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New Mexico Public Education Department: School Turnaround Planning Grants

Deadline: March 6, 2015

School Turnaround Planning Grants are provided to support Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) in the development of plans for innovative New Mexico-based programs designed to leverage an IHE’s academic and professional capability in the fields of both business and education to create a district and school leader development program to urgently effect profound change in persistently underperforming schools and districts.

Using the planning grant awards, IHEs will produce plans that a) develop a multi-year school program to assist districts and schools in data-driven school turnaround, b) demonstrate the lead organization’s capacity and initiative to develop and implement a rigorous multi-year school turnaround program that improves leadership capacity and builds a school staff’s commitment to critical change, c) utilize expertise in both a college of education and school of business, and d) align that program with Public Education Department standards. Programs developed under the planning grants will:

  • Empower district- and school-level leaders to achieve dramatic improvement in persistently underperforming schools by: 1) Building capacity of leaders to define and prioritize necessary actions to build sustainable structures to support increased academic achievement and to improve the lives of the children they serve and set a clear path forward; 2) Establishing within schools and leaders leadership behaviors (capacity-building, support, accountability, and flexibility) necessary to drive urgent change in a way that is tailored to each individual district and school; 3) Developing a sustainable talent-management regime by training districts in enhancing selection of school leaders, increasing the number of highly-effective staff, and rigorously developing existing staff; and 4) Implementing an efficient, rigorous, and research-aligned assessment strategy, responsive and dynamic data systems, and a high-quality curriculum.
  • Identify district needs through a data-rich audit or readiness assessment and develop ambitious and urgent strategies to help schools address those needs.
  • Carry out rigorous selection processes grounded in research to identify school and district leaders capable of adopting the leadership behaviors necessary to lead the turnaround effort.
  • Provide ongoing leadership development designed to stimulate change in or creation of organizational structures, leadership practice, teamwork standards, and ongoing strategic re-evaluations.
  • Partner with schools and districts to provide continuous, customized implementation support, including on-site visits from experienced professionals who have achieved success.
  • Develop with school and district leaders a meaningful sustainability plan to leverage knowledge gained at the school level to leverage knowledge gained at the school level to drive district-wide progress and ongoing, deepening systemic change.

Amount: A total of $500,000 is available.

Eligibility: Institutions of higher education. Planning grant applicants are required to:

  • Identify an individual who will hold the primary responsibility for fulfilling the terms of the planning grant and through whom further information from the Public Education Department regarding the planning grant award and completion process will be directed.
  • Identify and provide any external partner organizations with whom the primary IHE will collaborate or contract with to complete the planning grant.
  • Illustrate the potential for collaboration and/or combination of resources from both a school of business and school of education affiliated with either the lead organization or a partner organization in order to meet the requirements of the potential program described above.

Link: http://ped.state.nm.us/ped/rfps.html

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