2018 Sessions by Areas of Focus

To further assist you in selecting sessions, we have tagged sessions that address the following areas of focus:

Data & Measurement
Equity & Achievement Gaps
Higher Education
Instruction & Assessment
Professional Development
Scale & Spread

Also see the Summit sessions organized by strand or set.


Data & Measurement

A4: Embedding Practical Measures for Supporting Teachers’ Learning

In this session, coaches, district leaders, and researchers will share their challenges and successes in using practical measures in one-on-one coaching and teacher professional development. Throughout the session, participants will have the opportunity to collaboratively develop routines for embedding practical measures in instructional improvement efforts.

Alisa Brown, Math Content Specialist, San Francisco Unified School District
Paul Cobb, Research Professor of Mathematics, Vanderbilt University
Kanna Edison, Math Education Recovery Specialist, Kentucky Department of Education
Michael Jarry-Shore, Doctoral Student, Stanford University 
Hannah Nieman, Doctoral Student, University of Washington 
Jessica Slayton, Director of Mathematics, Metro Nashville Public Schools
Emma Trevino, Project Manager for Implementation, San Francisco Unified School District
Louis Gomez (moderator), Professor of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles; Senior Fellow, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Nicholas Kochmanski (moderator), Doctoral Student, Vanderbilt University

B3: Variation in Performance is the Problem to Be Solved: The Use of Data in Improving Literacy Outcomes

This session will showcase two case studies—Teaching Matters and the Reading Now Network—that illustrate how to analyze variation in data to improve the implementation of effective literacy practices. Teaching Matters has been progressively scaling an intervention which aims to improve K-3 reading development in high-poverty New York City schools. The Reading Now Network connects over 160 school districts in West Michigan to improve literacy outcomes across the region.

Naomi Cooperman, Senior Director of New Content and Evaluation, Teaching Matters
Lynette Guastaferro, Executive Director, Teaching Matters
Ben Cronkright, Systems Improvement Consultant, McREL International
Peter Haines, Superintendent, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District
Jon Norman (moderator), Associate, Analytics, Carnegie Foundation

C1: Measurement for Improvement

When we hear the word “measurement” in education, we often think of accountability systems or research paradigms. But in the improvement community, measurement is essential for learning. In this session, participants will get an overview of how measurement is used in improvement science and an introduction to the kinds of measures that are useful in an improvement context. (Introductory)

Melissa Chabran, Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Jon Norman, Associate, Analytics, Carnegie Foundation

C10: Data-Driven Improvement and System Transformation

Transforming an institutional culture to enable continuous improvement requires developing the right mindsets and methods for using data. Working with leaders in multiple roles, levels, and departments, San Francisco Unified School District encountered four data-related challenges to achieving and sustaining improvement: connecting evidence to theory, collecting robust implementation data, obtaining data on variability, and building trust in how data would be used. Presenters will share the methods they used to address these challenges. In the 2014-15 school year, Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) embarked on an ambitious transformation, adopting the Data Wise Improvement Process (DWIP) at Harvard to drive systemic improvement efforts across schools and central office departments. The decision to implement DWIP as an improvement strategy for both schools and departments created a unique set of opportunities and challenges that provide salient insights for improving the performance of local education agencies. The lessons these districts learned provide models for facilitating and supporting improvement that are anchored in data-driven analyses.

Rotunda Floyd Cooper, Principal, Martin Luther King Middle School, Prince George’s County Public Schools
Anthony E. Sims, Systemic Improvement Specialist, Prince George’s County Public Schools
Norma Ming, Supervisor of Research, San Francisco Unified School District
Brandon Bennett (moderator), Principal Advisor, Improvement Science Consulting; Fellow, Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

D2: Data Workshop: Two Tools for Analysis in Improvement Science

There’s no such thing as a “data person”!  This session is designed for those with “non-data” backgrounds who wish to build confidence in using data to address important issues in education. Using real data, participants will gain hands-on experience with two tools to analyze data often used in improvement work in order to answer three key improvement questions: How is my system performing? How do I know if changes are improvements? Where should I focus improvement efforts?

Brandon Bennett, Principal Advisor, Improvement Science Consulting; Fellow, Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Jon Norman, Associate, Analytics, Carnegie Foundation
David Sherer, Networked Improvement Science Fellow, Carnegie Foundation
Ke Wu, Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

D5: You Can't Lead What You Don't Measure: Prioritizing Engagement, Rigor, and Culture

Education leaders have a wealth of student data at their fingertips, but how can they learn about student engagement, academic rigor, and school culture? One way is through student perception data, which can provide indicators of instructional quality and school climate, as well as help leaders prioritize equity and better serve our most vulnerable students. This session features leaders from three organizations—High Tech High, Evergreen School District, and Summit Public Schools—that incorporate student feedback to increase engagement and improve college readiness. Participants will learn from these leaders’ experiences with elevating student voice and will also have the opportunity to share their own perspectives, challenges, and victories.

