Since 2006, EdVestors has recognized individual Boston public schools that have made significant progress in improving student achievement with the Thomas W. Payzant School on the Move Prize (SOM). In 2010, a four-year summative study was undertaken to identify common practices that have been critical to their success in improving student achievement, including:
• Shared Leadership – Shared Learning: Distributed leadership grounded in shared accountability between administrators and teachers toward a goal of instructional excellence and increased student achievement;
• Data-driven Instruction: Intentional systems to use data to drive decisions about curriculum, instruction and student supports;
• Academic Rigor and Student Support: A student-centered approach that balances high academic expectations with integrated academic and developmental supports targeted to student needs.
This study draws upon the previous SOM case studies produced by the Rennie Center, along with interviews with school leaders, staff and students. The study identifies common themes across all four winning schools that describe the structures and strategies put in place to better serve students, as well as some of the opportunities and barriers the schools have faced in sustaining their success since winning the award. Finally, the study highlights some key lessons the leaders of these four schools view as critical to implementing the strategies and practices outlined to support students and improve outcomes.