Explore more than 55 posters that represent a wide array of improvement efforts. Learn from and with others in the field who are seeking innovative solutions to shared challenges.
Application of Improvement Science Practices in Elementary Literacy Plans and Practices
The California Comprehensive State Literacy Development grant, Priority 4, uses improvement science as an integral part of developing district and site literacy plans with partner districts. See the visual processes that have guided the work in the first year. Learn about equitable family engagement from one district partner. The work serves all students in the area of literacy and supports all students struggling with a reading disability or dyslexia.
- Erin Roberts, Coordinator, Contra Costa County Office of Education
- Michelle Kerwin, Literacy Lead, Contra Costa County Office of Education
- Maria Bordanaro, Deputy Superintendent, Oakley Union School District
- Shannon Baker, Executive Director, San Diego County Office of Education
April 23–25, 2023
Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Leveraging Improvement Science for Racial Equity in STEM: Stories from the STEM PUSH Network
This poster will share how one networked improvement community focused on racial/ethnic equity in STEM operationalized its aim through intentional tools, routines, and values within the participation structures and through strategic reflective practices. The STEM PUSH Network brings together pre college STEM program leaders, researchers, equity experts, and admissions experts to reimagine the relationship between out-of-school-time programs and the college admissions process to better serve racially minorityized high school students. Network leaders share the equity framework, and three program leaders share stories of the successes and challenges as they strengthen equity within programs and make progress toward the collective goal.
- Jennifer Iriti, Research Scientist, University of Pittsburgh and STEM PUSH Network Co-PI
- Lori Delale O’Connor, Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh and STEM PUSH Network Co-PI
- Talia Stol, Research Associate, University of Pittsburgh and STEM PUSH Network Senior Personnel
- Mary Valmont, Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health – Health Sciences Academy
- Janiene Langford, California State University – East Bay MESA
- Carol Seanez, University of Arizona – Native American Science and Engineering Program
Democratic Knowledge Management for Equity-Driven Systems Change
This poster will explore CPRL’s knowledge management (KM) framework, developed to support leaders as they build democratic KM systems that accelerate progress toward equity at scale. Through the framework, leaders plan backwards from the application of knowledge, designing processes that engage diverse stakeholders — and particularly those closest to the work — in the generation, capture, and spread of new learning. The poster will feature several examples of how the framework has been applied by organizations and network hubs to identify and address knowledge management pain points in service of improved outcomes.
- Meghan Snyder, Director of Research and Policy, Center for Public Research and Leadership
- Andrea Clay, Director of Legal Strategy and Policy, Center for Public Research and Leadership
- Ayeola Kinlaw, Consultant, Center for Public Research and Leadership
If You Build It, Will They Come? Lessons in Networked Improvement for Inclusive and Equitable Educator Preparation
This poster will share insights from the front lines of the Learning by Scientific Design Network: a multi-year effort involving 10 Educator Preparation Programs and 70 faculty who set out to redesign the coursework and clinical experiences of over 2,000 teacher candidates from around the country.
Learn how a diverse group of institutions employed a networked approach to accelerate learning and reimagine their programs — all grounded in the idea that instructional improvement is a key lever for educational equity; and understand how this collaboration gave aspiring teachers the tools to create rigorous, equitable, and inclusive classrooms in which all children thrive.
- Valerie Sakimura, Executive Director, Deans for Impact
- Amber Willis, Program Director, Deans for Impact
Combining the Science and the Art: An Improvement Science Coaching Experience
At the Stanislaus County Office of Education, our aim is to accomplish systemic change to the climate and culture of our organization, promoting well-being and equity for students and staff. As a professional development team tasked with this initiative, we knew that improvement science was going to be integral to our journey. The art of teaching and coaching, combined with this scientifically validated whole-health well-being program utilizing the tenets of improvement science, made for a dynamic implementation project. This case study will engage the participants in our improvement journey as we pursue whole-person health for students and staff.
- Eric Ranes, Program Manager: Wellness, Stanislaus County Office of Education
- Christine Sisco, Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Support Services, Stanislaus County Office of Education
Impact of Integrated Student Supports on Student Success
A growing body of scientists and practitioners have developed a better understanding of how to effectively address the out-of-school factors that interfere with learning. Research shows that students succeed when schools effectively implement a whole-child approach that integrates social, emotional, health, and academic domains of development. Integrated student supports are defined as “a school-based approach to promoting students’ academic success by developing or securing and coordinating supports that target academic and non-academic barriers to achievement.” A designated coordinator manages steps like planning and integrating programs and resources, allowing teachers to teach and principals to focus on leading the school.
