The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Networked Improvement Community for Equity

Hardin L.K. Coleman, Boston University - Wheelock College of Education and Human Development (United States)

Eva Mitchell, Boston Public Schools (United States)

Ariel Tichnor-Wagner, BU Wheelock College of Education and Human Development (United States)

Charles Grandson, Boston Public Schools (United States)

Laryssa Doherty, Boston Public Schools (United States)

Velicia Saunders, Boston Public Schools (United States)


PK-12 education is at a fascinating moment in our work to improve the overall performance of school districts that have high percentages of children who are living in poverty, come from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, do not have English as their native language and/or are atypical learners.  On the one hand, we have growing evidence of strategies that serve to improve the academic performance of all students in economically, culturally, and linguistically diverse school districts [1].  On the other, there is significant variance within and across these districts as to how effectively these strategies are implemented [2].  This suggests that we know what to do in order to improve the ability of schools to best serve all children, but we face continued challenges in effectively scaling effective strategies across a district to achieve desired equity outcomes within schools that are sustained over time. The focus of this paper is to describe a planned research-practice partnership [3] that is designed to use a networked improvement community of school leaders and regional superintendents to a) build the capacity of a district to develop and implement a policy that is designed to improve equitable access to high quality learning opportunities and b) indicate ways in the implementation of this policy can serve as a driver of closing achievement and opportunity gaps for the district’s most marginalized students, by identifying and codifying measures proximal measures that capture school-based needs and practices.  The first goal of this project is to increase equitable access to high quality learning for all children, the second is to demonstrate the efficacy of network improvement science technigues to implement sustainable policies with fidelity.

Keywords: equity, improvement science.

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