Continuous Improvement:
A Closer Look


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Continuous school improvement is a cyclical process intended to help groups of people in a system—from a class to a school district or even a network of many districts—set goals, identify ways to improve, and evaluate change in a sort of continuous feedback loop. It has quickly become a buzzword in K-12 policy and practice, as states, districts, and schools strive for systemic, long-term gains in student achievement, instead of looking for the next, shiniest silver bullet. Education Week has been taking a close look at what it is and how it is playing out in several places around the country.








A Primer on Continuous School Improvement
An Introduction

A Primer on Continuous School Improvement

What is continuous improvement and why are schools and districts jumping on that bandwagon?




Tinkering Toward Better Schools
A District Spotlight

Tinkering Toward Better Schools

Educators in Menomonee Falls, Wis., are going all in on continuous improvement, a strategy that combines constant feedback, experimentation, and problem-solving.









Schools Struggle to Use Data to Spark Improvement
Data

Schools Struggle to Use Data to Spark Improvement

While K-12 schools focus primarily on using student achievement data for accountability purposes, experts contend that it can be a catalyst for daily improvement.








Educators, Finance Officers Team Up to Build a Better Budget
Budgets

Educators, Finance Officers Team Up to Build a Better Budget

A network of districts finds that in order for their schools to 'continuously improve,' a more integrated approach to budgeting is in order.










'Continuous Improvement' Model Woven Into State ESSA Plans
In Policy

'Continuous Improvement' Model Woven Into State ESSA Plans

Although the federal K-12 law doesn't explicitly ask for it, a systemic and data-informed approach to long-term student achievement is part of the mix for many states as they implement ESSA.












Q&A: Making the Most of 'Continuous Improvement' in State ESSA Plans
In Policy

Q&A: Making the Most of 'Continuous Improvement' in State ESSA Plans

Policy expert Dan Gordon talks with Education Week about how a continuous improvement approach can help states support low-performing schools, improve achievement across the board, and bolster the work of their own education agencies.












Tackling Two ‘Danger Zones’ of Freshman Year: Attendance and Homework
In Practice

Tackling Two ‘Danger Zones’ of Freshman Year: Attendance and Homework

A Seattle partnership between researchers and practitioners is using a continuous improvement approach to improve outcomes for students making the rocky transition from 8th to 9th grades.






How Data Helped Head Start Centers Tackle a 'No Show' Problem
In Practice

How Data Helped Head Start Centers Tackle a 'No Show' Problem

Getting a more accurate enrollment count for the start of the school year is just one way that Head Start centers use data to improve operations.






Getting Feedback Right: a Q&A With John Hattie
Expert Advice

Getting Feedback Right: a Q&A With John Hattie

Providing students or teachers with clear, actionable critiques is an essential ingredient for any kind of continuous improvement process, says John Hattie, an author and education researcher.
























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Coverage of continuous-improvement strategies in education is supported in part by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.