Improving for Impact and Equity: Voices of the Improver Community

When different stakeholders organize together to deeply understand thorny problems and to work together to learn their way into effective solutions, powerful things happen. 

Last spring, individuals from around the world, who sit in different roles and connect to different parts of their educational systems, shared the headlines of their accomplishments and experiences with continuous improvement as part of the Voices of Improvers project. We are pleased to announce that an in-depth report of the experiences they shared, as well as an executive summary, are now available for you to read, discuss, and share. 

The Voices of Improvers project sought to understand the state of improvement practice in education at the moment of the 10th Carnegie Summit on Improvement in Education. In spring 2023, in cooperation with others in the improvement community, we invited individuals to share their stories about the problems that they are working to address, the accomplishments they have realized through their improvement work, and how improvement shows up in their practice. This was a chance to take stock collectively—reflecting on past successes, present areas of work and current challenges, and future ambitions.  

Project participants celebrated positive changes in students’ outcomes and experiences, as well as shifts in how people work together and how organizations and systems are organized. Common areas of improvement focus included student literacy, chronic absenteeism, and student progress towards graduation, suggesting that there is an opportunity for more coordinated sharing of learning in the future. 

Thank you to our Carnegie Summit 2023 mural artist, Alece Birnbach!

Participants expressed energy to continue forward. One district and school support liaison captured ideas expressed by many when they said, “I’m committed to approaching change using improvement science because it makes sense, it’s based on the scientific method, it’s logical, and we can also make it human centered, working with people not ‘to’ people or ‘for’ people but really empowering people in teams to get better [at] the things they want to get better at.” 

We at Carnegie are honored to be part of this community of improvers that is so deeply committed to achieving equity and excellence in education. We invite you to share this report broadly and hope that those who read it recognize aspects of their own experiences and values in what others have shared, and will share their own stories. Later this winter, additional video content from the project will also be available on our website. We look forward to continuing to build, learn, and improve with you. 

We are pleased to announce that an in-depth report of the experiences they shared, as well as an executive summary, are now available on our site for you to read, discuss, and share.

We are grateful to each person who contributed to this effort by sharing their story, and to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its investment in the Voices of Improvers project.