Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: A Systems Framework

Produced by The Center on School Turnaround

Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: A Systems Framework
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Description

This framework is designed to help states, districts, and schools lead and manage rapid improvement efforts.

In practical language, the framework shares the practices of successful school turnaround in four domains that both research and experience suggest are central to rapid and significant improvement:

  • Turnaround leadership
  • Talent development
  • Instructional transformation
  • Culture shift

In addition, the framework offers examples of the domains in action at school, district, and state levels.

The framework reflects the understanding that local context and implementation influence the outcomes of any improvement initiative. It further reflects these lessons learned from the federal School Improvement Grants program:

  • A successful school turnaround requires a systems approach with coherent guidance and support from the state and district to complement the actions of the school
  • A successful school turnaround is more than the initial jolt of bold changes in structure, authority, and personnel; it includes phases in which effective practices and processes are routinized and sustained

For each domain, the roles of the state, the district, and the school are briefly outlined, providing examples of their reciprocal roles in successful school improvement efforts.

A subsequent and complementary document, Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: Indicators of Effective Practice, intended to facilitate educators’ ability to take and track action within each domain, provides the specificity of indicators for each practice identified in the framework.

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