Adam Carter, Chief Academic Officer, Summit Public Schools
Ben Daley, Provost, High Tech High Graduate School of Education
Dan Deguara, Assistant Superintendent, Evergreen School District
Sachi Takahashi-Rial (moderator), Partnerships, YouthTruth Student Survey

E3: Making Data Useable for Improvement

The data we need in order to answer key improvement questions often already exist, yet this information is rarely configured or presented in useful and easily understood ways. This session will focus on how teams prepare data to inform improvement. Two teams will share their processes for identifying necessary data and explain how they created data displays and dashboards to make data more useable.

Jarrod Bolte, Founder & CEO, Improving Education
Marc Stein, Associate Professor, School of Education, Johns Hopkins University
Michael A. Lawson, Assistant Professor, University of Alabama
John M. Tyson, Jr., Director, Helping Families Initiative
Anna Kawar (moderator), Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer, Leading Through Connection


Equity & Achievement Gaps

A8: Spotlight on Summit Public Schools: Providing Evidence That We Can Do Better

Summit Public Schools is a leading public school system that equips its students to lead a fulfilled life. It operates 11 schools in California and Washington State and shares its personalized approach to teaching and learning (Summit Learning) with more than 330 schools across the country for free. Summit leaders Adam Carter and Kyle Moyer provide evidence that we can do better for all students; in one year, Summit Public Schools reduced the gap between the achievement of English learners and their English-speaking peers by 50% across the network. Summit is driven to reach as many people as possible, make it easier for students and teachers to take positive actions, and systematize the changes that have warrant. Learn about Summit’s journey from discrete improvement projects to system-wide improvement approaches and practices.

Adam Carter, Chief Academic Officer, Summit Public Schools
Kyle Moyer, Director of Continuous Improvement, Summit Public Schools
Anthony S. Bryk (moderator), President, Carnegie Foundation

A9: Transforming Culture for Large-Scale College Access

How are urban districts leveraging improvement science approaches and tools to ensure that all students have access to college?  New York City’s innovative Access for All initiative transforms school culture by endeavoring to maintain balance in three ways: balancing meaningful measures with the pressures of evaluation; balancing scale with learning; and balancing district accountability with principles of improvement. Leaders of the district initiative will discuss how an understanding of root causes, system conditions, and inquiry structures led to the design of a large-scale college access effort.  The University of Chicago’s To & Through Project provides school leaders and partners with a combination of research, data, and professional learning on the milestones that matter most for students’ college success. Participants will learn about the cycles of improvement that have driven Chicago’s dramatic, district-wide progress in this area, and will have an opportunity to engage in a hands-on data analysis exercise that translates theory into practice.

Sarah Duncan, Co-Director, University of Chicago, Network for College Success
Jenny Nagaoka, Deputy Director, University of Chicago Consortium on School Research
John Foley Murphy, Senior Director, Capacity Building, New York City Department of Education
Andrea Soonachan, Executive Director, College and Career Planning Team, New York City Department of Education
Rachel Beattie (moderator), Associate, Director of Student Agency Improvement Community and Productive Persistence, Carnegie Foundation

A10: Leading for Improvement in California’s CORE Districts

California’s CORE Districts (Los Angeles, Long Beach, Fresno, Santa Ana, San Francisco, Garden Grove, Sacramento City, and Oakland) together serve over a million students in California. This session will highlight the launch of their networked improvement community (which aims to close math performance gaps for African-American and Hispanic/Latino youth), their application of improvement science approaches and tools, and an exploration of potential systemic solutions to inequities in their schools. After a brief overview by CORE’s leaders, superintendents and improvement leaders from three CORE districts will describe their leadership strategies for improvement and how the collaborative work of the CORE Improvement Community supports their efforts.

Jorge Aguilar, Superintendent, Sacramento City Unified School District
Noah Bookman, Chief Strategy Officer, CORE
Heather Hough, Executive Director, CORE-PACE Research Partnership
Kyla Johnson, Superintendent, Oakland Unified School District
Vincent Matthews, Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District
Rick Miller, Executive Director, CORE
Andrés Alonso (reflector), Professor of Practice, Harvard School of Education
Ash Vasudeva (moderator), Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Carnegie Foundation

B8: Spotlight on High Tech High: Moving Improvement to the Center of Organization Culture

An integrated network of 13 charter schools, High Tech High (HTH) serves approximately 5,300 students in grades K-12, in addition to teachers and school leaders in its Graduate School of Education. HTH leaders are establishing improvement at the center of the organization’s culture by analyzing bright spots of success, co-constructing goals to address school needs, designing and adapting protocols to scaffold the use of improvement tools, and establishing structures for school-level improvement. In this session, HTH leaders Ben Daley and Ryan Gallagher will share the details of their journey and help participants consider how the lessons HTH has learned might accelerate their own organizational journeys.

