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STEPS TO CREATING

A TEACHER-POWERED SCHOOL
T RUS T. COL L AB ORAT E . T RANS F OR M.
Forming your team
and developing a
30,000-foot vision.
Storming to design
your school, rally
support, and secure
approval.
Norming to launch
your school and
refne how you
operate.
Performing like you
knew you would...
and working to get
even better.
Transforming teachers
and teaching, schools
and schooling.
F OR MI NG
S TOR MI NG
NOR MI NG
P E R F OR MI NG
T RANS F OR MI NG
T E AC HI NG QUAL I T Y. ORG/ T E AC HE R P OWE R E D
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ABOUT THIS GUIDE
G O TO: TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Teacher-powered schools are changing the eduscape. Did you know that more than 60 teams of
teachers in at least 15 states have secured collective autonomy from their school districts, charter
authorizers, and unions to design and run schools? A 2014 survey by Education Evolving revealed
that 54 percent of American teachers are very interested in launching or joining a teacher-powered
school (also known as teacher-led, teacher-run, and teacher partnership schools). Equally exciting:
78 percent of teachers and 8 in 10 Americans say they support the idea of teacher-powered schools.
Are you and your team among those teachers ready to change how students learn and teachers
work? If so, this guide, Steps to Creating a Teacher-Powered School, is for you.
This guides purpose
In greatly increasing numbers, teachers, union/association leaders, district administrators, and
policymakers are seeking information and resources to help them research, start up, and support
teacher-powered schools. This one-of-a-kind guide features an extensive collection of resources
and tools successfully used by teacher teams to design and run teacher-powered schools. It
acknowledges and describes the diferent work that teachers have done while setting reasonable
expectations about how collaborative teacher-powered teams develop over time.
The purpose of this guide is to help teachers and the broader education community reimagine the
possibilities for student learning and the teaching profession by providing information that has been
created and utilized by the pioneers who already design, run, and support teacher-powered schools.
With this focus in mind, we did not include a complete list of resources and tools for school start ups
and conversions. There are already many guides of that nature. This guide will help individuals and
teams who are setting out to create or support teacher-powered schools build on the successes of
their predecessorsand learn from their mistakesas they set out on their own innovative journeys.
About the authors
We are Lori Nazareno and Kim Farris-Berg. We prepared this guide as members of the Center for
Teaching Quality (CTQ) School Redesign Team. CTQ is a national nonproft that seeks to create a
high-quality education system for all studentsdriven by the bold ideas and expert practices of
teachers. CTQ connects, readies, and mobilizes teachers to transform the profession, including
advancing the ideas of teams who design and run teacher-powered schools.
Lori co-founded the Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy, a teacher-powered school
in Denver, Colorado. She is currently a CTQ Teacher Leader in Residence. Kim is lead author
of Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots (R&L
Education, 2012). In her work with CTQ and Education Evolving, Kim continues to observe, learn
about, and report on teacher-powered schools.
Both Kim and Lori work nationally with teachers and the broader education community to inform and
support the exploration and pursuit of teacher-powered schools.
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The ve stages of creating and running a teacher-powered school
In a teacher-powered school, teachers work collegiallywith shared responsibility and
accountabilityto design and run their school. Teacher teams may be formally or informally
organized depending on how far along they are in their journey of creating a teacher-powered
school. In this guide, we describe teacher teams work as it aligns with Bruce W. Tuckmans four
stages of team development: forming, storming, norming, and performing.
Working through these four stages, teacher teams will learn:
how to get started;
what to expect from the school design and creation process;
how to develop high-functioning teams; and
what steps and tasks to consider as they design and manage their team and school.
We also added a ffth stage to this guide: transforming. In this stage, teams learn how to connect
with other teacher-powered schools and see themselves as part of a larger, growing community.
We encourage all teacher-powered teams to see themselves not just as leaders of their own schools
but as transforming forces of teaching and learning. Teacher-powered teams, using their collective
expertise from designing and managing schools, canand shouldcontribute to local, state, and
national discussions about innovative ways to address pressing education issues like teaching
quality and student achievement.
Following the ve stages
Teachers will come to this guide at diferent stages in the school creation process. Perhaps youre
curious what designing and running a teacher-powered school entails and want more information.
Maybe you already have a team in place and are looking for strategies and advice for moving ahead.
Perhaps you already run a teacher-powered school and are seeking ways to strengthen your team,
modify your processes, or manage internal changes in leadership.
An Overview of Stages and Team Development
Forming stage: Teams in this stage are just getting started. Individuals will form a design
team, do background research, and discuss opportunities and challenges that they might
encounter.
Design team is formed.
Roles and processes arent clearly defned.
Storming stage: In this stage, members of the design team establish the models and
processes for leadership, teaching, learning, and management that will be used once
the school is running. The design team will also develop the school proposal and secure
autonomy agreements. The Storming stage is the most intense of all the stages, with
numerous steps and design considerations.
Design team develops further, following roles and processes established in the
Forming stage. The team also creates roles and processes for the school leadership
team that will run the school in the Norming, Performing, and Transforming stages.
Possible team roles: facilitator, school proposal coordinator, and politics navigator.
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An Overview of Stages and Teams (continued)
Norming stage: Teams in this stage are transitioning from the design team to the school
leadership team that will run the school. Not all members of the design team go on to be
members of the school leadership team. The school leadership team launches the school
and develops cultures and processes that refect decisions made by the design team in the
Storming stage.
Design team transitions to the school leadership team.
School leadership team embraces roles and processes created by the design team,
refning as needed.
Possible team roles: leaders (lead teacher, principal, or head committee), committee
chairs, and parent liaisons.
Performing stage: School leadership teams in this stage know how to run their teacher-
powered school. Team members are motivated to achieve goals set by the team, and they
operate competently within established structures. In the Performing stage, teams learn
how to avoid cultural upheaval during organizational changes and recognize when change
is necessary to ensure continued success.
School leadership team is fully functional.
Roles and processes from the Norming stage continue, with refnements as needed.
Transforming stage: Teams in this stage have created, and are now sustaining, successful
teacher-powered schools. Team members are focusing on the task of transforming teachers
and teaching.
School leadership team takes on tasks to transform teachers and teaching.
Roles and processes expand to include giving support to and learning more about
teacher-powered school community.


How to use this guide
Using the Table of Contents, readers can jump to any of the fve stages and their associated steps.
Browsing this section will help you determine which areas of the guide address your current needs
and stage of development.
Once you choose a stage, you will be presented with a series of associated steps. You can work
through and read the steps in order, using navigation guides at the top and bottom of each page.
You can also use the Table of Contents on the main page of each stage to select steps that you wish
to learn more about or skip around as you see ft.

Resources
In each step, youll fnd information about how to work through that step, as well as a
collection of external resources. When you click on a resource, you will be brought to a
webpage that ofers a full description of the resource and how to access it. These pages
can be bookmarked in your Internet browser for later use and reference.
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G O TO: TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
How to use this guide (continued)
Search Function
This guide is searchable by clicking Control + F or Command + F and typing a word into the
search bar, followed by Enter.
Bookmarks
You can bookmark your place in this guide by clicking the Bookmark icon (a ribbon) in the left
margin. Create new bookmarks by clicking the bookmark icon with the gold star.
Connect with CTQ and other teacher-powered teams
Join the Collaboratory
The Collaboratory is CTQs virtual community where teacher leaders connect, learn, and innovate.
Join the Collaboratory by clicking the orange Join the Community button at the top of the page.
Once youve joined, fnd the School Redesign Lab and register. After youve received access to this
Lab via an email notifcation, you and your team can learn more about teacher-powered schools and
share resources and practices.
In the School Redesign Lab, youll fnd teachers who have worked in teacher-powered schools and
others who are in the process of starting one. You can share your school design experiences, ideas,
and questionsand get support from members who will help you think through next steps.
Contact us (and help make this guide better)
Get in touch with CTQs School Redesign Team. Email us with questions or send us a
resourcewere here to help and share.
How to share and cite this guide
When sharing print or digital copies of this guide, excerpting, or citing it, please include the following
language:
Print: Reprinted with permission from the Center for Teaching Quality (http://www.teachingquality.
org), home to the Collaboratory, a virtual community for all who value teacher leadership. Visit Steps
to Creating a Teacher-Powered School at http://www.teachingquality.org/teacherpowered.
Digital/online: Reprinted with permission from the Center for Teaching Quality, home to the
Collaboratory, a virtual community for all who value teacher leadership. Visit Steps to Creating a
Teacher-Powered School here.

Citation: Farris-Berg, Kim and Lori Nazareno. 2014. Steps to Creating a Teacher-Powered School.
Center for Teaching Quality. http://www.teachingquality.org/teacherpowered
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
G O TO: AB OUT T HI S G UI D E
Stage One: Forming
Learning about teacher-powered schools
Finding inspiration and motivation for the work
Building a team
Developing a 30,000-foot vision
Stage Two: Storming
Developing a design team
Determining a collaborative leadership model
Designing how students will learn
Deciding how teachers will collegially manage the school
Seeking external support
Pursuing autonomy and approval for your teacher-powered school
Stage Three: Norming
Developing personnel processes
Improving how your teams shared purpose is used
in decision making
Cultivating skills and dispositions for evaluating colleagues
Refning skills for working in a collaborative leadership model
Creating and refning a process for assessing school performance
Learning skills for working unconventionally
Stage Four: Performing
Bringing new team members into the existing culture
Planning for changes in leadership
Assessing whole school performance for continuous improvement
Stage Five: Transforming
Seeing your team as part of a larger community of teacher-powered
schools
Growing the teacher-powered school community
Mobilizing the teacher-powered school community to transform
teachers and teaching
Conclusion
Helping us improve this guide
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R E T UR N TO: MAI N
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
STAGE ONE: FORMING
NE X T: L E AR NI NG AB OUT
T E AC HE R - P OWE R E D S C HOOL S
Teams in the Forming stage are just getting started. In
this stage, you will create a team, do research, and discuss
opportunities and challenges that your team might encounter.
Forming stage steps include:
Learning about teacher-powered schools
Must-read books and websites; a list, overview, and history of existing
teacher-powered schools; supporting research, theory, and practices; and
current interest among teachers.
Finding inspiration and motivation for the work
Case studies, videos, and an online inventory of existing teacher-powered
schools.
Building a team
Team-building resources.
Developing a 30,000-foot vision
Bringing your teams vision to reality.
8
LEARNING ABOUT TEACHER-POWERED SCHOOLS
R E T UR N TO: F OR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
The school you are creating will be designed and run by your team. But why not
learn from those who have come before you? Use these resources to explore the
history, research, and theory behind teacher-powered schools. Discussing the
successes and challenges that previous teams have faced will help members decide
whether they want to commit to the journey and work ahead.
Resources
Must-read books and websites
Teacher-Powered Schools
Website. Learn about this initiative to grow awareness, action, and support for teacher-powered
schools in schools and districts nationwide.
Teacherpreneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead But Dont Leave
Book. Barnett Berry, Ann Byrd, and Alan J. Weider explore a bold new brand of teacher leader-
ship, documenting the experiences of eight teacher leaders.
Teachers As Owners: A Key to Revitalizing Public Education
Book. Edward J. Dirkswager leads a series of investigations on how being owners, rather than
employees, can give teachers control of their professional activity.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Book. Kim Farris-Berg, Edward J. Dirkswager, and Amy Junge answer the question: What would
teachers do if they had the autonomy to collectivelywith their colleaguesmake decisions
infuencing school success?
Who Controls Teachers Work?: Power and Accountability in Americas Public Schools
Book. Professor Richard Ingersoll asks: Are teachers more akin to professionals or factory
workers in the amount of control they have over their work? And, what diference does it make?
List and overview of existing teacher-powered schools
Evolution of Schools with Collective Teacher Autonomy
Website. This timeline shows the history of teacher-powered schools in the United States.
Great Teachers Ensuring Great Teaching
Webinar. John Wright introduces the NEAs work supporting the growth of teacher-powered
schools and growing new strategies to sustain these teachers and their schools.

