jennifer

DRP Tools

Our approach is anchored by two frameworks:


EQUITY Framework and Self-Assessment Tools

We have integrated the research on anti-biased, anti-racist organizations, behavior modification, achievement motivation, risk and resilience, school culture and climate, and social and emotional learning — along with promising practices from restorative justice, PBIS, MTSS, RTI, and culturally responsive teaching — into one set of actionable, non-jargony tools. The EQUITY Framework has 6 competencies, and each competency has 3 to 5 indicators of success. We’ve broken this down into a set of “look fors” in the form of a school-based self-assessment and a system-based self-assessment. In essence, our self-assessment helps teams understand where they are against the fourth leg of the stool and what it will take to make progress.


P-Framework

The P-Framework is a comprehensive approach to conducting an organizational assessment. Once teams are normed on the EQUITY Frameworks, our team guides leaders and their teams through an inventory of their principles, practices, people and performance management, policies, partners, and power dynamics — and how they need to change in the short, medium, and long term.

DRP Client List


Facilitated community of practice for principals of highest performing schools across the state.
Worked across systems to address de-criminalizing the way communities in Phoenix think about student behavior
Following a pilot program with the Louisiana Department of Education, EBR engaged DRP to work with the Executive Director of Alternative High Schools to reimagine their alternative schools
Supported six Superintendents and their c-suite to devise multi-year plans to replace harsh, biased discipline systems with ones that keep kids safe, and avoid shame and exclusion
Developed training module for Equity Bootcamp in Harris County, Texas
TWS envisioned and facilitated a 10-month, virtual community of practice with seven school systems (six traditional and YES Prep)
Supported team to define core values and align practices to values; provide executive coaching to key leaders on the senior team
Provided training to leadership of district and select schools in an equity audit of their systems aimed to articulate necessary changes – in policies, practices and mindsets – across the district
Supported senior team of Summit Public Schools to review equity work across central office and schools.
Working with the district leadership, DRP helped develop and implement a multi-year plan to be a district, organization and community that exemplifies critical consciousness, equity, and inclusion.
Coach senior team to support anti-poverty initiative in the central valley of California

Cami Anderson And Zuckerberg, The Unlikely Duo Behind Newark Schools’ Revitalization

How the chief of Newark’s troubled schools is spending Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million.

Since arriving in Newark, Anderson hasn’t shied away from bold moves. PHOTOS BY JEFF MERMELSTEIN

BY ANYA KAMENETZ
Even though it’s not in my nature, you have to just, like, take a minute, because it’s a big deal.” We’re in Cami Anderson’s private office. The Newark, New Jersey, school superintendent has just held a joint press conference with the head of the teachers’ union to announce a historic contract. Half of a $100 million donation made by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to the Newark Public School system in 2010 will sweeten a new agreement with teachers, who have been working without a contract for two and a half years. There will be a new performance-evaluation system, incorporating peer review, as well as bonuses for teachers who opt out of the old seniority rules–carrots alongside sticks. The agreement is already being hailed nationwide as groundbreaking.

Education is an opportunity to make good on the promise of America, to stop being a country where race and poverty determine your life outcomes.

Anderson–41, tall, broad-shouldered, blue-eyed–sits back in her chair, pulling her hair into a ponytail. The cinder-block walls and dead-fish fluorescent lighting contribute to the vibe of a locker room after a big win. The challenge in Newark is intense: Nearly half the students drop out, and 90% of graduates who do go to college need remedial classes. For Anderson, who counts among her supporters Democratic Newark mayor Cory Booker and Republican New Jersey governor Chris Christie, the scrutiny is equally intense; Booker has announced a Senate run, and Christie is widely expected to run for President, with both likely to tout her achievements on the campaign trail. As Joel Klein, Anderson’s boss when he was chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, says, “Nobody gives you $100 million and says, ‘Have a happy life.’”

When Anderson was offered the job as Newark superintendent, she almost turned it down, wary of the national spotlight. “My female CEO friends had to do an intervention,” she says. “They sat me down and said, ‘Don’t be a girl. Take the mike.’” She’s shown little uncertainty since then. “I got into this because I feel like education is an opportunity to make good on the promise of America,” she says, “to stop being a country where race and poverty determine your life outcomes.” Wendy Kopp, who runs Teach for America, where Anderson started her career, says: “I don’t think a more perfectthere’s example of someone coming into a situation and operating on the highest of expectations–both for kids and for adults.” Booker calls Anderson “someone I’m in awe of.” Says Klein: “She literally takes your breath away.”

It’s morning, and I climb into the messy backseat of Anderson’s black Escalade, her official city ride. Her driver, Billy Jarrett, hands her a foil-wrapped egg sandwich, another in a long succession of foil-wrapped meals. She reaches back to shake my hand, but quickly; we’re running behind.

