Our Work


Networked Improvement

We bring educational practitioners together in collective action to solve problems of practice identified in research to accelerate improvement across networks of schools.

Improvement Team from Spindale Elementary School, Rutherford County Schools, NC


Our Approach helps educators:

  • Select an aim with a laser-like focus on solving a specific problem

  • Take on the role of researchers and producers of knowledge and create, integrate, adapt, and test best practice in the classroom setting

  • Run disciplined cycles of iterative testing emphasizing learning quickly

  • Use systems thinking – pursuing a deep understanding of the system producing the current outcomes and the variability in outcomes.


Network supports: Helping schools get better at getting better

Schools That Lead teaches teachers and principals how to lead improvement efforts at the classroom level, thus elevating student outcomes, with special attention paid to the schools’ most vulnerable children.  Each Network school forms an Improvement Team with the principal and three teacher leaders, who work together to deeply understand the problem of practice in their context, set clear aims and measures for success, make clear their theory of practice improvement, test changes that could lead to improvement and consolidate and share their learning in their school and across the Network. Schools That Lead supports each Improvement Team with face-to-face networked professional learning and virtual school-specific follow up through the Teacher Leadership Initiative (for two teacher leaders from each school), the Improvement Facilitator Initiative (for the third teacher leader) and the Principal Leadership Initiative. Together, the Improvement Team leads a specific improvement effort at their school focused on achieving better student outcomes.

Schools across the state work to solve a shared problem as a network to accelerate learning across all Network schools.

  1. High schools work to increase on-time graduation

  2. Middle schools work to reduce 9th grade retentions; and 

  3. Elementary schools work to reduce the number of students with early warning indicators in course failures, absences and discipline.

Improvement Team from Albemarle Middle School, Stanly County Schools, NC

Improvement Team from Albemarle Middle School, Stanly County Schools, NC


Teacher Leaders learn to

  1. Advance powerful student learning in their own classrooms

  2. Advance powerful student learning in peers’ classrooms

  3. Scale powerful student learning in their school

Improvement FacilitatoRs Learn To

  1. Use the tools of Improvement Science

  2. Support others to use Improvement Science

  3. Lead Improvement Teams

Principals learn to

  1. Use the tools of Improvement Science

  2. Unleash the power of teacher leadership

  3. Advance their own leadership

All in the pursuit of improving equitable student outcomes in Each school.