Ben Daley, Provost, High Tech High Graduate School of Education.
Ryan Gallagher, Education Research Specialist, High Tech High Center for Research on Equity and Innovation
Louis Gomez (moderator), Professor of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles; Senior Fellow, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

B9: Contrasting Systems Making Improvement Science an Integral Approach to Work

Building practical improvement knowledge and skills is critical to effecting positive change.  But where to begin, with which staff and on what problems?  This session highlights the approaches of New York City Department of Education’s Division of Teaching & Learning (DT&L) and UCLA’s Community School.  Though dramatically different contexts, each attended to the micro and macro level of change, each made improvement science an integral approach to their daily work, and each developed their system’s capability to drive improvement toward strategic aims.  Over the past five years, all grade-level and departmental teams at UCLA’s Community School have engaged in a series of plan-do-study-act cycles to advance a school-wide focus on improving literacy and college-going.  The Division of Teaching & Learning in NYC trains Improvement Science Ambassadors, convenes periodic professional learning communities for sharing progress and challenges, and has made significant strides in hiring practices that meet their goals of reflecting the diverse makeup of their student population. Participants will learn and contrast the details of these approaches, their challenges, and lessons learned, and consider which elements might be adapted to their own context.

Rebekah Kang, Special Education Teacher, UCLA Community School
Karen Hunter Quartz, Research Director, UCLA Community School, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies
Julie Leopold, Executive Director, Continuous Learning, NYC Department of Education
Courtney Smith, Senior Director, Continuous Learning, NYC Department of Education
Sandra Park (moderator), Co-Founder, Improvement Collective; Senior Fellow, Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

B10. The Power and Potential of School Improvement Networks

Guided by the belief that all lives have equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s K-12 Education program aims to significantly increase the number of black, Latino, and low-income students who earn a high school diploma, enroll in a post-secondary institution, and are on track in their first year to obtain a credential with labor-market value. We believe one way to make this goal a reality is by funding Networks for School Improvement (NSIs). An NSI is a group of secondary schools working in partnership with an intermediary organization to use continuous improvement to improve outcomes for black, Latino, and low-income students. In this session, we’ll share why we are excited about the promise of Networks for School Improvement, what we’ve learned from the field about what makes this work both possible and challenging, and what we hope to learn over the next several years as our strategy unfolds.

K-12 School Improvement Network Team Members, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

C3: Spotlight on Fresno Unified School District: Advancing Equal Opportunity for College Graduation and College Choice

Fresno Unified School District, California’s fourth largest, covers a 65-square-mile geographical area and serves more than 73,000 students. Of this population, 88 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and approximately 21 percent are English language learners. In 2009, Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) and the University of California, Merced (UCM) partnered to advance the guiding principle that “all students are given an equal opportunity to graduate with the greatest number of postsecondary choices from the widest array of options.” In this session, leaders from FUSD and UCM will demonstrate how improvement science principles were used to increase the number of students who applied to colleges and universities matching their academic profiles and decrease the “undermatching” rate. Having successfully decreased “undermatching” rates through a change idea implemented in the Fall of 2016, FUSD implemented a second effort using improvement science that targeted students who were admitted to their matched campuses with the goal of increasing the number of those students who completed the matriculation process for the college or university where they intended to enroll.

Jorge Aguilar, Superintendent, Sacramento Unified School District; Associate Vice Chancellor, University of California, Merced
Adam Bonilla, Executive Officer of Equity and Access, Fresno Unified School District
Marlyn Gomez, Policy Analyst, UC Merced Center for Educational Partnerships
Ash Vasudeva (moderator), Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Carnegie Foundation

C8: Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education

We have a moral imperative to both raise the bar for higher-level skills and competencies for all students and to close the gaps between higher- and lower-performing subgroups. This complex work often requires “whole system reform,” which tackles the policies and process of an entire district, state, region, or country. When it comes to the improvement of whole systems, the number of potential drivers of improvement can become overwhelming. Which policies and strategic levers have the best chance of effecting change? This session explores specific criteria that can be used to judge the likely impact of a driver or set of drivers for system reform. Michael Fullan and Laura Schwalm will also reflect on their experiences with districts and share lessons they have learned.

Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
Laura Schwalm, Senior Partner, California Education Partners; Former Superintendent, Garden Grove Unified School District

C9: Effective Supports to Achieve Better Outcomes

In this session, presenters will share research-based frameworks that aim to close achievement gaps between schools, districts, and demographic groups. Based on over 20 years of research from the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, the 5Essentials framework identifies necessary supports for school effectiveness: effective leadership, collaborative teachers, involved families, a supportive environment, and ambitious instruction. Participants will learn about the critical role of coaching and how the 5Essentials are used to improve schools across the nation. The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) has applied the University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership’s (CEL) research-developed frameworks, tools, and content to their work with numerous school districts and county offices of education. SDCOE will share how CEL’s resources have been used to assess and build leaders’ abilities to observe and analyze instruction, provide growth-oriented feedback to teachers, and guide and support teachers’ professional learning.

Stephen Fink, Executive Director, Affiliate Professor, University of Washington Center for Educational Leadership
Jean Madden-Cazares, Assistant Superintendent, San Diego County Office of Education
Benjamin Magras, Leadership Coach, UChicago Impact
Andrew Schmitz, Co-Director, 5Essentials, Professional Learning, UChicago Impact
Christina Dixon (moderator), Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

D4: Building Improvement Science Capability Across Communities to Achieve Systems Change

Building on lessons learned from its 70+ community partnerships across the country, StriveTogether has developed an improvement science methodology that focuses on equity while combining continuous improvement and design-thinking tools and techniques. This innovative approach aligns the work of collective impact partners and helps build the skills needed to improve outcomes, from cradle to career, for every child in the community. Join this session to learn about StriveTogether’s achievements and unique approach to coordinating improvement efforts across multiple organizations.

