Spotlight on School and District Improvement Through the Four Domains Framework
This Spotlight features resources designed to support school, district, and state education leaders in the complex effort to improve schools and districts so that all students can thrive.
The Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement is a comprehensive, student-centered, and equity-driven process that highlights four critical areas for leaders to focus on when planning and implementing improvement.
WestEd’s school and district improvement work is guided by the Four Domains and a process for continuous improvement to strengthen leadership capacity and build, implement, and sustain high-quality schools and systems.
Check out the resources below and visit our School and District Transformation web page to learn more.
Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: A Systems Framework
The Four Domains framework is designed to help states, districts, and schools lead and manage rapid improvement efforts. 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, and 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. For each domain, the roles of the state, the district, and the school are briefly outlined, providing examples of their reciprocal functions in successful school improvement efforts.
Read the Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: A Systems Framework.
Four Domains: Indicators of Effective Practice
This follow-up and complement to Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement: A Systems Framework aims to facilitate educators’ ability to take and track action within each domain, provides the specificity of indicators for each practice identified in the framework. An indicator of effective practice is what co-author Redding describes as a concrete behavioral expression of a particular professional practice that research has shown to contribute to student learning.
The indicators presented in this document are expressed in plain language by design so school, district, and state teams can identify with certainty whether a practice from the domains is standard and routinely operational in their part of the education system or whether more work is needed.
Read the Indicators of Effective Practice.
Four Domains CALL System: Using Data to Inform Decision-Making
Using the Four Domains CALL System, schools in Utah access summary data that provide insights into how their routines, tasks, and practices compare to other schools that have taken the survey nationwide.
Rather than focus on an individual leader, the CALL system utilizes multi-source comprehensive surveys to assess core leadership practices distributed across the school and district. Routine, task, and practice changes can be tracked over time to determine how well implementation efforts work and provide a roadmap for focused adjustments in targeted areas.
Read more about using CALL survey data to support school and district improvement.
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Stay informed about WestEd’s research, resources, services, events, and career opportunities by subscribing to our E-Bulletin. Our latest issue explores school and district transformation in more depth. Topics include:
- Four Domains for Rapid School Improvement
- The 2023 ESEA Conference
- How to Develop Transformational Leaders
- Supporting Charter School Improvement
- Building Relationships That Drive Improvement
- Addressing Racial Inequity Through Continuous Improvement
- Achieving Comprehensive, Sustainable Improvement
- Using Data to Inform Decision-Making
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