Dallas, Texas – November 16, 2017

Learning Forward, a membership association focused on effective professional learning for K-12 educators, has launched the Student Success Learning Network to improve teaching and learning and build educator capacity. The network is a collaboration among 15 U.S. school districts and organizations dedicated to addressing specific student learning challenges within each district through a continuous improvement process.

Learning Forward facilitates the network’s learning through face-to-face and virtual convenings, expertise, resources, and organizational management tools. The network uses improvement science principles as described by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which is supporting the work by coaching network facilitators. Leading organizations including UnboundEd, Institute for Learning, Education Resource Strategies, and WestEd will provide additional expertise and support to participants.

The process helps participating educators accelerate local improvement through a carefully designed process of setting and achieving meaningful goals specific to their contexts. With an emphasis on improving educator practice and student outcomes, participants will focus on predictive graduation and college success factors and measure change at the classroom and school level, necessitating the inclusion of principals and other school-based practitioners on each district’s participating team. The network will convene for the first time in conjunction with Learning Forward’s Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, Dec. 2-6.

“We are honored to support these educators as they challenge themselves to examine their own systems deeply and find the root causes of student learning problems,” said Michelle Bowman, associate director of communities at Learning Forward. “It is difficult work these educators undertake; their engagement in continuous improvement demonstrates their commitment to their educators and students, “ Bowman continued.

An earlier phase of the network was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In this phase, funding comes from the districts themselves, and in some cases they have found external support. The Houston Endowment is supporting ESC Region 4 and Spring ISD in Texas. The Great Schools Partnership is supporting Knox County Schools in Tennessee. WestEd is supporting Pittsburgh Public Schools to participate.

“The work that we did as a team in the first phase of the community had a real impact on our professional learning practices, and just as important, gave us tools for tackling any systemic challenge,” said Keith Wilson, Director of Professional Learning at Knox County Schools, one of 9 to continue the work from the first phase of the community of practice, while 6 additional districts are joining for the first time.

The districts participating in the Student Success Learning Network are:

  • Broward County (FL)
  • Denver (CO)
  • ESC Region 4 (Houston, TX)
  • Fort Wayne Community Schools (IN)
  • Fulton County (GA)
  • Guilford County (NC)
  • Hillsborough County (FL)
  • JeffCo (CO)
  • Knox County (TN)
  • Metro Nashville (TN)
  • Pittsburgh (PA)
  • Prince George’s County (MD)
  • Riverside (CA)
  • Spring ISD (TX)
  • Syracuse (NY)

For more information, contact Michelle Bowman (michelle.bowman@learningforward.org)