With the new school year now well under way, staff, students and families are still in desperate need of a clear strategic direction and set of tools for promoting equity and excellence in a moment of crisis. Nationally, we see school systems stepping up in new ways to provide this clarity, and seizing the moment afforded by these unusual circumstances to experiment with radically new models of decision-making, community engagement, school scheduling and staffing and instructional delivery.
How? This paper makes the case that the key to districts making progress towards equity and excellence amidst so much uncertainty is a whole-system approach to continuous learning and improvement. We also provide seven concrete action steps that district leaders can take right away this school year to begin to take such an approach, and we provide a template dashboard to track and measure that work.