Improvement Science in Education and Beyond Series Read Description

Improvement Science as a Tool for School Enhancement

Solutions for Better Educational Outcomes

February 2022
More details
  • Publisher
    Myers Education Press
  • Published
    7th February 2022
  • ISBN 9781975504793
  • Language English
  • Pages 125 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  •    Request Exam Copy
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February 2022
More details
  • Publisher
    Myers Education Press
  • Published
    16th February 2022
  • ISBN 9781975504809
  • Language English
  • Pages 125 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"

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February 2022
More details
  • Publisher
    Myers Education Press
  • Published
    16th February 2022
  • ISBN 9781975504816
  • Language English
  • Pages 125 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  •    Request E-Exam Copy

A 2023 SPE Outstanding Book Honorable Mention

Improvement Science as a Tool for School Enhancement: Solutions for Better Educational Outcomes
 is a collection of equity-focused improvement science-in-action, school-based case studies led by practitioners. Chapter authors tell us how and why improvement science principles make system-wide improvements in classroom practice, how they learned from the problems encountered and, further, how they were then able to make changes within a school or district. A core principle of improvement science is variability in context (what works for whom and under what conditions)--a critical concept for improvement in each of the case studies. Each team analyzed their problem of practice from the perspective of the unique conditions in their context, considering what might work, and what might not work, and when the changes could be expanded for implementation school- or district-wide.

Early chapters describe the actions of school personnel to embed social and emotional learning as well as how to serve historically underserved students during disasters. Trauma-informed and restorative practices embraced by all staff enhanced student outcomes and reduced educational disparities in classrooms and throughout the school. The content then explores how improvement science change processes improve chronic absenteeism and discipline issues through whole-school practices related to school climate. Centering student and family perception, developing representative systems, and facilitating collaborative improvement projects were found to measurably improve the experience of students, increase equity, reinforce democratic principles, and empower school stakeholders, especially those whose voices have historically been ignored, to create meaningful system-wide school improvement. Finally, the material in the book provides concrete examples of improvement science as it applies in real-setting to address high school advisories, graduation rates, services for multi-lingual learners, students with disabilities, and reading clubs. Each chapter has an equity focus.

The editors and contributors provide examples of how to use the processes and tools of improvement science to increase equity system-wide. How to use improvement science to address educational disparities system-wide with urgency, commitment, and a belief in the success of every child, of every race, every ethnicity, gender, ability, and cultural identity, is the essence of this book.

Perfect for courses such as: Educating For Equity And Social Justice │ Cultivating Culturally Responsive Classrooms │ Integrating Methods And Curriculum Design │ Inquiry, Assessment, And Instructional Design │ Foundations Of Culturally And Linguistically Responsive Practice │ Math Literacy │ Physical Education │ Professional Collaboration In Education │ Language And Literacy Development Of Diverse Learners │ Equal Opportunity: Racism; Diversity And Equity In Schools │ Cultural Proficiency In Schools │ Language And Power In Education │ Teaching For Equity In Literacy │ Supportive Classroom Communities │ Cultural Diversity In Literature │ Engaging Students In Writing │ Introduction To School Leadership │ Introduction To School Improvement │ Teacher Leadership And School Improvement

To learn more about Improvement Science and see our full list of books in this area, please click through to the Myers Education Press Improvement Science website.

“Though other books and publications exist that present and discuss improvement science (many of which are cited throughout the series), the Improvement Science in Education series exhibits the most comprehensive coverage of improvement science currently available. Crow, Hinnant-Crawford, and Spaulding have curated a collection of books that showcases the breadth and depth of improvement science appealing to a variety of audiences, regardless of backgrounds, expertise, and readiness levels. . . Certainly, improvement science is a challenging undertaking, but this series empowers those ready and willing to try.”

Review by Christopher Benedetti for Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, Vol. 8 No. 3 (2023)

Improvement Science as a Tool for School Enhancement: Solutions for Better Educational Outcomes provides a wealth of case studies that teacher, school, and district leaders can use to address a wide range of systemic equity issues facing schools. Each case reveals important and useful insights about how improvement science processes move equity forward.”

