2018 Summit Program

The Summit general conference includes over 40 sessions from four strand themes as well as a series of sponsor-hosted sessions, facilitated lunch roundtable conversations, and poster sessions. Session descriptions are subject to change; other details will be posted as they become available.

Strand 1: Methods of Improvement Science and Networks
Strand 2: Improvement Science in Practice
Strand 3: Networks in Practice
Strand 4: Leadership for Improvement
Sponsor-Hosted Sessions
Lunch Roundtable Conversations
Poster Sessions


April 3–5, 2018


San Francisco Marriott Marquis


Strand 1: Methods of Improvement Science and Networks

This strand focuses on building attendees’ capacity to practice improvement science and lead networked improvement communities (NICs). Most sessions are taught as “learning-by-doing” experiences intended to leave participants with practical techniques and tools to bring back to their organizations.

Introduction to Improvement Science: A Learning-By-Doing Simulation

This two-block session will introduce participants to the methods and tools of improvement science. Participants will work through a simulated improvement scenario in order to learn about and apply several improvement science tools, including aim statements, process maps, PDSAs, and more. The session will conclude with a reflection on how to apply improvement science to education and to the unique contexts in which participants work. Participants are asked to attend both blocks of the session. Capacity is limited to the first 150 participants.

Manuelito Biag, Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Patrice Dawkins-Jackson, Networked Improvement Science Fellow, Carnegie Foundation
Anna Kawar, Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Amanda Meyer, Director of Improvement, CORE Districts
Barbara Shreve, Networked Improvement Science Fellow, Carnegie Foundation

Understanding the Problem You Are Trying to Solve: Causal System Analysis

We are often so driven to improve education that we pursue solutions without first deeply understanding the problem we’re trying to solve. This session will introduce causal system analysis (CSA), a method for gaining a common understanding of the problem around which an improvement team works. Participants will be introduced to a variety of tools for CSA and will explore in-depth the fishbone diagram, an essential improvement tool that reveals key leverage points that improvers must address to solve a problem.

Jon Benjamin, Director of Facilities, Carnegie Foundation
Edit Khachatryan, Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

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.

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

Understanding the User Experience: Empathy Tools and Techniques

Being “user-centered” is easier said than done. Participants will come away from this session with concrete tools and techniques for integrating the voice of the user into their improvement efforts. High Tech High’s Mathematics Agency Improvement Community (MAIC) will share insights from their experience with student-centered improvement efforts.

Manuelito Biag, Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Stacey Caillier, Director, Center for Research on Equity and Innovation, High Tech High Graduate School of Education
Patrice Dawkins-Jackson, Networked Improvement Science Fellow, Carnegie Foundation
Daisy Sharrock, Project Director, Mathematical Agency Improvement Community, High Tech High Graduate School of Education

Theory of NIC Development

What are the distinguishing features of a networked improvement community (NIC), and how do NICs change over time? In this session, NIC scholars and coaches will share Carnegie’s current theory of NIC development and a measurement framework that can be used to assess a network’s health. Methods and findings will be explored through a case study of the Better Math Teaching Network (BMTN), a NIC which aims to improve student engagement in algebra.

Eva Mejia, Chief Strategy Officer, Big Picture Learning
Jennifer Lin Russell, Associate Professor, Learning Sciences and Policy, University of Pittsburgh; Senior Fellow, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
David Sherer, Networked Improvement Science Fellow, Carnegie Foundation
Jennifer Zoltners Sherer, Research Associate, Learning Sciences and Policy, University of Pittsburgh

Data Workshop

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 basic analytic and visualization tools 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

The Engine for Improvement: Coaching PDSA Cycles

The PDSA cycle is the engine for learning in networked improvement work, and improvement coaches play an important role in ensuring that PDSA cycles are efficient and effective. In this session, Carnegie improvement coaches will teach participants how to coach PDSAs. Participants will receive PDSA coaching tools, learn how coaching PDSAs helps to build improvement capacity, and leave with techniques to try with their own improvement teams.

Melissa Chabran, Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Christina Dixon, Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Alicia Grunow, Co-Founder, Improvement Collective; Senior Fellow, Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

Network Leadership

The success of a networked improvement community (NIC) depends — in large part — on its leaders. This session will explore the habits, mindsets, and behaviors that enable network leaders to create the conditions for success in a NIC. Participants will engage in reflective exercises and peer discussion to explore the role and importance of personal improvement journeys in NIC leadership.

