SEDL Insights, Vol. 1, No. 2: Managing the Implementation of School Improvement Efforts
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The push for college and career readiness for all students, educator evaluations tied to student growth, and the turnaround of our lowest-performing schools has resulted in a myriad of new programs and practices aimed at improving student achievement. Many of these efforts will fail to produce the desired results. This failure is not necessarily because the program or practice was inherently flawed—although there are plenty of programs with scant evidence of effectiveness—but because those charged with overseeing the improvement effort were unable to effectively manage the implementation process.
At SEDL, we have experienced the implementation of school improvement efforts from three unique perspectives: as those leading the effort, as those charged with implementing the new program or practice, and as consultants and evaluators for others who are managing the implementation. Based on our experiences and a review of the research on the topic, we have identified five key insights on managing implementation. Though focused primarily on leaders and other facilitators of change initiatives, these insights also provide guidance for anyone who has experienced the rollout of a new program or school improvement initiative.
SEDL Insights on Managing the Implementation of School Improvement Efforts
- Don’t just adopt a new program; implement it.
- Understand that change is personal.
- Define the change.
- Use data before, during, and after implementation.
- Commit for the long haul.