To watch Anderson at work is to witness an adroit professional bound by a creaking bureaucracy. At the Board of Education headquarters at 2 Cedar Street, an executive assistant, already sitting at her desk, will not lift a ringing phone from its cradle until the clock ticks over from 8:59 to 9:00. Anderson is often away at that hour, dedicating three mornings a week to observing teachers in the classroom and debriefing with principals. We are headed to two of her schools this morning. We listen as a kindergarten teacher reads to her pupils, then eavesdrop on a discussion in an all-boys middle-school civics class. Afterward, Anderson shares her moment-by-moment observations with the teachers’ principals, all with actionable feedback: Give young children–whom she calls “the little people”–positive examples of behavior, rather than telling them what not to do; push teens to ground their discussion in facts and evidence. These points tie directly into learning goals that principals and teachers are responsible for together.

Anderson grew up in a decidedly unconventional household in Manhattan Beach, California. Her mother, Sheila, worked in the foster care system for 32 years and opened their home to those who were hard to place, with a new member joining the family almost every year. Two were the children of American GIs and Vietnamese women. Many had special needs–one came to their home after a year of operations at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

One of Anderson’s key goals is keeping kids in school; about half of Newark’s students end up as dropouts now.

At its peak, the family had nine teenagers and operated a little like a kibbutz, with weekly meetings over fondue or popcorn, and an official rotation for each team of siblings to do laundry or cook dinner. Anderson was a long-distance swimmer and basketball player on the boys’ team, and she sang, danced, and acted. She was passionate about social justice even then. “At a very young age,” says her mother, “she understood that [her siblings] had a start in life that was different from hers.”

Anderson moved quickly after arriving in Newark in the summer of 2011. Within several months, she announced the closure of six low-performing, under-enrolled schools. She cut 120 jobs and replaced 17 principals. She added seats in pre-K and an early-college dual-enrollment program, and created eight “Renew” schools that have extra training for teachers, hiring bonuses for high-needs classes, more computers and Wi-Fi, and more access to social services such as nurses, social workers, and community mentoring.

She went to a brutal public meeting,” recalls Booker, “hundreds of people screaming and shouting and threatening. She showed remarkable courage.

She has already been tested. Parents’ groups have sued the mayor’s office seeking fuller disclosure of the arrangements behind the Zuckerberg money, springing in part from a deep streak of local resentment at the idea of outsiders–especially powerful, moneyed outsiders–imposing their own agenda. Even shrinking schools with abysmal test scores can be beloved neighborhood institutions. “She went to a brutal public meeting,” says Booker. “You have hundreds of people screaming and shouting and threatening you. She was able to stand in the saddle, present her vision and the plan, and do it in a way that showed a remarkable courage. And now the schools that people were yelling and screaming about–they’re extraordinary models of promise and hope.” 

Anderson visits her charges often. Here, she sits in at a graphics class in Malcolm X Shabazz High School.

Cami Anderson And Zuckerberg, The Unlikely Duo Behind Newark Schools’ Revitalization
How the chief of Newark’s troubled schools is spending Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million.

Since arriving in Newark, Anderson hasn’t shied away from bold moves. PHOTOS BY JEFF MERMELSTEIN
BY ANYA KAMENETZ
Even though it’s not in my nature, you have to just, like, take a minute, because it’s a big deal.” We’re in Cami Anderson’s private office. The Newark, New Jersey, school superintendent has just held a joint press conference with the head of the teachers’ union to announce a historic contract. Half of a $100 million donation made by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to the Newark Public School system in 2010 will sweeten a new agreement with teachers, who have been working without a contract for two and a half years. There will be a new performance-evaluation system, incorporating peer review, as well as bonuses for teachers who opt out of the old seniority rules–carrots alongside sticks. The agreement is already being hailed nationwide as groundbreaking.
Anderson–41, tall, broad-shouldered, blue-eyed–sits back in her chair, pulling her hair into a ponytail. The cinder-block walls and dead-fish fluorescent lighting contribute to the vibe of a locker room after a big win. The challenge in Newark is intense: Nearly half the students drop out, and 90% of graduates who do go to college need remedial classes. For Anderson, who counts among her supporters Democratic Newark mayor Cory Booker and Republican New Jersey governor Chris Christie, the scrutiny is equally intense; Booker has announced a Senate run, and Christie is widely expected to run for President, with both likely to tout her achievements on the campaign trail. As Joel Klein, Anderson’s boss when he was chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, says, “Nobody gives you $100 million and says, ‘Have a happy life.’”
When Anderson was offered the job as Newark superintendent, she almost turned it down, wary of the national spotlight. “My female CEO friends had to do an intervention,” she says. “They sat me down and said, ‘Don’t be a girl. Take the mike.’” She’s shown little uncertainty since then. “I got into this because I feel like education is an opportunity to make good on the promise of America,” she says, “to stop being a country where race and poverty determine your life outcomes.” Wendy Kopp, who runs Teach for America, where Anderson started her career, says: “I don’t think there’s a more perfect example of someone coming into a situation and operating on the highest of expectations–both for kids and for adults.” Booker calls Anderson “someone I’m in awe of.” Says Klein: “She literally takes your breath away.”

