Review: Improvement in Action

Review:  Improvement in Action: by Anthony S. Bryk What a gift! This book captures 30 years of school DISTRICT improvement and provides six case studies. Anthony S. Bryk shares insights from the forefront of the improvement field: Chicago: For many years, Anthony Bryk, headed the University of Chicago Consortium for School Research.  They identified 100…

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One District’s Quest for Student Engagement

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One District’s Improvement Work  Intro:  Learning by doing is key to improvement.  The Washington Superintendent Network meets quarterly to discuss key issues, share their work and learn from each other.  This month, Selah School District shared their improvement plan. I was impressed by their focus on purpose – equity, engagement and “growth producing relationships” –…

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More to Read … and See

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More … from my bookshelf With a brief note about what I found compelling in each. Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall 2019 Great stories about getting better.  How we won World War II.  And how Polaroid and Kodak started and then missed the…

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Growing Instructional Leaders

7 Ways to Grow Quality School Leaders: Coherence and Capacity People are our most important resource. Dedicated staff engage students daily – 180 days a year – helping them be successful. Teachers are the most important in-school factor that improves student learning. Principals are a close second.  High quality schools don’t appear by magic. They…

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Growing Your Own … Diversity

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Growing Our Own Teachers of Color: Diversity: Teachers of color have a life-changing impact on the success of students of color.  Black Female students who have at least one Black Teacher are 29% less likely to drop out Black Male students who have at least one Black Teacher are 39% less likely to drop out.…

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Moment of Lift Review

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The Moment of Lift: how empowering women changes the world – Melinda Gates In Moment of Lift, Melinda Gates tells how she, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, morphed from health issues to empowering women. Three Take Aways:  I had three great take aways from reading this book: Improvement science. She describes initiative after…

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Parent Engagement and 9th Grade Success

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Parent Engagement – 9th Grade Success Ninth Grade Success A colleague in a neighboring district once explained that instant success often comes after years of hard work.  HS graduation matters today more than ever.  70% of future family wage jobs will require ‘some’ college and before students can get post-secondary training, they need to graduate. …

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Leading High-Performance School Systems: Lessons from the World’s Best

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Leading High-Performance School Systems … by Marc Tucker A New Higher World Standard Marc Tucker heads the National Center on Education and the Economy.  For thirty years he has made the case that our students will need High Skills for High Wages.  Here in Leading High-Performance School Systems he points out that basic jobs…

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Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great 

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Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great  by Jim Collins This is a great 30 page read, 40 pages including the appendices (a brief summary of the major ideas in Collins’ six previous books).  In this monograph, Turning the Flywheel, Jim Collins, adds far more detail to what the flywheel is and…

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From Good to Great: Lessons Learned

From Good to Great: Lessons Learned I recently interviewed Jim Collins, author of Good to Great and a new monograph, Turning the Flywheel.  As, I have been writing and re-writing those interview notes, I have also been eagerly applying those ideas with school districts and non-profits. Here are some of my take-aways: The AHA!  The…

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