Transforming Schools: Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Transforming Schools: Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Transforming Schools: Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Transforming Schools: Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Excerpt

A competent system serves the end of enhanced achievement for all students. Meaningful growth can come only by focusing on change from the [inside out]: in this book we don't start by imposing on learning; we start by thinking about learning and moving outward from there.

A competent system requires several significant shifts—from unconnected thinking to systems thinking, from an environment of isolation to one of collegiality, from perceived reality to information-driven reality, and from individual autonomy to collective autonomy and collective accountability. The school as a competent system has a shared vision that articulates a coherent picture of what the school will look like when its core beliefs are put into practice. It collects and synthesizes information on student achievement, identifies the gaps between current and desired performance, explores research and best practices to identify possible strategies or frameworks to enhance teacher practice, and then chooses an innovation or a bundled set of innovations to close the gap between where the school is and where it has to be to fulfill its vision. It has a staff development program and a related action plan that are necessary if the school is to achieve its shared vision. The program also must anticipate and take into account the predictable stages of teacher concerns about the complexities of moving from new learning to systemic consequences. In the process of building a competent system, the staff members emerge as a professional learning community, embracing collective accountability as the only way to achieve the shared vision for all students.

Each chapter of the book is grounded in a set of operating principles designed to provide practical guidance to leaders working to build or to . . .

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