Tim's Blog

Tim Bazemore

Welcome to my blog, a way to present ideas, reflections, and observations with the school community and beyond. I blog on a regular basis, commenting on a thought-provoking experience, a significant development in education, and news of student and teacher work here at Catlin Gabel. My goal is to make you think, provoke a reaction, elicit diverse points of view, and affirm your faith in our school's mission. I hope you'll share with me and other readers any reactions you may have to my posts.

 

Defining Success at Catlin Gabel

Last year, as a new head of school, I asked the school community how we define success. I was heartened to hear that people at Catlin Gabel understand we must use a variety of measures to answer that question. Assessing the success of our school requires us to think in three dimensions. The first is student achievement and well-being; the second is institutional performance; and the third is the causal relationship between inputs and outcomes across the first two dimensions.

Every year we collect and analyze a wealth of academic, operational, and financial data to help us measure our success. Recently I had the opportunity to attend a conference of the Independent Schools Data Exchange (INDEX), a consortium of 35 selective PS-12 schools similar to Catlin Gabel in size and structure. Over two days, with school heads and CFOs, I pored over our institutional numbers to better understand how we currently allocate our time and resources, and how we compare to other schools across many categories. Knowing our current priorities is essential, especially as we consider opportunities in a year of strategic planning. The following are noteworthy findings regarding our data. Relative to the 35 schools in the INDEX group, Catlin Gabel School is:

  • High in teachers per student (smaller classes)
  • High in SAT and ACT averages
  • High in professional development expense
  • High in student diversity
  • High in technology expense
  • High in admission applications, selectivity, and yield of accepted students enrolling
  • Mid-range in % of A’s and B’s earned by Upper School students
  • Mid-range in employee benefits and compensation
  • Mid-range in endowment $ per student and annual fund parent participation
  • Mid-range in need-based aid
  • Mid-range in gross revenue
  • Low in % of students taking AP exams
  • Low in attrition of current families
  • Low in operating expense per student
  • Low in # of sports offered

It is evident that we are prioritizing student-teacher relationships and teacher expertise, and, by one narrow measure, student performance seems to be positively affected. We are in the middle in compensation levels and community philanthropy, which may become a challenge given our ambition to attract and retain the best professional talent. A comparatively lower emphasis on AP exams reflects our philosophy, and disciplined spending is a positive institutional indicator. Other data findings are more complex and require investigation. For example, Catlin Gabel’s tuition is above average compared to INDEX schools when measured in nominal cost; when it is adjusted for the cost of living in Portland it is well below average. We offer fewer sports than most other schools, but student participation is higher than in most.

Over the course of the two-day conference, it was clear to me that Catlin Gabel is in an enviable position, even in that company of high-quality schools, and that our data align well with our mission priorities. I am proud of the commitments we have made and see more clearly the opportunities that lie ahead. The morning I arrived back on our beautiful campus, I watched as several lower school children raced through the Fir Grove to be the first to class. In my role as head, I appreciate the importance of institutional data and thinking broadly about who we are and where we are going. At the same time, it’s important working with children that we don’t become too enamored with numbers or let other schools’ data define our choices. It’s the student who is the unit of consideration, and here at Catlin Gabel we never forget that. 

Posted by Tim Bazemore in Strategy, measuring success on Wednesday November, 18, 2015 at 03:31PM
3

3 Comments:

 

Welcome to canadaposttracking Track Canada Post Couriers & Parcels By Entering the Canada Post Tracking Number

from canada post on 03/18/17 at 04:10AM
I am getting best articles on catlin gabel school and the professional paper writing reviews needed to get more pages. Every point will be prepared to understood the values and essays for the users. That's why? I am interested on the following articles and reviews.
from Frank Frank on 04/04/17 at 08:45PM
Welcome to our Post Offices Hours, where you can learn it the USPS and their information. I have read this post, I liked it and found out the complete article to learn about schooling and get it success.
from joren mathew on 04/11/17 at 05:18AM

Choose groups to clone to:

Latest Posts

An independent preschool through 12th grade day school in Portland, Oregon
8825 SW Barnes Road,
Portland, Oregon 97225 |
503-297-1894 |
info@catlin.edu

Explore why Catlin Gabel is a national leader in progressive education.

We welcome more than 100 new families annually to our inclusive community from the Portland area and beyond.

A demanding and engaging program in which each student is the unit of consideration

Playing sports involves life lessons in determination, grace, and resilience. We invite everyone to be part of a team.

Extensive support ensures our students are successful.

Learn about Catlin Gabel news and events on campus and beyond.

We foster a community that appreciates our differences and recognizes our essential unity

Every gift benefits our students. Every volunteer hour builds our community.

powered by finalsite