Inside the site visit by the Broad researchers...









Inside the site visit by the Broad researchers...

In providing the school district with preliminary feedback after the site visit, the researchers remarked that everywhere they went in the district they found constancy of purpose and a commitment to doing what’s right for students. One researcher went so far as to say, “For 25 years, I have been looking for a system that says ‘all kids can learn’ and really means it. Kids come out of this district achieving. The rest of the world needs to catch up with you in that regard.”

The researchers expressed excitement at seeing a district as effective as ours. They applauded the school system’s focus on leadership, strategic planning, and financial stewardship, but what impressed them most was our instructional effectiveness. They commended our schools and staff for embracing accountability and routinely using data to guide the work of the classroom. “We have never seen a place that has data in its DNA like you do,” the lead researcher noted.
There were many accolades throughout the researchers’ closing comments. The word “amazing” was used more than once.

“As I listened to them, I wished we had been allowed to record the session so their words of praise could be heard by all of you whose commitment and great work with students every day has earned our schools this national attention,” says CEO/Superintendent J Alvin Wilbanks of the site visit.

2010 Broad Team Visit…
  • School walkthroughs were conducted at Berkmar MS, Cooper ES, Duluth MS, Meadowcreek ES, Norcross HS, and Shiloh HS
  • 179 people— staff members, parents, students, and community members— were interviewed during the site visit.
  • Areas reviewed included district governance, curriculum and instruction, assessment, support for teaching and learning, instructional leadership, strategic planning, performance and accountability, financial resources, human resources, and organizational structure and management.
  • Four areas cited as "amazing!"— great teachers, organizational ethos and culture, expectation level, and systems and organizational development.