- Shaunna D. Finley, Principal of External Professional Development, Communities In Schools
Ensuring Equitable Learning for Rural Students by Regionally Cultivating Iterative PDSA Cycles
This poster will share the learning journey of a team of education consultants at an eastern Kentucky cooperative formed with the intent of accelerating student learning in response to the COVID pandemic. With an understanding that students in rural eastern Kentucky were at a disadvantage and did not have fair and equitable access to the same learning opportunities as other students across the state, the team set out to create a regional cohort of learners comprised of administrators and teacher leaders with which to cultivate iterative PDSA cycles designed to increase quality of learning and educational opportunities for rural students.
- Rachel Holbrook, Learning Acceleration & Deeper Learning Specialist, Kentucky Education Development Corporation
- Abby Laber, CRRSA & Deeper Learning Coordinator, Kentucky Education Development Corporation
Statewide Early Literacy Improvement Through Improvement Science: One School’s Journey
Sacramento County Office of Education is leading a three-year statewide effort to improve TK-3 literacy achievement in California’s 70 lowest-performing schools. We use improvement science and the science of reading models to build the schools’ knowledge, capacity, and buy-in while engaging in a process of PDSA cycles with their literacy action plans. The poster will show how we structured the grant work, and how Joshua Elementary in Lancaster USD is leveraging the grant to implement early literacy practices, act on data, and engage in decision-making through PDSA cycles. Implications for adapting and replicating this model will be discussed.
- Becky Sullivan, Project Lead: Expert Lead in Literacy for the Early Literacy Support Block Grant
Sacramento County Office of Education
- Lorraine Zapata, Principal, Joshua Elementary School, Lancaster School District
- Jennie Johnson, Literacy Coach, Lancaster School District
Making Improvement Science “How We Do School”
What happens when everyone in a school/district — from individual students to district level teams — is speaking the same continuous improvement language? Join us to find out. From the way our students set their own learning goals to the way our educators shape instruction, from the way we approach daily operations to the way we shape our strategic plan, Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies has developed and fully implemented a unifying continuous improvement framework and set of common practices to make improvement science simply how we do school “The NEAAAT Way”—our school culture.
- Andrew Harris, Chief Executive Officer, Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies (NEAAAT)
- Caren Williams, Director of Testing and Data Services, NEAAAT
Improving Family Engagement through Personalized Text Campaigns in Response to COVID
In this poster session, STRIVE Prep Charter Schools, with funding support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, shares its story about using improvement science to develop an individualized text message campaign in response to COVID and the need to re-engage with families to improve student outcomes. The text message campaign increased the proportion of students passing classes, improved school-family relations, and increased families’ use of school communication tools. STRIVE Prep describes structures, processes, and tools for collaboration to create inspiring messages. After a successful pilot period, the text campaigns are being spread and scaled further across the STRIVE Prep network.
- Jenny Bisha, Director of Continuous Improvement, STRIVE Prep
- Jose Loera, Director of Data, STRIVE Prep
Literacy Equity: PVUSD “Together We LIFT Up!” – Learning and Innovation For Transformation
After five years of implementation and innovation through an improvement science lens, practitioners at Pajaro Valley Unified School District will discuss how in-depth student data stories provide evidence of the continued systematic changes in early literacy instruction that lead to equity of results for K-12th grade students. The improvements made through our pilot-to-scale model have allowed us to see the impact of transformative practices such as Data Review Meetings, Distributive Practice, and Equity Walks. Student rate of improvement is a focus during the Data Review Meetings, where teachers are building efficacy around their early literacy instruction, reflecting on goals for all students, progress monitoring, and creating a plan for targeted intervention with trained Intervention Teachers and Instructional Assistants.
- Michelle Rodriguez, Superintendent of Schools, PVUSD
- Kasey Klappenback, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary, PVUSD
- Nicole Marsh – Early Literacy Coordinator, PVUSD
- Claudia Monjaras – K-12 Curriculum Director, LA & HSS, TK-12, PVUSD
- Andrea Carlos Willy, District Grant Writer, PVUSD
Enabling Conditions for the Continuous Improvement of Student Experience
For several years, educational institutions across the U.S. have used the Elevate platform (perts.net/elevate) to track and improve key contributors to learning, as identified by research in the science of learning and development. This year, practitioners and researchers come together to ask, “What does it take to reliably improve these learning experiences, at all levels of educational systems?” The BELE Network, the Elevate Facilitators’ Network, and Gates Networks for School Improvement come together to form a common set of practical measures around a working theory of change. New practical measures and policies/practices worth spreading are discussed.