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LEARNING ABOUT TEACHER-POWERED SCHOOLS
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TAB L E OF CONT E NT S

Resources (continued)
History of teacher-powered schools (continued)
Online Inventory of Schools with Collective Teacher Autonomy
Website. This list features all the known K-12 public schools where teachers have collective
autonomy to make decisions infuencing school success.
Supporting research, theory, and practices
Can We Trust Teachers to Successfully Manage Whole Schools?
Commentary. Kim Farris-Berg explains how teachers with collective autonomy often create
schools with cultures that emulate those of high-performing organizations.
Does Collective Teacher Autonomy Make Any Diference for Student Achievement?
Commentary. Kim Farris-Berg describes how teacher autonomy can positively impact student
achievement.
The Failure of Test-Based Accountability
Newspaper article. In this three-part blog, Marc Tucker explains the dangers of test-based
accountability and teacher evaluation systems.
A Global Network of Teachers and Their Professional Learning Systems
Report. Findings from this 2014 CTQ-Global TeacherSolutions report on professional learning
systems in six cities suggest that in non-U.S. cities where teacher-powered schools are the
norm, teachers collaboratively learn and lead for the beneft of their whole school.
Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World
Book. Margaret J. Wheatley pulls from quantum physics, chaos theory, and molecular biology to
identify ways that organizations, including schools, can improve.
Minnesota and Wisconsin Teachers Tout Their Teacher-Powered Schools to Arne Duncan
Newspaper article. Beth Hawkins writes about two educators at teacher-powered schools who
think teachers should be in charge.
The Missing Link in School Reform
Journal article. Researcher C.R. Leana describes how the existence of trusting relationships
between teachers is a signifcant predictor of improved student performance.
Short on Power, Long on Responsibility
Journal article. Professor Richard Ingersoll makes the case that, to improve teacher quality,
schools need to go beyond holding teachers more accountableby giving them more control.
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LEARNING ABOUT TEACHER-POWERED SCHOOLS
NE X T: F I ND I NG I NS P I RAT I ON AND
MOT I VAT I ON F OR T HE WOR K


Resources (continued)
Supporting research, theory, and practices (continued)
Teach to Lead: Advancing Teacher Leadership
Website. Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, announces the launch of the Teach to
Lead initiative and provides a rationale.
Teacher-Powered Schools: Generating Lasting Impact through Common Sense Innovation
Report. In this groundbreaking national opinion study, Education Evolving reports that 91
percent of Americans believe teachers should have greater infuence over decisions that afect
student learning, while 81 percent indicate they trust teachers to make schools run better.
Teachers Deserve a Shot at Running Their Schools
Commentary. Charles Taylor Kerchner considers the question: Would more teacher-powered
schools give the U.S. new educational ideas and variations in schooling?
What It Means to Believe in Teachers
Commentary. Kim Farris-Berg asks: What if trusting teachers, not controlling them, is the key to
school success?
Worker Democracy and Worker Productivity
Journal article. Henry M. Levin gives a research-based argument that teachers might fnd useful
for developing a democratic school governance model.
Current interest among teachers in creating teacher-powered schools
Are Teachers Interested in the Opportunity to Call the Shots?
Commentary. Kim Farris-Berg explores the question: If teachers had autonomy to collectively
make decisions infuencing whole school success, would they be interested?
Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll on Public Trust of Teachers
Poll. This poll indicates what most teachers know: the public trusts them as professionals.
Teacher Autonomy and Teacher Quality: Putting More Think into the Think Tank
Commentary. Center for Teaching Quality CEO Barnett Berry tackles a report that describes
teachers dissatisfaction with lack of autonomy in their work.
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TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
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FINDING INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION
FOR THE WORK
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TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
For many teachers, the motivation to start a teacher-powered school is inspired by
having autonomy to develop and implement better ways to teach and learn. But will
your team be able to accomplish what it wants?
Visiting existing teacher-powered schools and using these resources will help your
team start to answer this question. You can also use this step to explore individual
and group motivations for forming a teacher-powered school, along with concerns
about the challenges ahead.
Resources
Case studies
Teachers in Partnership
Website. In this online forum, read teacher-powered teams discussions about their design and
management decisions.
TeachersStop Waiting, and Start Calling the Shots
Commentary. Kim Farris-Berg describes teacher leaders who found ways to create their own
schoolsand encourages other teachers to do the same.
Avalon School (St. Paul, MN)
Can Teachers Run Their Own Schools?
Case study. Charles Taylor Kerchner fnds that teacher-powered schools should inform our
education practices.
How a Teacher Partnership Manages a Public School
Discussion notes. Teacher Carrie Bakken explains how she and her colleagues manage a
public school using a teacher-powered partnership model.
Inside Avalon School
E-book and resource list. Learn about St. Pauls teacher-powered Avalon School through
this compilation of stories, studies, and other publications by its founders, current teachers
and advisors, former students, and national researchers.
LEARNING ABOUT TEACHER-POWERED SCHOOLS
12
FINDING INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION
FOR THE WORK
R E T UR N TO: F OR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S

Resources (continued)
Case studies (continued)
Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy (Denver, CO)
Math and Science Leadership Academy: Creating a Teacher-Led School for Diverse
Learners
Case study. An inside look at the Math and Science Leadership Academy in Denver,
Colorado.
Portrait of a Teacher-Led School
Journal article. An insiders view of how a teacher-powered school, the Mathematics and
Science Leadership Academy, operates.
Teacherpreneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead But Dont Leave (Chapter 6)
Book. Barnett Berry, Ann Byrd, and Alan J. Weider profle the Mathematics and Science
Leadership Academy and one of its co-founders, Lori Nazareno.
Teachers Lead the Way in Denver
Journal article. A rationale for the creation of teacher-powered schools and an analysis
of factors that contributed to the success of the Mathematics and Science Leadership
Academy.
Minnesota New Country School (Henderson, MN)
The Coolest School in America: How Small Learning Communities Are Changing Everything
Book. Doug Thomas, Walter Enloe, and Ron Newell explore the Minnesota New Country
School, where teachers have control of the learning program, the hiring and retention of
personnel, and are responsible for the success of the school.
EdVisions Schools: Essential School Design Features
Video series. Learn about Minnesota New Country School, where teachers created small
learning communities, self-directed and project-based learning programs, and authentic
assessment.
Pilot Schools
Boston Pilot Schools
Report. Learn about a group of teachers who created a teacher-powered school in a district
setting.
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FINDING INSPIRATION AND MOTIVATION
FOR THE WORK
NE X T: B UI L D I NG A T E AM

Resources (continued)
Videos
Denvers Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy: Teachers, Learners, Leaders
Video. NEA Priority Schools shows how teachers at one school use collaborative planning time
to meet with their peers, analyze data, and design instruction that meets student needs.
Good Morning Mission Hill/A Year at Mission Hill Video Series
Documentary. Tom and Amy Valens show what teaching and learning look like at the teacher-
powered Mission Hill K-8 School in Boston, MA.
Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy
Video. This brief video describes the Math and Science Leadership Academy in Denver, CO.
Teaching and Learning in a Teacher-Powered School
Video series. Learn whats it like to teach and learn in a teacher-powered school.
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14
BUILDING A TEAM
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Team building is both an art and a science, wrote Glenn Llopis. In this step, its
time to consider what it will take to build and sustain a successful design team.
In the Forming stage, your team probably wont be high functioning yet. Individual
roles and processes may not be clearly dened. Its also possible that one or a few
people will be dominant and have most of the answers about your groups purpose
and objectives.
Its important to get to know one another and learn how each team member
operates. Most individuals will be self-focused at rst, working parallel with team
members rather than together. Many members will also seek acceptance from the
group and try to avoid controversy.
Questions that each team member should ask him/herself: Will starting a teacher-
powered school work for me? Is this a team I want to work with? Wheres my niche?
Resources
Build a Tower, Build a Team
Video. In this TED Talk, Tom Wujec provides insight into the conditions and behaviors that foster
team success.
Six Ways Successful Teams are Built to Last
Magazine article. Forbes identifes six strategies for building a successful team and maintaining
that success.
Strengths-based Leadership Team
Discussion guide. The Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy, a teacher-powered
school in Denver, CO, uses a strengths-based approach to leadership and provides a framework
for you to use in the design of your teacher-powered school.
NE X T: D E VE L OP I NG A
3 0, 0 0 0 - F OOT VI S I ON
15
DEVELOPING A 30,000-FOOT VISION
R E T UR N TO: F OR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
In the Forming stage, its likely that your team is starting to shape a 30,000-foot,
big-picture vision of what your school will look and be like. Thinking about the
school from the perspective of students can help guide this vision.
Design questions to ask:
What are the specifc needs of the students who will attend the school?
What will students experience during the school day?
What will the learning program and instructional approach be?
How does that approach align with student needs?
How will students experience teaching and learning?
How will teachers work together to manage and lead the school?
How will these choices impact students and teachers?
Resources
Designing Schools for Students
Discussion guide. How the Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy in Denver, CO was
designed.
NE X T: S TAG E T WO
S TOR MI NG
16
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TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Teams in the Storming stage are ready to pursue concrete
steps for making their teacher-powered school a reality. The
team focus in this stage is design: establishing the models for
leadership, teaching, learning, and management that the school
leadership team will use once the school is running. Your design
team will also seek outside support and approval for the school
and governance model that you are designing.
This is a good time to remember that there is no perfect order
for pursuing the steps in this stage. In fact, of all the stages
in this guide, Storming is the section that includes the most
information and resources. Since there are a number of steps,
you can expect to go back and forth among them as your team
designs an effective plan.
Your team will quickly discover that, as one teacher put it, the
design process is not for the faint of heart. Before you get
started, peruse the entire section and form a strong yet exible
plan that will help you stay on track. Rushing through this stage
is not recommended. Take the time you need to design and set
up your school for success.

STAGE TWO: STORMING
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TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Storming stage steps include:
Developing a design team
Design team facilitation resources.
Determining a collaborative leadership model
Leadership resources, sample organizational charts, and planning for leadership changes.
Designing how students will learn
Designing a learning program and instructional approach
Designing the physical learning environment
Designing assessment of student learning
Designing student engagement strategies
Designing parent engagement strategies
Designing an approach to discipline and social needs
Deciding how teachers will collegially manage the school
Creating a high-performance culture
Developing a shared purpose
Deciding whether to formally organize the teacher team
Determing an approach to teacher evaluation and tenure
Ensuring the teacher-powered team is a community of learners
Defning budgeting processes and priorities
Creating a strategy for attracting families
STAGE TWO: STORMING
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TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Storming stage steps include:
Seeking external support
Identifying funding sources; fnding time to design; connecting with a start-up coach;
securing political support; and tools and ideas for potential supporters.
Pursuing autonomy and approval for your teacher-powered school
Review sample school proposals and write your own
Learn about securing collective teacher autonomy
Connect with teachers in existing teacher-powered schools and get feedback on
your proposal
STAGE TWO: STORMING
NE X T: D E VE L OP I NG A
D E S I G N T E AM
19
DEVELOPING A DESIGN TEAM
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
The team that developed in the Forming stage will formally become a design
team in the Storming stage. The purpose of this team is to design a school and
governance model. This team is distinct from the school leadership team that will
eventually go on to run the school in the Norming stage.
As you formalize your design team, you might consider including people who are
not teachers, such as students, parents, learning program experts, and community
members.
Design team roles and facilitators
Questions your team should consider include:
What roles are needed? Possible team roles include facilitator, school proposal coordinator, or
politics navigator.
What knowledge and skills should people have in order to be successful in those roles?
How will your team communicate?
What is your start-up schedule?
Whats the line between facilitation and micromanagement? How will your team establish the
diference?
After your team outlines the roles it needs for the Storming stage, you should consider which
members are right for each role. You might allow diferent individuals to try out the same role and see
how they perform. Throughout this stage, your team will gain keen insight into individual members
strengths and vulnerabilities.
The knowledge and skills needed to design your school may be diferent from those that team
members will need to launch and run it. All members of the design team should be made aware from
the start that participation, and even leadership, in the Storming stage does not necessarily ensure a
position on the school leadership team that will launch the school in the Norming stage.
Selecting team facilitators and leaders
At the beginning of the Storming stage, team facilitators or leaders might be those who were
dominant in the Forming stage. However, as the Storming stage progresses, start-up team
facilitators should be formally selected by team members. Teams should consider what qualities are
needed in a start-up leader(s) and decide on the leader selection process together.
Remember, the criteria for selecting a leader(s) to facilitate the schools design may be diferent
from the criteria used to select a leader(s) once the school is running. Teams should take care not to
simply select the dominant leader from the Forming stage or allow the dominant leader to assume a
leadership role without careful consideration. If no one on the team matches the established criteria,
consider slowing down until you fnd the right leader(s).
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DEVELOPING A DESIGN TEAM
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Confrontation
Confrontationthe process of evaluating and questioning others ideas while tolerating them doing
the same to youis an important part of team development during the Storming stage. This process
will make your teams shared purpose clearer. Common challenges teams face during this stage
include tension, arguments, power struggles, and cliques.
These challenges are natural. However, if confrontations are too combative or unproductive, your
team might lose motivation and break up altogether. Some teams do not survive the Storming stage.
As unpleasant as it may be, its important for teams to learn how to move through confrontation in
a positive way before students, families, and new team members arrive at the school. If your team
chooses to avoid confrontation during this stage and members delay learning how to confront
one another until later, you risk putting the school in grave danger of failure during its frst years of
operation.
Resources
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High
Book and video. Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler share strategies
for engaging in important conversations in ways that support organizational success.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
Book and videos. Patrick Lencioni shares a leadership model and strategies that teams can use
to overcome hurdles and build strong, action-oriented teams.
Stomp the Elephant in the Offce
Book. Steven Vannoy and Craig Ross provide everyday tools for leaders who want to eliminate
toxicity in the workplace and create a wellness culture that supports productivity and success.
Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow
Book. Tom Rath and Barry Conchie share research and strategies for building efective,
strengths-based leadership teams.
Author tip
Revisit the Forming stage step Building a team on page 14 to help you form and develop a
strong design team.
NE X T: D E T E R MI NI NG A
COL L AB ORAT I VE MOD E L
21
DETERMINING A COLLABORATIVE
LEADERSHIP MODEL
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
While practitioners at teacher-powered schools have collective autonomy to make
decisions inuencing school success, this doesnt mean they come to consensus
on every decision. They do have highly collaborative cultures in which teachers all
work together for the good of the whole school. Most teacher-powered teams make
some decisions as a group and then delegate some decisionmaking authority to
one or more leaders (in addition to leadership committees expected to act on the
teams established shared purpose and priorities). In this model, the traditional top-
down leadership trianglein which teachers are accountable to a principal who is
then accountable to district administratorsis inverted.
There are many ways to make a collaborative leadership model successful.
Whatever choices your team makes, consider whether, when securing your
autonomy agreement, you need to negotiate for the ability to implement those
choices.
At this point in the Storming stage, your team does not need to select its school
leaders. (These individuals will be active later in the process once your school is
running.) However, keep in mind that you might need to indicate who those leaders
will be when submitting your school proposal. You can continue to consider which
team members are the right school leaders for your team as you work toward the
Norming stage.
Planning for changes in leadership
Another element that your team should seriously consider including in your autonomy agreement is
the process your team will use to select new leaders when there is a change in internal leadership.
If teams associated with district schools do not include this process in their autonomy agreement,
they risk having the district assign a new leader for them. This can become a problem if the assigned
leader wasnt planning to work at a teacher-powered school because it is likely that he or she will
expect to be in charge of teachers and use conventional leadership strategies. Teachers past
experience indicates that this can cause turmoil and eventually undermine a teams existing culture.
22
DETERMINING A COLLABORATIVE
LEADERSHIP MODEL
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Resources
Collaborative leadership resources
Community Toolbox: Collaborative Leadership
Website. Learn how to bring people together in constructive ways and create strategies for
addressing team concerns.
Democratic Learning and Leading: Creating Collaborative School Governance
Book. Ronald Newell and Irving Buchen assert that teachers must work intentionally to create a
collaborative culture.
Leadership Ensemble: Lessons in Collaborative Management from the Worlds Only
Conductorless Orchestra
Book. How one orchestra transitioned to collaborative management by dismantling top-heavy
hierarchies and developing fexible, responsive strategies and decision-making procedures.
Teacher-Powered Teams Describe and Discuss How Collaborative Governance Works in Their
Schools
Online discussion. How does collaborative governance work in practice? How do teachers
make decisions? Do they choose leaders? Learn the answers to these and other questions by
reading this discussion.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 5
Book. Chapter 5 explains how teams running teacher-powered schools collaborate for the
good of the whole school. It also describes how teachers choose their leaders (individuals and
committees) and the organizational structures for ensuring those leaders are accountable.
Sample organizational charts from existing teacher-powered schools
Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy (MSLA)
Leadership Structure
School proposal excerpt. This excerpt from the MSLA proposal outlines how leadership
is organized within the school. It also ofers information about teachers approach to
discipline, attendance, family engagement, and student recruitment.
23
DETERMINING A COLLABORATIVE
LEADERSHIP MODEL
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Resources (continued)
Sample organizational charts from existing teacher-powered schools (continued)
San Francisco Community School (SFCS)
Decisionmaking Procedures
Procedural document. This document from SFCS highlights how, in a typical teacher-
powered school, whole teams make some decisions by consensus and delegate other
decisions to committees or individual leaders.
Governance Team Structure
Chart. This chart developed by teachers at SFCS (a teacher-powered school since 1972) is
one example of how sharing authority among teachers can work with a well-organized plan.
Support and Accountability Path
Chart. This chart clearly defnes and communicates what team members can do when a
colleague is not living up to team or committee agreements or contractual obligations.
Author tip
Jump ahead to the Performing stage step Planning for Changes in Leadership on page 73 to
help you anticipate and develop appropriate procedures for addressing changes in leadership.

