Educators and community members often view evaluation in the same way as they think of the work of Dr. “Ducky” Mallard, the fictional medical examiner on the popular TV series, NCIS. While viewers may think that what Ducky does is important—examining corpses to determine their time and cause of
Jerry Colonna's blog post kicks off our March series on collective impact—an approach that mobilizes the community to form a long-term and permanent solution to a societal problem. Subscribe to our blog so you never miss a post. As Oregon starts a new legislative session, I am encouraged that
Last year, we unveiled Success Now!—our new approach to school improvement. Unlike other approaches, the Success Now! framework helps schools focus their efforts and see quick gains in student success while working toward long-term goals and sustainable change. The Mary Walker School District in
An important feature of Education Northwest’s Success Now! school improvement approach is the development of shared leadership throughout a school. Shared leadership does not minimize the need for a strong principal leader; rather, it adds to “leadership” the concept of creating the conditions for
At the beginning of our second annual Northwest and Pacific Equity Convening, I asked participants to shout out the temperature it had been at home the day before they arrived at our meeting in Honolulu. I wanted to see who came from the hottest and coldest location—to give folks a sense of the
I just finished facilitating one of the most satisfying evaluation meetings of my career. No, I did not present results of outstanding successes or reveal the secret to improving schools. Drawing on materials from the Wallace Foundation, I helped project leaders create a logic model to inform the
When AmeriCorps was just getting off the ground more than 20 years ago, Rachel Raddick was there. She participated in 1993’s “Summer of Service” by supporting teachers and gathering donations in California for the Oakland Head Start program. Today, she joins eight Education Northwest colleagues
The authors wrote this post on behalf of the Association of Educational Service Districts Network (AESD Network). In Washington state and around the country, educational service agencies—or ESDs, as they are known in our state—play an important role in delivering professional development, financial
A parent once asked me where I had gone when I was no longer a principal at his neighborhood school. I replied that I was working in school improvement. He said, “That’s great! Our playground needs more stuff to play on.” That would have been an easy fix. Instead, I chose the simple task of school
This blog post examines ways education leaders in Oregon are working to address the problem of rural students struggling to get a head start on college while still in high school.
Welcome to the Oregon Leadership Network's monthly blog series. Topics relate to building the capacity of education leaders to sustain research-based...
As the director of Oregon State University’s Precollege Programs, I was naturally disappointed when I had to turn down a request by the I Have a Dream Foundation (IHD) in 2012 to “adopt” one of their classrooms at Alder Elementary in Portland. Adopting a high-need classroom fits perfectly within
Dr. Ethel Simon-McWilliams, a strong advocate for children and educational equity, died July 12, 2017. She joined Education Northwest (then known as the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory) in 1979 and served as the organization’s executive director/chief executive officer from the mid-1990s
The idea for the early warning system (EWS) work came out of a meeting I had with superintendents and other leaders from the AA districts of Montana—the seven largest districts in the state. What I heard over and over was, “We have students in our districts who are struggling, and we’re providing
For many Americans, high tuition costs are a primary barrier to attending college and earning a postsecondary credential. President Obama’s new plan to make community college tuition-free seeks to alleviate this barrier, but the plan is not just about working with states to provide a more
In my previous job as a teacher of students with disabilities, I often wished I had more time with my class—more time for quiet reading, more time for raucous games, more time to connect lessons to the real world. In short, I wanted more time for everything in the curriculum to sink in and take
It’s a new year, a time when many of us resolve to be healthier and happier. This typically involves making changes, like becoming more physically active, giving up smoking, or learning how to be a more effective parent. Then, despite our goals and plans, we inevitably encounter the very human
Whenever I get together with my fellow members of Knowledge Alliance, we spend time discussing how research, evaluation, and data use can further support the improvement goals of state education leaders. Daily, staff from our nearly 20 member organizations help apply research and data to address
Springdale Elementary School in Washington state dedicated itself to school improvement through a series of focused change cycles. Did the school's efforts pay off?
Looking at the assets (rather than the deficits) of English learners is a way of reframing the conversation.