Heidi Black, Senior Manager of Innovation, StriveTogether
Bridget Jancarz, Director of Network Advancement, StriveTogether
Colleen Maleski, Senior Manager of Continuous Improvement, StriveTogether

E5: New Visions for Public Schools: Scaling Improvement Work in Secondary Schools

New Visions for Public Schools works with approximately 130 secondary district and charter schools across New York City to increase the number of students who graduate prepared for college and careers. This session will explore two strategies they use to engage school leaders and their teams: Strategic Data Check-Ins and Continuous Improvement Coaching. These strategies work together; the check-ins create predictable and transparent conditions necessary for engaging in coaching, which enhances a school’s ability to diagnose, design, and improve elements of critical systems and processes. The session will provide participants with an overview of the management tools and protocols New Visions has developed to scale this work across the district; the organizational roles, resources, and structures which support the work; and evidence of challenges and successes. This session will be most useful to those engaged in improvement work at scale in secondary schools.

Mark Dunetz, President, New Visions for Public Schools
Nikki Giunta, Chief of Staff, New Visions for Public Schools
Jefferson Pestronk, VP for Strategy and Development, New Visions for Public Schools
Ash Vasudeva (moderator), Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Carnegie Foundation


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Higher Education

A6: Hub Capacity-Building in Higher Education

This session will focus on concrete examples of building capacity in network hubs. The University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) serves as the hub for the Program Design Network (PDN), an initiative involving 26 universities working to improve their school leadership preparation programs. Participants will learn about UCEA’s role as a hub and the lessons learned during the first 18 months of the UCEA-PDN. They will hear a specific example of how UCEA expanded the skill set of the NIC facilitators to include the application of adult learning principles to learning and teaching improvement science. Presenters will share the tools they developed to build the capacity of these novice NIC facilitators.

David Eddy-Spicer, Associate Professor, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Karen L. Sanzo, Professor, Old Dominion University
Kathleen M. Winn, Postdoctoral Research Associate, University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), University of Virginia
Michelle D. Young, Executive Director, University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA); Professor of Educational Leadership, University of Virginia
Carole Basile (reflector), Dean and Professor, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University
Christina Dixon (moderator), Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

B4: Improvement Efforts in Higher Education

This session will explore two case studies of improvement work in higher education settings. The first case will focus on two of 200 communities engaged in the College Promise Campaign: Kalamazoo Promise in Michigan and the statewide Tennessee Promise. The second case will describe how Lewis & Clark Community College has leveraged data and analytics technology to track and assess the use of student support services and their impact on grades and retention.

Martha Kanter, Executive Director, College Promise Campaign; Senior Fellow, New York University
Michelle Miller-Adams, Research Fellow, W.E. Upjohn Institute; Professor, Grand Valley State University
Dennis Krieb, Director, Institutional Research and Library Services, Lewis & Clark Community College
Jill Lane, Dean of Transfer Programs, Lewis & Clark Community College
Rachel Beattie (moderator), Associate, Director of Student Agency Improvement Community and Productive Persistence, Carnegie Foundation

E4: Teaching Improvement Science: Lessons from Carnegie’s Higher Education Network

For beginners, improvement science can seem like a highly technical process focused on using core tools. But it soon becomes obvious that developing soft skills and making deeper connections between improvement science’s essential concepts and practices are critical to success. In this session, participants will learn how to teach some key improvement science principles using games, allowing learners to experience foundational concepts through active engagement. Participants will also be introduced to three skill development areas: learning skills, technical skills for using tools, and social-learning facilitation skills.

Gary Colletti, Program Assistant, George Washington University
Marian A. Robinson, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, George Washington University
David Eddy-Spicer, Associate Professor, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
David Laird, Assistant Professor of Practice, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University
Manuelito Biag (moderator), Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

E8: Preparing Principals to Lead Systemic Improvement

How do we prepare school leaders to lead systemic improvement and embrace evidence-based accountability? This session features leaders of three principal preparation programs and explores their approaches to continuous improvement. The University of Illinois at Chicago’s EdD Program in Urban Education Leadership asked, “What would it take to produce at scale the principals our K-12 students deserve?” This question drove them to develop ways to measure school improvement and to commit to building their internal capacity to improve the program’s practices. Portland State University’s Graduate School of Education’s principal preparation program uses improvement science as the signature pedagogy in transformational leadership for equity. And the Hawai‘i Department of Education’s (HIDOE) administrators help principals develop a theory of practice and calibrate measures and procedures founded on system improvement.