NE X T: D E S I G NI NG HOW
S T UD E NT S WI L L L E AR N
24
DESIGNING HOW STUDENTS WILL LEARN
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Your team has probably been looking forward to this set of steps more than any
others in the Forming and Storming stages. Indeed, many teacher-powered teams
are highly motivated by their shared vision about how students will learn at their
school.
Student learning design steps include:
Designing a learning program and instructional approach
Teaching and learning philosophies, roles of teachers and students, and existing teacher-
powered schools approaches to learning and instruction.
Designing the physical learning environment
School location choices, interior design, and dedicated spaces.
Designing assessment of student learning
Negotiating autonomy for assessment, defning student achievement, and assessment tools
designed for and used in teacher-powered schools.
Designing student engagement strategies
Nurturing students engagement and motivation.
Designing parent engagement strategies
Defning parents roles and encouraging their engagement.
Designing an approach to discipline and social needs
Addressing discipline and social needs; examples of specifc disciplinary approaches.

NE X T: D E S I G NI NG A
L E AR NI NG P ROG RAM
25
DESIGNING A LEARNING PROGRAM
AND INSTRUCTIONAL APPROACH
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Your team might design an entirely new learning program and instructional
approach, select from existing options, or mix new and existing elements. This
series of design questions will be useful:
Philosophy
What is your overall philosophy about teaching and learning?
How is that philosophy refected in your learning program and instructional approach?
How will these choices meet students needs?
Are these choices diferent from options that students can access in other schools? If so, how
and why?
Is there research that backs up your choices?
Role of teachers
What is the role of teachers in relation to student growth and learning?
Is this role diferent than that of teachers in a conventionally managed school? How?
Will teachers deliver instruction in traditional ways? Or will they act more as learning
facilitators and guides? (Or a combination of both?)
Will teachers use their time diferently than teachers in conventional schools? How?
Will teachers personalize students learning? How?
How will the learning program impact teachers daily activities? (For example, some teachers
create self-directed learning programs in which they occasionally deliver instruction in tradional
ways but mostly move around the room to speak one-on-one with students who are making
their own learning choices.)
Role of students
Will students have a diferent role than in conventional schools? How?
Will they be active learners, passive learners, or some of each? How?
Will they be expected to learn non-academic as well as academic skills? What about non-
cognitive and cognitive skills? How will students learn these skills?
How will students use technology?
Will they have access to blended learning (online learning with some control over time, place,
path, and/or pace)?
Will students make use of community and natural resources? How?
Will they have homework?
How will students use their time diferently than in conventional schools?
Will students have an extended day? If so, how will it be connected to the regular school day
and core academics?
26
DESIGNING A LEARNING PROGRAM
AND INSTRUCTIONAL APPROACH
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Role of students (continued)
Will student voice be incorporated into the learning program? How?
Will students have any responsibility for co-creating and co-enforcing community norms?
How will that relate to their learning? (See Designing an approach to discipline and meeting
social needs for ideas. Many teacher-powered schools consider their disciplinary approach to
be part of their schools learning program and approach to instruction.)
Resources
Existing teacher-powered schools learning and instructional approaches
EdVisions Schools: Self-directed, Project-based Learning Program
Video series. EdVisions Schools breaks down how a self-directed, project-based learning
program works in practice.
Rethink: Planning and Designing for K-12 Next Generation Learning
Toolkit. Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) and the International Association for
K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) created this resource for K-12 district, charter, and school
leaders to use in the very early stages of conceptualizing and designing a next generation
learning program, initiative, or whole school.
Teacher-Powered Teams Describe Their Creative Approaches to Teaching and Learning
Online discussion. Teachers discuss the rationale for their creative choices and whether
teacher-powered schools allow them to reach their capacity for innovation.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 6: on teachers roles (pp. 76-78)
Book. When teachers design and run schools, they tend to do so with an eye toward
accommodating students needs and interests. This requires teachers to expand their own
roles.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 6: on students means of learning (pp. 78-79)
Book. Teacher-powered schools accommodate varying levels of readiness, aptitudes,
interests, and rates of learning.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 7
Book. Chapter 7 discusses the learning programs teachers designed and selected in 11
teacher-powered schools, all of which personalize student learning to some extent.
27
DESIGNING A LEARNING PROGRAM
AND INSTRUCTIONAL APPROACH
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Author tip
Revisit the Forming stage step Finding inspiration and motivation for the work on page 11 to
learn more about teacher-powered schools learning programs.

NE X T: D E S I G NI NG T HE
L E AR NI NG E NVI RONME NT
28
DESIGNING THE PHYSICAL
LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
There are a number of factors your team should consider when designing the
physical learning environment for your school:
Location. Do you have a location in mind? (A specifc area of town or a specifc building?)
How does this choice relate to the student population you intend to serve and the learning
program you will use? Be intentional here. One team in Minneapolis plannedand received
approval fora school in a neighborhood where there was little interest in their learning model.
This afected enrollment, which in turn afected revenue, greatly jeopardizing their schools
ability to succeed. How will you avoid this kind of outcome? What will you do if the schools
location is decided for you?
Transportation for students. How will students get to and from the school? Will your school
have to deal with district policies or contracts that limit transportation fexibility? Are there
ways to gain autonomy so you can choose whether to comply with those policies?
School interior. How will the schools interior be designed? Colored walls or white ones?
Will student work be displayed? Will you use inspirational quotations? How will the schools
shared purpose be demonstrated? Will the environment be set up for instruction, collaboration,
or both? In what ways will the confguration of the learning environment refect the schools
philosophy and approach to learning?
School spaces outside the building. Will the physical learning space extend beyond the
school building into community spaces and nature? Homes?
Dedicated learning spaces. Will there be dedicated spaces for music, art, physical
education, shop, recess, or other activities? Can you partner with community organizations to
secure spaces? (For example, one team in St. Paul partnered with a YWCA across the street
and got students discounted gym memberships that they used during physical education
classes.)
Lounge spaces. Will teachers and students share the lounge, or will it be for teachers only?
Eating spaces. Where and when will students eat? What will they eat? Are you bound by any
existing food contracts?
Ofce space. For teams planning online schools, will teachers work from home or in a
collaborative ofce space where students can occasionally gather?
Autonomy. Will your team need to arrange for autonomy to secure the space it wants and
design it for success?
29
DESIGNING THE PHYSICAL
LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Resources
Denver Public Schools Exemplary Schools Case Study: Math and Science Leadership Academy
(MSLA)
Report. Researchers at the University of Colorado-Denver identify MSLA schoolwide practices
and structures that have been successful in supporting the achievement of English Language
Learners.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 6: on the learning environment (pp.74-76)
Book. When teachers design and run schools, they often change and expand the physical
learning environment beyond what most people think of as school.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 7
Book. Chapter 7 addresses how and why designing the physical environment is a vital part of
designing how students will learn in a teacher-powered school.

NE X T: AS S E S S I NG
S T UD E NT L E AR NI NG
30
DESIGNING ASSESSMENT
OF STUDENT LEARNING
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Your team can create a school that has a broader focus on what students should
know and be able to do. You can also choose and invent tools and processes that
assess student learning beyond traditional means.
Defning student achievement
Many schools defne student achievement beyond their schools mean profciency score, students
standardized test scores, and students grades in reading, writing, and mathematics. Teams often
choose to focus on individual growth, emphasizing mastery over seat time. They may also measure
students development of cognitive and non-cognitive skills.
Sometimes a teams defnition of achievement leads it to use a diferent assessment approach,
adding new assessments to those already required. Keep in mind that taking on additional
assessments could impact your teams decisions about budget expenditures and teachers roles.
Learning whats required by your state, school district, or charter authorizer
Its important to be clear about what assessments your team is required to give to students.
Ultimately, your state department, school district, or charter authorizer is the best resource for
learning what assessments are required.
Some teams have been able to arrange for autonomy regarding assessments required by districts
and/or charter authorizers. This gives teams freedom to decide whether or when to give tests and if
they should count toward students grades.
While negotiating autonomy from state assessments is not realistic, it might be possible for teams
to negotiate with states, districts, or charter authorizers to evaluate school and student performance
using multiple measures (not just a mean profciency score). For example, one charter authorizer in
Minnesota (Innovative Quality Schools) negotiates with teacher-powered teams on this basis.

Resources
Negotiating assessment autonomy
Assessing What Really Matters in Schools: Creating Hope for the Future
Book. Ronald J. Newell and Mark J. Van Ryzin ofer a fresh perspective on student learning,
including one practical way to inform discussions about schools as learning environments.
Supporting Assessment Autonomy: How One Small School Articulated the Infrastructure
Needed to Own and Use Student Data
Journal article. Read about one teacher-powered schools efort to create a system of
student assessment data to capture their vision of what students should know and do.
31
DESIGNING ASSESSMENT OF
STUDENT LEARNING
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Resources (continued)
Negotiating assessment autonomy (continued)
A Year at Mission Hill: Chapter 10, The Freedom to Teach
Video. Watch Mission Hill teachers grapple with the news of changing assessment policy in
their state and their discussion about challenging the status quo to do what is best for their
students.
Defning student achievement
Blooms Taxonomy
Webpage. Pamela Armstrong from Vanderbilt Universitys Center for Teachers explains
Blooms famous framework for categorizing education goals across six major categories.

