The efficacy approach
achieve high standards in school if they have the right tools
Our STRATEGY & Mission
Our strategy for school improvement and turnaround is based on a very simple belief: virtually all of our children can achieve high standards in school if they have the right tools and supports. This means it is the primary work of caring adults - in schools, families, and community institutions - to develop the intellectual capacity of every child.
Mission: Academic Proficiency & Strong Character for All Students
Young people who achieve academic proficiency and develop strong character are positioned for 21st century success; our Mission is to put all children in this position. We work with educators to build consensus on this Mission, and align their local proficiency standards with rigorous national ones, such as those associated with the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). On the ground level, we help school leaders determine appropriate, challenging proficiency targets at every grade level, in each subject. Setting these targets puts educators and their students on the same page, so that together they are always clear about the goals they are working toward.
Mindset: You Aren't Born Smart; You Get Smart
To reach rigorous standards of proficiency, educators and their students need a positive, healthy Mindset—one that provides a supportive foundation of belief for the challenging work of teaching and learning. The Efficacy Mindset replaces the notion that "some have it and some don't" with the constructive (and scientifically validated) idea that effective effort drives development. In other words: people get smart by working hard. This Mindset is an essential element of our approach; it builds belief in the learning capacity of adults and children, and gets people ready to achieve the Mission.
Method: Effective Use of Data as Feedback to Drive Improvements
Once people are on board with the Mission, and believe in their capacity to accomplish it, they need a Method to help them with their work. Efficacy's data-driven SDIS™ (Self-Directed Improvement System™) is the Method. It allows educators and students to analyze performance data to make feedback about what they did well and what they need to work on to improve. They then use this feedback to help them build effective strategies for both teaching and learning.
The SDIS is a powerful tool in the drive for proficiency:
Analyze data to make feedback that answers the question: “What must I work on to improve?” Then develop an effective strategy for improvement.
This simple, powerful approach can be easily integrated with existing school data sets. It can also be used by all the important actors: administrators, classroom teachers, and children themselves in a coordinated drive to proficiency.