- Sarah Gripshover, Director of Research, Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS)
Centering Students’ Passions, Interests, and Talents in a CTE Teacher Community of Practice
Improvements from 2019-2022 within an equity framework demonstrate evidence of systemic changes with positive outcomes in Pajaro Valley Unified School District’s CTE; conditions for scaling a community of practice are present to extend and deepen foundational work. Practitioners at PVUSD will discuss conditions of readiness and steps to prepare teachers for authentic engagement in the community of practice. A transformational approach in small pilot models nested in the early years will scale in 2022-2023. Data collected through cycles of improvement and job-embedded coaching for teachers and administrators has created positive conditions for the scale of the community of practice.
- Michelle Rodriguez, Superintendent of Schools, PVUSD
- Peggy Pughe, Executive Director, Teaching & Learning, PVUSD
- Julie Edwards, Coordinator of Career Technical Education, PVUSD
- Andrea Carlos Willy, Impact and Resource Development Officer at PVUSD
- Aaron Eden, Partner, Eliad Group, PVUSD Impact Partner
- Eric Vallone, Partner, Eliad Group, PVUSD Impact Partner
Championing Equity at the City Colleges of Chicago
This poster will focus on the journey of addressing achievement gaps amongst Black and Latinx students through continuous improvement science. Our goal is to introduce conference participants to our district-wide efforts to eliminate educational inequities, ensuring all seven colleges are supported in the execution of the Equity Partners work and other flagship equity initiatives, applying continuous improvement methods and practices to make unprecedented progress toward equity in student outcomes.
Paid Teacher Residencies: Building Equitable Pathways for Teaching
In recent years, teacher residencies have emerged as an important nontraditional approach to teacher preparation and credentialing. Residencies offer a bridge from theory to practice and can attract highly qualified local applicants, which in turn supports retention of teachers in high-needs schools. Evidence from early urban residencies suggests that residences produce higher retention rates; 85 percent of former residents remained in their high-needs schools after three years. In this session, we will provide an overview of an educator preparation program’s journey to implementation of paid yearlong residency. The poster will include barriers, successes, and financial considerations for paid residencies.
- Helen Berg, Associate Dean, Sam Houston State University
- Abbie Strunc, Chair School of Teaching and Learning, Sam Houston State University
- Stacey Edmonson, Dean, Sam Houston State University
Priming for Verification Process and Community Engagement: A District’s Equity Journey to Address Bias Incidents and Hate Speech
A school district tackled bias incidents and hate speech using improvement science. Tools included equity audits, community listening sessions, and community healing opportunities centering trauma-informed practices, equity protocols, and partnership with community members. From understanding the complexity of the problem from various community members, to living the current reality in the media, to changing policy, administrative rules, and implementation, improvement science is at the center of this work.
No Disruption in Service to Students: NIA’s Improvement Culture Survives Stormy Times
The COVID pandemic created issues of loss for students: loss of access to services, loss of significant and highly valuable seasoned teachers and therapeutic personnel, and even a loss of purpose. Northwestern Illinois Association’s long standing improvement culture did not see these significant losses; they actually strengthened connections and access for students and families because of systems in place for connections, communication, focus on improvement, and constant measurement of their organization’s outcomes. This poster will summarize the systems within the improvement culture that stood the test of the pandemic and include seven years of upward-trending employee engagement and customer service data to validate these systems and approaches.
- KK Owen, Leader Coach, Huron Studer Education
- Jon Malone, Director and CEO, Northwestern Illinois Association (NIA)
Next 100 Years from the Student View: Bringing to Life Identity, Values, and Equity Lens
This poster will describe the journey Portage Public Schools undertook to identify common values, a vision for the future, and a lens through which we approach equity while incorporating student voice in the process.
- Mark Bielang, Superintendent, Portage Public Schools
- Karen Owen, Lead Coach, Studer Education
Digital Leadership in an “Un-digital” Environment: Approaches, Successes, and Lessons from a Ghanaian University
Providing leadership in a difficult environment to bring transformation through cultural change is always difficult. COVID-19 exposed the world in respect of providing and managing education and leveraging technology. African universities with limited resources were affected by the pandemic, but this phenomenon provided opportunities to create strategies for transforming education. This poster will present an African perspective of how institutional leadership was used to develop a system for evaluation of an educational system, including development of emergency responses, creating opportunities for students — especially poor and marginalized students — to receive education. Attempts at changing institutional culture and policy such as e-assessement and hybrid teaching and learning will be shared.