Dr. Sheldon Berman, Lead Superintendent for Social-Emotional Learning with AASA (American Association of School Administrators) and retired superintendent (MA, KY, and OR)

“In my efforts to help improvement science land as a useful set of mindsets and skills for educators, the most consistent request I hear is for concrete examples of improvement projects in education. Imagine my delight to discover this book, filled with stories of improvement by teachers and school leaders. If you believe that disciplined inquiry by those closest to students can lead to more equitable outcomes, you will want to read this book.”

Ben Daley, President, High Tech High Graduate School of Education

Improvement Science as a Tool for School Enhancement: Solutions for Better Educational Outcomes is a timely and important book which draws on evidence from 17 school settings using equity focused improvement science efforts. It is written by school leaders for school practitioners who are committed to making positive changes for all students. It captures ways in which improvement science is enabling schools to address prevailing inequities and embrace meaningful change strategies. Edited by two gifted, passionate and committed social justice educators, this practical and accessible resource is the book to use to help schools and school systems identify and implement improvement projects.”

David Imig, Professor of the Practice Emeritus, University of Maryland and Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation

In Improvement Science as a Tool for School Enhancement, Peterson and Carlile provide an exemplary collection of cases, each of which uses improvement science tools to generate an equitable solution to a local, user-centered problem. The text and accompanying figures teach a wide continuum of educational professionals how to apply IS tools and strategies in their own laboratory of practice with culturally responsive results. It’s an essential book to prepare innovative teachers and leaders, both pre-service and in-service.”

Dr. Kristina A. Hesbol, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver and Founding Director, Center for Innovative Rural Collaborative Leadership Education (CIRCLE)

“As a Gates Millennium Scholar, I became a teacher to give every student a sense of belonging and access to any career. This idealistic goal, held by most teachers, is often dropped when we don’t have methods to deconstruct individual or systemic barriers. Improvement Science as a Tool for School Enhancement: Solutions for Better Educational Outcomes gives us the examples and framework to begin approaching our lofty goals with intentionality. As a teacher, I particularly appreciate that Peterson and Carlile highlight necessary steps in chapter 18 to engage in challenging work while sustaining the hopes and spirits of colleagues.”

Enrique Mora, Gates Millennium Scholar Middle School Teacher, Highline Public Schools

Improvement Science as a Tool for School Enhancement: Solutions for Better Educational Outcomes focuses on the power of improvement science to accelerate meaningful change and increase equity in our communities. Peterson and Carlile provide numerous examples of how collecting data, applying research, and engaging students, families, and teachers in inquiry-based improvement in their communities can help students reach their dreams and become the leaders our global community needs. Inspiring and practical, this book will affirm educators everywhere.”

Dr. Vicki Phillips, Chief Education Officer, National Geographic Society

“The pragmatism and power of utilizing Improvement Science in schools is on full display in Improvement Science as a Tool for School Enhancement: Solutions for Better Educational Outcomes. The use of practical examples implemented by teacher leaders and school administrators demonstrating real improvement, should provide a positive path forward for all educators.”

Rob Saxton, Retired Oregon Schools Chief and District Superintendent

“Keeping equity at the center of every improvement effort, affirming the value of every child in our care, and supporting the teachers and leaders who work tirelessly to improve our schools is key to my work in rural and suburban schools. Improvement Science as a Tool for School Enhancement: Solutions for Better Educational Outcomes affirms our teachers and leaders while also providing guidance, tools, and processes as we collaborate to improve social-emotional health, the school experience, and academic outcomes for children of all backgrounds. Every chapter gives me hope that change can happen now.”

Johnna Timmes, Executive Director of Early Learning, Northwest Regional Education Service District

Improvement Science as a Tool for School Enhancement: Solutions for Better Educational Outcomes, offers a needed contribution to the growing field of Improvement Science as a path to greater equity in school practices and outcomes. Sixteen case histories, authored largely by K-12 practitioners, show how teachers and leaders have effectively addressed persistent, real-world school challenges in very different settings by using Improvement Science as a method and equity as a values framework. In this book, students, teachers, parents, and leaders are agents of their own improvement work in elementary, middle, and secondary schools from Oregon to Texas to DC.”