The Institute for Habits of Mind
Website. Some school designers choose to assess students for Habits of Mind,
dispositions that empower creative and critical thinking (such as thinking fexibly and taking
responsible risks).
How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and Hidden Power of Character
Book. Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter most for children have to do with
character, including perseverance, curiosity, optimism, and self-control.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills
Website. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills suggests that students need a blend of
content knowledge, specifc skills, expertise, and literacies to succeed in work and life.
Teacher-Powered Teams Discuss Their Struggle with the Nations Narrow Defnition of
Student Achievement
Online discussion. If teacher-powered teams had more authority, how would they defne
and assess achievement?
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 9
Book. Chapter 9 describes how and why teacher-powered schools broaden the defnition
and scope of achievement and assessment.
32
DESIGNING ASSESSMENT
OF STUDENT LEARNING
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Resources (continued)
Assessment tools chosen or invented by existing teacher-powered teams
EdVisions Schools: Authentic Assessment (Chapter 9)
Video series. EdVisions Schools describes their assessment approach, which includes
a focus on learning growth, public presentations, personal learning plans, electronic
portfolios, and value-added measures such as life skills and The Hope Survey.
The Hope Survey
Website. The Hope Survey assesses students non-academic outcomes, such as self-
efcacy, optimism, and problem solving ability.
Evaluation Rubric for Student Projects
Rubric. Some teacher-powered schools choose self-directed, project-based learning
programs. They use rubrics like this one to score students academic learning as well as
their skills in public presentation, writing, problem solving, time management, analysis,
teamwork, information retention, self advocacy, community interaction, and critical thinking.
Raised Responsibility Rubric
Rubric. Teachers at TAGOS Leadership Academy developed this rubric to assess students
intrinsic motivation, which they believe is related to students ability to take on increased
responsibility and autonomy during diferent blocks of the school day.
Teachers Assess Diferently: Capstone Projects with Public Demonstrations of Learning
Website and video. At the teacher-powered Minnesota New Country School, students must
complete capstone projects and participate in public demonstrations of learning.
The Tripod Project
Website. The Tripod Project ofers survey assessments that capture key dimensions of
school life and teaching practice as students experience them.
A Year at Mission Hill: Chapter 9, Seeing the Learning
Video. Whats behind the phrase authentic assessment? Where do students and parents
ft into assessment? At the teacher-powered Mission Hill K-8 school, teachers have made a
commitment to the logic of assessment and to portfolio defenses.
NE X T: D E S I G NI NG S T UD E NT
E NGAG E ME NT S T RAT EG I E S
33
DESIGNING STUDENT
ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Your team will need to develop a strategy for nurturing students engagement
and motivation. Keep in mind that the strategy might be rooted in other learning
program design choices. For example, curriculum and discipline choices can have a
major impact on students engagement and motivation.
Resources
Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us
Book and video. Drawing on four decades of scientifc research, Daniel Pink asserts that the
secret to high performance and satisfaction is the need to direct our own lives, learn and create
new things, and do better by ourselves and our world.
Give Teachers Autonomy to Arrange Schools So Students Want to Learn
Commentary. Kim Farris-Berg writes that teacher-powered schools place a strong emphasis on
helping each student fgure out their sources of motivation, and how to tap into those sources in
order to learn and graduate.
How to Bake Intrinsic Motivation
Commentary. Kim Farris-Berg explains how students develop intrinsic motivation when teacher-
powered schools focus on developing their sense of autonomy, mastery goal orientation,
academic press, and belongingness.
Mindsets: The New Psychology of Success
Book. Drawing upon decades of research, psychologist Carol Dweck argues that its not just our
abilities and talent that bring us success, but whether we approach them with a fxed or growth
mindset.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapters 6 and 7
Book. Chapters 6 and 7 describe how teacher-powered schools nurture students motivation by
changing how they work. Teachers move from experts who impart information to unfnished
learners and position students to be active, ongoing learners as well.
NE X T: D E S I G NI NG PAR E NT
E NGAG E ME NT S T RAT EG I E S
34
DESIGNING PARENT ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
In addition to engaging students, your team should consider how to engage and
involve parents and guardians.
Questions to ask:
How will your team encourage parents to be active in the classroom and throughout the
school?
What structures will be put in place to engage parents in meaningful, two-way interactions
about student learning?
Will your team ask parents to participate meaningfully in teacher interviews and evaluation
and/or to serve on the school governance council (as existing teams have done)?
Will your team reach out to parents through culturally inclusive activities? Some teams ask
parents to plan activities related to the cultures of their families in order to gain their trust. For
example, in one school with a high percentage of students whose families are immigrants from
Mexico, teams ask parents to plan celebrations for holidays like Day of the Dead.
Resources
Beyond the Bake Sale: The Essential Guide to Family-School Partnerships
Book and handout. Anne T. Henderson provides numerous strategies and resources for forming
strong relationships between families and schools.
Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0: Collaborative Strategies to Advance Student
Learning
Report. The National Education Association identifes strategies used in 16 diferent
communities for engaging parents and other community members.
Trusting Teachers Is a Means to Authentic Parent Engagement
Commentary. Kim Farris-Berg writes, If the educators in our schools dont have the authority
to make decisions infuencing school success, then how could they share any authority with
parents and students?

NE X T: AP P ROAC HE S TO
D I S C I P L I NE AND S OC I AL NE E DS
35
DESIGNING AN APPROACH TO
DISCIPLINE AND SOCIAL NEEDS
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Teacher-powered teams can secure autonomy to determine discipline policies for
their school as long as they comply with state statutes, including zero-tolerance
laws and due process requirements. Depending on the extent of the autonomy your
team is able to secure in this area, there might also be school board policies you
need to follow.
Another option to consider is pursuing autonomy to address social needs above and beyond what
is required by law. For example, many teams adjust teachers roles and use their budget autonomy
to allocate additional funding for social workers. Your team should consider all of this before
negotiating for autonomy.
Here are a few design questions for your team to consider as you think about your schools
approach to student discipline and social needs:
Does the schools approach refect your teams shared purpose, including philosophies about
student learning and behavior?
Is this approach refected throughout the learning program?
What opportunities do adults in the community have to model these behaviors and beliefs for
students?
Resources
Existing teacher-powered schools approaches to discipline and social needs
The Coolest School in America: How Small Learning Communities are Changing Everything
Chapter 10
Book. Carrie Bakken, Andrea Martin, and Caitlin Rude from Avalon, a teacher-powered
school in Minnesota, describe the process of writing their schools constitution and creating
its Student Congress.
The Coolest School in America: How Small Learning Communities are Changing Everything
Chapter 6
Book. This chapter by Darrol Bussler discusses the principles across a fve-fold framework
that inform practices at a network of teacher-powered high schools.
Student Congresses Can Do More Than Pick the Prom Theme
Commentary. Kim Farris-Berg writes that when student congresses have a voting branch
of school governance, they have actual authority to co-create and co-enforce community
norms.
36
DESIGNING AN APPROACH TO
DISCIPLINE AND SOCIAL NEEDS
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Resources (continued)
Existing teacher-powered schools approaches to discipline (continued)
To Make Communities Safer, Trust Students
Commentary. Students suggest that trusting them may be the key to reducing bullying and
violence in school. Learn how many teacher-powered schools respond to this need.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots,
Chapter 4 (pp. 56-67) and Chapter 8
Book. Chapters 4 and 8 explore how teacher-powered schools tend to address social and
discipline problems as part of student learning.
A Year at Mission Hill: Chapter 4, Love and Limits
Video. Filmmakers Tom and Amy Valens explore the relationship between social and
emotional well being and capacity for intellectual growth, in addition to examining
opportunities and obstacles associated with full-inclusion classrooms.
A Year at Mission Hill: Chapter 6, Like a Family
Video. Filmmakers Tom and Amy Valens explore the question: How can schools cultivate
safe, nurturing spaces for everyone involved in childrens lives?
Resources for specifc approaches that contributed to teams choices
Black Ants and Buddhists: Thinking Critically and Teaching Differently in the Primary Grades
Book. Teacher Mary Cowhey demonstrates what schools would look like if understanding
and respecting diferences in race, culture, beliefs, and opinions were at their hearts.
Conscious Discipline
Book and videos. Becky A. Bailey integrates classroom management with social-emotional
learning that supports students in learning to manage their own behavior.
The Leader in Me
Book. Stephen R. Covey identifes an approach to whole school transformation that applies
the concepts from his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Love and Logic

Solutions for Educators


Website. Jim Fay, Foster Cline, and Charles Fay developed the Love and Logic

method
of working with students to promote healthy teacher-student relationships and positive
schoolwide discipline.
37
DESIGNING AN APPROACH TO
DISCIPLINE AND SOCIAL NEEDS
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Resources (continued)
Resources for specifc approaches that contributed to teams choices (continued)
Mindsets: The New Psychology of Success
Book. Drawing upon decades of research, psychologist Carol Dweck argues that its not
just our abilities and talent that bring us success, but whether we approach them with a
fxed or growth mindset.
Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, As, Praise, and Other
Bribes
Book. Alfe Kohn shows that while manipulating students with incentives seems to work in
the short run, its a strategy that ultimately fails and even does lasting harm.
Restorative Justice: FixSchoolDiscipline.org
Website. Use these step-by-step tools to help your team implement supportive, inclusive
discipline policies that hold students accountable and improve school climate and safety.
Restorative Justice: A Working Guide for Our Schools
Report. Many teacher-powered schools choose to implement some element of this report
as part of their approach to discipline. The Alameda County School Health Services
Coalition ofers concrete ideas for bringing Restorative Justice into schools.
Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know About the Emerging
Science of Sex Differences
Book. Dr. Leonard Sax provides insight into the biological diferences between boys and
girls and how those diferences impact the ways children learn, think, and behave.