Susan Carlile, Associate Professor, Portland State University
Deborah Peterson, Associate Professor, Portland State University
Steve Nakasato, Principal in Residence, Hawai’i Department of Education
Iris Tomita, Administrator, Hawai’i Department of Education
Steve Tozer, Director, Center for Urban Education Leadership, University of Illinois at Chicago
Lisa Walker, Senior Researcher, Center for Urban Education Leadership, University of Illinois at Chicago
Paul LeMahieu (moderator), Senior Vice President of Programs, Carnegie Foundation


Instruction & Assessment

B5: Applying Improvement Science to Develop Teacher Skill and Implement Standards-Aligned Instruction

Effective instructional strategies and teacher development go hand in hand when improving instruction and student outcomes. In this session, participants will learn about two approaches that use continuous improvement processes to deliver standards-aligned instruction: (1) The Literacy Design Collaborative, which convenes classroom teachers, instructional coaches, school and district leaders, academics, and assessment experts to develop and test a framework that supports teachers in designing and teaching standards-driven assignments in 100 New York City and Los Angeles “lab site” schools; and (2) UPD Consulting, which uses improvement science in its Florida Implementation (FLI) Network to identify, build, and implement strategies for high-quality, standards-aligned instruction in four Florida school districts, including Miami-Dade.istricts.

Elaine Farber Budish, Senior Consultant, UPD Consulting
Rouben Yaghdjian, Administrative Director for Leadership Development, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Suzanne Simons, Chief Academic Officer, Literacy Design Collaborative
Chad Vignola, Executive Director, Literacy Design Collaborative
Emma Parkerson (moderator), Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

B6: Spotlight on National Writing Project: The Value of a Strong Network

Over its 44-year history, the National Writing Project (NWP)—which has 185 sites based at universities across the country—has employed a range of strategies and tools to improve the teaching and learning of writing in schools and communities. When the Common Core State Standards were introduced, NWP’s local sites began to assist local districts with teaching the writing of argument, a practice emphasized by the Common Core. This session will highlight the work of the College, Career, and Community Writing Project (C3WP), a networked improvement community operating within and with the support of the larger NWP improvement infrastructure focused on argument-writing. The C3WP NIC, focused on argument-writing, is a nationwide effort to address a direct need in many localities. This session will demonstrate the value of a nationwide network and its power in addressing a problem.

Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Executive Director, National Writing Project
Linda Friedrich, Director of Research, National Writing Project
Paul LeMahieu (moderator), Senior Vice President, Programs, Carnegie Foundation

B7: Learning from a Lesson Study Network to Improve K-8 Mathematics

This session examines the history of a K-8 mathematics network based in four to six schools in each of three large urban districts. Three core challenges will be examined: building and sustaining teachers’ collective energy; making instructional shifts that support ambitious mathematics instruction; and creating feedback loops among teachers’ lesson-study learning, district curricula, and instructional vision. The network has seen some success in responding to the first two challenges by utilizing free online tools and materials.  Participants will examine these resources and, through case studies, will explore solutions to the third challenge.

Nora Houseman, Supervisor, Office of Professional Learning & Leadership, San Francisco Unified School District
Catherine Lewis, Distinguished Research Scientist, Mills College School of Education

C7: Accelerating Improvement in Student-Led Assessment

This session will showcase two networks focused on student assessment. The first case illustrates the evolution, from initiation to accelerating improvement of student-led assessment, of the multi-district Virginia Student-led Assessment NIC (VA NIC). The second case will describe how five Oregon education organizations—including the state teachers’ union, the department of education, and a major non-profit—formed a NIC to combine their individual efforts to transform classroom assessment practices to empower students to actively use assessment processes to learn and grow.

Randy Hitz, Dean Emeritus, Portland State University, School of Education; Senior Fellow, Strategic Initiatives, Carnegie Foundation
Andrea Shunk, Education Policy and Practice Strategist, Oregon Education Association
Erin Whitlock, Professional Practice Consultant, Oregon Education Association
Shannon King, Program Manager, Fairfax County Public Schools
Melissa Ponce, Program Director, EdLeader21
Patricia Greco (reflector), Superintendent, School District of Menomonee Falls
Barbara Shreve (moderator), Networked Improvement Fellow, Carnegie Foundation

D6: Galvanizing Teacher Engagement, Support, and Leadership in Improvement

Improvement efforts in schools cannot be successful without teacher engagement. In order to engage teachers deeply in this work, it is necessary to not only develop their capacity and skills, but also to encourage and nurture them to lead improvement efforts. In this session, participants will learn from three teacher-led instructional improvement efforts: 1) District leaders in Goshen, Indiana, who partnered with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) to empower teachers to continuously improve; 2) A Research-Practice Partnership (RPP) called NYKids, which galvanized teachers to engage in continuous improvement; and 3) The National Board Network to Transform Teaching, which leverages the expertise of Board-certified teachers across member schools and districts.

Lisa Clarke, Director of Improvement, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
Sara Saldaña, San Francisco Director, Network to Transform Teaching, San Francisco Unified School District
Lauren Moore, Mentor/Special Education Teacher, West Goshen Elementary School
Kristan Van Hook, Chief Policy Officer, National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET)
Deborah Larrabee, Junior/Senior High Principal, Fort Plain Central School District
Kristen C. Wilcox, Assistant Professor, SUNY at Albany
Patrice Dawkins-Jackson (moderator), Networked Improvement Science Fellow, Carnegie Foundation

D7: Spotlight on the Better Math Teaching Network: Moving the Needle on Student-Centered Instruction

High school math teachers, instructional leaders, and continuous improvement researchers in the Better Math Teaching Network work together to create student-centered learning environments. Teachers collaboratively test and refine instructional strategies and share them with each other and with math instructional leaders. This session will explain how the network formed and the progress it is making towards its aim, including specific change ideas being tested, refined, and shared, as well as measures being used to track improvement.