- Paul Kwadwo Addo, Deputy Registrar & Head, Institutional Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
- Rosina Addo Asamoah, Assistant Internal Auditor, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana
Shared Leadership of a Transdisciplinary Community-Engaged University Improvement Hub: Early Lessons
Faculty co-leaders of a community-engaged university improvement hub will share early lessons on developing infrastructure to support transdisciplinary approaches to educational improvement, well-being, and health equity. These lessons include the importance of developing new roles, routines, and relationships for faculty and extension members across units, as well as the challenges of developing shared language and a common understanding of community-engaged improvement efforts across disciplines. We will discuss the challenges of leading an improvement hub within the institutional logic of a university, many of which conflict with our vision for an inclusive, learning-oriented, equity-focused approach to solving complex social problems.
- Sarah J. Zuckerman, Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
It Cab Be Done! Large-Scale & Sustainable Equitable Early Childhood Education
The research is clear: The sooner children receive consistent, equitable, high-quality educational experiences, the more positive their trajectories can be. This is especially true for marginalized populations (e.g., BIPOC, multilingual learners, children with identified special needs, and those from underserved communities). A critical component to achieving good outcomes is supporting families as their child’s first and primary teacher. Even so, efforts to effectively train leaders and practitioners on equitable principles, practices (including family engagement), and pedagogy vary widely from one location to another. This session will share how the Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC) has partnered with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to support Maryland’s early childhood organizations and workforce to provide equity-based programming. Join us to learn more about how we developed a cohort of state certified early childhood equity trainers; created an equity audit that is currently being revised for early childhood to support organizations to evaluate and analyze their equity practices; designed regional systems thinking professional development for early childhood leadership personnel; conducted a statewide needs assessment through town halls, surveys, focus groups, road shows, and providing a written report; planned ongoing coaching for Maryland-state-approved family trainers; provided a School Coordinators Workshop Series for Maryland Community Schools coordinators; and delivered statewide technical assistance and training to community school coordinators.
- Lynne Hall, Senior Early Childhood Equity Specialist, Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium,
Curating Cultures of Hope and Growth
Through understanding and considering the beliefs, mindsets, behaviors, and narratives of all stakeholders, school leaders can intentionally define, support, and model positive, productive, and joyous school cultures of hope and growth. This poster will guide leaders through the steps to move beyond creating culture and taking action to curate it through the voices of all those under their care.
- Anthony Colannino, Founder and President, Teaching and Leading for Growth
Transforming Special Education Programs Through Intentional Leadership Practices
San Bernardino City USD is a multi-LEA single SELPA district that serves over 7,500 students with exceptional needs. Over the past four years, SBCUSD has transformed its Special Education Program by restructuring leadership and providing innovative program services and data-driven professional learning. Participants will learn about the systems development and continuous improvement process SBCUSD is using to offer an excellent program for our scholars with exceptional needs.
- Howana Lundy, Director, SBCUSD
- Barby Rolland, Assistant Director, SBCUSD
- Jacqueline Willis, Coordinator, SBCUSD
Central Valley Network Improvement Communities: College Ready
CVNIC-CR onboarded 100 educators across four counties and 14 high schools to identify supports and barriers to improving student outcomes in mathematics and increase the number of Black, Latinx, and SED students who are accepted into four-year universities. Members engaged in equity-focused investigations to understand their system and learn directly from students’ voices. In this poster session, participants will learn how we gained user perspective and systems thinking to understand variation in mathematics. Presenters will highlight the investigations that identified system barriers that keep students from being college-ready.
- Stephanie Verners, Director, Tulare County Office of Education
- Kelli Statham, Math Coach, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools
Illinois Postsecondary Success Improvement Networks: Leadership Networks and Technical Support for Equitable Postsecondary Success
OneGoal will discuss and share how school and district leaders can address system-level challenges that have prevented students from succeeding in the attainment of post-secondary degrees and credentials. During this session, participants will engage with strategies to effectively assess their current state of post-secondary readiness, leverage key analytics to unpack core strengths and areas of growth in relation to a post-secondary vision, and determine the role of district- and school-level postsecondary leadership teams in advancing this work.
- John Boumgarden, Sr. Director, Postsecondary Leadership Coach, OneGoal
- Milissa McClaire Gary, Managing Director of Secondary Partnerships, OneGoal
- Andy Schmitz: Managing Director of Secondary Partnerships, OneGoal
The Secret Sauce for Equity in Improvement Coaching
Starting the Postsecondary Access Equity Improvement Community (PAEIC) initiative, participating school sites reported struggling to apply the concepts of improvement. Hearing our sites, PAEIC’s leadership pivoted to implement “empathy + accountability” coaching. The practice became the secret sauce in fostering the sites’ trust in improvement and adoption of an improvement mindset, leading to both improved student outcomes and sites embedding inquiry cycles in their schools. Participants will have a chance to identify how “empathy + accountability” coaching might look like in their own networks, and hear about the model in action from PAEIC leadership, coaches, and school sites.