NE X T: COL L EG I AL LY
MANAG I NG T HE S C HOOL
38
DECIDING HOW TEACHERS WILL
COLLEGIALLY MANAGE THE SCHOOL
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Teacher-powered teams often enter the Storming stage having spent a good
amount of time thinking about the learning program and instructional approach
they want to create. However, teams have usually spent considerably less time
thinking about how the school leadership team will manage the school.
Management design decisions are equally important. This is especially true as
your team thinks about what areas of autonomy it will need to negotiate.
Collegial management design steps include:
Creating a high-performance culture
Cultivating and assessing for characteristics of high-performing organizations.
Developing a shared purpose
How existing teams have used their shared purposes; resources for developing and using
shared purposes.
Deciding whether to formally organize the teacher team
Formalization options; examples of formally organized teacher-powered teams.
Determing an approach to teacher evaluation and tenure
Policies and processes in existing schools; sample evaluation processes and rubrics.
Ensuring the teacher-powered team is a community of learners
Cultivating learning communities; other professional development information.
Defning budgeting processes and priorities
Examples of budgeting priorities and processes; Budgeting 101.
Creating a strategy for attracting families
Design considerations for attracting students and families to your school.
NE X T: C R E AT I NG A
HI G H- P E R F OR MANC E C ULT UR E
39
CREATING A HIGH-PERFORMANCE CULTURE
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
In Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the
Shots, Kim Farris-Berg, Edward J. Dirkswager, and Amy Junge found that when
teachers have collective autonomy to design and run schools, they make decisions
that emulate the nine cultural characteristics of high-performing organizations.
Wise teams should carefully consider how their design decisions will cultivate these
characteristics in both their team and school.
The nine characteristics of high-performing organizations are:
1. Expecting workers to accept accountability for the outcomes of their own decisions.
2. Seeking clarity and buy-in to a shared purpose, which is made up of a mission, values,
goals, and standards of practice.
3. Establishing a collaborative culture of interdependence characterized by an open fow of
ideas, listening to and understanding others, and valuing diferences.
4. Expecting leadership from all and perceiving leadership as a service to all.
5. Encouraging people to innovate, including trying creative new things, challenging old
processes, and continuously adapting.
6. Establishing a learning culture characterized by a sense of common challenge and
discovery rather than a culture where experts impart information.
7. Learning from and being sensitive to the external environment.
8. Being engaged, motivated, and motivating.
9. Setting and measuring progress toward goals and acting upon results to improve
performance.
Resources
High-Performance is Not a Function of Accountability Alone
Commentary. Edward J. Dirkswager and Kim Farris-Berg make the case that, if high-performing
cultures are multifaceted in nature, then sticking to accountability alone as a means for
improvement wont yield high performance.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 3 and Appendix C
Book. Kim Farris-Berg, Edward J. Dirkwager, and Amy Junge explore the design and
management decisions that made 11 teacher-powered schools successful.
NE X T: D E VE L OP I NG A
S HAR E D P UR P OS E
40
DEVELOPING A SHARED PURPOSE
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
A teacher-powered team creates shared purposesconsisting of a mission, vision,
values, goals, and standards of practicethat are similar to those created by
most schools across the country. The overarching goal is educating and preparing
students for life and work.
But teacher-powered teams emphasize an important difference in how they use
their shared purposes. With responsibility and accountablity for school success,
they use their purpose statement as a guide for ongoing, collective dialogue and
decisionmaking about how to best meet students needs. Their shared purpose isnt
just words someone else wrote.
What will your teams shared purpose be? How will you use it?
Resources
Existing teacher-powered teams use of shared purposes
Creating a Teacher-Powered School for Diverse Learners (pp. 4-6)
Case study. Math and Science Leadership Academy teachers share the ways in which they
align their work with their identifed purpose.
State the Mission, Stay the Course
Commentary. Ayla Gavins, principal of a teacher-powered school, describes what it takes
for any schools mission statement to come alive.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 3 (pp. 36-37) and Chapter 4
Book. Teacher-powered schools create school cultures that refect teacher teams shared
purpose. These sections of Trusting Teachers explain how and why.
Developing and utilizing shared purposes
Learning by Doing: A Handbook for Professional Learning Communities at Work
Chapter 2 (pp. 13-42)
Book. Richard DuFour, Rebecca DuFour, Robert Eaker, and Thomas Many provide useful
tools for developing your schools mission, vision, and values so you can design it around a
shared purpose.
NE X T: D EC I D I NG TO
F OR MAL LY ORGANI Z E
41
DECIDING WHETHER TO FORMALLY
ORGANIZE THE TEACHER TEAM
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Some school leadership teams create formal organizations for themselves, such
as workers cooperatives, partnerships, and Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs).
These formally organized teams then arrange service contracts with a school board
to run their schools. The school board pays these teams a fee (often in a lump sum)
for their services.
Formally organized teams have other options as well. They could arrange a contract to run a
department or program within one or multiple schools. They could also contract with a homeschool
cooperative. There are many possibilities. A few teacher-powered teams have created separate
nonprofts during the design phase in order to apply for and receive grants that allow them to create
new teaching and learning resources or expand to serve more schools. These teams continue to
maintain the nonproft for this ongoing purpose, even after the school is open and running. Still other
teams never formally organize any aspect of their teacher partnership. Use the resources below to
decide which option will work best for your team.
Resources
Options for formally organizing a team
Teachers As Owners: A Key to Revitalizing Public Education
Book. Edited by Edward J. Dirkswager, this book ofers insights into teacher-powered
teams ability to create formal organizations.
Worker Cooperatives in America
Book. Robert Jackall and Henry M. Levin address the history, dynamics, challenges, and
potential of worker cooperatives.
YES!: When Workers are Owners
Magazine. This issue about worker cooperatives can be useful for teachers designing and
running schools, particularly as they think about their organizational structure.
Formally organized teacher-powered teams
EdVisions Cooperative
Website. Learn about EdVisions Cooperative, a professional association of teacher owners
that contracts with school boards to supply learning programs and school management.
NE X T: D E T E R MI NI NG T E AC HE R
E VALUAT I ON AND T E NUR E
42
DETERMINING AN APPROACH TO
TEACHER EVALUATION AND TENURE
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Design teams must decide the process the school leadership team will use to
evaluate individual teachers performance. Its important to keep in mind that, in
some states, teams will have to educate themselves about newly implemented laws
that specically delineate someif not allareas for evaluation. In many cases,
teams can also decide whether there will be tenure for teachers.
When making design decisions about evaluation and tenure, many teachers get uncomfortable.
Often times, tenure and evaluation policies have been carefully negotiated and structured for good
reasons. Yet these policies are also designed assuming conventional management structures.
When you are co-responsible and co-accountable for the success of the entire school with your
colleagues, you might want to rethink your involvement in their hiring, evaluation, and dismissal.
After all, your colleagues performance is now your business.
If you can arrange for evaluation autonomy (which you might need to pursue from the state or district
administration or a charter authorizer), then you and your colleagues can determine the defnition of
good teacher performance. This is key, as many teams believe that the evaluation processes they
design are stronger and better able to bring forth improvement than the negotiated evaluations used
in most districts. Teachers in both district and charter school settings often opt to encourage teacher
improvement using 360-degree or peer evaluation. They also make coaching and mentoring a norm
and encourage individual goal setting, with teams holding individuals accountable for meeting their
goals.
Many teams keep tenure (along with negotiated salaries and benefts). However, teacher-powered
schools with the highest levels of autonomy tend to eliminate that option. Teachers in these schools
do not feel that their jobs will be threatened by outside management decisions, and they have a high
degree of trust in their teams.
Resources
Teacher evaluation and tenure policies in existing teacher-powered schools
Teacher-Powered Teams Describe and Discuss Their Chosen Approaches to Tenure and
Evaluation
Online discussion. How are tenure and evaluation handled in teacher-powered schools, and
why? What are some of things teams have learned/improved over time?
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 10
Book. In this chapter, learn more about the evaluation policies for teacher improvement.
43
DETERMINING AN APPROACH TO
TEACHER EVALUATION AND TENURE
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Resources (continued)
Sample evaluation processes and rubrics
EdVisions Of Campus (Henderson, MN)
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 10 (pp. 134-137)
Book. Learn how evaluation works at EdVisions Of Campus, a teacher-powered
school.
Peer Evaluation Rubric
Rubric. What does a peer-to-peer evaluation rubric look like in a teacher-powered
school? In this example from EdVisions Of Campus, peers rate peers in areas such
as content knowledge, evaluation skills, ability to assist students in developing project
proposals, refective practice, ability to advise and coach students, and organization.
Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy (Denver, CO)
Peer Evaluation ProcessMath and Science Leadership Academy (pp. 6-9)
Procedural document. MSLA teachers designed a peer evaluation process to provide
feedback for instructional improvement 3-4 times per year.


NE X T: E NS UR I NG A
COMMUNI T Y OF L E AR NE R S
44
ENSURING THE TEACHER-POWERED TEAM
IS A COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Existing teacher-powered teams say their schools success is dependent upon
creating a learning community. They see themselves as unnished learners rather
than experts who already know everything about teaching. They are constantly
learning and trying new things, evaluating their teaching and students learning,
and using what they learn to make adjustments.
Teacher-powered teams often fnd that professional development for teachers in conventional
schools does not make sense to use in their circumstances. For example, instead of professional
development for working in a conventional school, they need professional development for working
collegially to design and run a school. They also need professional development for teaching the
learning program they choose, not necessarily a conventional learning program. Finally, teams fnd
that they need to stay up-to-date with the latest research on strategies tested with the population of
students that they serve.
To cultivate leaders, some teacher-powered teams decide that at least a few teachers will engage
in professional development for the purpose of attaining administrative licenses. This way, teams
can rotate leadership from the inside and still meet state and district requirements regarding school
leadership.

Questions your team should consider:
How will your team ensure its members are committed to continuous learning?
What kind of professional development will your team need? How will you know?
What learning will you pursue as a team? What learning will individuals pursue?
How will teacher learning be personalized and aligned to the teams mission, vision, and
values?
What structures will be put in place to support ongoing teacher learning and practice?
Resources
Cultivating learning communities
Building School-Based Teacher Learning Communities
Book. Milbrey W. McLaughlin and Joan E. Talbert provide an inside look at the processes,
resources, and system strategies that are necessary to build vibrant, school-based teacher
learning communities.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 6
Book. Chapter 6 explores the characteristics of learning communities created by teacher-
powered schools.
45
ENSURING THE TEACHER-POWERED TEAM
IS A COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Resources (continued)
Professional development for teacher-powered teams
Compelling Conversations: Connecting Leadership to Student Achievement
Book. Thomasina Piercy provides a direct leadership model that increases individual
teacher capacity and cuts through the unproductive norms that often drive traditional
isolated decisions.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 6 (pp. 86-87)
Book excerpt. Learn about the questions and challenges teacher-powered schools face
with regard to professional development.


NE X T: D E F I NI NG B UG D E T I NG
P ROC E S S E S AND P R I OR I T I E S
46
DEFINING BUDGETING PROCESSES
AND PRIORITIES
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Your team should consider several important questions before dening its
budgeting process and priorities.
1. What kind of budget autonomy does your team wish to pursue?
Issues to consider include:
Does your team want to seek autonomy to allocate the schools entire budget, including the
formula for salaries and benefts?
To get that autonomy, are you willing to design and run a charter school?
Does your team want to keep teachers salaries and benefts within the formula agreed on in
the collective bargaining agreement (knowing that, in exchange, your team will get signifcantly
less budget autonomy)? Often, teams that choose this arrangement beneft from support
provided by the school district (such as payroll, food, and transportation contracts). However,
choosing this option means the team will control only a small amount of discretionary funds.
Your team must decide if the benefts of such an arrangement outweigh the costs.
Does your team want to secure autonomy to allocate discretionary funds only? If so, how can
you negotiate to free up as much discretionary funding as possible?
These decisions may depend on whether your team can achieve its goals with partial budget
autonomy. Its also possible that your team has strong feelings about creating change within or
beyond the district.
2. What process will your team use for allocating and approving the annual budget?
Many teams have a leader or committee (selected by and accountable to the whole team) who
drafts the budget in line with the teams shared purpose and budgeting priorities. Then, the
team discusses and asks for adjustments before voting to approve the fnal budget (which is
ratifed by the schools board). Will this process work for your team? If not, what will?
3. How will your team ensure your school gets the income it needs to be sustainable?
How is enrollment related to the fnancial sustainability of the school (regardless of whether
you have full budget autonomy)?
Will you seek grants for supplemental funding? For start-up funding? Who will be responsible
for pursuing this?
If there is a formal arrangement for the teacher-powered team (e.g. a cooperative, partnership,
or LLC), will the partnership receive income from the school board in a lump sum?
If there is not a formal arrangement, how will state funding fow into the school?
47
DEFINING BUDGETING PROCESSES
AND PRIORITIES
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
4. How will your team set priorities for spending?
How will spending priorities support your teams shared purpose?
How will your team ensure you are meeting federal, state, and local spending requirements?
Resources
Budgeting priorities and processes used in existing teacher-powered schools
Realizing Deeper Learning: The Economics and Achievements of Teacher-Powered Schools
Report. This report examines the economics of two teacher-powered charter schools,
fnding both schools expand defnitions of achievement and improve student outcomes
without increased costs.
Teacher-Powered Teams Describe and Discuss Their Creative Thinking about School
Funding and Resource Allocation
Online discussion. When teachers have control of spending decisions, does it change the
way they think about school funding and resource allocation?
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 11
Book. Chapter 11 explores how teacher-powered schools can make budget trade-ofs to
meet the needs of the students they serve.
Budgeting 101
Translating Your Breakthrough School Design into a Bold Financial Model
Presentation. This Afton Partners presentation covers school budgeting basics as well as
information about how to align your school budget with your instructional priorities. There is
also information about lessons learned from new school start-ups.
NE X T: C R E AT I NG A S T RAT EGY
F OR AT T RACT I NG FAMI L I E S
48
CREATING A STRATEGY
FOR ATTRACTING FAMILIES
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Your team must consider a strategy for attracting families. Quite simply: without
students, the school will not get the funding it needs to remain open.
Questions your team should ask:
How will families learn about the school?
Why will families want their children to attend the school?
Does your school meet an unmet need that will attract families?
Does the location of your school matter to the families you seek to serve?
How will you advertise your school?
How many families does your team need to attract in order for the school to be fnancially
sustainable?
How do you plan to continue to attract families, even after the school opens?
Resources
Math and Science Leadership Academy: Creating a Teacher-Powered School for Diverse
Learners
Report. MSLA teachers share their approach to recruiting families to their teacher-powered
school.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 6 (pp. 79-86)
Book. Chapter 6 describes how teacher-powered schools attract conventional students as well
as student populations who seek learning programs with more potential for individualization.

NE X T: S E E K I NG
E X T E R NAL S UP P ORT
49
SEEKING EXTERNAL SUPPORT
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Design teams should make a plan for seeking external support throughout the
Storming stage. External support is the means by which teams secure nancial
support for the design phase and political support for their autonomy and school
proposal. Often, teams designate one or two members to handle these highly
important responsibilities. In many cases, teams autonomy and school proposals
have passed swiftly when they are up for approval because of the political support
cultivated (and pitfalls avoided) during the Storming stage. Your team should
expect to educate potential supporters about teacher-powered schools and the
nature of your specic proposal, listen carefully to any concerns, determine your
responses to those concerns, and then educate some more.
Financial support for the start-up process
One big question on teachers minds as they design their school is whether they can receive
compensation during the planning and start-up process. Many teachers have secured start-up
grants to support a small team, while others have started schools without any fnancial support.
To our knowledge, no teams have pursued arrangements with their districts and unions/associations
to plan part-time and teach part-time (with payment for both). However, teachers have been able
to negotiate arrangements in other situations. Perhaps your team could seek a similar arrangement
with your local, state, or national union/association and your school district for the purpose of
designing a teacher-powered school.
Political support for your autonomy and school proposal
In addition to seeking fnancial support, your team should investigate who might politically support
your school proposal and your teams quest for autonomy, including state leaders, district leaders,
union and association leaders, charter authorizers, business community members, foundations,
parents, universities, nonprofts, and other community organizations.
Sharing your teams plans with these parties will help you discover connections and ideas for your
proposals success. You might also learn about potential obstacles facing your teacher-powered
school, which would give your team time to determine how to overcome them.
50
SEEKING EXTERNAL SUPPORT
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Resources
Identifying start-up funding sources
National Foundations
National Education Association Foundation: Grants to Teachers
Website. The NEA Foundation awards small grants to teachers to improve teaching and
learning, including investigating teacher-powered school models.
The National Education Association: Great Public Schools Fund
Website. The NEA will award up to $250,000 to local afliates, state afliates, or
partnerships between local and state afliates.
Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC)
Website. Check out the NGLC website to learn more about their planning and launch
grants for new school models that align with Next Generation Learning principles.
The Walton Family Foundation
Website. The Walton Family Foundation awards grants for school startups and charter
management organizations.
Local Foundations
Philadelphia School Partnership Great Schools Fund
Website. Teachers in Philadelphia can apply for new school startup funding, including
for teacher-powered schools, through the Philadelphia School Partnership.
Connecting with a start-up coach
CTQ Collaboratory, School Redesign Lab
Website. Join the CTQ Collaboratory and well help you begin your search for a start-up
coach or consultant who can help you through the process of creating a teacher-powered
school.
Successful techniques for securing political support
School Redesign Webinar Series, Part 1
Webinar. In Part One of this three-part webinar series, you will explore how to begin
securing political support for your teacher-powered school.
51
SEEKING EXTERNAL SUPPORT
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Tools and ideas to appeal to specifc potential supporters
In this section, you will fnd resources for tailoring your appeal to specifc potential supporters.
State leaders
District leaders
Charter authorizers
Teachers union and association leaders
Parents
Teacher preparation institutions
Researchers and foundations
Communities
State leaders

