Mastery Charter High School (Mastery) is a nonprofit organization, with 15 local education agencies (LEAs) as partners (totaling 27 schools, serving 13,000+ k-12 students). All of these schools are considered high-need schools and will be served by the current project. After 13 years making significant gains as a network of charter schools, Mastery determined a need to shift course after noticing stagnating student outcomes. In 2014, after intense evaluation of Mastery's prior instructional model, the grantee developed and implemented Mastery 3.0 as a shift in its core school model. Implementing the new model in full required major investments in teacher and leader supports. With a new 5-year strategic plan that spans through 2021 (the same time period as the current TIF project), Mastery is currently focusing on building world class human capital systems within its organization, and working to share what it learns to help make Philadelphia and Camden an attractive hub for high-quality educators.
Schools & LEAs Served
The current project aims to enhance the existing human capital management system (HCMS) that Mastery operates across all Mastery LEAs. This HCMS comprises educator evaluation and support systems, efforts to improve teacher effectiveness and promote equitable access to effective educators, and a plan for promoting equitable access to quality education through state plans to ensure equitable access to excellent educators. Mastery's goal is to redesign its HCMS to provide world-class programs, supports, and performance compensation systems that improve educator effectiveness and increase student achievement at its high-need schools. The grantee will deploy its Mastery Opportunity Culture Human Capital Management System (MOCHCS) through four core areas: talent pipeline development, talent management systems and data analytics, educator development and performance-based compensation systems.
- Mastery Charter High School
- Mastery Charter School Thomas Campus
- Mastery Charter School Shoemaker Campus
- Mastery Charter School Pickett Campus
- Mastery Charter School Harrity Elementary
- Mastery Charter School Mann Elementary
- Mastery Charter School Smedley Elementary
- Mastery Charter School Clymer Elementary
- Hardy Williams Academy Mastery Charter School
- Mastery Charter School Gratz Campus
- Mastery Charter School Cleveland Elementary
- Francis D. Pastorius Mastery Charter School
- Frederick Douglass Mastery Charter School
- Mastery Charter School John Wister Campus
- Mastery Schools of Camden, Inc.
For student outcomes to increase, the organization must fully align every aspect of operation to how it will affect student achievement. An effective HCMS is critical to student outcomes at Mastery, as every stage of the process--from recruitment and hiring to professional development to compensation and retention--has a direct effect on how students learn and achieve each day in the classroom.
Human capital decisions are currently driven collaboratively among school leadership teams and the network support team (NST). The NST serves as a central office, providing human-capital focused services to all 15 participating LEAs. At the school level, human capital decision-making comes from a clear set of policies, procedures and supports from NST teams that provide services to schools (recruitment and hiring, talent management, professional development for teachers and leaders, data collection and analytics, performance compensation, retention, and promotion).
The redesigned system (MOCHCS) consists of four focus areas that drive the human capital continuum in Mastery schools. These areas--talent pipeline development, talent management systems, and educator development--culminate in a more effective performance-based compensation system for all Mastery educators. The system aligns to what Mastery is, and what it aspires to be, as a network of urban schools working toward improved student achievement and growth.
As the grantee shifts from simply having a performance-based compensation system (PBCS) to fully aligning the PBCS to Mastery 3.0, Mastery is working to create an instructional shift by ensuring that the PBCS actually delivers on its promise to be a key lever for improving instructional quality, equitable access to high quality educators for students, and student achievement. In the redesign efforts, Mastery is contributing more than 90 percent PBCS incentive costs from Mastery funds.
The grantee will focus its redesign of teacher-level performance-based pay on two elements: (a) systematizing the observation and evaluation process for equity and impact under the PBCS and (b) leveraging the proposed talent management system to better use and manage educator data to inform the PBCS.
Mastery 3.0 includes three areas of focus in the redesign of PBCS for school leaders: (a) systematizing the performance categories and expectations; (b) clearly defining the management standards and creating goal-setting protocols, training, and tracking; and (c) including a developmental review process in evaluation.
All Mastery LEAs are high-need schools, and with a large number of new educators, Mastery consistently invests in developing talent through professional development trainings (PD) aligned to its curricular model and vision for increasing student achievement. Examples of current PD supports include (a) time in the school day for common planning time for teachers; (b) weekly PD release time for teachers at the school level; (c) monthly network-wide PD for role-alike educators; (d) quarterly data days to review student-, classroom- and school-level data and design focus plans for the coming quarter; (e) 4 weeks of content training options for leaders in the summer; (f) 3 weeks of summer teacher training; (g) targeted teacher coaching; and (h) an array of optional training based on educator interest and need, such as SEED training or Wilson Reading training.