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Network uses improvement science to scale up change

By Melinda George, Nick Morgan and Elizabeth Foster
February 2019
Vol. 40 No. 1
If you were given the opportunity to design a new way to drive positive change in public education policy and practice at scale, what would you do? How would you seek new solutions that bridge the gaps between research and practice? If you’re like many education stakeholders, you might grapple with some of these challenges: Implementing strategies that appear to hold promise but have never been scaled; Maintaining the integrity of research-based interventions while addressing the need for contextual adaptation such as a different timeline or resource challenges; or Balancing the benefits of focusing in one area with the pressing need to tackle multiple issues and solutions simultaneously. We need new sources of innovation to address these classic challenges in improving educational outcomes and break

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Authors

Melinda George, Nick Morgan, and Elizabeth Foster

Melinda George (melinda.george@learningforward.org) is director of policy and partnerships, Nick Morgan (nick.morgan@learningforward.org) is a senior consultant, and Elizabeth Foster (elizabeth.foster@learningforward.org) is associate director of standards, research, and strategy at Learning Forward.

Related resources

December 2018 issue of The Learning Professional: learningforward.org/publications/jsd
Carnegie Foundation blog: www.carnegiefoundation.org/blog/category/thinking-about-improvement
Center for Public Research and Leadership: cprl.law.columbia.edu
2016 National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future report, What Matters Now: A New Compact for Teaching and Learning: nctaf.org/research/what-matters-now


Image for aesthetic effect only - Melindageorge-web

Melinda George is Learning Forward’s chief policy officer, serving on the Learning Forward leadership team and overseeing Learning Forward’s policy and advocacy work. Melinda has been integral to developing strategy and facilitating networks as well as leading the Learning Forward fundraising team. Prior to joining Learning Forward, Melinda was the president of the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future (NCTAF) where she led its charge to build a research-based framework of policies and practices that ensure every child has access to a competent, caring teacher in a school organized for success. From 2006-11, Melinda served as the senior director of Education Strategic Relations at PBS, where she developed national partnerships and oversaw the development of PBS TeacherLine, an online professional development service. Prior to PBS, Melinda was the first executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA). Melinda began her career as a 4th- and 5th-grade teacher in D.C. Public Schools.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Morgan Nick

Nick Morgan (nick.morgan@learningforward.org) is senior a consultant for Learning Forward.

Image for aesthetic effect only - Elizabeth-foster
Vice President, Standards & Research | + posts

Elizabeth Foster is the vice president of research and standards at Learning Forward. She leads the organization’s research efforts for partnerships, programs, and fundraising. Elizabeth co-wrote the Standards for Professional Learning (2022) with Tracy Crow and now facilitates learning sessions about the standards and develops resources that support their use and implementation. She contributes to the design, facilitation, and evaluation of networks. Prior to Learning Forward, Elizabeth was the vice president of strategic initiatives at the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) where she led a major research investigation about educator support systems that resulted in a report entitled What Matters Now (2016) and a successful three-year improvement network with Learning Forward. Her published work includes studies on teacher recruitment, preparation, and professional learning, urban teacher shortages, community college teacher preparation, professional learning communities, and the demographics of the education workforce. Elizabeth started out with an operating foundation in New York City that supported public education innovation projects, then worked in middle school special education in Boston and staffed a research project about inclusion with the Harvard RALLY project. Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her two incredible daughters, as well as other family and friends – especially on the beach.


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