An Internationally Benchmarked Self-Assessment Tool for Secondary Learning
As the lead coordinator of the New England Secondary School Consortium, the Great Schools Partnership provides grant administration, logistical support, strategic planning, group facilitation, and school-change expertise to the Consortium states and partners, while also working to connect educational policy and school leadership to proven, research-based practices that improve student aspirations, achievement, and outcomes. As part of this work, we helped the Consortium create Global Best Practices, a comprehensive tool that distills research on the world’s highest performing school systems and makes it more accessible for today’s busy educators.
Global Best Practices: An Internationally Benchmarked Self-Assessment Tool for Secondary Learning is a practical, action-oriented resource for secondary schools. The tool grew out of a recognition that national borders no longer define the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind that students need for success, and that New England’s high schools may need assistance reviewing learning standards, organizational structures, leadership models, teaching strategies, professional development, and student outcomes in relation to research on high-performing educational systems and research-based practices. Global Best Practices offers schools a practical, step-by-step process they can follow to assess their relative performance in critical areas and shape their school-improvement plans.
This concise, user-friendly guide provides a selection of recommended facilitation strategies for educators who are using Global Best Practices to inform their school-improvement work and action planning. It will help facilitators and school leaders design goal-driven activities for small- and large-group work sessions. While there are many ways to configure and organize a work session, the agenda described in this guide is designed for a full-faculty work session. But for schools that are completing the self-assessment in smaller groups or for shorter periods of time, the agenda will still provide a basic framework that can be modified as needed.
During the development of Global Best Practices, an abundance of research studies on effective secondary schooling, both in the United States and abroad, were consulted. In the effort to balance inclusiveness and focus, this summary presents two main types of research:  meta-analyses and comprehensive projects that distill useful findings from a wide range of existing research, and  focused investigations conducted by individuals or organizations that represent a coherent body of research in a particular area. Our hope is that this research summary will not only become an indispensable companion to the tool, but that it will serve to stimulate self-reflection and professional inquiry in secondary schools across New England.