Launching the National Center

The National Center is recruiting organizations to become members.

We have developed a core group of members for our two breakthrough collaboratives who are helping to lead working groups and establish improvement hubs focused on shared problems (e.g., school improvement processes and planning). The aspiration is to increase the number of districts, postsecondary institutions, and LEA-IHE partnerships engaged in improvement-oriented work through a facilitated and disciplined social learning approach. By doing so:

  • LEA members are developing their capacities to enact local and effective strategies to act on problems of practice important in their communities;
  • IHE members are learning how to move away from less impactful, transactional relationships with districts and schools to more effective mutually-beneficial partnerships;
  • LEAS and IHEs are developing effective human capital by advancing their improvement knowledge, dispositions, leadership, and organizational capacities;
  • Individual IHEs and LEAs have access to a broad base of other improvement colleagues that they could draw upon (through face-to-face and virtual engagements) to strengthen their organization’s ability to better serve students, particularly those most vulnerable;
  • LEAs and IHEs are building and strengthening connections through network-wide convenings, affinity groups, regional meetups, and participation in professional conferences including the American Educational Research Association [AERA], University Council on Educational Administration [UCEA], and the Carnegie Summit on Improvement in Education), among others.

For those interested in becoming members, an annual fee of $2,500 will be charged to each institution ($5,000 per LEA-IHE partnership). Institutions and partnerships are expected to make an initial commitment of two years, where they take part in all convenings and Center activities. Membership fees will support staffing and organization of the following opportunities and activities. Please note that membership for the current breakthrough collaboratives (Tier 2) have already been established. Members outside of the breakthrough collaboratives (Tier 1) will still be granted access to the professional developments, convenings, change packets, etc.

As longtime leaders in the community, the University of Mississippi and the Oxford School District have agreed to support the expansion and growth of iLEAD into a National Center on School-University Partnerships at the University of Mississippi. As an emergent organization, the vision of the National Center is to build a community “stronger together” to achieve vastly improved learning outcomes for every child, especially those historically marginalized (see figure below for a working theory of change for the National Center). The Center’s mission is to develop expertise in leading improvement efforts in schools, through improvement hubs and networks, and through mutually-beneficial partnerships between local education agencies (LEAs), institutions of higher education (IHEs), and other community-based agencies and stakeholders.

Interested in Improvement Science? Join us!

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