?

 

Formative Assessment

  1. What are teachers and school staff attempting to measure?

  2. Are we measuring the right goals, standards, or district expectations?

  3. Did the assessment program we purchased align with our district’s curriculum?

  4. What results will indicate that the students are making gains?

  5. What results will indicate that the teachers and administrators need to provide additional academic support, adjust the curriculum, or provide intensive support to specific students?

 

Principal Meetings

  1. What are the desired outcomes for district meetings with K-12 building principals?

  2. If the principals are pulled from their school(s), are we seeing a ROI from the principal meetings? (See #1)

  3. What should the principals know and be able to do as a result of the meetings?

  4. Are we having flavor of the month principal meetings, or are we adding value to principals?

  5. What materials or resources have we invested in? Do the principals know the expectations for implementation and the expected ROI?

 

Professional Development

  1. If we send teachers to a national conference, what is the ROI? Has the expected ROI been communicated with the teachers prior to the conference?

  2. If we pay for a consultant to work with teachers in the school district, do we have a desired ROI?

  3. If we host a free Edcamp, do we have an expected ROI?

  4. If we implement a new science curriculum and host professional development throughout the school year, what is the desired ROI across schools?

  5. Do we ask teachers and administrators to help create the ROI (i.e., Who Owns the Learning) or is ROI always communicated in a top-down manner?

 

Response to Intervention (RtI)

  1. What are the desired outcomes of the district’s RtI program?

  2. Does school data indicate that we are supporting students and teachers through the RtI program?

  3. Do we need to tweak our RtI program or procedures when we are not seeing the desired outcomes?

  4. How do we know if RtI is having an impact across schools?

  5. Can we analyze high school readiness indicators to determine if the K-8 RtI is successfully preparing students to succeed in high school?

 

SMART Goals for Grade Level Teams

  1. Do we write SMART Goals for compliance or because we actually want to see a ROI?

  2. Do teacher teams know the expected ROI before they begin writing SMART Goals?

  3. When do we pause to measure SMART Goals and desired outcomes?

  4. Do SMART Goals have an impact on ROI? How do we know?

  5. What do teachers and administrators do when the SMART Goals are met or exceeded?

 

By measuring Return on Investment (ROI), educators will become more intentional about their goals, daily decisions, and weekly reflection. When educators know the ROI, they will be able to focus on the main thing. Taxpayers expect a ROI when they read stories about students performing below grade level, high school graduates who are not prepared for college or the workforce, and funding spent on new programs or materials.

My co-workers and I have found these questions help everyone in the organization. When a co-worker asks, “Can I attend a national conference?” My question is: “What is the Return on the investment?” When teachers and administrators begin to answer this question, it is more likely that school goals will be attained.

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