Spotlight FAQs

General Information

What is the Spotlight on Quality in Continuous Improvement?

Spotlight on Quality in Continuous Improvement is a program designed to elevate clear and compelling examples of how the rigorous application of improvement principles, methods, and tools solve some of the most persistent problems in education. The Spotlight program provides education organizations and improvement networks with the opportunity to learn about excellence in continuous improvement, to assess their own progress, and to be recognized for their proven quality practices.

Selected spotlight applicants will give a presentation of their work at the Carnegie Foundation Spotlight on Quality in Continuous Improvement Symposium scheduled for November 21, 2019, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, as well as within sessions at the Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education conference on April 1–3, 2020 in San Francisco, CA.

Who should apply?

The following enterprises are eligible to apply:

  • School Districts, State Education Agencies, and Charter Management Organizations. These enterprises run or manage schools and use improvement methods and tools to make significant progress on a well-specified aim.
  • Improvement Networks. These enterprises are made up of individuals, teams, or organizations working together to make significant progress on a shared improvement aim. They may be operated by a variety of different entities including intermediary organizations or some federation of schools and/or districts.
  • Professional/Technical Assistance Organizations. These enterprises support educational enterprises and are applying improvement principles, methods, and tools to their own practices to improve the support they provide to schools and/or districts.

Of particular interest are applicants that have used quality improvement approaches to advance more ambitious student learning goals and/or attack longstanding disparities grounded in race/ethnicity or income in students’ progress through school and educational attainment.

For spotlighted groups, this is a remarkable opportunity to:

  • Be publicized nationally as leaders in the field of education improvement
  • Inspire others to take up these continuous improvement approaches with similar rigor
  • Learn from and develop collegial relationships with other Spotlight honorees
  • Be featured in educative videos, written case studies, and at the Carnegie Foundation’s Spotlight on Quality in Continuous Improvement Symposium and Summit on Improvement in Education Conference

How are spotlighted groups chosen?

The application committee includes Carnegie Foundation executive leadership and senior fellows, as well as past Spotlight honorees. The committee carefully reviews the submissions and may select one or more enterprises in each category.

Application

May I include attachments with my application?

The only attachments that will be accepted and reviewed are charts, data displays, and/or figures (as noted in section 1) that best represent each of the following:

    • the level of performance and variation that you saw at the outset,
    • the overall level of improvement you achieved, and
    • the variation observed in the effects of your improvement efforts.

Can I receive feedback on my application prior to submission?

Though the Foundation can provide information about the logistics of completing and submitting your application, we are unable to provide feedback or coaching on the content of your submission. Since the main goal of the application is to find out more about you and your work, it’s possible you may be asked to provide additional details about your work after you submit your application.

Can I apply as a school?

We are seeking enterprises that run or manage schools (school districts, state education agencies, and charter management organizations) for Spotlight consideration. If you are a school, we instead encourage you to submit a proposal to present at the Summit on Improvement in Education.

Spotlight Events

What is the Spotlight on Quality in Continuous Improvement Symposium, who attends, and when and where does it take place?

Scheduled for November 21, 2019, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, the Spotlight on Quality in Continuous Improvement Symposium is an invitational event that showcases the exemplary work of continuous improvement in the field of education. Here we signal and celebrate quality in the enactment of improvement principles, as well as in the meaningful, measurable improvements we are now witnessing in many domains. Attended by leading policymakers, researchers, and philanthropists, the symposium provides an opportunity for Spotlight honorees to describe how they engage in improvement approaches to achieve substantial gains and reduce longstanding disparities in student outcomes.

What is the Summit on Improvement in Education, who attends, and when and where does it take place?

The Summit on Improvement in Education—the Carnegie Foundation’s premier annual conference for education improvers—is a vibrant three-day event that brings together a diverse group of educators, researchers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and policymakers dedicated to accelerating improvement in education. The 2020 Summit will be held April 1–3 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis hotel in San Francisco, CA. Join Carnegie’s mailing list to be updated when registration opens in late summer 2019.

What are the expectations of presenters at the Spotlight Symposium and Summit sessions?

For the Spotlight Symposium: Spotlighted groups will be expected to prepare short 20-minute presentations in which they tell the story of how they achieved measurable improvements in outcomes and used improvement principles to achieve these outcomes.

For the Summit on Improvement in Education: Spotlighted groups will be expected to present their improvement work in sessions of varying length.

For each event, Spotlight honorees will receive coaching from Carnegie Foundation leaders.


Don’t see the information you’re looking for? Contact Kareen Yang at yang@carnegiefoundation.org with additional questions.

For more information about the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, visit organization FAQs.