2024 Request for Proposals

The submission deadline for the 2024 Summit has passed. This page is for reference only.

Download a Session Proposal Checklist


To help you prepare your proposal, please download and review the full Summit Request for Proposal and Session Proposal Checklist.

The Carnegie Foundation works to catalyze transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life. In service of this mission, we are committed to building and strengthening a field that uses improvement science and improvement networks to solve long-standing inequities in educational outcomes. Marking its eleventh anniversary this year, the Summit on Improvement in Education aims to propel and support a future in which equity-focused continuous improvement occurs every day in thousands of educational settings.

Application and Review Timeline

How to Apply

Please review the important dates and logistics information below and submit your proposal for a session or poster presentation online.

Important Dates (in Pacific Time)
August 8, 10, and 15, 2023 Optional informational webinars to orient to the RFP process and provide coaching tips
August 31, 2023, 11:59pm Proposal submission deadline
November 1, 2023 Proposal decision notifications sent
November 7, 2023 Accepted sessions confirmed by presenters
January- February, 2024 Session Design Calls to support session preparation
March 1, 2024 Session materials uploaded and Summit app opens
March 24–27, 2024 Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education in San Diego, CA
Poster presenter set-up is Sunday, March 24, 2024

Educational Equity Is Our Priority. Community is our Method.

Summit is a community; a community where we:

  • learn how to disrupt the enduring inequities in our educational system and the underlying systems and power structures that perpetuate these outcomes, and
  • aim to propel and shape a future in which equity-centered continuous improvement is the way we live as professionals and lead with our stakeholders

As a community, we gather annually to celebrate our progress and success, to learn from colleagues who are closing gaps, recommit to the equity challenges that unite us as a profession, and prepare for our next collective steps. At Summit, we learn and collaborate in a variety of moments from preconferences, to keynotes, to networking sessions and receptions, to our deeply appreciated improver community-led presentations, and our new post conference gatherings. This Request for Proposals seeks submissions for our session presentations and poster sessions, as well as two new session formats. We encourage sessions showcasing improvement approaches that explicitly focus on our enduring challenges in the pursuit of educational equity, fairness, and justice in student learning. We seek to share, celebrate and learn from robust stories that are making a significant impact on student lives and on educational systems over time at the classroom, school, system, or network level. We also seek such improvement stories that are in progress. Learning from these stories and how they are organized is critical as we confront the urgency of addressing the stark inequities in our systems.

Session Presentation Proposals

The 2024 Summit program will showcase the stories of a diverse set of improvers, organizations, and networks that develop and use continuous improvement methods to create equitable educational outcomes and catalyze system transformation. Feedback from our 10th Anniversary Summit compels us to refine our Summit design to ensure we better meet the learning needs of both new and seasoned improvers. To do so, we invite sessions in several proposal categories with options to tell the story in a variety of session formats. 

We particularly encourage stories centered on the following topics: 

  • Advancing equitable PK-12 and post secondary student outcomes and attainment milestones
  • Scaling student success systems to improve educational attainment for students in secondary and post secondary schools
  • Designing  postsecondary models to accelerate the success of underrepresented, low income, and first generation students
  • Redesigning secondary schools to promote engaging, rigorous, and equitable learning experiences for all young people
  • Transforming learning, including the use of competency- and skills-based assessments
  • Creating broad scale access to deeper learning that is community rooted, engaging and experiential
  • Building improvement capability among pre-service and in-service educators and leaders 
  • Designing new models of teaching, teacher development and support


For this year’s Summit, there are three categories of sessions:

  1. Improvement for Impact Stories
  2. Tools and Methods Stories
  3. Exploration or Discovery Stories

Improvement for Impact Stories

Improvement science is both a set of principles to guide equitable improvement and an applied discipline that emphasizes innovation, rapid-cycle testing in the field, and evidence-driven spread in order to generate learning about which changes work for whom and under what conditions. We welcome stories of work in all phases of the improvement journey, from problem exploration to testing, to analyzing progress, to spreading or scaling proven changes to new contexts. Sessions of this category may share stories of improvement to advance equity in the form of better systems and more equitable outcomes or experiences for students. Sessions in this category may also describe advancing equity through improvement processes that intentionally involve a variety of stakeholders, especially those closest to the impact, use inclusive processes and structures, and/or share power and decision-making. 

We encourage stories:

  • told by improvers of a variety of roles and perspectives
  • in different phases of an improvement effort and that rely on evidence and analytics to convey progress
  • anchored in particular improvement principles and/or an improvement  framework
  • appealing to either new or seasoned improvers 
  • about change ideas that have proven effective or promising to move an aim, or other knowledge about impacting a particular equity challenge

Tools and Methods Stories

Expertise is growing in the field as organizations build improvement science capabilities in their daily practice to enact change. We welcome stories centering and showcasing development and use of equity-centered improvement tools and methods to advance equitable outcomes. Sessions feature the tools and approaches that are advancing impact along with concrete takeaways to inform the improvement work of others. In contrast with Improvement Stories, sessions in Tools and Methods focus on explicitly sharing  “how to” knowledge with the Summit community.   