- Rene Gold, Improvement Initiatives Manager, Marcus Foster Education Institute
- Marianne McPherson, Senior Director, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- Meilani Clay-Solomon, College and Career Readiness Specialist, McClymonds High School (Oakland Unified School District)
A Networked Approach to New Curriculum Adoption in Chicago Public Schools
Learn how Chicago Public Schools and Leading Educators developed a vision for continuous improvement and launched a NIC to support the adoption and implementation of the district’s new Skyline curriculum. CPS district leaders and Leading Educators will share how the NIC evolved from a small group of learning partners to a network of middle school math teachers. We will explore how NICs can be leveraged as a tool to support adoption and stronger implementation of high-quality curriculum in school districts. We will also explore how we can ensure that NICs in complex systems maintain relevance, participation, and results over the long term.
- Tori McGowan, Director of Content and Coaching, Leading Educators
- Robert Welch, Skyline Implementation and Professional Learning Specialist, Chicago Public Schools – Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Digital Learning
- Jessica Jenkins, Associate Director of Networks, Leading Educators
- Katie Murphy, Managing Director of Networks, Leading Educators
Generating & Using Rural Evidence through Rural Research Networks
The National Center for Rural Education Research Networks (NCRERN) was founded to expand the use of evidence-based decision-making in rural education. NCRERN uses a continuous improvement network that brings together 35+ rural district partners across New York and Ohio to review their data to diagnose root causes, align research-based solutions to identified challenges, and work together to pilot and test promising interventions. Participants will learn about the core components of NCRERN’s continuous improvement process and how NCRERN’s rural research network model can be used as a strategy to generate evidence and evaluate strategies for improving student outcomes in rural districts.
- Kellie Solowski, Research Program Manager, National Center for Rural Education Research Networks
Prioritizing Student Belonging through Equity-Focused, Empowering, Sustainable Inquiry Communities
In this poster session, participants will hear from university-based facilitators and school-based participants in an inquiry community focused on addressing equity and student belonging in K-12 schools using improvement science. University-based facilitators will reflect on evolving learnings over five years facilitating this community, and share takeaways essential to implementing, facilitating, and sustaining ongoing improvement communities consisting of a wide variety of participants to support using improvement science for equity. School-based speakers will share how their engagement with and use of improvement science in their schools has developed, including reflections about including student voice in inquiry, collecting and interpreting qualitative data in the improvement process, and confronting challenges in incorporating an improvement science approach. Session participants will have the opportunity to reflect on applying learnings in break-out sessions.
- Megan MacDonald, Research Assistant, Catalyst @ PennGSE (University of Pennsylvania)
- Adina Goldstein, Research Assistant, Catalyst @ PennGSE (University of Pennsylvania)
Creating Traction and Momentum at Scale: How the Israeli School System Launched Improvement Communities of Practice Nationwide
The Israeli education system is engaged nationwide in dramatic changes in assessment and instruction. Over the last six years, over 1,960 improvement communities of practice have been launched, existing in all nine districts nationwide. As a result, these communities of practice have dramatically improved the alignment and coherence of the professional development expected by the Ministry of Education with what is needed in individual schools. A central theme of this session is the ways in which Hashkafa (the R&D Hub working with the Ministry of Education) is organized in order to support the agenda of each community of improvement, such as improving equity and deeper learning.
- Merav Bareket, Director of Hashkafa R&D Hub, Israel
- Adi Mandler, Research, Haskhafa R&D Hub, MOFET Institute Center for Research, Curriculum and Program Development in Teacher Education, Israel
Creating a Systems Approach for Increasing Student Math Achievement
Sometimes, when schools seek to change an identified outcome, they do not analyze or understand why the system is getting the current results. This session will explain the process an urban elementary school took to “stop doing things” to their teachers and, instead, invite them to see the system that was producing the current outcomes. In this process the school wanted to understand and change underperforming math achievement scores. Experience the process the team explored to test change ideas that impacted their math instructional system.
- Julie Carwile, Co-Founder, Two Chicks and Arithmetic
- Shannon Stone, Co-Founder, Two Chicks and Arithmetic
- Kevin Garner, Principal, Shacklette Elementary, JCPS
- Tara Gagel, Instructional Coach, Shacklette Elementary, JCPS
Systemizing Academic Innovation: Thinking Beyond the Teaching-Technology Dichotomy
In a world as immersively digital as our own, we need to create more dynamic systems for academic innovation that view teaching and technology as interconnected elements within a post-digital educational network. This level of institutional transformation requires the development of tangible and meaningful connections between those working on academic and technological innovation. The silos of separation between our human and material resources in these fields need to be identified and addressed in order to allow for more intentional conversations and connective tissue to develop. This presentation will explore such as shift being made within a large Canadian university, and will outline considerations for the kinds of policy reform and advocacy work needed to sustain such a shift in the broader postsecondary sector.
