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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

In Pinellas, putting the decision-making process down on paper



There's been a lot of teeth-gnashing lately over the Pinellas school district's decision-making process (or lack thereof). School board members have promised to address the issue, and they'll be talking about it at next Tuesday's workshop. Click below to see a proposed 6-step process they'll be weighing as part of the discussion. Keep reading for the proposed guidelines in more detail:

School Board Guidelines for the Decision Making Process
Step 1:  Define the Problem- This step is critical in getting agreement or buy-in from all stakeholders.
• Why is this a problem or an issue?
• What information and/or data indicates or confirms the problem exists?
• By describing and stating the desired outcome, it should clearly communicate the vision of where we are headed and how solving the problem will move us closer to achieving the desired outcome.
• Communication to identified stakeholders should clearly define the problem or issue in laymen’s terms so that they have enough information/data to provide input on alternative solutions. The desired outcome should be communicated in a way that is clear and provides enough information to generate viable alternative solutions.

Step 2:  Identify Available Alternative Solutions
• What are all the available options to address and solve this problem/issue?  Brainstorm all possible alternatives using creative skills and thinking outside of the box.
• Solicit input from external stakeholders to generate alternatives from a different perspective and create a stronger buy-in to the process.
• What research, benchmarking or comparative data has been gathered to provide the necessary facts/data that would assist in formulating additional alternative solutions?

Step 3: Evaluate the Identified Alternatives – This is the “Filtering Step” and considered the most important!
• Filtering Alternatives – What alternatives do not meet the criteria for satisfying the desired outcome or solving the problem?
• What are the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative?
• What alternatives could be combined together to achieve the desired outcome?
• What remaining alternatives best solve the problem, achieve the desired outcome and align to the vision, mission and goals of the district? (Rating or weighting each option with a numerical digit to aid in narrowing or eliminating some alternatives that are similar)

Step 4: Make the Decision
• Which alternativewill yield the best results based on the following:
 solves the problem?
 meets the criteria for achieving the desired outcome?
 aligns to the vision, mission, goals?
 adheres to mandates, budget, timelines, MOUs, etc.?
• What data will be collected for measuring, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness?
• How will the decision be communicated to stakeholders so they understand the reasoning behind the decision as well as its impact on the desired outcome?

Step 5: Implement the Decision
• Who or what group of people will be tasked to develop an action plan for implementation of the decision?
• How will the action plan be implemented?
• What is the timeline for implementation and progress monitoring?
• What communication plan will be used to ensure all stakeholders involved will understand the implementation process?

Step 6: Evaluate the Decision
• Did we collect the correct data?
• How was the data collected and analyzed?
• Does the data analysis reflect effectiveness of the decision?
• What improvements could be implemented if desired results are not being achieved?

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 2:21pm]


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