“Let’s all strategize how the job can get done, versus informing each other why it can’t be done.”– Melissa Gonzales
So what is success? How do we know we are successful? What are the elements of success? What are the metrics? How do we show a positive return on investment (ROI) or academic return on investment (AROI)? How does the public know that its public school system is successful? How do superintendents show success in leadership? These are some of the questions I’m pondering and writing about today!
Nations measure success through economic measures like jobless rates, gross domestic product, imports/exports, crime, etc. For-profit businesses measure success via profit margins, efficiencies, production, etc. Libraries measure success using measures such as book checkouts and attendance at events. Doctors measure success using diagnosis, recovery, health metrics. Success for someone improving their health can include frequency of exercise, weight loss (or gain) muscle mass. Success for a NASCAR racer can be speed, time in the pit stop area, fuel efficiency. There are many ways we can measure success! According to the dictionary (online via Google), success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
Spring (which is finally here in the Northern Hemisphere of Earth) is the time in Illinois public education for evaluation, annual reviews, testing, essentially the time we measure our success. We measure the accomplishment of our aims and purposes.
As a system and systems leader, as a school superintendent, as a public school leader, it’s an ongoing effort to implement a multi-faceted measurement of success and to report and share what success actually is with respect to our public school district. When looking at the success of our school system, we look at multiple measures and metrics. We look at culture and climate, we look at engagement, we look at satisfaction, we look at creativity, we look at growth and gains and we also look at student achievement. These are many of the metrics and measures we use to measure success. We analyze these measures to determine if we are fulfilling our mission, vision, goals, aims, and purposes.
During the year we take surveys, report the data gleaned from the surveys, make and share action plans related to the surveys, measure again – see where we gained, see where we still need to gain and “rinse and repeat”. Our organization is committed to continuous improvement and the collection, sharing, review, interpretation, and acting on data is a core part of our journey of continuous improvement.
Examples of our success measures include Organizational Culture (as shown in the image, 72.41% of all employees who took the survey (72.41% of 438) report that they are highly engaged and satisfied working in North Shore School District 112. This is a baseline metric since it’s the first report on the 15 dimensions of culture measured. For example, we’ll now measure our success in terms of organizational culture using subsequent administrations of this survey instrument (next will be in April, following in August, etc.). We measure, share data results, plan actions around dimensions of culture, re-measure, re-share and continue the process of improvement.
Our continuous improvement model does the same for student engagement, implementation of the 4Cs (Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration). Student achievement, student growth, financial projecting, fulfillment of plans, etc.
We look at growth and gain metrics (how well did our students show growth from point a to point b to point c) and how well our students perform on achievement tests. We then measure or compare their success to national, state, local “norms” — what are other students scoring on these tests or assessments as compared to our students similarly situated.
Back to the original questions posed in this blog post … So what is success? How do we know we are successful? What are the elements of success? What are the metrics? How do we show a positive return on investment (ROI) or academic return on investment (AROI)? How does the public know that its public school system is successful? How do superintendents show success in leadership? These are some of the questions I’m pondering and writing about today!
In North Shore School District 112 we measure success through various metrics (many shared in this post). We take the data gathered and make people-centered decisions to Inspire…Innovate…and Engage our students, staff, administrators, Board members, community, and the world!
Please follow along with our journey:
If you have not yet downloaded the District app, please do so. If you have not yet viewed the curriculum department informational video, please do so. If you have not yet listened to the Lighthouse 112 Podcast, please do so too – you can listen on multiple platforms (iOS (Apple), Google, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and more). Be sure to check out #112Leads on Twitter. Our Long Range Planning web pages have been updated as well!