While practice differs across individual entities within the education system, overarching objectives are shared across the enterprise, and embedded in the work of achieving those objectives are recurring strategic actions that drive any experience that yields successful outcomes. It is clear that districts making the most significant, systemic improvements in teacher instruction and student performance are those implementing practices evidenced by research to be essential and effective in not only generating gains, but in sustaining them.
Efforts to maintain focus on teaching and learning, align actions across the district, and continuously monitor the degree of implementation of such actions to assess impact on student learning can be organized around the following key practices:
Use data well
Focus your goals
Select and implement shared instructional practices
Monitor and provide feedback and support
Inquire and learn
Rooted in the notion of continuous feedback and learning, all six practices must be used in an aligned and coherent process with full engagement at all levels.
This section elucidates each of the six key practices comprising this framework. The Key Practices Guide found within this section further uncovers the importance and power of these practices by connecting their theoretical meanings to considerations and actions that support their implementation.
Use of these six practices as an organizing framework for this work is done with permission of Dr. Brian McNulty who references and further describes each practice in Leaders Make It Happen! An Administrator's Guide to Data Teams, which he co-authored with Laura Besser in 2011.