Christina Dixon, Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Anna Kawar, Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Don Peurach, Associate Professor of Educational Policy, Leadership, and Innovation, School of Education, University of Michigan; Senior Fellow, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

The Work of a Hub

Networked improvement communities (NICs) bring together diverse stakeholders who are committed to solving complex problems together. The hub of a NIC is the central “learning organization” that leads and organizes that effort. This session will define the key areas of work that a hub must engage in to manage a successful NIC. Participants will learn which processes are important, how they interconnect, and what roles they play in the success of a NIC.

Edit Khachatryan, Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Barbara Shreve, Networked Improvement Science Fellow, Carnegie Foundation
Sandra Park, Co-Founder, Improvement Collective; Senior Fellow, Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation


Strand 2: Improvement Science in Practice

This strand highlights practitioners and organizations who are using improvement science in systematic and organized ways to achieve better educational outcomes. Participants will learn how these groundbreaking organizations effectively turn knowledge into practice and systematically spread that knowledge so that practice improves reliably at scale.

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

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.

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

Leading NICs in Rural Settings: The Role of Regional Support Systems

Networked improvement communities (NICs) bring together educators that may otherwise remain isolated from one another. Particularly in rural areas, regional and county offices are crucial supporters and capacity-builders for districts. In this session, NIC leaders from California and Tennessee will share lessons learned about the role of regional and county offices in supporting networked improvement in rural districts.

Jennifer Baker, Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Services, Shasta County Office of Education
Judy Flores, Superintendent of Schools, Shasta County Office of Education
Shelah Feldstein, Network Director, Tulare County Office of Education
Charlene Stringham, Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Services, Tulare County Office of Education
Bethany Fillers, Director, Tennessee Early Literacy Network
Ginger Leach, Director, East Tennessee Center of Regional Excellence
Alicia Grunow (moderator), Co-Founder, Improvement Collective; Senior Fellow, Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

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 usable.

Jarrod Bolte, CEO, Improving Education
Marc Stein, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Education
Michael A. Lawson, Assistant Professor, University of Alabama
John M. Tyson, Jr., Director, Helping Families Initiative
Anna Kawar (moderator), Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

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
Ben Cronkright, Systems Improvement Consultant, McREL International
Lynette Guastaferro, Executive Director, Teaching Matters
Kyle Mayer, Assistant Superintendent, Ottawa Area Intermediate

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 to most 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 Collette, Program Assistant, 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
Marian A. Robinson, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, George Washington University
Manuelito Biag (moderator), Associate, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation

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
Dennis Krieb, Director, Institutional Research and Library Services, Lewis & Clark Community College
Jill Lane, Dean of Transfer Programs, Lewis & Clark Community College
Michelle Miller-Adams, Research Fellow, W.E. Upjohn Institute; Professor, Grand Valley State University

High Reliability Organizations: Lessons from Other Industries and Their Application to Education

High reliability organizations (HROs) operate in complex, high-hazard domains for extended periods without serious accidents or catastrophic failures. These kinds of organizations exist in many industries, including healthcare. In this session, participants will learn about the key improvement principles that guide the operation of HROs and explore how their practices can be applied in education to improve student outcomes.

Louis Gomez, Professor of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles; Senior Fellow, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Alicia Grunow, Co-Founder, Improvement Collective; Senior Fellow, Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Uma Kotagal, Executive Leader, Population and Community Health; Senior Fellow, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

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 Specialist, UCLA Center X Northeast; Project Director, ExcEL Leadership Academy
Jenny Perlman Robinson, Fellow, The Brookings Institution

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, 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
Callie Riley, Senior Consultant, UPD Consulting
Chad Vignola, Executive Director, Literacy Design Collaborative

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, Improvement, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
Sara Saldaña, San Francisco Director, Network to Transform Teaching at San Francisco Unified School District
Lisa Carpenter, Master Teacher, Goshen Middle School
Kristan Van Hook, Chief Policy Officer, National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET)
Kristen C. Wilcox, Assistant Professor, SUNY at Albany
Dave Ziskin, Superintendent, Fort Plain Central School District

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

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 the 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, 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

Strand 3: Networks in Practice

As we look for ways to accelerate our ability to learn and improve educational outcomes for young people, networks have emerged as an increasingly popular strategy for organizing collective improvement work. This strand seeks to illustrate what it takes to bring a network to life and support it to reach its improvement goals. Presenters will share their experiences with key aspects of initiating and developing networks, such as engaging various types of stakeholders, collectively developing the charter for the network, and sustaining improvement.