California Governor Jerry Browns State of the State Speech
Commentary. As Valerie Strauss reports, Governor Brown called for more local control of school
issues, saying: I would prefer to trust our teachers who are in the classroom each day, doing
the real worklighting fres in young minds.
Maine Statute: An Act To Develop a Grant Program To Establish a Teacher-Powered School
Model
Bill. In 2013, the Maine Legislature passed the frst bill to develop a grant program to establish a
teacher-powered school model.
Minnesota HR2 Omnibus Education Bill: Minnesota Site-Governed Schools Legislation
Bill. In 2009, the Minnesota Legislature passed a statute authorizing creation of a new type of
district public school that incorporates the autonomy, fexibility, and accountability of charter
schools.
Realizing Deeper Learning: The Economics and Achievements of Teacher-Powered Schools
Report. This report examines the economics of two teacher-powered charter schools, fnding
both schools expand defnitions of achievement and improve student outcomes without
increased costs.
Rhode Island Governor Chafee Announces Educator Autonomy Working Group
Press release. Governor Chafee named an Educator Autonomy Working Group to make
autonomy recommendations for schools in Rhode Island.
52
SEEKING EXTERNAL SUPPORT
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
State leaders (continued)
Teach to Lead: Advancing Teacher Leadership
Website. Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, announced the 2014 launch of the
Teach to Lead initiative and provided a rationale.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 12 (pp. 163-167)
Book. What can state leaders do to support teacher-powered schools? This section ofers some
ideas, including meeting with teacher-powered school leaders to identify and determine how to
remove barriers to cultivating high-performing cultures.
What Could State Governors Do in Order to Establish Legally Protected Zones of Professional
Practice for Teachers?
Commentary and bill summary. In this EdSource piece, Charles Taylor Kerchner asks, What
could state governors do in order to establish legally protected zones of professional practice
for teachers? This resource also includes a summary of a bill referenced in Kerchners piece.
District leaders
Managing School Autonomy
Commentary. Kim Farris-Berg explores the question: As teacher-powered schools increase in
number, will administrators set the right conditions for them to succeed?
Minnesota HR2 Omnibus Education Bill: Minnesota Site-Governed Schools Legislation
Bill. In 2009, the Minnesota Legislature passed a statute authorizing creation of a new type of
district public school that incorporates the autonomy, fexibility, and accountability of charter
schools as Site-Governed District Schools.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 12 (pp. 163-167)
Book. What can district leaders do to support teacher-powered schools? This section ofers
some ideas, including meeting with teacher-powered school leaders to identify and determine
how to remove barriers to cultivating high-performing cultures.
53
SEEKING EXTERNAL SUPPORT
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Charter authorizers
Could Minnesotas Single Purpose Charter Authorizer Law Open Up Potential for Teachers to
Run Schools?
Commentary. In this EdSource piece, Charles Taylor Kerchner asks, What could state
governors do in order to establish legally protected zones of professional practice for teachers?
Establishing a Single Purpose Charter Authorizer Law is among the options, he says.
Minnesota Charter Authorizers Call for Teacher-Powered School Proposals
Websites. In Minnesota, two charter authorizers are seeking proposals from teachers who want
to create teacher-powered schools.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 12 (pp. 163-167)
Book. What can charter authorizers do to support teacher-powered schools? This section ofers
some ideas, including meeting with teacher-powered school leaders to identify and determine
how to remove barriers to cultivating high-performing cultures.
Teachers union/association leaders
Minnesota Guild of Public Charter Schools
Website. The Minnesota Guild of Public Charter Schools is a single-purpose charter authorizer
created with support from the American Federation of Teachers. The Guild has the capacity to
authorize charter schools proposed, designed, and led by unionized teachers.
National Education Association Commission on Efective Teachers and Teaching December
2011 Report
Report. In this December 2011 report, the NEA Commission concluded: We envision a
teaching profession that embraces collective accountability for student learning balanced with
collaborative autonomy that allows educators to do what is best for students.
National Education Association Foundation: Grants to Teachers
Website. The NEA Foundation awards small grants to teachers to improve teaching and
learning, including investigating teacher-powered school models.
The National Education Association: Great Public Schools Fund
Website. The NEA will award up to $250,000 to local afliates, state afliates, or partnerships
between local and state afliates to advance the goal of great public schools for every student.
54
SEEKING EXTERNAL SUPPORT
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Teachers union/association leaders (continued)
Teachers Creating and Leading Schools... is Union Work!
Commentary. Louise Sundin writes for Kappan that the Minnesota Guild of Public Charter
Schools is the frst union-sponsored entity created for the sole purpose of authorizing and
overseeing charter schools. The Guild believes that schools involving professional teachers in all
aspects of schooling will deliver high quality education to students.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 12 (pp. 168-172)
Book. What can union leaders do to support teacher-powered schools? These pages ofer some
ideas, including creating a separate, subsidiary support organization that reports directly to
union leadership but is not obliged to conventional union culture and modes of operation.

Union Proposes Teachers Take Over Some Rochester (NY) City School District Schools
Article. Rochester City Schools Superintendent Bolgen Vargas asked the Rochester Teachers
Association to present plans for schools to be run by teachers. In 2013, they did. With new
options now on the table following the 2013 contract negotiation, Rochester teachers are
beginning to propose teacher-powered schools.
We Cant Just Say No: Teachers Unions Must Lead Change
Commentary. Paul Toner writes that the Massachusetts Education Partnership is committed
to supporting local school districts and unions that want to develop collaborative models of
school-based reform to advance student success, including teacher-powered schools.
Parents
Trusting Teachers is a Means to Authentic Parent Engagement
Commentary. Kim Farris-Berg writes, If the educators in our schools dont have the authority
to make the decisions infuencing school success, then how could they share any authority with
parents and students?
Teacher preparation institutions
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 12 (pp. 172-173)
Book. Leaders of teacher preparation institutions can choose to support teachers migration to
teacher-powered schools with collective autonomy and accountability.
55
SEEKING EXTERNAL SUPPORT
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TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Researchers and foundations
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 12 (pp. 174-177)
Book. Researchers, foundations, and teachers could establish an infrastructure of information
necessary for understanding and supporting innovation through teacher-powered schools.
Communities
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 12 (pp. 168-172)
Book. What can community leaders do to support teacher-powered schools? This section
ofers some ideas for the business community, including a call to oppose top-down mandates
because they are not conducive to high performance.
Zoned for Change: A Historical Case Study of the Belmont Zone of Choice (Los Angeles)
Case study. Ramn Antonio Martnez and Karen Hunter Quartz explore the potential of
community organizing strategies for transforming public schools, documenting the crucial role
of strategic alliances between community-based organizations and school district ofcials in
bringing about greater equity and improved student outcomes.

NE X T: P UR S UI NG AUTONOMY
AND AP P ROVAL
56
PURSUING AUTONOMY AND APPROVAL
FOR YOUR TEACHER-POWERED SCHOOL
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
After all of the design decisions your team has made, and all the political
navigating you have done, your team is now ready to secure autonomy and seek
approval for your teacher-powered school.
Steps for pursuing autonomy and approval include:

Review sample school proposals and write your own
Review sample proposals and research to prepare a school proposal.
Learn about securing collective teacher autonomy
Find information on potential areas of autonomy, means of securing autonomy, and sample
agreements.
Connect with teachers in existing teacher-powered schools and get feedback on your proposal
Visit the CTQ Collaboratory School Redesign Lab, browse the National Inventory of Schools
with Collective Autonomy, and get proposal feedback or guidance.


NE X T: R E VI E W S AMP L E
S C HOOL P ROP OS AL S
57
REVIEW SAMPLE SCHOOL PROPOSALS
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
The next step is to research what is required in a school proposal for a district or
charter school. If you are seeking to change the governance model of an existing
school from a conventional model to a teacher-powered school, the proposal will be
for conversion rather than a new school. Whatever your case, this section features
a number of sample documents to help you consider what to include in your
proposal.
In addition to the school proposal, you may need to work with the state, district,
charter authorizer, or union/association to formalize your teams arrangement for
collective autonomy. Comb through your teams plans carefully and consider what
areas of autonomy you will need to achieve your mission, vision, values, and goals.
Resources
Chrysalis Charter School Proposal
Contract. Chrysalis in Palo Cedro, California, has teachers collective authority written in its
charter contract arranged with the Shasta County Board of Education.
Denver Public Schools New School Proposals
Website. These new school proposals submitted to Denver Public Schools give a sense of what
is required in a school proposal.
Laurel Tree Charter School Proposal
Contract. At Laurel Tree Charter School, a teacher-powered school, teachers collective
autonomy is arranged via charter contract with Northern Humboldt Union High School District
and the schools governing bylaws.
Author tip
Revisit the Forming steps Learning about Teacher-Powered Schools and Finding Inspiration
and Motivation for the Work on pages 8 and 11 to gather supporting research to include with
your proposal.
NE X T: L E AR N AB OUT
S EC UR I NG AUTONOMY
58
LEARN ABOUT SECURING
COLLECTIVE TEACHER AUTONOMY
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Decide what areas of autonomy your team will need to achieve its mission,
vision, values, and goals. Do not assume that any area of autonomy is a given.
Once you have a complete list, consider it alongside the information you learned
when seeking external support. What arrangement will be best for getting all
the autonomy you need? If you dont think you can secure all the autonomy you
will need, you may have to do more political navigation or consider alternate
arrangements before making a formal request.
Resources
Potential areas of autonomy
Boston Pilot Schools
Report. In this 2009 report, the Reason Foundation describes and reviews Boston Pilot Schools,
including their fve essential areas of autonomy.
Charter School Autonomy: A Half-Broken Promise
Report. In this 2011 Fordham Institute study, authors Jacob L. Rosch and Dana Brinson fnd
that the typical charter school in America today lacks the autonomy it needs to succeed once
requirements by states, authorizers, and other authorities are considered.
The Decentralization Mirage
Report. In this RAND report, Bruce Bimber found that decentralization eforts had limited efects
due to the inseparability of decisions. In other words, budget, personnel, instructional, and
operational decisions are so closely linked that when school staf are given decentralized
authority to make one type of decision, they are often hamstrung by centralized constraints on
related decisions. If teacher-powered schools are to succeed in bringing innovation to K-12
schooling, what does this imply about the kind of autonomy that will be necessary?
Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us
Book and video. Drawing on four decades of scientifc research, Daniel Pink asserts that the
secret to high performance and satisfaction is the need to direct our own lives, to learn and
create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.
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LEARN ABOUT SECURING
COLLECTIVE TEACHER AUTONOMY
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Resources (continued)
Potential areas of autonomy (continued)
Making Schools Work
Book. In a two-year study of 223 schools in six cities, William G. Ouchi and others discovered
that top-performing schools had the most decentralized management systems, in which
autonomous principalsnot administrators in a central ofcecontrolled school budgets and
personnel hiring policies. They were fully responsible and fully accountable for the performance
of their schools.
Teacher-Powered Schools: 14 Areas of Collective Autonomy
Inventory. Kim Farris-Berg, Edward J. Dirkswager, and Amy Junge originally identifed ten
potential areas of autonomy when conducting research for Trusting Teachers with School
Success. The list later expanded to 14 areas based on their fndings.
The Secret of TSL
Book. William G. Ouchi studied 442 schools that have embraced school decentralization, fnding
improved school performance. Ouchi asserts that principals must be given control of their
budgets and other authority. When principals are empowered, they allocate funds to increase
the number of teachers and lower the Total Student Load (TSL) per teacher. TSL is a key factor
in school performance.
Means of securing autonomy
Autonomy Arrangements Made by Existing Teacher-Powered Schools
Inventory. Choose the Types of Arrangements tab and browse for schools with the autonomy
arrangement you plan to seek. Then connect using the contact information provided.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots
Chapter 2
Book. There are many ways to secure collective autonomy to run a teacher-powered school.
Chapter 2 describes the various arrangements.

