Best Practices

In August 2013, the Human Resources Pilot Project published, Sustaining Systemic School Reform: A Look at Best Practices. The brief describes educational sustainability as defined by prominent researchers and outlines numerous practical strategies for sustaining educational change.

In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Working Group for Educator Excellence, an Electronic Clearinghouse of Best Practices has been established with Exemplars and District Promising Practices and Tools. Those practices submitted to and approved by the DESE are currently being followed in at least 30 diverse school districts from all areas of the Commonwealth. Most of these practices are applicable to Grades PreK-12, while others are specific to the elementary, middle or high school levels. The practices support seven levers of educator expertise:


• Recruitment, Hiring and Placement
• Comprehensive Induction
• Professional Development
• Supervision and Evaluation
• Teacher Leadership
• Organizational Structure
• Adult Professional Culture


In order to provide models that can be replicated and enhanced by other districts the reports of the Promising Practices include:


• Contact information
• Description of the Practice
• Goals of the Practice
• How the Practice reflects the goals and values of the district
• How the Practice was successfully implemented
• How the Practice changed the district
• Resources required- time, money, materials
• List of tools


The Electronic Clearinghouse also includes exemplars for teachers, school administrators, district leaders and evaluators clarifying 5 of the Indicators on the Massachusetts Classroom Teacher Rubric selected by the evaluation staff at DESE. The exemplars are intended to describe how proficient practice would look in a classroom and what teachers can do to successfully meet the standard and indicator expectations. The exemplars include up to 10 vignettes describing authentic classroom and school scenarios with recommendations for specific ways that teachers could engage in reflective practice. The vignettes are followed by links to videos, tools and other resources which teachers or administrators can use to adopt the practices highlighted. Technology and technical tools are embedded in many of the vignettes.


Exemplars include the following indicators:




updated: August, 2014
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