CAR — The Connected Action Roadmap
A Proven Process to Support Student Learning Through Effective Educator Practice
Former NJDOE Commissioner David Hespe has called CAR “the vision for teaching, leading, and learning in New Jersey schools.” CAR has been endorsed by the Partnership for Collaborative Professional Learning*.
CAR is a process of school improvement that brings coherence to the work of educators by connecting standards, student learning, assessment, professional learning, educator effectiveness, and school climate and culture to the work of professional learning communities. The focus is on how educators can collaborate to assist students in reaching the highest level of achievement. Guided by a common language, CAR creates a coherent plan for systemic implementation of effective practice, and makes curriculum development a priority – a shift from program to practice.
As you may know, the FY2017 state budget included $10 per student for Professional Learning Community Aid to support collaboration among educators as they engage with student assessment results. Districts may consider using this aid for the Blended Online Learning Modules for Professional Learning Communities Using the Connected Action Roadmap.
We offer in-district training for teachers as well as school/district leadership teams. Ongoing coaching assistance for PLC teams and curriculum leaders is also available. Call 609-860-1200.
More in-person training sessions at the FEA Conference Center will be scheduled soon.
Without CAR, Professional Learning Communities can lack purpose and effectiveness. Emphasis is on compliance rather than practice; educators stay in their silos and do not collaborate; opportunities to grow are lost; and professional learning does not translate into student learning. CAR ensures that the conversations you have with your team will be meaningful and purposeful. It is simple, straightforward, effective, and most of all, coherent. CAR takes all of the mandates and best practices and helps you and your PLCs reach your destination of student learning through a viable curriculum that properly uses assessments and navigates the terrain to get you where you need to go.
The Connected Action Roadmap is an organizational framework that creates a systemic, coherent plan for improving student learning and strengthening educator practice. With a consistent focus on practice vs. compliance, CAR promotes…
the development of a viable, standards-based curriculum that directly informs classroom instruction and assessment
the creation of a comprehensive assessment system resulting in data-driven instructional decisions
the utilization of educator effectiveness frameworks to develop shared understandings of teaching, leading, and learning that inform job-embedded professional learning
the implementation of professional learning communities characterized by strong collaboration and shared leadership with a focus on curriculum, instruction and assessment
the promotion of a climate for student and adult learning marked by a mutual respect, shared leadership, and high expectations for all students.
NJDOE has developed a pilot program for 34 New Jersey schools utilizing the CAR framework to assist PLCs in using the Blended Online Learning Modules this year. Read about it by clicking here.
Here’s what the leaders in those pilot districts had to say about CAR training:
Presenters maximized the time and provided valuable information to ensure that participants are successful in their implementation of CAR.
The focus on Culture was very important and gave us a perfect way to start off our school year in the fall.
I liked how we were presented information and then given time to talk and figure out how the information applied to our school! Overall, the workshop was great!
I enjoyed having time to work with my colleagues on our next steps with the CAR program. Everyone involved in the workshop was very positive and enthusiastic about the program and the work we have done so far.
Using the resources from CAR and modeling how to use those resources was powerful and allowed teams to engage in deep conversations around the topic and the usage of tools.
I enjoyed how the presenters used the modules. Each session helps me to become a little more comfortable using the online portion of CAR.
The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) has collaborated with educational professionals, school leaders and other stakeholders to create this dynamic suite of online learning resources to support the professional development of New Jersey educators. The NJDOE has entered into a partnership with the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) to create a coherent online experience through its Online Professional Learning Exchange (OPLE) training platform.
CAR Connect is a software program that helps PLCs in the development, delivery, reflection on, and revision of curriculum. This software provides leaders with a set of easy-to-use tools to foster student achievement, improve teacher practice, and ensure levels of rigor. Once you are trained in CAR, you are eligible for CAR Connect.
To learn more about how you can bring CAR to your district, contact Jay Doolan or Linda Walko at 609-860-1200, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com. We can schedule an in-district training session where we come to your district and train your whole team. Ongoing coaching assistance for PLC teams and curriculum leaders is also available.
Get familiar with CAR and its language
The Destination: Student Learning
The Vehicle: The PLC – Teams of teachers who develop, implement, reflect on, and continuously revise a standards-based curriculum
The Map: A viable curriculum – Composed of units of study that contain the basic components of effective practice
Guideposts: Assessments – Focus on ongoing formative and summative assessments
Terrain: Culture – The model focuses on the following components of culture:
Climate (student-to-student, adult-to-student, and adult-to-adult relationships)
Shared Leadership (teacher leadership, collaboration, shared responsibility, and shared ownership)
Communication of Connections and High expectations (coherent vision and a connected plan to achieve the vision)
Drivers: Teacher and Principal Effectiveness – The framework provides the context for evaluation and supports what Danielson has identified as the benefits of any evaluation framework
A common language
Development of shared understandings
Self-assessment and reflection on practice
Structured professional conversation