Networked improvement communities (NICs) provide states, districts, and schools with a disciplined approach to working together to solve persistent problems of education practice. Although educators have long engaged in continuous improvement, NICs offer the opportunity to accelerate their learning together as they test innovations addressing a common problem of practice. This workshop will feature district leaders who have engaged in Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles within a NIC. Participants will learn from those experiences about opportunities to build evidence of what works for school improvement in their local context and create a culture of learning at all levels. Also, through practice scenarios, participants will learn about tools and resources to help them engage in authentic continuous improvement. Finally, participants in small groups will brainstorm problems of practice that could be solved through collaborative means of continuous improvement, like NICs, and share next steps.
Amy Feygin, senior researcher at AIR, is an expert in networked improvement communities (NICs). She has led several projects in collaboration with states and districts to initiate NICs, as well as internal efforts to build staff capacity to lead NICs. She co-leads the Beyond Accountability project.
Cortney Rowland, principal technical assistance consultant at AIR, is deputy director of the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders. She also is director of the Beyond Accountability project, a networked improvement community to help districts apply evaluation data to improve instructional practice.
Kelly Burgess is the assistant superintendent and curriculum & instruction leader at Kannapolis City Schools (KCS) and adjunct professor at Wingate University. As part of Beyond Accountability, she led KCS’s efforts to implement, evaluate, and refine an observation and feedback process.