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

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

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 the organization uses 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 upon 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

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. 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. 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. The C3WP NIC, focused on argument-writing, is a nation-wide effort to address a direct need in many localities. This session will demonstrate the value of a strong network and its power in addressing a problem.

Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Executive Director, National Writing Project
Linda Friedrich, Director of Research, National Writing Project

Improving Teacher Preparation and Development

One of the most pressing educational problems in the United States 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 eleven 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 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
Louis Gomez, Professor of Education and Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles; Senior Fellow, Networked Improvement Science, Carnegie Foundation
Melissa White, Senior Research Associate, WestEd

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. An element of building hub and networked improvement community (NIC) capacity, for example, was expanding the skillset 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.

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

Student Success Strategies of Minority-Serving Institutions

The Optimizing Academic Success and Institutional Strategy (OASIS) Network, developed by the Education Trust, is a network of ten historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) who have worked together over the past year to learn about and share student success practices. Unlike flagship institutions, these institutions need low-cost solutions because of their unique cultural and fiscal contexts. This session will discuss why and how the OASIS Network was created and will explore several practices shared across the network, including a focus on tracking the right data.

Bonita J. Brown, Director for Higher Education Practice, The Education Trust
José Cabrales, Senior Associate for Higher Education Practice, The Education Trust

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, using 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.

Richard Halverson, Professor, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Julie Kallio, Personalization in Practice, Networked Improvement Community, University of Wisconsin – Madison
David Sherer, Network Improvement Fellow, Carnegie Foundation

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.

Shannon King, Program Manager, Fairfax County Public Schools
Melissa Ponce, Program Director, EdLeader21
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
Patricia Greco (reflector), Superintendent, School District of Menomonee Falls

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; these resources will be presented, along with cases participants will examine in order to explore solutions to the third challenge.

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

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 the Schools that Lead Network, 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/Schools that Lead
Michele Savage, Principal, Shue-Medill Middle School/Schools that Lead

Two Network Approaches to Support Social Emotional Learning

This session will compare and contrast the efforts of two networks focused on student agency and engagement. The Student Success Network (SSN), a four-year-old NIC of education and youth development non-profits in New York City, has seen rapid growth (now including 49 organizations reaching 60,000 adolescents) and tremendous progress in common data collection. SSN will share their work to solidify member ownership of the network and increase the rigor of its continuous improvement cycles. Productive Persistence is an improvement team made up of researchers and faculty within the Carnegie Math Pathways NIC that collectively adapt and test interventions from psychology research for classroom use. They will present findings from three interventions to promote students’ use of effective learning strategies, as well as the data that led them to develop those interventions. Participants will also learn about the team structures and processes that have allowed the Productive Persistence team to learn together since 2011.

Rachel Beattie, Director of Productive Persistence, Carnegie Foundation
Haley S. McNamara, Research Coordinator, WestEd
Sue Lehmann, Chief Network Facilitator, Student Success Network
Lane McBride, Partner and Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

Strand 4: Leadership for Improvement

The critical work of leadership is to bring about needed change. Transformational leaders are driven to break through the status quo and achieve new levels of performance. Leading improvement requires shifting norms and habits that are deeply ingrained in the culture of educational organizations. In these sessions, leaders who have taken on this daunting work will share how and why they led these efforts and what lessons they have learned along the way.

School District of Menomonee Falls: Making Continuous Improvement A Normative System-Wide Practice

The School District of Menomonee Falls (SDMF) serves over 4,000 students in six schools 20 miles northwest of Milwaukee. Under the leadership of Superintendent Patricia Greco, SDMF has used continuous improvement methods to challenge and improve practice in all areas of its instructional programs and operations. Greco and her colleagues will discuss how their five-year effort put into place the human, system, and structural capacities necessary to effectively apply improvement science and cement it as the “new normal” for promoting change and accelerating learning. This session will inspire both leaders new to improvement science and those already engaged in this work with a vision of what this transformational journey can look like in practice.

