Charting a District's Literacy Landscape: A Path Toward Strategic Decision-Making

By Heather Mattson, Scott Vince

Charting A District's Literacy Landscape: A Path Toward Strategic Decision-Making
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Description

In late 2015, Tracy Unified School District (TUSD) was chosen along with four other California school districts in a pilot supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The districts in the pilot were charged to learn about and implement the Smart School Spending framework for strategic decision-making and effective resource allocation.

The district decided to use the support from Gates to investigate why high school students were struggling to meet academic targets, eventually narrowing their focus to student literacy.

Based on interviews with district leaders conducted by WestEd, this brief details the district’s path toward improving student literacy, starting with grades K-3.

The brief describes how TUSD used the Smarter School Spending tools to:

  • Create an overview of the district’s 60 literacy programs
  • Identify seven of those literacy programs that were suitable for a more involved impact analysis
  • Dig deeper into those seven programs, documenting intended outcomes, rationale, operating model, key considerations, and current status

The brief also presents four key takeaways from the TUSD leadership team for strategic decision-making and improved student outcomes.

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