- Michelle Sengara, Director, Academic Innovation, York University
- Patrick Thibaudeau, Director, IT Innovation and Academic Technologies, York University
The Instructional Leadership Cycle: Applying Continuous Improvement to Schoolwide Instructional Practice
This poster highlights improvement science work leading to the development of a leadership framework to guide school leaders toward instructional transformation across classrooms. The presenter reimagines the major milestones of the annual school calendar, emphasizing the need to break the year down into smaller cycles of implementation, analysis, reflection, and improvement. From summer’s strategic planning work, to launching the school year with purpose and vision, to the conclusion of each improvement cycle with corresponding data analysis and adjustments, to strategies for documenting and sharing the improvement journey, participants will learn about a variety of tools to help them institutionalize ongoing organizational learning.
- Daniel Allen, General Director, Lincoln School
Building Transferable Skills through a Teaching Learning Community for Graduate Students
At many large research-intensive universities, graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) are the backbone of university teaching. Yet, they often do not receive adequate preparation and support for their roles. The goal of the GTA TLC is to provide a space to share, practice, and advance evidence-based instructional skills. Through frequent gatherings, GTAs from various disciplines learn from and engage with each other, collaborate on scholarship, and join academics to advance academic success. This session will describe a model of a teaching learning community with its structure, goals, impact on and transformation of graduate students as instructors, and their transferable skill development.
- Stefanie Baier, Director of Graduate Student and Postdoc Instructional Development, Michigan State University
- Hima Rawal, PhD Candidate in Second Language Studies, Michigan State University
The Impact of Improvement Science in Practice Using Mathematical Concepts
According to Anthony Bryk, et al. (2015), improvement science (IS) provides educators the techniques to explore the root causes of instructional challenges faced in the classroom. Improvement science in practice fosters students’ engagement in solving problems, involves iterative cycles of inquiry to learn quickly, and scales practices that work well. This research creates a mathematical learning space that facilitates activity-based learning, which develops collaborative work among students, creates student engagements that enhances students’ learning outcome by utilizing Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) — improvement science in practice modality.
- Hope Essien, Professor of Mathematics, Malcolm X College, Chicago
Blueprint for Continuous Improvement: Using Improvement Science to Ensure Excellence in Education for Every Student, Every Day, Everywhere
The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) was established in 1946 to provide high-quality education for military-connected students. Today, DoDEA operates 160 schools in eight districts in 11 foreign countries, seven states, and two territories, and enrolls more than 66,000 students, supporting nearly 900,000 students. In recent years, DoDEA has gone through significant shifts in its standards and instructional system for greater impact. And in SY 2021-2022, DoDEA initiated five continuous improvement processes focusing on specific problems or practices to increase overall effectiveness, improve system wide coherence, and make a positive and measurable impact. This poster will show how DoDEA leveraged its internal Education Research and Strategic Data Use Branch as “analytic partners” to implement improvement science tools (e.g., driver diagram) and structured inquiry processes to improve coherence across different CI processes toward attaining the systems-level aims.
- Kellie Kim, Education Research, Evaluation, and Strategic Data Use Branch Chief, DoDEA
- Andrew Moellmer, Education Research Analyst, DoDEA
- Jason Debus, Education Research Analyst, DoDEA
ʻĀina-based and Place-based Education in Hawai`i schools: Charting an NIC’s Journey to Equitable Practice
The Hui for All to Benefit from Hawaiian Education is an NIC partnership among Hawaiian-focused charter schools, SEEQS Charter School, Kamehameha Schools, and REL Pacific at McREL International. At the core of the NIC’s work is an understanding that students matter as whole beings; their personal histories directly inform their identities as students and reflect their personal educational trajectories, which are foundational to their cultural, college, career, and community readiness. This poster will introduce the NIC’s goals and process of exploring and developing culturally relevant instruction and assessment tools, a process that puts equity ambitions into concrete practice.
