Learn With Colleagues Across Massachusetts In Our New Co-Lab for Innovation

Here’s the story: We are looking for 8-10 teams of Massachusetts educators to engage in a yearlong cross-district learning opportunity to increase opportunities for students to engage in risk-taking and critical thinking as a regular part of their school experiences. Teams will plan and implement action plans around big questions like, ‘What does complex, engaging, grade-level and beyond work look like?’ ‘How can we support all students to reach this high bar?’ and ‘How do school structures and cultures support educators in their journeys to do this work?’ Co-Labs offer educators the chance to work across different schools and even different districts to learn from each other’s experiences and problem-solve collaboratively on topics of shared interest. Teams will come together for four in-person meetings and three virtual meetings throughout the school year, and each team will receive a $3,000 mini-grant to support their work.

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Kat Johnston
Turning the Opportunity Myth Into True Opportunity

The Opportunity Myth is hardly a light read: It forced us to take a hard look at how many students are not getting what they need and deserve in our classrooms. The teachers who met in February found that the research findings spoke to them in some respects more than others. But together they were driven to make positive changes for their students by reaching outside their own school communities and learning alongside colleagues in other schools, districts, and even sectors. Here’s what they talked about…

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Maria Fenwick
Building a Sustainable Structure to Elevate Teacher Voice

...At the event, Kat and I were proud to release a new guide for district and school leaders called Building a Sustainable Structure to Elevate Teacher Voice. This guide represents our best advice to anyone thinking about how they might include educators' voices in decision-making whether through establishing an advisory, running focus groups, or conducting a survey. 

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Healthcare Improvement and Education Improvement--more in common than expected

Like many educators, I used this summer as a chance to take some PD. I had the opportunity to participate in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) Improvement Coach Professional Development Program. IHI is a nonprofit focused on improving healthcare outcomes by providing training, consultation, and research to governments as well as large and small health organizations across the world. And they happen to be in my backyard of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Improvement science is their main business--how do we get better so we can do better? Improvement science is all the rage in healthcare with hospital CEOs, doctors, nurses, and training programs for anyone interested in the healthcare field. It’s starting to make its way into education through the Carnegie Foundation’s work on Networked Improvement Communities (they published the 2015 book Learning to Improve: How America’s Schools Can Get Better at Getting Better).

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Kat Johnston