Patricia Greco, Superintendent, School District of Menomonee Falls
Corey Golla, Director of Curriculum and Learning, School District of Menomonee Falls

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.

Diane Tavenner, Founder and CEO, Summit Public Schools
Kyle Moyer, Director of Continuous Improvement, Summit Public Schools

High Tech High: Moving Improvement to the Center of Organization Culture

An integrated network of thirteen 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 established 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

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

ESSA Policy and Continuous Improvement

A panel of policy advocates and analysts will discuss the big challenges and high priority needs that states and districts face in implementing key components in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), including the school improvement provisions. The panel will explore the role that improvement science and networked improvement communities can play in addressing these challenges and promoting continuous improvement at the local and state levels.

Mike Kirst, President, California State Board of Education; Professor Emeritus, Education and Business Administration, Stanford University
Bethany Little, Principal, EducationCounsel, LLC
Candice McQueen, Commissioner of Education, Tennessee Department of Education
Marshall (Mike) Smith, Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation
Jim Kohlmoos (moderator), Principal, EDGE Consulting Partners; Senior Fellow, Strategic Field Building, Carnegie Foundation

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 these 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
Benjamin Magras, Leadership Coach, UChicago Impact
Andrew Schmitz, Co-Director, 5Essentials, Professional Learning, UChicago Impact
Dan Wolfson, Executive Director Learning & Leadership Service, San Diego County Office of Education

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.

Steve Nakasato, Principal in Residence, Hawai’i Department of Education
Iris Tomita, Administrator, Hawai’i Department of Education
Deborah Peterson, Associate Professor, Portland State University
Susan Carlile, Associate Professor, Portland State University
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)

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
John Foley Murphy, Senior Director, Capacity Building, New York City Department of Education
Jenny Nagaoka, Deputy Director, University of Chicago Consortium on School Research
Andrea Soonachan, Executive Director, College and Career Planning Team, New York City Department of Education

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 at Harvard (DWIP) 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
Norma Ming, Supervisor of Research, San Francisco Unified School District
Anthony E. Sims, Systemic Improvement Specialist, Prince George’s County Public Schools

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.

Angela Jerabek, Executive Director, BARR Center
Maryann Corsello, Director of Evaluation, BARR Center
Ruth Schoenbach, Co-Director, Strategic Literacy Initiative, WestEd

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 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

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 systems’ 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 (DT&L) in New York City trains Improvement Science Ambassadors, conducts 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 make up 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.

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

Strengthening Internal Coherence Throughout the System

In this session, participants will learn about the NY Network, a collaboration among four urban school districts that are employing internal coherence and a key improvement science learning method to effect systemic change. Presenters will share the network’s structure and the lessons they have learned, and participants will complete a mapping activity to reflect on their daily work and the organizational elements that support that work. Through a series of structured activities, participants will consider the vision and mission of their organization and identify how each of its functions, structures, and initiatives align to the vision and mission. Finally, participants will identify which organizational elements perhaps need to be reconsidered and which need to be emphasized to deliver on their improvement strategy.

Tracy Fray-Oliver, Deputy Executive Director, Programs and Implementation, Bank Street Education Center

Sponsor-Hosted Sessions

Our sponsors understand that the Summit is more than a conference. It’s an opportunity to enhance professional knowledge, hear the latest thinking, network, gain direction, stimulate dialogue, and design and share best practices. It’s an opportunity to catalyze positive, sustainable change. We are grateful to our premier sponsors for sharing their commitment, their stories, and their work to achieve the change that our students need and deserve. The sponsor-hosted sessions are proof of the power of our Summit network.

Lunch Roundtable Conversations

These facilitated lunch roundtable conversations are an opportunity to share your experience and challenges and hear from others. Topics and facilitators will be posted prior to the Summit. Plan to come early as space is limited!

Poster Sessions

Explore posters representing a range of improvement efforts taking place across the world that are significantly contributing to our growing improvement community. View them in the poster gallery at your convenience or attend the three scheduled poster sessions when presenters will be at their posters to discuss their work and answer your questions.