Practice Activity: Leading a Problem Clarification Process
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Conduct a peer review of problem clarification

. The more staff and other stakeholders focus on contributing factors in their instructional program, the more success they will have in addressing the problem, and, consequently, the more impact their strategies will have on producing better results. One way to check on your group’s process is to have members from another group (another school or another team within your school) complete a peer review. The peer review worksheet provides a structure for hearing a group’s consensus on the high impact root causes or contributing factors for why their data looks like it does and reviewing the consensus decisions based on a series of clarification and probing questions.

In this activity you will practice reviewing the problem(s) identified by staff as their school’s high impact cause of low performance. You can practice reviewing selected school problem clarification findings by asking the same questions that are included in the peer review worksheet:

  1. Are the root causes they have identified really in the school’s control? Can staff do something to change that cause?
  2. Are the root causes stated in specific enough terms so that you know how to address them?
  3. Are the root causes really high impact? Are they likely to result in improved performance if you try to address them?
  4. What data did the school collect to determine that this was a problem? What data could they collect to determine if this was a problem?
  5. Are there root causes that might be more likely to have greater impact on improved performance in the area identified?
You can review the following school problem clarification summaries by using the attached grid and then compare your critique to ours.

Practice Evaluating Problem Clarification Summaries

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