Effective Districts Focus on District-Wide Goals.

Aligning District Goals and Superintendent Evaluation. As a new superintendent in Seattle Public Schools, I found that we had superintendent goals, board goals, strategic plan goals, equity goals, and many more in addition to our school improvement plans.  Over time we narrowed those to ONE set of goals. Research The research on effective districts (Waters…

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Future Focused Purpose and Passion: Dr. Laurie Dent, WA Superintendent of the Year.

In a world where educational leadership demands resilience, vision, and a commitment to community, Superintendent Laurie stands as a beacon of inspiration. Recognized as the WASA 2024 State Superintendent of the Year, Laurie’s journey is one of purpose, passion, and unwavering dedication to student success. What fuels her remarkable achievements? Read more about her driving…

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One District’s Equity Journey

Puyallup’s Equity Journey  An interview with Dr. John Polm, Superintendent of Puyallup (WA) Schools. The Journey Begins Over the last decade Puyallup’s demographic has shifted.  From 18% Free and Reduced Lunch to 40%.  From 20% diversity to 47%.  Equity work began in 2017, mostly in curriculum and professional development. Professional Learning Timeline Looking back, Puyallup’s…

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Adapting for Equity: Chicago’s Story

Adapting for Equity: Chicago’s Story Districts that Succeed: Karen Chenoweth’s new book, Districts that Succeed: breaking the correlation between race, poverty and achievement, is a great book.  Chenoweth tells how five districts, large and small, have created student achievement success. She used the research by Sean Reardon (Stanford) showing district outliers that outperformed districts with…

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From My Bookshelf: The Art and Science of Getting Better

Deliberate Practice … key to getting better Three new books this month on getting better.  Each of these mini-reviews adds meaning to our theme of deliberate practice and communities of practice. Communities of Practice work.  A community of practice is a group of people who share an interest in getting better.  The concept, from Lave…

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Learning Improvement – Steps to Success

How Seattle Keeps Improving Learning In 2017 Seattle was ranked third among large urban districts for student growth. And they keep striving to get better.  Seattle’s improvement journey illustrates the three aspects of a “community of practice:” Domain:  Student-Focused Collaboration has been a steady focus. Community:  District teams keep working to get better as do school…

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