Allan and Jim with Tim Pawlenty


A Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) Project

In this project, we seek the strategic redesign of human capital management systems for teachers and other leaders in the nation’s largest 100 public school districts. The project, funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Gates Foundation and the Joyce Foundation, is headed by Allan Odden and James Kelly.  Allan Odden is the co-director of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education and Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  James (Jim) Kelly was the founding president and chief executive officer of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), where he helped to create National Board Certification (NBC), an advanced professional certification program for accomplished elementary and secondary school teachers. Mr. Kelly serves on the boards of many educational, philanthropic and civic organizations. Early in their careers, both Mr. Odden and Mr. Kelly were public school teachers.

Featuring a prestigious Task Force, chaired by Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, the project is: 1) defining strategic management of human capital in public education; 2) creating a network of leaders actively reengineering human capital management systems in public education, 3) documenting the nature and impact of leading-edge human capital management systems in several districts and states, 4) establishing Strategic Management of Human Capital (SMHC) as a prominent issue on the nation’s education reform agenda, and 5) advancing local and state policies to support widespread adoption of SMHC in public education. Our goals are to improve the quality of classroom instruction and student outcomes in K-12 classrooms by radically improving the strategic management of teaching and instructional leadership talent – human capital – in large, public school districts.

To accomplish these goals, we are conducting case studies to document the impact of SMHC reforms in six places: 1) New York City; 2) Chicago; 3) Boston; 4) Long Beach, CA; 5) Fairfax County, VA; and 6) the state of Minnesota’s “Q-Comp” program. Additional case studies are being conducted of Teach for America, the New Teacher Project, and New Leaders for New Schools. Key practices and initiatives being examined include:

•    Instructional improvement strategies
•    Uses of student data that help improve classroom instruction
•    Recruitment strategies
•    Selection processes
•    Placement strategies
•    Induction/Mentoring programs
•    Performance management including evaluation of teachers and principals
•    Professional development practices
•    Strategic use of compensation for teachers and principals

We also are learning more about how these human capital innovations were designed and implemented, including both factors that enabled and hindered this process.  We are examining organizational and political factors, including governance issues, the organizational structure of the district, fiscal capacity, human capital/talent capacity, the teacher contract, the labor-management relationship, outside funding, and political pressure or support.

Documenting these practices and the effects they have had at key sites is an important strategy for this initiative, and the information we gather will be shared with the Task Force, highlighted on our website, distributed through our network, and presented at an annual national conference. Through all of these means, we hope to help urban public school districts manage their human capital strategically.  We aim to establish SMHC as an essential and high-priority educational reform in the U.S., so that classroom instruction can be improved and most importantly, all students can achieve the learning goals set for them.

Additional Funder Information:

SMHC’s two initial funders also are supporting other projects focused on human capital management in education, with which we are collaborating.

Carnegie Corporation of New York has funded Teach for America, The New Teacher Project , New Leaders for New Schools, all three of which are represented on the SMHC Task Force, and the Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools.

The Bill and Melinda Gates has funded the Urban Institute, the Aspen Institute and the Center for American Progress.  The Aspen Institute coordinates their efforts with complementary projects on rethinking human capital, including those carried out by CALDER and the Center for American Progress.

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