During every education reform, people eventually start asking: “How long is this going to take?” The answer is typically: “It depends.”

Years of implementing the California State Standards have taught us a few important things:

  • For one, what “it” depends on is capacity. Forecasting progress and results is all about understanding a school’s existing capacity to implement the proposed changes in ways that improve student outcomes.
  • It may sound obvious, but it’s worth remembering: Schools with greater capacity to implement a reform well will take less time to achieve results than schools with lower capacity. After all, they started out most of the way there.
  • And, perhaps most importantly: To accelerate the rate of improvement efforts that achieve results, lower capacity schools need differentiated support models that understand their existing capacities. We have to meet schools where they are.

Differentiated support that moves the needle isn’t simply targeted support or more support; it’s the right support at the right time for what’s needed. Differentiation that is agile. Agile differentiation starts with assessing the capacities a school needs to improve the outcomes they’re targeting, and then aligning the right supports to those existing capacities. That allows support providers to meet schools where they are and to help build pathways towards where they aspire to be.

Agile differentiation builds upon existing capabilities, decreases the learning curve for teachers and leaders, and offers schools an accelerated journey to success. At the Center, we will continue to explore this concept and build tools that can help leaders accelerate local capacity-building efforts to improve outcomes for our students.

  • Schools with greater capacity to implement a reform well will take less time to achieve results than schools with lower capacity.
  • To accelerate the rate of improvement efforts that achieve results, lower capacity schools need differentiated support models that understand their existing capacities.

Interested to learn more? Drop us a line!

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