Using Networked Improvement Communities to Accelerate Improvement: Lessons from the Gateway to College Success Network
The Gateway to College Success Network, a networked improvement community, entered its third year in 2018-2019. In this Insights brief we share 10 essential learnings that have emerged from our first two years of work in operationalizing the networked improvement community approach as a strategy for school improvement.
10 Key Learnings:
- Having a student outcome goal shared among all network schools is crucial.
- Build in time at the start of network development to collect and examine data on current practices that informs development of the shared network aim and instructional vision.
- Network members must have a deep, shared understanding of high-quality instruction.
- Leverage the expertise within your network - and recognize when you need external support.
- Ensure that all parties are clear on what participation in the network involves, including expectations and data collection efforts.
- Explicitly build teacher and school staff capacity to engage in the work of improvement science.
- Engaging teachers in the discipline of improvement science supports meaningful collaboration and increases teachers' ownership of improvement efforts.
- Understand that creating a successful network involves identifying systemic barriers to collaboration within and across schools and taking the time to address such issues.
- Strong school and district leadership is needed to successfully engage in improvement work.
- Networks need to develop clear measures and indicators that help participants see the connections between inputs and outcomes at multiple levels.