Improving Districts: Systems That Support Learning
What can be learned from school districts that have been able to show improvement—not only in a few schools but throughout the whole district?
This report, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, looks across nine districts that were honored for their demonstrated outcomes and practices by the department’s National Awards Program for Model Professional Development.
The districts range from the fifth largest in the United States, the Broward County (FL) Public School District, to districts serving midsized cities and suburbs. Student enrollment varies from 240,000 to 3,100, with districts where half of the students receive free or reduced-price lunch and districts where only one percent need assistance.
The differences among these districts, however, only highlight what they share in common—successful systems for supporting change and continuous improvement.
The report describes how these districts conceptualize and structure teacher professional development, the role of vision and communication in moving a whole district into continuous improvement, staff roles and structures, and how data-driven decision-making helps these districts initiate and keep their change efforts on track.
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