ROI: Making Every Dollar Count

Education Resource StrategiesLet’s say you want to improve elementary literacy scores in your district. You might use a Return on Investment (ROI) analysis to compare which professional development program will most help your literacy teachers for the money invested.

But is a new PD program even the best solution? You might see more ROI from recruiting and retaining better literacy teachers, changing compensation structures, or reorganizing the school day and teacher teams to focus resources on literacy.

As school district leaders think about next year’s strategic planning and budgeting, Education Resource Strategies introduces System-Strategy ROI: a new approach that focuses first on students’ needs and the district’s vision for success, and aligns resources to that need and vision.

School system leaders can help their teams take a System-Strategy ROI approach by structuring the planning conversation around five key steps:

  1. Identify the core need: What fundamental student performance need are we focusing on, and what’s our theory of change for addressing it?
  2. Consider a broad range of investment options: What are the investments we currently make to address this need, and what else could we do?
  3. Define ROI metrics and gather data: What are the relative returns (costs weighed against benefits) to the set of current/potential options?
  4. Weigh investment options: What other factors do we need to consider, in order to select from among the options?
  5. Make investment decisions: How can we free resources to do what we want to do?

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