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LEARN ABOUT SECURING
COLLECTIVE TEACHER AUTONOMY
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
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Resources (continued)
Sample agreements for securing collective teacher autonomy
Belmont Pilot Schools Agreement
Memorandum of understanding. Under the pilot agreement between Los Angeles Unifed School
District and United Teachers of Los Angeles, the school board delegates authority to pilot
schools governing councils to try new and diferent means of improving teaching and learning.
The potential exists for councils to put decisionmaking authority in teachers handsand some
do.
Hughes STEM High School
Collective bargaining agreement. In 2009, teachers at Hughes STEM High School in Cincinnati,
Ohio, secured collective autonomy to run the school via the Instructional Leadership Team
(ILT) structure negotiated in the collective bargaining agreement between the Cincinnati School
Board and Cincinnati Federation of Teachers.
Math and Science Leadership Academy (MSLA)
Memorandum of Understanding, waivers, and teacher acknowledgment. MSLA teachers in
Denver, Colorado share the documents that provide the legal structures to operate as a teacher-
powered school.
United Providence (UP!) Compact
Website. In 2006, Education Sector convened a group of union and district representatives from
across the country to discuss and debate some of the most difcult issues in education reform.
For several years, this group, which included Providence (RI) Teachers Union President Steve
Smith, worked together to identify key points of agreement between labor and management.
NE X T: CONNECT WI T H
OT HE R T E AC HE R S
61
CONNECT WITH TEACHERS IN
EXISTING TEACHER-POWERED SCHOOLS
R E T UR N TO: S TOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
This is a good time to connect with existing teacher-powered teams who have
secured autonomy arrangements like the one your team wishes to pursue. Ask
them: What worked well when they pursued their arrangement? What do they know
now that they wish they had known when they were pursuing their autonomy or
writing their school proposal?
Resources
Connect with teachers in teacher-powered schools for proposal feedback
CTQ Collaboratory School Redesign Lab
Website. Post your proposal in the School Redesign Lab and request feedback, or ask specifc
questions as you develop your proposal.
National Inventory of Schools with Collective Teacher Autonomy
Inventory. Browse for schools with the autonomy arrangement you plan to seek. Connect using
the contact information in the inventory.

NE X T: S TAG E T HR E E
NOR MI NG
62
R E T UR N TO: MAI N
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
In the Norming stage, your team is working together to start
up and run the teacher-powered school you designed and got
approved in the Storming stage. Your team will transition from
the design team (which designed the school) to the school
leadership team (which is responsible for running the school).
Norming stage steps include:
Developing personnel processes
Selecting, retaining, and dismissing colleagues, staf, and leaders; team-building resources.
Improving how your teams shared purpose is used in decision making
Compelling team members to take ownership of the shared purpose.
Cultivating skills and dispositions for evaluating colleagues
Ensuring teams understand how the evaluation process works and the reasons for its
design; mentoring, coaching, and evaluation skills.
Refning skills for working in a collaborative leadership model
Dispositions and practices that work in collaborative leadership environments.
Creating and refning a process for assessing school performance
Resources for inquiry, discussion, and improvement.
Learning skills for working unconventionally
Challenges to expect when pioneering a teacher-powered school in your area.
STAGE THREE: NORMING
NE X T: D E VE L OP I NG
P E R S ONNE L P ROC E S S E S
63
DEVELOPING PERSONNEL PROCESSES
R E T UR N TO: NOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
After your school proposal is approved, the design team will transition to the
school leadership team. That means selecting teachers and other personnel to run
the school. It also means selecting leaders and implementing the leadership models
that your team created in the Storming stage.
The design team developed personnel processesincluding selection, retention,
and dismissalthat were most appropriate for the school. However, the school
leadership team, once selected, will carry out those processes and select leaders.
At this time, the design team will cease to exist. The school leadership team
will assume all responsibilities for starting up and running the school. Some
members of the design team will not maintain a formal relationship with the school
leadership team.
Your team may need to revisit the Storming stage as you learn how to work
together effectively and transition to the Norming stage.
Personnel selection processes (including leaders)
Creating a candidate wish list:
What qualities are you looking for in candidates? Will you seek candidates who have skills and
knowledge that existing team members do not have? Who can take on roles you need to fll?
Will all members of the design team be members of the school leadership team? Do you need
to have some candid (and likely difcult) conversations to ensure that certain people do not
end up on the school leadership team?
Hiring processes for teachers, leaders, and other personnel:
Who will be involved in personnel selection processes?
How will you recruit and screen candidates?
What questions should you ask (and not ask), considering both legal boundaries and your
teaching and learning models?
Will you conduct observations? If so, how?
Educating and evaluating candidates:
How will you ensure candidates understand what it means to be part of your team and that
they are willing to take on relevant responsibilities?
How will you ensure candidates are a good ft for your school (including its culture)?
How will you ensure that the team selected to run the school is aware ofand will take
ownership ofthe design decisions made during the Storming stage?
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DEVELOPING PERSONNEL PROCESSES
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How will you ensure leaders are willing to be responsible forand held accountable tothe
team of teachers?
What steps from the Storming stage does your team need to revisit in order to learn to work
together well?
Dismissal processes
How will you determine when a team member is not performing well?
What opportunities will team members be given to improve?
How will you document progress or lack thereof?
Are there any cases in which team members will be immediately dismissed? What district and
state legal requirements exist in these circumstances?
How can you ensure the team is following processes that protect the school from legal
challenges?
Resources
Math and Science Leadership Academy: Creating a Teacher-Powered School for Diverse
Learners
Case study. Discover the selection and retention processes MSLA teachers designed (pp. 6-8).
Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy Selection and Process Documents
Documents. A selection of documents used by MSLA for personnel, including stafng,
grievance, review, and dismissal; application questions; interview questions; and an article used
for recruiting candidates.
Schools Arent Simply Hiring Teachers for Grade-level and Subject-area Expertise
Book excerpt. In this excerpt from Trusting Teachers with School Success, Amy Junge, a former
teacher and assistant principal, describes the diferent kinds of qualities teacher-powered
schools are looking for in candidates.
Author tip
Revisit the Storming stage step Developing a Design Team on page 19 as you integrate new
team members into your existing school culture and team.
Jump ahead to the Performing stage step Bringing New Team Members into the Existing
Culture on page 71 as you integrate new team members into your existing school culture and
team.
NE X T: US I NG YOUR
T E AM S S HAR E D P UR P OS E
65
IMPROVING HOW YOUR TEAMS SHARED
PURPOSE IS USED IN DECISION MAKING
R E T UR N TO: NOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Its one thing to create a shared purpose. Its another to get new team members to
take ownership of that shared purpose and use it as a basis for decision making.
What are some ways your team can intentionally make use of its shared purpose
in decision making? For example, when some teams meet, they relate each item
on their agenda to the teams shared purpose. If the item is not clearly related,
it is dropped from the agenda. Other teams boldly paint their shared purpose on
the school walls as a reminder for their day-to-day work. Many teams evaluate
potential candidates for their capacity to commit to the established shared
purpose.
Ayla Gavins of the teacher-powered Mission Hill K-8 School in Boston wrote
in Forum for Education and Democracy about sharing a purpose: If a mission
statement is to be taken seriously as a guide to the beliefs and practices of
an institution, then each person within the institution must be aware of its
principles.This requires planned opportunities for people to talk through their
interpretations of the statement, and dening the role each member of the school
community plays to articulate its purpose. It requires time for staff to think through
implementation of the statement... for both reection and action planning.
Resources
School Redesign Webinar Series, Part 2
Webinar. In Part Two of this three-part webinar series, explore how learning and management
systems work and how you can build systems that align with your school vision.
State the Mission, Stay the Course
Commentary. Ayla Gavins, principal of a teacher-powered school, describes what it takes for
any schools mission statement to come alive.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots,
Chapter 4
Book. Chapter 4 describes how teacher-powered schools create shared purposes that focus on
students as individuals and then use those shared purposes as the basis of decision making.
NE X T: C ULT I VAT I NG S K I L L S
F OR E VALUAT I NG
66
CULTIVATING SKILLS AND DISPOSITIONS
FOR EVALUATING COLLEAGUES
R E T UR N TO: NOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Your team has already designed its evaluation processes. Now its time to design
a process to educate current and future team members about how the evaluation
process works and the reasons behind its design. Team members will also need
to learn and practice the skills and dispositions necessary to mentor, coach, and
evaluate colleagues.
The Norming stage is a good time to engage in professional development for this
purpose. A healthy team cultureand ultimately the schools performancerely on
your teams ability to encourage individual improvement in constructive ways.
Resources
The Adaptive School: A Sourcebook for Developing Collaborative Groups
Book. Robert J. Garmston fnds that, in adaptive schools, inquiry is placed at the center of
change since it gives teachers the tools they need to bring about genuine school improvement
through collaboration.
Cognitive Coaching: A Foundation for Renaissance Schools
Book. Arthur L. Costa and Robert J. Garmston developed Cognitive Coaching, a model
that supports individuals and organizations in becoming self-directed, self-managing, self-
monitoring, and self-modifying.
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High
Book and video. Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler share strategies
for engaging in important conversations in ways that support organizational success.

NE X T: R E F I NI NG S K I L L S F OR
COL L AB ORAT I VE L E AD E R S HI P
67
REFINING SKILLS FOR WORKING
IN A COLLABORATIVE LEADERSHIP MODEL
R E T UR N TO: NOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Teams working through the Norming stage have learnedand are continuously
improvinghow to function according to their dened shared purpose. Roles and
responsibilities are already dened and accepted. Leaders selected by the group
are acting as facilitators (not directors) at the will of your team.
Your team is practicing its model for shared leadership. Naturally, team members
need to rene their collaboration skills and dispositions to ensure the teams ability
to act according to its shared purpose.
Some teams hire consultants to help them learn how to have productive meetings
in which everyones voice is heard. Many teams also create norms for working
through disagreements and use assessments to learn more about one anothers
strengths, personalities, and working styles.
It takes time and practice for individuals and teams to become accustomed to
operating in a collaborative leadership environment. For example, some people
need to learn that they cant always be the captain, while others need to unlearn
the habit of always following orders.
Resources
The Marcus Buckingham Company
Website. Teacher-powered schools report using Marcus Buckinghams books and tools as a
means to help their teams break habitual behaviors developed in conventional schools and
teacher training institutions.
North, South, East and West: Compass PointsAn Exercise in Understanding Preferences in
Group Work
Discussion guide. Developed by educators and the National School Reform Faculty, this
facilitation and discussion guide helps teams understand how individuals preferences can
afect group work.
School Redesign Webinar Series, Part 3
Webinar. In Part Three of this three-part webinar series, explore how to blur the lines of
distinction between those who teach and those who lead in schools.
NE X T: P ROC E S S E S F OR
AS S E S S I NG P E R F OR MANC E
68
CREATING AND REFINING A PROCESS
FOR ASSESSING SCHOOL PERFORMANCE
R E T UR N TO: NOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
How will your team know if its efforts are successful? Will you dene your success
by the schools mean prociency score, or some other way? How will you ensure
your team is accountable for meeting the mission, vision, values, and goals it
establishes?
In Trusting Teachers with School Success, Kim Farris-Berg, Edward J. Dirkswager,
and Amy Junge suggest that one way teams can determine their success is to
measure the extent to which they are emulating the cultural characteristics of
high-performing organizations. Teams can use the survey in Appendix C of that
book to determine whether individual members believe the team is emulating those
characteristics, and then use those ndings to guide improvement.
Teachers can also draw on their evaluations, test scores, measurements of student
engagement, and other indicators of student, teacher, and team success. The key is
to be open and committed to a process of inquiry, discussion, and improvement.
There are many ways to approach this work. Teams could have a committee
dedicated to assessing whole school success that occasionally meets with
individuals and the entire team. Teams could also delegate aspects of assessment
to grade-level or subject-area teams that meet regularly about student and teacher
assessments. Another option is to create a committee dedicated to measuring and
analyzing your teams overall performance, informed by the grade-level or subject
area teams.
Resources
Assessing What Really Matters in Schools: Creating Hope for the Future
Book. Ronald J. Newell and Mark J. Van Ryzin conceptualize rigorous learning as the outcome
of an environment that promotes positive youth development.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots,
Appendix C
Book. Appendix C is a survey instrument that teacher-powered schools can use to measure the
extent to which they are emulating the cultural characteristics of high-performing organizations.
NE X T: S K I L L S F OR WOR K I NG
UNCONVE NT I ONAL LY
69
LEARNING SKILLS FOR WORKING
UNCONVENTIONALLY IN CONVENTIONAL
MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
R E T UR N TO: NOR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Teacher-powered teams report that one of their greatest challenges is constantly
dealing with the reality that they are working unconventionallyoperating in new
and different waysin conventional management settings. Teachers, especially
those who choose to continue working with districts and unions, report that they
have to constantly spend time and resources explaining why they need waivers or
why alternative management systems and structures are needed to practice their
craft. Or, they spend signicant time complying with systems that were designed
on the assumption that all schools are the same.
For example, some schools with self-directed, project-based learning models have
students learning without conventional seminar courses. But they still need to
report attendance as if students were on the course schedule used by most schools
in their district (unless they have made special arrangements otherwise).
Questions to ask:
How will your team recognize instances when efciency is compromised by similar
challenges?
How will your team determine when it is worth pursuing waivers or alternate systems?
Alternatively, when it is best to comply and fy under the radar?
Will you have an individual or committee with political savvy wholly dedicated to this work?
Resources
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots,
Questions and Challenges sections at the end of Chapters 4-11
Book. Learn about the challenges your team might face and how other teacher-powered
schools have worked to live with or overcome them.