- Ben Cronkright, Senior Manager, Research Practice Partnerships McREL International
- Meahilahila Kelling, Po`o (Director), Ke Kula O Samuel M Kamaka
- Paul Kepka, Po`o (Director), Kamaile Academy PCS
Improving Literacy Outcomes with a Regional Networked Improvement Community
Over the course of three years, the KIPP Foundation convened and learned alongside instructional coaches and their teacher partners from four charter management organizations in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Through careful implementation of the PDSA cycle, each organization saw growth in the literacy results in their classrooms, providing insights about best practices in literacy instruction. Each CMO uses a common curriculum (KIPP Wheatley), and KIPP used a shared instructional rubric to ensure that the same language was used to talk about what great teaching and coaching looks like. Now, each CMO is working to spread and scale the best practices to their entire organization.
- Norah Gillam, Director, K-8 Literacy, KIPP Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Daniel Sonnier, Senior Director, K-8 Literacy, KIPP Foundation
Using School Inquiry Cycles to Disrupt Predictability of Student Achievement by ZIP Code
In 2021-2022, RPS205 launched a system-wide accountability framework with the goal of disrupting predictability of student achievement by ZIP code. At its core are five universal goals and eight standards of practice to ensure that all students are receiving access to consistent, high-quality, research-based instructional practices. Within the framework, each school conducts action research around one standard of practice through an inquiry cycle rooted in the six core principles of improvement. In addition to fueling student achievement, inquiry cycles are a tool for shifting culture because they provide schools with the agency and autonomy to innovate within their local context.
- Susan Fumo, Executive Director of School Improvement, Rockford Public Schools
- Morgah Gallagher, Chief of Schools, Rockford Public Schools
- Gus Carter, Principal, Guilford High School, Rockford Public Schools
Conflict Resolution & Problem Solving Choice Boards: Learning the Options with Preschoolers @ Colonial Early Childhood Center (CEEP)
Preschoolers rapidly develop and refine the human skills outlined in the CASL competencies. Teachers at Colonial Early Education Program (CEEP) support their “Little Colonials” academically, physically, and socially. The school network believes and implements teaching and learning strategies grounded in the core components of conscious discipline. Observation and assessment of student learning is embedded in everyday interactions through the Teaching Standards GOLD framework. From 2018 to the present, this diverse team has conducted PDSA cycles around best practices to improve student capacity to resolve conflict or “solve social problems.” Calibration around data collection, analysis, teaching practices, and collaborative inquiry have all been byproducts of this work, not to mention the promising practice of problem solving choice boards.
- Stephanie Callaway, Lead Teacher for STEP, Colonial School District
- Jennifer Alexander, Director of Talent Development, Colonial School District
Developing a Digital Knowledge Commons for Improvement Research in Education
This poster will describe the early development of a prototype Improvement Research in Education Knowledge Commons (IRE-KC), a dynamic digital environment where IRE community members can share, find, and comment on improvement scholarship and related resources; learn from different perspectives and practices within IRE; and support newcomers in learning about IRE. The IRE-KC was initially conceptualized by a Spencer Foundation-funded research team, and initially designed with participation from members of the Improvement Scholars Network. Crucially, the IRE-KC not only supports continuous improvement work — it’s also a “living” resource that community members can contribute to, co-design, and continuously improve.
- W. Hammond, Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities, Michigan Technological University
- Pamela A. Moss, Professor, School of Education, University of Michigan
- Minh Q. Huynh, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Education, University of Michigan
- Donald J. Peurach, Professor, School of Education, University of Michigan
24/7 Educator Professional Growth: Creating Response E-Learning for All Learners
The pandemic impacted all educators supporting our schools. Districts across the country were forced to shift to new educator training models to ensure that all staff had the skills to teach through virtual and hybrid learning models. Using data and empathy interviews from a staff of over 4,600, the Department of Innovation and Learner Engagement in Riverside Unified School District created new avenues for educator growth and efficacy. Using principles of instructional design, mobile learning, and improvement science, RUSD created an online professional learning system that provided on-demand, anytime learning for all staff.
- Steve Kong, Ed.D., Director Curriculum and Assessment
- Steven Dunlap, Director Innovation and Learner Engagement and Technology Services
- Christalle Hart, Ed.D., Instructional Services Specialist, Digital Learning and STEM
Leveraging Student-Led PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) Cycles to Accelerate Reading Comprehension Progress for Tier III Intervention Students
In the midst of navigating innovation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students have experienced learning deficits that are still difficult to close as they progress through each school year. This poster reflects the empowering, progressive work of using student-led PDSA cycles to accelerate reading comprehension in Tier III intervention students who require small-group instruction.
- Brittany White, Ph.D. Student/4th Grade English Language Arts Teacher,
Dallas Baptist University
Building Schools’ Capacity to Lead Their Own Continuous Improvement through Formative Data
This poster describes the sometimes lurching journey to transition LDC from an external PD provider to an organization that acts as a district and school partner to build a school’s capacity to lead their own continuous improvement journey. This journey is accomplished by explicitly transforming a school’s instructional leadership team capability to run their own PDSAs twice a month centered on rich evidence of rigorous student learning, potentially coupled with the implications of student learning on adult learning experiences.
