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Knowledge From the Field

Central Office Transformation for District-Wide Teaching and Learning Improvement

Published: April 2010

Publisher(s): Wallace Foundation

Funder(s): Wallace Foundation

Related Organization(s): Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy at University of Washington

View Report (156 pages; 1.22MB)

Area of focus: Teacher Quality and Leadership


This report summarizes results from a national study of how leaders in urban school district central offices can fundamentally transform their relationship with schools to support district wide teaching and learning improvement.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

=Creating direct, personal relationships between central office leaders and school principals is essential to helping principals become stronger leaders.

=Central offices as a whole must support the partnerships formed between their leaders and school principals.

=Other central office staff must shift their work to support teaching and learning improvement, including taking case management and project management approaches.

=Stewardship, or leadership to support the overall transformation process, is also essential to ensuring success.

=Creating a dynamic system for decision-making based on evidence is vital for continued transformation.

Geographic Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: District leaders; principals; teacher improvement; central office; learning improvement; transforming schools

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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