We recognize that a systems-based approach to state, district and school improvement is optimal for ongoing and sustainable improvement in teaching and learning in order to address the system-wide conditions that foster and support these efforts. Mobilizing and sustaining effective improvement requires that we understand how the different elements of the system interact and impact one another. It also requires mechanisms to ensure that states, districts, and schools are accessing and effectively using their resources.
Toward this end, we have developed a number of tools and processes to assist states, districts, and schools to engage in effective planning, analysis, development, and implementation that takes into account the interactions between school, district, and state policies and resources, and focuses on the systemic improvement of communities to ensure effective improvement.
The focus of our work with state departments of education is coherence in their department-wide efforts to actively promote statewide improvement, development of their statewide district capacity building efforts, and ongoing assessment of their systems of support.
The focus of our work with districts is to ensure that their efforts to promote district-wide improvement are effectively focused on the central challenges impeding their schools’ ability to significantly raise student achievement, and to ensure that the school improvement practices lead to effective action and not only planning.