- Sabrina Alicea, Director, Curriculum Development, The Literacy Design Collaborative
How Community Colleges are Using Data to Transform Student Success
Postsecondary institutions are increasingly offering career and technical education (CTE) credentials aimed at helping students succeed in the workforce. CTE programs serve a unique population; students are more likely to be older, female, and more economically disadvantaged than other postsecondary students (NCES, 2018). Yet with the increasing focus on using data to promote degree matriculation, the pathways of CTE students often remain obscured. The Harvard Strategic Data Project began building a network of college data leaders seeking to use data to support students participating in credential programs and inform real-time decisions that improve their pathways to success.
- Katrina Buchta, Outreach Manager, Strategic Data Project, Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University
Equity-Based MTSS in an Alternative Setting
Improvement science in Action: This poster session provides a look at one alternative school’s five-year journey in developing a MTSS framework through the use of a data-based decision-making process with the purpose of creating a safer environment, academic growth, and equity for all students.
- Crystal Sousa, Principal, Atwater Education Center
- Taylor Alandzes, Youth Engagement Specialist, Atwater Education Center
Equity and Opportunity: Redesigning High School to Advance Equity & Post-secondary Attainment
Purdue University launched the Purdue Polytechnic High School (PPHS) in 2017 to increase the number of underrepresented students from Indiana who could gain admission. The PPHS team understood that to change outcomes and genuinely prepare students for the future of work, high school needed a redesign. PPHS receives national attention for its unique school model that has led to better student outcomes, especially for underrepresented groups. This presentation will cover the school model, outcomes, and lessons learned and offer ample opportunity for discussion and Q&A.
Teacher-Led Schools Lead to Student-Led Schools
This poster will share how the teacher-led movement at Hope Academy, an alternative high school in Phoenix, AZ, led to increased student engagement. The poster will provide an overview of different areas of autonomy that were granted to teachers by the district to operate the school. We will also highlight the use of community learning exchanges by district offices, teachers, and students to shift mindsets about high school, increase student voice and equity, and co-develop a truly innovative high school experience immersed in project-based learning.
- Adrian De Alba, Director for Instructional Leadership, Office of the Maricopa County School Superintendent.
- Lane Mann, Teacher Leader, Maricopa Regional School District
- Darrin Fetters, Teacher Leader, Maricopa Regional School District
- Laura Richmond, Teacher Leader, Maricopa Regional School District
Social Mobility Index: Shifting Higher-Ed Value Systems to Delivery of Upward Mobility
Since 2014, the Social Mobility Index has been drawing well-deserved attention and new prestige to universities that are devoted to enhancing the precursor conditions for social mobility in the United States. These conditions include economic inclusion in admissions, holding the line on tuition, and exercising discipline and forbearance with respect to marketing promotions that would endorse the current ethos of wealth that has been driving colleges to chase and even cheat for position in the annual US News “Best” colleges ranking. While in a capitalist economy the pursuit of wealth is a fundamental goal for individuals and families, this pursuit should not be the basis for measuring the “goodness” of educational institutions. It is up to all good citizens to rethink the current value system in US higher education so that we can advance opportunity for all capable people, regardless of their economic background.
- Jim Wolfston, President, CollegeNET, Inc.
PDSA Cycles at the West Dallas STEM School: Anticipatory Learning Initiative
In many schools, gaps in knowledge prevent students from being given opportunities to participate in more innovative inquiry and project-based instruction. Therefore, their opportunities for student-centered learning are limited and inequitable. In the 2022-2023 school year, The West Dallas STEM School (WDSS) project team conducted two PDSA cycles to initiate an Anticipatory Learning intervention that preemptively identifies where a particular student may have a gap in their prior knowledge. The intervention then intervenes with individualized academic support to close that gap before it negatively impacts the student’s opportunity to participate in and succeed during project- and place-based activities.
- Karen Pierce, Project Director, West Dallas STEM School, Southern Methodist University
- Toni Harrison-Kelly, Executive Director, Budd Center, Southern Methodist University
- Elizabeth Adams, STEM Research Manager, Center on Research and Evaluation, Southern Methodist University
- Stephanie Knight, Dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development, Southern Methodist University
- Bruce Geiger, PreK Teacher, West Dallas STEM School, Dallas Independent School District,
- Magella Knight, Kindergarten and First Grade Teacher, West Dallas STEM School, Dallas Independent School District