Leadership Capacity

What is leadership capacity and why is it important?

State education agencies and districts are striving to develop strategies and policies that will help schools to engage in meaningful and effective improvement efforts. However, the development of an improvement and capacity building framework for supporting district and school improvement efforts entails that states and districts balance expectations to monitor and support, and attend to the capacity and resource issues implicit in this balancing act. 

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In many states, the number of schools identified for improvement is increasing, and state education agencies are moving towards a district capacity building approach as the most cost-effective and useful means of bringing improvement efforts to scale. Similtaneously, many districts are taking a renewed interest in figuring out how to best support improvement efforts in underperforming schools. However, there is little research on how states can best support districts or how districts can best manage and support local improvement efforts. 

If the district central office is to be the lever of change, then it essential that state education agencies and districts develop the leadership capacity needed to provide support to, and provide incentives for, districts to engage in innovative change efforts. 

What is the focus of leadership capacity building? 

We collaborate with state departments of education and districts towards the development of coherent and aligned systems of support for underperforming districts and schools. Through the co-construction of district and school capacity building frameworks, we focus on building leadership capacity, aligning policies, accountability provisions, and strategies, and creating a policy environment conducive to sustainable district and school improvement.

What are the outcomes of this work? What can we expect?

  • The development of a framework for district capacity building and improvement  that articulates: (1) how support is provided to districts and schools, (2) how policies (including accountability incentives and sanctions) and resources are coordinated to support such efforts, and (3) the organizational conditions necessary to ensure the successful implementation of the capacity building framework.
  • The development of an implementation road map that can be used by the state education agency (or district central office) to ensure that all stakeholders are involved in the implementation of the capacity building framework. 
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