All Florida students deserve to graduate from high school ready to succeed in college and a career. But far too many never get the opportunity do schoolwork that prepares them to succeed. The Pilot Florida Implementation Network (PFIN) is a collaboration between five Florida school districts to help schools solve this urgent problem, and ensure students receive the kind of instruction that will ensure they succeed beyond high school.
In early 2015, several Florida districts sought to understand how their policies and practices were working at the classroom level and what they could do to help students meet college-ready standards. They found that very few lessons (7%) suggested teachers were making the instructional shifts required by the new standards—despite 70% of teachers and leaders reporting that they felt confident that they could implement the standards effectively. Further, only 36% of assignments reviewed met the demands of the targeted standards, leaving students with insufficient opportunities to complete rigorous, grade-level work.
If you or your district is interested in learning more about the Pilot Florida Implementation Network, contact us at PFINsupport@tntp.org.
Our goal is that students and teachers are more often engaged in teaching and learning that is aligned with the expectations of the Florida Standards. To do that, we seek to increase districts’ capacity to provide schools and classrooms with the support they need, including standards-aligned instructional materials and high quality professional learning. Network districts meet regularly to develop and share knowledge and best-practices focused on helping students meet the Florida standards.
Our Theory of Action
How do we help leaders develop the knowledge and understanding of the demands of the Florida Standards so that they can effectively support teachers and students? To ensure excellent tier 1 instruction in every classroom, districts must provide skilled central office support, quality materials, and effective education leaders.
How We Collaborate
To support teachers and help prepare students for success in college, district leaders and central staff need a common understanding of the demands of the Florida standards. At the same time, instructional teams must be prepared with the strategies and tools to successfully implement standards-aligned materials in their classrooms. The work of the network has evolved over time, based on district need, to where it is today: supporting network districts as they make changes in classroom practice to improve student learning.
PFIN began by assessing districts’ progress towards standards-aligned instruction through classroom observation and a review of student work. PFIN districts came together to identify key barriers to successfully implementing standards-aligned instruction and shared problems of practice.
Creating Conditions for Success
Using districts’ common challenges as a guide, PFIN next focused on building school leaders’ knowledge of the instructional shifts required by Florida’s standards. Knowing that the most effective means of deepening central office knowledge is through seeing and discussing excellent instruction, district leaders participated in a series of Leadership Cohort meetings, hosted by each of the network districts. These meetings consisted of regular learning sessions and classroom visits to increase the number of leaders who can effectively observe instruction in ELA and math using common, aligned tools.In addition, the PFIN Curriculum Collaboratives brought together a variety of district staff—including practitioners, curriculum leads, specialists, and coaches—to improve alignment of core instructional materials and student tasks to the Florida Standards. Districts engaged in early discussions around strengthening the strategies and processes they used to review and adopt instructional materials.
Changing Classroom Practice
Today, PFIN’s focus is on the intersection of instructional materials and instructional practice to help districts ensure teaching and learning is aligned with the expectations of the Florida Standards. Network districts engage in two primary supports:
Instructional Materials Adoption Support:
PFIN’s aim is to equip districts with the resources, support systems, and expertise to select high-quality, standards-aligned materials across content areas. These resources include tools that help instructional leaders review materials for alignment to Florida’s standards and cross-district working groups to review, select, and rally stakeholder support for math, science, and ELA materials. Aligning with Florida’s state adoption cycle, PFIN is initially focused on cross-district review and selection of high-quality science materials.
Instructional Materials Implementation Support:
Our review of classroom data indicates that even when high-quality materials have been adopted, classroom practice doesn’t consistently reflect the rigor of the standards. PFIN facilitates professional learning sessions and content via the Collections Implementation Pilot. Focused in a select group of schools across districts and rooted in the cycle of continuous improvement, the pilot is designed to better support (and understand) the professional learning needed to implement high-quality, standards-aligned materials.
These guides, used as coaching tools as part of classroom walkthroughs, play a key role in helping Network participants to build their knowledge of the shifts required by the Florida Standards.
The EQuIP Student Work Protocol provides educators with a framework for assessing alignment of student work to the standards while building their understanding of the work that the standards demand of students.
Network districts use this tool to help assess whether existing materials align to the standards, and assist in evaluating new materials for adoption.
About the Network Districts
Launched in November 2015 with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Pilot Florida Implementation Network is a three-year pilot network strategy to increase collaboration between the following Florida school districts:
About the Network Hub
TNTP, a national nonprofit founded by teachers, serves as the Pilot Florida Implementation Network hub, enabling district-level collaboration with a focus on improving the alignment of the districts’ curriculum, assessment, instruction, evaluation, professional development systems, tools, and processes. At times, TNTP also provides support directly to individual districts. In addition, TNTP provides communication, knowledge-sharing, and data analysis support. Learn more at TNTP.org.