We encourage stories and interactive learning experiences featuring improvement methodologies in action, with concrete artifacts that showcase how tools and methods were utilized to advance equitable outcomes and integrated into systems to promote sustainable improvement. Tools and methods may support:

  • Understanding the problem
  • Building a theory of improvement
  • Measuring improvement
  • Developing change ideas
  • Learning through testing
  • Spreading and scaling
  • Initiating and developing a network
  • Leading for equity-centered improvement
  • Coaching for Improvement or building capacity  
  • Managing and sustaining improvement

Exploration or Discovery Stories

The community of improvers in the education space is growing! The field of improvement in education continues to evolve, expand, and strengthen as individuals and organizations representing diverse experiences, geographies, and positions in the education landscape join the movement. As new and long-time community members share their work, engage with different perspectives, invite feedback, and envision new possibilities together, our collective capacity to impact students and systems grows. Building on the diverse sessions presented at the 2023 Summit, we invite sessions that offer different ways to make sense together of what we are learning about improvement as a field, the questions and opportunities we are grappling with now, and the work ahead as we take on major equity challenges together. In this strand we are seeking to start or continue stories of exploration or discovery as participants engage with presenters and each other.

We invite sessions that share ideas that are issue focused, innovative, early stage or exploratory in nature. Sessions may focus on specific equity problems of practice or innovative change ideas, improvement methods and processes, or an intersection of problem and method. They may explore questions of how improvement can be leveraged to advance progress in new areas. Presentations may draw on specific examples from practice, explore generalized dilemmas or questions, or anticipate future directions in the field.

These sessions provide opportunities for presenters to bring members of the improvement community into their stories to engage with critical questions together to advance the field in ways that allow for collective sense-making, generating new ideas, advancing thinking, or collaborative problem-solving. 

Examples of past sessions that illustrate this category include:

  • Failing to Improve: Lessons Learned from a Decade of Doing
  • Reclaiming the History of Equitable Improvement
  • Lowering the Barrier to Entry: Demystifying, Decolonizing, and Democratizing
  • Moving to a Future that Supports Equity-focused Improvement 
  • Reimagining the Teaching Profession Together
  • Democratizing Evidence: A Catalyst for Equity-Centered Research and Development


  • Sessions may be presented to a virtual audience (synchronously presented to in-person attendees and streamed live to a remote audience) or to an exclusively in-person audience
  • Sessions presented in-person only will be asked to record presentations in advance of the Summit so that they may be made available for on-demand viewing by all attendees as part of a digital library
  • All presenters should be in attendance in San Diego
  • We encourage presenters who are directly engaged in improvement activity in classrooms, schools, higher education institutions, and districts


Session Formats

Given Summit community feedback, this year we are excited to offer four different formats.  The Summit Program team is on hand to support session design once accepted:

  1. Presentations (75 minutes): are designed to present an equitable outcomes-seeking story, an equitable process, and/or improvement method  with space for interacting, discussing, and sense making of the story and its application
  2. Workshops  (75 or 150 minutes): are in-depth interactive learning experiences designed for attendees to learn about the real world application of improvement to advance progress toward equitable student outcomes and to apply what they’ve learned to their own context. Attendees leave with the ideas and resources to impact their local community and write their own improvement stories
  3. Roundtables: (75 minutes): are short presentations about a shared aim, issue, or improvement effort.  Attendees will learn about an issue, emergent idea,  creative application of improvement or innovative change idea, and engage in collective sensemaking, generating new ideas, advancing thinking, or collaborative problem-solving, in round table discussions
  4. Posters: are designed to tell an improver story in poster format during our 3 poster sessions


Session Delivery and Presenter Expectations
  • Sessions may be presented to a virtual audience (synchronously presented to in-person attendees and streamed live to a remote audience) or to an exclusively in-person audience
  • Sessions presented in-person only will be asked to record presentations in advance of the Summit so that they may be made available for on-demand viewing by all attendees as part of a digital library
  • All presenters should be in attendance in San Diego
  • We encourage presenters who are directly engaged in improvement activity in classrooms, schools, higher education institutions, and districts

Scoring Criteria

Proposals are reviewed by a peer review panel.  Every effort is made to have each proposal scored by a minimum of three reviewers.  Peer reviewers will read and score for the depth of evidence that:

  1. Aligns with session category and formats described above
  2. Shares an aim driven equity story, process, and/or change idea that helps the Summit community to learn about a particular equity challenge 
  3. Names clear session outcomes and engaging design for attendees to learn, apply to their own context, or grapple with together
  4. Uses concise impactful storytelling: plain language, content accessible to a wider audience, and avoids jargon

Summit Logistics Information

Summit Registration: Up to three presenters will receive the reduced Summit speaker registration rate.  For posters, one presenter will receive the reduced speaker rate. 

Travel and Lodging: All session and poster presenters are responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements and expenses.

Poster Presentations: Poster sessions will be scheduled three times during the Summit. Poster presentations that are accepted for the program are also strongly encouraged to record a short introduction to their poster that will be made accessible to remote participants and through the Summit Digital Library. Poster presenters should plan to be available for set-up on Sunday, March 24, 2024.

Questions? Please contact the Summit team at Summitproposals@carnegiefoundation.org.