Susan Barrett (bio) stresses the importance of selecting the appropriate evidence-based practices.
It is a framework by which schools and school systems and states select based on their own data, they select evidence based practices and install them in a very deliberate way, by considering sort of the best practice pieces, but also the best implementation pieces as well.
The focus is on social behavior and making that equal priority with academic achievement. And then, based on the needs of the school and the school system, they determine an implementation plan on creating and promoting a positive school culture.
There's this implementation structure by which we move through this process. And it's not prescriptive in the way that we would say, "You have to do it this way," but it's a guiding framework to say, "You have to work in a team. You have to use data in order to determine what it is your needs are. What data point do you want to move?"
And then, let's figure out and select evidence based practices that are going to make sense, that are culturally relevant to the population that you're serving, and then putting in and installing systems features that guide fidelity of implementation.
Because a lot of times, we have this knee-jerk reaction where we put in an evidence based practice, but we don't focus on what do the adults need to do to make it — to get skills and competencies, and make it happen with fidelity?
We oftentimes forget about that because I often say, "Our hearts are big and we want things to happen fast." And so we slap a poster on the wall and we think all of a sudden, it's going to happen, and that's not necessarily true.
So we have certain practice features that are present, but we also have implementation features around making sure that is happening with fidelity.
Excerpted from an interview at CBITS Summit 2012 in Santa Monica, CA.