It’s morning, and I climb into the messy backseat of Anderson’s black Escalade, her official city ride. Her driver, Billy Jarrett, hands her a foil-wrapped egg sandwich, another in a long succession of foil-wrapped meals. She reaches back to shake my hand, but quickly; we’re running behind.

To watch Anderson at work is to witness an adroit professional bound by a creaking bureaucracy. At the Board of Education headquarters at 2 Cedar Street, an executive assistant, already sitting at her desk, will not lift a ringing phone from its cradle until the clock ticks over from 8:59 to 9:00. Anderson is often away at that hour, dedicating three mornings a week to observing teachers in the classroom and debriefing with principals. We are headed to two of her schools this morning. We listen as a kindergarten teacher reads to her pupils, then eavesdrop on a discussion in an all-boys middle-school civics class. Afterward, Anderson shares her moment-by-moment observations with the teachers’ principals, all with actionable feedback: Give young children–whom she calls “the little people”–positive examples of behavior, rather than telling them what not to do; push teens to ground their discussion in facts and evidence. These points tie directly into learning goals that principals and teachers are responsible for together.

Anderson grew up in a decidedly unconventional household in Manhattan Beach, California. Her mother, Sheila, worked in the foster care system for 32 years and opened their home to those who were hard to place, with a new member joining the family almost every year. Two were the children of American GIs and Vietnamese women. Many had special needs–one came to their home after a year of operations at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Education is an opportunity to make good on the promise of America, to stop being a country where race and poverty determine your life outcomes.

One of Anderson’s key goals is keeping kids in school; about half of Newark’s students end up as dropouts now.
At its peak, the family had nine teenagers and operated a little like a kibbutz, with weekly meetings over fondue or popcorn, and an official rotation for each team of siblings to do laundry or cook dinner. Anderson was a long-distance swimmer and basketball player on the boys’ team, and she sang, danced, and acted. She was passionate about social justice even then. “At a very young age,” says her mother, “she understood that [her siblings] had a start in life that was different from hers.”

Anderson moved quickly after arriving in Newark in the summer of 2011. Within several months, she announced the closure of six low-performing, under-enrolled schools. She cut 120 jobs and replaced 17 principals. She added seats in pre-K and an early-college dual-enrollment program, and created eight “Renew” schools that have extra training for teachers, hiring bonuses for high-needs classes, more computers and Wi-Fi, and more access to social services such as nurses, social workers, and community mentoring.

She went to a brutal public meeting,” recalls Booker, “hundreds of people screaming and shouting and threatening. She showed remarkable courage.
She has already been tested. Parents’ groups have sued the mayor’s office seeking fuller disclosure of the arrangements behind the Zuckerberg money, springing in part from a deep streak of local resentment at the idea of outsiders–especially powerful, moneyed outsiders–imposing their own agenda. Even shrinking schools with abysmal test scores can be beloved neighborhood institutions. “She went to a brutal public meeting,” says Booker. “You have hundreds of people screaming and shouting and threatening you. She was able to stand in the saddle, present her vision and the plan, and do it in a way that showed a remarkable courage. And now the schools that people were yelling and screaming about–they’re extraordinary models of promise and hope.”
One evening I meet Anderson at a cavernous sports bar near the Newark train station. We’re joined by her partner, Jared Robinson, and their blue-eyed, curly-haired 3-year-old son, Sampson. She pulls out a red plastic binder with a set of spreadsheets outlining her six “pillars,” or priorities: students, teachers, school leaders, her administrative team, charter schools and other outside options, and families and stakeholders. Each pillar is aligned with specific objectives to be accomplished by July 30. At the end of every week, she reviews what she’s done, looks ahead, and makes a to-do list. Then she considers her priorities for the year and makes a second list–the steps she would take to achieve her long-term goals if she had nothing urgent on her plate. Finally she adds the second list to the first and divides the whole into three piles: do it, delegate it, or shelve it.

I see a flash of the toughness I’ve heard about when I float a remark from Klein, now the director of News Corp.’s education unit, that the ample spending in Newark schools–$23,000 per student, among the highest in the nation–removes an “easy excuse” for poor performance. “That’s a little shitty of my good friend Joel to say. That would be a fair assessment if we didn’t have LIFO,” she says, referring to “last in, first out,” the seniority rule. “Okay, I’m going to give you a pile of money, Joel, to run your shop. If you want to downsize from 50 to 25 and take that money and invest it in technology or whatever, you will have the 25 most senior people, regardless of quality. Now turn around your company.”

This January, Anderson was invited to the annual meeting of the William Morris Endeavor talent agency, where 450 clients and execs gathered for a mini-TED conference, with speakers that included Karl Rove, Al Gore, and Zappos’s Tony Hsieh. Anderson spoke about education as a civil right, contrasting the standard visions of innovation and transformation with the reality of the schools in her city, which still use purple mimeograph machines from the 1960s. She was mobbed as she got off the stage, and for the rest of the weekend too. The spotlight beckons.