Toni Smith, Senior Researcher, American Institutes for Research
Kirk Walters, Managing Researcher, American Institutes for Research
Paul LeMahieu (moderator), Senior Vice President, Programs, Carnegie Foundation


Professional Development

A4: Embedding Practical Measures for Supporting Teachers’ Learning

In this session, coaches, district leaders, and researchers will share their challenges and successes in using practical measures in one-on-one coaching and teacher professional development. Throughout the session, participants will have the opportunity to collaboratively develop routines for embedding practical measures in instructional improvement efforts.

Alisa Brown, Math Content Specialist, San Francisco Unified School District
Paul Cobb, Research Professor of Mathematics, Vanderbilt University
Kanna Edison, Math Education Recovery Specialist, Kentucky Department of Education
Michael Jarry-Shore, Doctoral Student, Stanford University 
Hannah Nieman, Doctoral Student, University of Washington 
Jessica Slayton, Director of Mathematics, Metro Nashville Public Schools
Emma Trevino, Project Manager for Implementation, San Francisco Unified School District
Louis Gomez (moderator), Professor of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles; Senior Fellow, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Nicholas Kochmanski (moderator), Doctoral Student, Vanderbilt University

A7: Cultivating Teacher Leadership in Improvement

A core principle of networked improvement is honoring the knowledge of practitioners. In this session, participants will learn about two cases of supporting teacher leaders in networked improvement. The Center for Teaching Quality will share stories from their efforts to strengthen the engagement of K-12 educators across several school districts and charter management organizations (CMOs). They will share examples from their virtual community of educators and from emerging research on how teachers learn and how to support them. Members from Shue-Medill Middle School, part of the Student Agency Network Improvement Community (SAIC), will present how networked improvement science gave teachers a platform for changing their own classrooms and the classrooms across the network. Part of the work they will highlight is data documentation and analysis, which enabled their teachers to collaborate with peers.

Barnett Berry, Founder and CEO, Center for Teaching Quality
Alesha Daughtrey, Director Partnerships and Policy, Center for Teaching Quality
Christina James, Teacher, Shue-Medill Middle School
Elaine Jefferson, Assistant Principal, Shue-Medill Middle School
Lindsey Muldoon, Teacher, Shue-Medill Middle School
Edit Khachatryan (moderator), Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

B5: Applying Improvement Science to Developing Teachers and Improving Instruction

Effective instructional strategies and teacher development go hand-in-hand when improving instruction and student outcomes. In this session, participants will learn about two approaches to improving instruction: 1) The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC), which convenes classroom teachers, teacher trainers, academics, assessment experts, and others to develop and test a framework that scaffolds teachers’ instructional skill development in their New York City and Los Angeles “lab sites”; and 2) UPD Consulting, which uses improvement science in its FLI Network to identify, build, and implement strategies for high-quality, standards-aligned instruction in four Florida school districts.

Elaine Farber Budish, Senior Consultant, UPD Consulting
Rouben Yaghdjian, Administrative Director for Leadership Development, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Chad Vignola, Executive Director, Literacy Design Collaborative
Megan Jensen, LDC Project Lead, Los Angeles Unified School District
Emma Parkerson (moderator), Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

D6: Galvanizing Teacher Engagement, Support, and Leadership in Improvement

Improvement efforts in schools cannot be successful without teacher engagement. In order to engage teachers deeply in this work, it is necessary to not only develop their capacity and skills, but also to encourage and nurture them to lead improvement efforts. In this session, participants will learn from three teacher-led instructional improvement efforts: 1) District leaders in Goshen, Indiana, who partnered with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) to empower teachers to continuously improve; 2) A Research-Practice Partnership (RPP) called NYKids, which galvanized teachers to engage in continuous improvement; and 3) The National Board Network to Transform Teaching, which leverages the expertise of Board-certified teachers across member schools and districts.

Lisa Clarke, Director of Improvement, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
Sara Saldaña, San Francisco Director, Network to Transform Teaching, San Francisco Unified School District
Lauren Moore, Mentor/Special Education Teacher, West Goshen Elementary School
Kristan Van Hook, Chief Policy Officer, National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET)
Deborah Larrabee, Junior/Senior High Principal, Fort Plain Central School District
Kristen C. Wilcox, Assistant Professor, SUNY at Albany
Patrice Dawkins-Jackson (moderator), Networked Improvement Science Fellow, Carnegie Foundation

D8: Improving Teacher Preparation and Development

One of the most pressing educational problems in the U.S. is improving the quality of teacher preparation. This session will explain how two organizations formed networks to address teacher preparation and development. The New Teacher Center is a national non-profit dedicated to improving student learning by improving the effectiveness of new and experienced teachers and school leaders, and the New Generation Educators Initiative (NGEI) is a network of 11 California State University teacher preparation programs. Participants will learn about the technical assistance infrastructure NGEI developed to improve the capacity of K-8 teachers to deliver standards-aligned instruction. Participants will also hear about the New Teacher Center’s research, strategies, and tools, including lessons learned and actionable steps for supporting the formation, scale, and sustainability of impactful networks of districts and state leaders.

