In February 2020, The Florida State Board of Education adopted the Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T) Standards and approved the most aggressive 3-year timeline in Florida’s history for transitioning from the state’s current academic standards to the B.E.S.T. Standards. This rapid transition has required substantial changes to curriculum and assessment, placing a burden on all levels of the state’s education system. This project is supporting the Florida Department of Education in ensuring that the standards implementation uses a strategic approach grounded in improvement science.
Through an improvement science lens, this project is expanding state education agency (SEA) capacity and knowledge to carry out a clear strategy to support regional education agencies (REAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) in understanding and implementing the new state learning standards. The project includes: (1) developing a state teaming structure; (2) establishing an implementation zone with a group of five school districts and one rural education consortium; (3) conducting training and coaching with the implementation zone district teams, (4) developing practice profiles to operationalize research-based instructional practices to support the B.E.S.T. Standards implementation; and (5) collecting and analyzing program, process, fidelity, and outcome to inform decision-making about adjustments, scaling, and sustaining the work at the school, district, and state levels.
Short-term outcomes include increasing SEA staff knowledge to support REAs and LEAs in B.E.S.T. Standards implementation. Mid-term outcomes include an increase in SEA and LEA capacity to support the initial implementation of the B.E.S.T. Standards and increased materials and assets to support educators and leaders in B.E.S.T. Standards implementation efforts. Long-term outcomes include state and district capacity to support full implementation of the B.E.S.T. Standards by the districts, schools, and classroom teachers.