Center for Effective School Board Governance

improving student outcomes by improving school board effectiveness
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Center for Effective School Board Governance


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Coach Certification

What is a Nationally Certified School Board Coach?

Student outcomes don’t change until adult behaviors change. This is as true in the classroom as it is in the boardroom; when school boards change their adult behaviors to be intensely focused on improving student outcomes, they inspire the same throughout the entire school system. But even though most school boards aspire to this, few attain it — largely because the school board orthodoxy of the last 100 years is catastrophically unlikely to awaken this focus in school board members. To make the leap from what school board governance has been to an intense focus on improving student outcomes, school boards need a guide. This is the function of the Certified School Board Coach.


How do Certified Coaches support school boards?

The work of Certified Coaches is grounded in the idea that student outcomes don’t change until adult behaviors change. As such, the key work of Certified Coaches is to support school board members who want to change their adult behavior in ways that are more likely to improve student outcomes. Certified Coaches focus on three key drivers of adult behavior change: knowledge, skill, and mindset.


Knowledge is about what we know. Knowledge is the smallest of the three drivers; knowing the latest governance research is valuable in catalyzing adult behavior change but it is also completely insufficient to do so in the absence of the other two drivers. 


Skills are about how we are able to employ what we know. As we gain more facility with the knowledge we possess, our adult behaviors can change even more. Having tools with which to use effective governance research is valuable. Skills are a larger driver than knowledge but their impact is still small compared to the third driver of adult behavior change.


Mindset is about how we view the world and how we make meaning of the circumstances unfolding around us. Mindset is the most powerful of the three drivers of adult behavior change. In the context of a disempowering mindset, knowledge and skills become impotent; in the context of an empowering mindset, knowledge and skills become powerful tools for improving student outcomes.


Mindset

Skills

Knowledge

Certified Coaches first work with school boards to ensure that an empowering mindset is present — a world view that all students, regardless of their circumstances, can learn to high standards and that the key to unlocking that potential is first through changes in my own behavior. This is largely accomplished through leading the ESBF Workshop. Once this mindset is present in school board members, Certified Coaches then provide the knowledge and skills necessary to fully leverage this mindset. Details about these elements are found in the ESBF Manual.


What is the Coach certification process?

Given the work of Certified Coaches, the certification process challenges coach candidates in the same three areas: knowledge, skill, and mindset. 

  • Regarding knowledge, coach candidates must demonstrate a deep understanding of the most recent research into effective governance, state-specific accountability and legal variances, and of the ESBF Manual.

  • Regarding skills, coach candidates must demonstrate mastery of the tools in the ESBF Manual and of the skills necessary to effectively lead the ESBF Workshop.

  • Regarding mindset, coach candidates must effectively lead the ESBF Workshop, and must complete a series of mindset practices such that they are able to effectively guide others through the same self-transformation.


Coach Certification Steps

To begin the certification process or for questions regarding the process, contact the Center for Effective School Board Governance’s Lead Coach. The knowledge and skill steps must be completed before the mindset steps can begin.


  • Knowledge Requirements

    1. Demonstrate the ability to distinguish between high quality and low quality goals, guardrails, and monitoring calendars

    2. Demonstrate the ability to distinguish between high quality and low quality monitoring reports and goal monitoring practices

    3. Demonstrate the ability to distinguish between owner service and customer service, between board work and superintendent work

    4. Observe at least 20 public school board meetings from at least 5 different boards from at least 2 different states than your own, summarize learnings in a 1-3 page paper, and then discuss with a Certified Coach

    5. Observe at least two ESBF Workshops (or Certified Coach-approved student outcomes-focused workshops), summarize learnings in a 1-3 page paper, and then discuss with a Certified Coach

    6. Review the recommended reading in the ESBF manual, summarize learnings in a 1-3 page paper, and then discuss with a Certified Coach

    7. Read the ESBF Instrument, create a table that identifies Reference Lit (by title and page number) that corresponds with each of the six pages of the Instrument,  and then discuss with a Certified Coach

    8. Review The Policy Diet process, pick ten policies from your current policy manual and create a table that lists how you would apply the policy diet to each,  and then discuss with a Certified Coach

    9. Review your state’s accountability system and the state legal framework regarding school boards, do the same for one of the other states where you watched a school board meeting, summarize learnings in a 1-3 page paper, and then discuss with a Certified Coach


  • Skill Requirements

  1. Create a sample implementation timeline a target district

  2. Create a plan with calendar -- day 0 through adoption -- for a board to create goals, guardrails, and a monitoring calendar 

  3. Create a sample monitoring report of a sample goal for a target district

  4. Create a plan with calendar -- day 0 through adoption -- for a board to migrate from its current policy manual to the sample ESBF policy manual 

  5. Calibrate on the Board Monthly Time Use Evaluation with 95%+ accuracy for a target district

  6. Calibrate on the Board Quarterly Self Evaluation with 95%+ accuracy for a target district

  7. Complete a Certified Coach Knowledge & Skill Workshop

  8. Monitor the meetings of three approved Boards for three months, code their board meetings, and white a 1-3 page memo of coaching recommendations to the Board Chair and Superintendent

  9. Participate on at least three support teams for school boards led by a Certified Coach

  10. Effectively facilitate at least two ESBF Conversations (1-3hr)

    • Examples include: Intro to ESBF, Agenda Evaluation, Practice Monitoring Session, Goal Setting


  • Mindset Requirements

    1. Complete at least 5 ESBF mindset practices within 14 days

    2. Complete a Mindset Workshop for Coach Candidates

    3. Effectively co-facilitate one ESBF Workshop (2 day) or three ESBF Overviews (5+hrs) with a Lead Coach. The three elements evaluated during the co-facilitation are:

      • Integrity: Being your word

      • Content: Being an expert of the material

      • Challenge: Being a safe but firm guide to support participant self-reflection.


Lead Coach Certification Steps

  • Be a Certified Coach for at least 1 year

  • Pass the hardest school board governance quiz ever

  • Complete at least one sprint of the 50% Mindset

  • Coach at least two school boards to 80%+ (or Lead Coach approved threshold)

  • Complete at least 15 additional ESBF mindset practices (you can only guide others through practices you have completed)

  • Guide at least three Certified Coach candidates through their initial 5 practices

  • Effectively co-facilitate both the Certified Coach Knowledge & Skill Workshop and the Mindset Workshop for Coach Candidates

  • Calibrate on the Certified Coach Candidate Co-facilitation Evaluation with 95%+ accuracy