Cindy Brunswick, Senior Vice President, New Teacher Center
Jonathan R. Dolle, Senior Research Associate, WestEd
Erin Marie Ramirez, Assistant Professor, CSU Monterey Bay
Melissa White, Senior Research Associate, WestEd
Pam Grossman (reflector), Dean, Graduate School of Education, Penn Graduate School of Education
Louis Gomez (moderator), Professor of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles; Senior Fellow, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

E4: Teaching Improvement Science: Lessons from Carnegie’s Higher Education Network

For beginners, improvement science can seem like a highly technical process focused on using core tools. But it soon becomes obvious that developing soft skills and making deeper connections between improvement science’s essential concepts and practices are critical to success. In this session, participants will learn how to teach some key improvement science principles using games, allowing learners to experience foundational concepts through active engagement. Participants will also be introduced to three skill development areas: learning skills, technical skills for using tools, and social-learning facilitation skills.

Gary Colletti, Program Assistant, George Washington University
Marian A. Robinson, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, George Washington University
David Eddy-Spicer, Associate Professor, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
David Laird, Assistant Professor of Practice, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University
Manuelito Biag (moderator), Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

E8: Preparing Principals to Lead Systemic Improvement

How do we prepare school leaders to lead systemic improvement and embrace evidence-based accountability? This session features leaders of three principal preparation programs and explores their approaches to continuous improvement. The University of Illinois at Chicago’s EdD Program in Urban Education Leadership asked, “What would it take to produce at scale the principals our K-12 students deserve?” This question drove them to develop ways to measure school improvement and to commit to building their internal capacity to improve the program’s practices. Portland State University’s Graduate School of Education’s principal preparation program uses improvement science as the signature pedagogy in transformational leadership for equity. And the Hawai‘i Department of Education’s (HIDOE) administrators help principals develop a theory of practice and calibrate measures and procedures founded on system improvement.

Susan Carlile, Associate Professor, Portland State University
Deborah Peterson, Associate Professor, Portland State University
Steve Nakasato, Principal in Residence, Hawai’i Department of Education
Iris Tomita, Administrator, Hawai’i Department of Education
Steve Tozer, Director, Center for Urban Education Leadership, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
Lisa Walker, Senior Researcher, Center for Urban Education Leadership, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
Paul LeMahieu (moderator), Senior Vice President of Programs, Carnegie Foundation

E9: Mature Enterprises Scale, Spread, and Continuously Improve

Leaders of two mature programs—Strategic Literacy Initiative (SLI) at WestEd and Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR)—will demonstrate their commitment to improvement and their evidence of scale, sustainability, and positive program effects. SLI at WestEd aims to improve students’ ability to learn from complex texts by building teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and pedagogical capacities. To disseminate these models of teacher learning with what they call “flexible fidelity,” they have iterated on instructional frameworks and curricula, professional learning tools and resources, and system elements. BARR aims to create equitable schools so that every student has access to a high-quality education where adults know them, recognize their strengths, and help them succeed. BARR focuses on building positive intentional relationships and provides secondary schools with a comprehensive approach (including professional development, materials, coaching, and real-time data analysis) for meeting the academic, behavioral, social, and emotional needs of all students.

Maryann Corsello, Director of Evaluation, BARR Center
Angela Jerabek, Executive Director, BARR Center
Ruth Schoenbach¸ Co-Director, Strategic Literacy Initiative, WestEd
Ke Wu (moderator), Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation


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Scale & Spread

A5: Consolidating Learning in Networked Improvement

A key routine in networked improvement is consolidating the learning that is happening throughout the network and spreading that learning across multiple sites in meaningful and actionable ways. In this hands-on session, members of Carnegie Foundation’s Student Agency Improvement Community (SAIC), including hub members and participants from Eskolta School Research and Design, will share tools for drawing insights from evidence, documenting learning, and disseminating knowledge throughout a network.

Jon Benjamin, Internal Improvement Advisor, Director of Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship Program and Director of Facilities, Carnegie Foundation
Alicia Wolcott, Senior School Design Partner, Eskolta School Research and Design
Nicholas Zurlo, Data Analyst, Turnaround For Children
Melissa Chabran (moderator), Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

A8: Summit Public Schools: Providing Evidence That We Can Do Better

Summit Public Schools is a leading public school system that equips its students to lead a fulfilled life. It operates 11 schools in California and Washington State and shares its personalized approach to teaching and learning (Summit Learning) with more than 330 schools across the country for free. Founder and CEO Diane Tavenner and her colleagues provide evidence that we can do better for all students; in one year, Summit Public Schools reduced the gap between the achievement of English learners and their English-speaking peers by 50% across the network. Summit is driven to reach as many people as possible, make it easier for students and teachers to take positive actions, and systematize the changes that have warrant. Learn about Summit’s journey from discrete improvement projects to system-wide improvement approaches and practices.

