Spotlight on Quality in Continuous Improvement

Since 2008, the Carnegie Foundation has been at the forefront of an emerging movement in education, promoting the use of improvement science methods in education and fostering the formation and growth of networked communities dedicated to making headway on some of the most persistent problems in our nation’s schools.

Over the past ten years, thousands of school district leaders, principals, teachers, policymakers, researchers, and K-12 and higher education administrators across the country and around the world have begun to take up these methods. These educational leaders are challenging existing norms, learning new practices of continuous improvement, and reinforcing a collective commitment to improve the nation’s schools.

In light of the swift and enthusiastic take-up of these ideas by so many individuals and groups, Carnegie launched the Spotlight on Quality in Continuous Improvement program in 2017 to provide clear and powerful examples of the rigorous application of improvement principles, methods, and tools to solve educational problems. The Spotlight program seeks to inspire those educational leaders who are just starting but may wonder what this work actually looks like in practice, to support those who may be already working on an improvement project but want to get better at how they pursue their efforts, and to celebrate and learn from those who are making real progress.

2018 Spotlight and Call for Applications

Building on the successful inaugural Spotlight on Quality in Continuous Improvement Symposium in Washington, DC in November 2017 and the more recent Spotlight sessions at the Summit on Improvement in Education in April 2018, the Carnegie Foundation once again seeks Spotlight applicants that demonstrate quality in the enactment of improvement principles within three categories:

Improvement Project Teams

An Improvement Project Team applicant should demonstrate how they used improvement tools and methods to make significant progress on a well-specified aim.

Organizational Transformation

An Organizational Transformation applicant should show how their organization applied improvement principles, methods, and tools to foster new normative practices across the organization.

Improvement Networks

An Improvement Network applicant should show how an intentionally structured network made up of several teams or organizations worked together to make significant progress on a shared improvement aim.

Of particular interest are initiatives that seek to advance more ambitious student learning goals and/or attack longstanding disparities, by race/ethnicity or income, in students’ progress through school and educational attainment. Also note that more than one group may be selected in each category.

Applications are due on or before July 9, 2018, and notifications will be sent by September 10, 2018. For more information on why to apply, expectations of spotlighted groups, important dates, and access to the category-specific online applications, visit Call for Applications.