NE X T: S TAG E F OUR
P E R F OR MI NG
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School leadership teams in the Performing stage know how to
run their teacher-powered school. Team members are motivated
to achieve goals set by the team, and they operate competently
within established structures. In this stage, teams will learn how
to recognize when change is necessary to ensure continued
success and avoid cultural upheaval during organizational
changes.
Performing stage steps include:
Bringing new team members into the existing culture
On-boarding new team members, establishing leader roles, and working
toward improvement and change without sufering cultural upheaval.
Planning for changes in leadership
Resources to prepare for transitions.
Assessing whole school performance for continuous improvement
Ensuring your team and school are emulating the characteristics of
high-performing organizations and that students are learning well.
STAGE FOUR: PERFORMING
NE X T: B R I NG I NG NE W T E AM
ME MB E R S I NTO T HE C ULT UR E
71
BRINGING NEW TEAM MEMBERS
INTO THE EXISTING CULTURE
R E T UR N TO: P E R F OR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
In the Performing stage, school leadership team members will occasionally
challenge existing structures. But these challenges can be resolved by using set
criteria and processes established by the team in earlier stages.
At this point, the team makes all major decisions affecting the school. Leaders
selected by the group help the team stay aware of how projects and ideas t into
the bigger picture. They also help the team ensure that tasks are appropriately
delegated according to set priorities. Team members might ask leaders to help with
issues like personal and interpersonal development.
The team development cycle in the Performing stage does not take place in any perfect order. Many
teams go through the Storming, Norming, and Performing stages several times as changes bring
new circumstances. For example, hiring a new leader or a few new teachers might cause your team
to revisit the Storming stage as newcomers challenge team dynamics. A team might also revisit
Storming as it assesses its progress and adjusts an aspect of its culture or learning program.
When your team is in the Performing stage, you should spend time learning how to get better at
bringing new team members on board, dealing with leadership changes, and improving continuously
without sufering cultural upheaval. You should also learn to recognize when going back to the
Storming stage could actually be good for the team and schools success.
Bringing in new team members
Every time your team brings a new member on boardwhether teachers, leaders, or other
personnelyou will need to go through an on-boarding process. Helping new team members learn
what it means to work at your school is key to ensuring the teams ongoing success.
Existing teams say that it takes time for new people to adjust to the unconventional cultures they
encountereven people who indicate a strong desire and willingness to work in a teacher-powered
school.
Most peoples previous employment and training experiences probably involved top-down
management structures, strict adherence to a collective bargaining agreement, and conventional
learning programs. Teacher-powered schools operate very diferently and are even diferent from
one another. Teams must be intentional about on-boarding newcomers to alleviate the potential for
cultural disruption.
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BRINGING NEW TEAM MEMBERS
INTO THE EXISTING CULTURE
R E T UR N TO: P E R F OR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Resources
The Marcus Buckingham Company
Website. Teacher-powered schools report using Marcus Buckinghams books and tools as a
means to help their teams break habitual behaviors developed in conventional schools and
teacher training institutions.
Author tip
Revisit the Storming stage step Developing a Design Team on page 19 as you integrate new
team members into your existing school culture and team.

NE X T: P L ANNI NG F OR
C HANG E S I N L E AE R S HI P
73
PLANNING FOR CHANGES
IN LEADERSHIP
R E T UR N TO: P E R F OR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Changes in internal leadership, especially involving a leader who was a founder of
the school, can be scary. If possible, plan in advance so your team can ensure a
smooth transition that minimally disrupts the schools culture.
Some teams engage in succession planning, often when a leader announces his or
her intent to leave or retire. Others rotate their leaders every two to three years
to prevent burnout, minimize cultural disruption, and set the expectation that
everyone will have leadership duties at some point.
What can your team do to ensure it is prepared for leadership changes?

Resources
Founder Transitions: Creating Good Endings and New Beginnings
Report. In this guide, Tom Adams examines the unique challenges presented by transitions
in leadership and provides clear advice for confronting the complex issues these transitions
present.

NE X T: AS S E S S I NG F OR
CONT I NUOUS I MP ROVE ME NT
74
ASSESSING WHOLE SCHOOL PERFORMANCE
FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
R E T UR N TO: P E R F OR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
As your team relishes in the joys of being in the Performing stage, its important to
remain committed to continuous improvement.
The best way to do so is to assess whole school performance, particularly to ensure
that your school and team are emulating the characteristics of high-performing
organizations and that students are learning well.
Its also important to keep in mind that your state will provide assessment requirements with which
your team must comply. However, your team can broaden its approach to assessment, as many
teacher-powered schools do. For example, you could use The Hope Survey to measure students
sense of engagement, autonomy, academic press, and belonging in order to adjust your schools
overall approach or individual students learning plans. You could also require students to defend
their learning portfolios to ensure they can explain what they are learning.
In addition, you could use the Raised Responsibility Rubric developed by the teachers at TAGOS
Leadership Academy in Janesville, Wisconsin, to assess students ability to take on increased
responsibility and autonomy in various learning areas. This rubric gives teachers and students a
means to track progress and learn in new, more self-directed ways.
Your teams success will largely depend on its commitment to assessment and its ability to act
on those fndings. Engagement in this process will help your team determine how to remain in the
Performing stage without unnecessary diversions back to the Storming stage. This process will also
help you recognize when change is necessary (such as returning to the Storming stage).
Resources
Assessing What Really Matters in Schools: Creating Hope for the Future
Book. Ronald J. Newell and Mark J. Van Ryzin ofer a fresh perspective on student learning,
one that recommends serious eforts to measure success and ofers a practical way to inform
discussions about schools as learning environments.
Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots,
Chapter 9
Book. Chapter 9 describes how teacher-powered schools broaden the defnition and scope of
achievement and assessment. Teacher-powered schools can also use the survey in Appendix C
to measure the extent to which they are emulating the cultural characteristics of high-performing
organizations.

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ASSESSING WHOLE SCHOOL PERFORMANCE
FOR CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
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TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
Author tip
Revisit the Storming stage step Designing Assessment of Student Learning on page 30 to
improve your processes.
Revisit the Norming stage step Creating and Refning a Process for Assessing School
Performance on page 68 to improve your processes.
NE X T: S TAG E F I VE
T RANS F OR MI NG
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R E T UR N TO: MAI N
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
STAGE FIVE: TRANSFORMING
NE X T: S E E I NG YOUR T E AM AS
PART OF A L ARG E R COMMUNI T Y
If your team has reached the Transforming stage, you have
created, and are currently sustaining, a successful teacher-
powered school. Team members can now focus on the task of
transforming teachers and teaching.
In doing so, team members can work with the larger community
of teacher-powered schools to leverage collective knowledge and
ideas. By working intentionally, teams who reach this stage can
work with others to realize the full potential for teacher-powered
schools across the nation and globe, breathing innovation and
improvement into K-12 public schooling.
Transforming stage steps include:
Seeing your team as part of a larger community of teacher-powered schools
Learning about the community of teacher-powered schools; making
connections; and fnding a sense of identity.
Growing the teacher-powered school community
Sharing knowledge and acting as a resource for other teams.
Mobilizing the teacher-powered school community to transform teachers
and teaching
Documenting and demonstrating transformation.
77
SEEING YOUR TEAM AS PART OF A LARGER
COMMUNITY OF TEACHER-POWERED SCHOOLS
R E T UR N TO: T RANS F OR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
While working your way through the four previous stagesForming, Storming,
Norming, and Performingyour team was necessarily focused on the task of
creating a teacher-powered school.
Joining a community
Entering the Transforming stage means that, while internal focus was once a priority, you can now
see yourselves as part of a much larger community. There are many teacher-powered schools
around the country. Here are three reasons this is important to keep in mind:
1. Teams can provide one another with much-needed support and perspective,
including encouragement, a sense of identity, and strategies that contribute to success.
Your team might feel like it is the only one out there struggling. But stepping back and
learning about other teams might help you feel less isolated and fnd solutions.
2. Your teams work will be legitimized if you acknowledge that you are a part of a
larger community of professionals, especially if you have a working knowledge of that
community.

3. In order for more teachers to take part in teacher-powered schools and transform
teaching and schooling, they need to know that the opportunity exists. Teachers
need to know that there are teams of teachers across the nation that have already been
successful in their eforts to secure autonomy in designing and running schools. Your
team can help provide this knowledge.
Resources
Use these resources to learn more about the larger community of teacher-powered schools and
connect with teams around the nation. You might start by sharing a problem that your team is
struggling with or sharing a solution your team is proud of. You could also simply tell your teams
story. Why did you start your teacher-powered school, and what has the journey been like?
CTQ Collaboratory
Website. Join CTQs virtual network for educators, the Collaboratory, then connect with teacher-
powered teams in the School Redesign Lab.
Online Inventory of Schools with Collective Teacher Autonomy
Website. This list features all the known K-12 public schools where teachers have collective
autonomy to make decisions infuencing school success.
NE X T: G ROWI NG
COMMUNI T Y
78
GROWING THE TEACHER-POWERED
SCHOOL COMMUNITY
R E T UR N TO: T RANS F OR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
As more people become aware of teacher-powered schools and their signicance
for the teaching profession, they want to know more. Your team is a means for
their learning! In the Transforming stage, your team has the opportunity to share
knowledge and act as a resource for other teams.
Your team should also consider pursuing other opportunities, including:
participating in interviews with journalists;
writing articles;
presenting at conferences;
participating on panels; and
being subjects of research.
Your participation will help raise awareness of teacher-powered schools. It will also help grow the
number of state, district, union/association, and teacher leaders who seek to create or support such
schools as a means of transforming teachers and teaching.
Just thinkwithout willing teacher-powered teams, the resource you are using right now would
not exist. Neither would texts like Teacherpreneurs or Trusting Teachers with School Success. The
community of teacher-powered schools depends on your commitment to its growth.
A great way to get started is to join the CTQ Collaboratory.
Resources
In the CTQ Collaboratory, youll fnd support in these two Labs. Please note: you must join the
Collaboratory and then register for each Lab before you will be able to access its content.
School Redesign Lab
A community of existing and new teacher-powered teams, as well as knowledgeable
people willing to weigh in as you consider the best ways to grow the teacher-powered
school community.
Communications Lab
A community where youll fnd information about writing and speaking opportunities and
coaching for writing articles and giving presentations or interviews.
NE X T: MOB I L I Z I NG
T HE COMMUNI T Y
79
MOBILIZING THE TEACHER-POWERED
SCHOOL COMMUNITY TO
TRANSFORM TEACHERS AND TEACHING
R E T UR N TO: T RANS F OR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
When teacher-powered teams get together, they often discuss what innovations
and improvements they can bring to K-12 public schooling. For example,
many teams prioritize development and assessment of students cognitive
and noncognitive skills. Others prioritize and measure student engagement.
Demonstrating that such assessments can be used effectively for students
learning could be a major contribution to the transformation of teaching and
learning in this country.
It makes one wonder:
How would our nation defne student achievement if more teams of teachers were running schools
and their choices were setting the tone for education discussions? Teacher-powered teams have
also demonstrated that teachers fnd their evaluation to be more meaningful and transformative
when teams design and run that evaluation themselves.
When teachers are co-responsible and co-accountable for school success, they are serious about
their colleagues training, performance, and commitment to continuous self-improvementafter all,
the success of their school depends on it!
What would it mean for teaching if a national community of teacher-powered teams designed
licensure requirements, as other groups of professionals do?
The teacher-powered school community can work together to refne its collective craft, build new
ideas, and become catalysts and champions of change for the profession. They can document
and demonstrate that putting power in the hands of teachers leads to the transformation of
teachers and teaching.
Resources
Teaching 2030: What We Must Do for Our Students and Our Public Schools... Now and in the
Future
Book. Center for Teaching Quality CEO and Founder Barnett Berry and 12 teacher leaders
imagine the future of teaching and learning.
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Resources (continued)
Transforming Teaching: Connecting Professional Responsibility with Student Learning
Report. In this 2011 report from the National Education Association Commission on Efective
Teachers and Teaching, the commission outlines its vision for the future of the teaching pro-
fession.
Transforming the Teaching Profession
Vision statement. This vision statement on the future of American education (released by the
U.S. Department of Education) was co-signed by several important education organizations.
NE X T: CONC LUS I ON
R E T UR N TO: T RANS F OR MI NG
TAB L E OF CONT E NT S
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CONCLUSION
For some time, teacher-powered teams saw their schools as islands. They didnt know other
teacher-powered schools existed, and there was no infrastructure of support to rely on. Teams
couldnt learn from one anothers successes and failures, or even see examples of what a successful
teacher-powered school looked like in practice.
Thankfully, that time is ending.
Today, teacher-powered teams are beginning to see themselves as part of a larger community. They
feel a sense of responsibility to provide support to that community. With their collective knowledge,
this community is starting to envision the transformation of teachers and teachingand is taking
action.
This guide is an outcome of that action, and whats here will only get better as more teacher-
powered teams take time to share information that has helped them be successful. We look forward
to your contributions and transforming the teaching profession together!
Helping us improve this guide
We want to know more about how people are using this guide and how we can improve it.
Please send us an email or take this brief survey to provide helpful feedback.
Sharing resources
If youd like to share resources or suggest additional steps for this guide, please email your
idea, link, or PDF to us at: schoolredesign@teachingquality.org.
Joining the Collaboratory
The Collaboratory is CTQs virtual community, where teacher leaders connect, learn, and innovate.
Join the Collaboratory by clicking the orange Join the Community button at the top of the page.
Once youve joined, fnd the School Redesign Lab and register. After youve received access to this
Lab via an email notifcation, you and your team can learn more about teacher-powered schools and
share resources and practices.
In the School Redesign Lab, youll fnd teachers who have worked in teacher-powered schools
and others who are in the process of starting them. You can share your school design experiences,
ideas, and questionsand get support from members who will help you think through next steps.
T E AC HI NG QUAL I T Y. ORG/ T E AC HE R P OWE R E D