Steve Tozer, Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago, Illinois, College of Education Senior Fellow, Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching

Improvement Science as a Tool for School Enhancement: Solutions for Better Educational Outcomes offers a deeper understanding of how to effectively utilize the tenets of improvement science across educational environments in creating a more just educational system. This book gives research-based tangible tools for educators to dismantle persistent barriers and reimagine how schools serve students.”

Dr. Kevin Walker, Director of Elementary Education, Salem-Keizer Public Schools

List of Tables and Figures


Chapter 1. Introduction
Deborah S. Peterson, Susan P. Carlile, and Gloria McDaniel-Hall

Chapter 2. Teachers Can’t Do It Alone: The Role of Leadership in Implementing Equity-Driven Social-Emotional Learning
Amie B. Cieminski and Thomas Lee Morgan

Chapter 3. Improving School Culture Through the Implementation of Social-Emotional Learning and Restorative Practices
Joanna Carrillo Rowley, Michael Odell, and Teresa Kennedy

Chapter 4. A Pandemic and a Wildfire Evacuation: Serving Historically Underserved Students During Disasters
Ryan Carpenter, Benjamin Hargrave, and Kathleen Oropallo

Chapter 5. Combating Chronic Absenteeism: Multitiered Systems of Supports at the Elementary Level
Greg Nelson

Chapter 6. Increasing Attendance in Middle School
Emily Anderson

Chapter 7. Disparities in Middle School Discipline: English Learners, Students Receiving Special Education Services, and Boys
Cassandra Thonstad

Chapter 8. Improving Our Response to Intervention Program: Improvement Science
Victoria Brown

Chapter 9. Increasing Academic Success Through a High School Advisory Program
Bryce Bennett

Chapter 10. Improving Ninth-Grade On-Track Rates in an Urban Public High School
Brian Rahaman

Chapter 11. Addressing Equity Issues for Long-Term Multilingual Learners: Using Improvement Science Practices to Improve Understanding and Services
Bill Eagle and Susan Connolly

Chapter 12. Improved Outcomes for All: Students With Disabilities and Improvement Science
Kristine J. Melloy and Toby King

Chapter 13. Equitable Special Education Evaluation in the Time of COVID-19
Kileen Birmingham and James Sanders

Chapter 14. Student Engagement Through Shared Power
Jeffrey R. Waters

Chapter 15. Increasing Equity Through Family
Gloria McDaniel-Hall, Ryan McCarty, and Landon Brown

Chapter 16. Family Engagement: Increasing Equity Through the Reading Club Project
Folusho B. Abayomi

Chapter 17. Centering Equity and Starting Small to Transform School Climate
Michelle Li, Kirsten Ebersole LaCroix, and Donna Braun

Chapter 18. Sustaining One Another While Leading Equity-Focused Improvement Science Efforts
Deborah S. Peterson

About the Authors


Deborah S. Peterson

Deborah S. Peterson (MA, Portland State University; EdD, Lewis and Clark College) is an associate professor at Portland State University. She is known for increasing equity, community engagement, and student voice while dramatically improving student outcomes. Her teaching and research focus on preparing current and future school leaders to serve as anti-racist, culturally responsive leaders for equity. Her work has been published in numerous journals and her current research includes examining the experiences of women leaders and leaders of color in numerous professions.

Susan P. Carlile

Susan P. Carlile (MA, University of Oregon; graduate work in education, University of Washington and Harvard University) is a professor of practice and program lead for the Educational Leadership and Policy Program. She has facilitated the leadership development of over 600 school leaders, received 18 grants for her work, and presented and published in dozens of state, national and international forums of leadership. Most recently, her research has focused on examining the issues facing women in leadership positions and strategies for navigating the workplace to ensure gender, racial, ethnic, linguistic and socio-economic equity in education.

Improvement Science; equity; school leadership; principal leadership; change leadership; principalship; superintendency