Adam Carter, Chief Academic Officer, Summit Public Schools
Kyle Moyer, Director of Continuous Improvement, Summit Public Schools
Anthony S. Bryk (moderator), President, Carnegie Foundation  

C5: Lessons in Scaling Improvement Successes

As programs and initiatives grow, systems are needed to monitor and improve their implementation at scale. In this session, two case studies will demonstrate how the principles and tools of improvement science can help scale and sustain outcomes more reliably and effectively. Participants will hear from the Brookings Institution Scaling Labs, which utilize improvement science methods to support and learn from scaling efforts as they unfold, and from ExcEL schools, traditional public schools committed to improving outcomes for English learners through the adoption of personalized learning approaches.

Laureen Avery, Director, Northeast Region, UCLA Center X
Jason Cervone, Public Education SpecialistUCLA Center X Northeast; Project Director, ExcEL Leadership Academy
Jenny Perlman Robinson, Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Victoria Tinio, Executive Director, Foundation for Information, Technology, Education and Development (FIT-ED), Philippines
Sandra Park (moderator), Co-Founder, Improvement Collective; Senior Fellow, Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

C6: Social Network Analysis in Phases of Networked Improvement

Social network analysis can shed light on the flow and concentration of information throughout large networks. This session will highlight two examples of networked improvement communities that have applied social network analysis to their work: the Central Valley Networked Improvement Community (CVNIC), which focuses on improving fifth grade mathematics, and the Personalization in Practice Networked Improvement Community (PiPNIC), which engages 21 educators from five schools around a common problem of practice. During its first year, members of CVNIC realized that its local sites, despite being connected to the hub, were not necessarily learning from each other. To encourage the spread of information, the network introduced various incentives for collaboration, and used social network analysis to gauge the impact of their efforts. The university-based research team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which leads PiPNIC, has also used social network analysis to learn about how their NIC functions. The team will share their findings about how ties between members and schools in the NIC were created and strengthened, how interpersonal ties affected organizational design decisions, and implications for how to initiate effective NICs.

Shelah Feldstein, Network Director, Tulare County Office of Education
David Sherer, Network Improvement Fellow, Carnegie Foundation
Richard Halverson, Professor, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Julie Kallio, Project Director, Personalization in Practice Networked Improvement Community, University of Wisconsin – Madison

D1: Scaling Up Without Screwing Up

Often, an improvement effort’s ultimate goal is to affect outcomes at scale; many times, this is also where many promising interventions fail. Scaling up is a challenge across many industries, not just in education. In this session, participants will explore examples from other industries and discuss specific obstacles to scaling and strategies for overcoming them.

Hayagreeva “Huggy” Rao, Atholl McBean Professor, Organizational Behavior and Human Resources, Stanford University

E5: Spotlight on New Visions for Public Schools: Scaling Improvement Work in Secondary Schools

New Visions for Public Schools works with approximately 130 secondary district and charter schools across New York City to increase the number of students who graduate prepared for college and careers. This session will explore two strategies they use to engage school leaders and their teams: Strategic Data Check-Ins and Continuous Improvement Coaching. These strategies work together; the check-ins create the predictable and transparent conditions necessary for engaging in coaching, which enhances a school’s ability to diagnose, design, and improve elements of critical systems and processes. The session will provide participants with an overview of the management tools and protocols New Visions has developed to scale this work across the district; the organizational roles, resources, and structures, which support the work; and evidence of challenges and successes. This session will be most useful to those engaged in improvement work at scale in secondary schools.

Mark Dunetz, President, New Visions for Public Schools
Nikki Giunta, Chief of Staff, New Visions for Public Schools
Jefferson Pestronk, VP for Strategy and Development, New Visions for Public Schools
Ash Vasudeva (moderator), Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Carnegie Foundation

E9: Mature Enterprises Scale, Spread, and Continuously Improve

Leaders of two mature programs—Strategic Literacy Initiative (SLI) at WestEd and Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR)—will demonstrate their commitment to improvement and their evidence of scale, sustainability, and positive program effects. The Strategic Literacy Initiative (SLI) at WestEd aims to improve students’ ability to learn from complex texts by building teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and pedagogical capacities. To disseminate these models of teacher learning with what they call “flexible fidelity,” they have iterated on instructional frameworks and curricula, professional learning tools and resources, and system elements. Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR) aims to create equitable schools so that every student has access to a high-quality education where adults know them, recognize their strengths, and help them succeed. BARR focuses on building positive intentional relationships and provides secondary schools with a comprehensive approach (including professional development, materials, coaching, and real-time data analysis) for meeting the academic, behavioral, social, and emotional needs of all students.

Maryann Corsello, Director of Evaluation, BARR Center
Angela Jerabek, Executive Director, BARR Center
Ruth Schoenbach¸ Co-Director, Strategic Literacy Initiative, WestEd
Ke Wu (moderator), Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation