The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires states, districts, and schools receiving federal funds to improve the academic achievement of all the students they serve, and close the achievement gap between and among particular racial and ethnic groups of these students identified in the law.
The School Improvement KnowledgeBase is an information resource aimed at helping states, districts, and schools receiving Title I funds to fulfill the Act's requirements and improve their students' academic achievement. The KnowledgeBase is a broad-based outline of key ideas and resources to guide state, district, or school leaders in achieving the goals of NCLB.
Purpose: Element 1 explains the major provisions of the NCLB Act. In doing so, it explores NCLB goals, what "in need of improvement" means, public school choice and supplemental services, corrective action and restructuring, scientifically based research, parent, family and community involvement, and teacher and paraprofessional requirements. The impact of these topics is addressed within the activities below at the state, district, and school levels.
Guideline: A mission statement answers the question, "Why does this organization exist?" A vision statement presents a picture of an organization's future. It is important that improvement team members understand the mission and vision to create a roadmap for improvement effectively.
The School Improvement in Maryland website addresses the importance of creating a shared vision to accomplish school improvement. This website may be useful to any group creating a shared vision.
This Community Toolbox website provides information on developing a vision and communicating it to others.
This Michigan Department of Education newsletter decribes a process for creating a shared school vision. Though the process focuses on a schoolwide vision, it can be adapted to a project-related vision to implement other instructional tools.
This link is to Chapter 1 Vision as the Compass of the New Principal's Fieldbook. This chapter discusses "Vision Defined," "Multiple Visions," "Creating a Personal Leadership Vision," and "Creating a Shared Vision."
Purpose: Prior to initiating a school improvement effort, the school's principal must organize for action. Key activities include the following:
Purpose: Assessing the school's current status regarding student academic performance, staffing, operations, and organization is an essential prerequisite to developing the school improvement plan. Element 3 outlines the tasks involved in creating such a school profile.
Purpose: Under NCLB, a school identified as "in need of improvement" is required to produce a school improvement plan. The school improvement plan communicates the improvement strategies and goals to school staff members and other relevant constituent groups. Element 4 outlines suggested tasks associated with creating the school improvement plan.
Purpose: Improvement is achieved through the effective implementation of chosen strategies. To assure successful implementation of the school improvement plan, the principal and school improvement team should monitor the progress continuously. Element 5 outlines suggested steps for managing implementation of the school improvement plan.