Darden Curry PLE

Darden/Curry PLE Beliefs

PLE programs, including the UVA School Turnaround Specialist Programs, are designed based on these foundational beliefs:

  • District ownership is key to any major school transformation effort. Districts must create enabling conditions that provide the support, accountability and resources needed for urgent and sustainable success.
  • High-impact leadership is a primary lever to drive student outcomes and a necessary component of any school transformation. Effective leadership is necessary for teachers to grow professionally and maximize their impact on student learning.
  • Organizational transformation must be collaborative. It is important for governance and management to co-create the environment necessary for success.
  • To overcome consistent underperformance, bold changes are necessary. Successful pursuit of bold change requires systemic support to overcome barriers to such efforts.
  • Schools that make dramatic gains pursue deeper, data-driven strategies. True turnaround schools have a relentless focus on addressing individual student needs and learning from assessment and behavioral data.
  • There is no one formula for school transformation. Education leaders must identify key issues and develop strategies that address root causes of challenges based on their own unique context.
  • School systems must be much more intentional about identifying, evaluating and developing effective leaders with the competencies to succeed.
  • Teachers will be significantly more effective when effective leadership, intentional support and high expectations are systemically in place.
  • A systems approach promotes efficiency and effectiveness. Involving states, school boards or other key local stakeholders in our efforts will boost success.
  • Student achievement must be the determining indicator of success. 
  • Sustained change requires embedded, ongoing support. The PLE differentiates itself in part through implementation-focused follow-up support.

Given the PLE’s mission and these beliefs, the PLE will not…

  • Only work with schools 
  • Provide one-off training programs for one individual within a district or offer academic courses that were not connected to the entire system 
  • Offer teacher training or initial principal preparation programs 
  • Engage in programs for which there is not a commitment to evidence-based assessment of impact on student achievement 
  • Offer a program whose intensity was unlikely to significantly raise student outcomes  
  • Work in any district unwilling to pursue bold and systemic change 

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