This slim volume synthesizes three reports intended to show what is possible when urban districts take learning improvement seriously. One report analyzes how districts that want to achieve equitable learning gains for disadvantaged kids allocate staff and other resources. A second report describes how school administrators and teacher leaders guide improvements in instruction, while a third focuses on the daily work of central office administrators who develop principals' instructional leadership skills.
In this summary, researchers draw conclusions from the three reports, explaining how leaders at the school and district level can best improve teaching and how they need to be supported. Key strategies include investing in staff members whose primary responsibility is coaching teachers or principals to improve instruction and providing those staffers with frequent opportunities for professional learning. The summary also explains the need for district and school leaders, including teacher leaders, to operate in a well-coordinated fashion, ground their work in shared beliefs and approaches to improving instruction, and have a thorough understanding of each others' roles and how they fit together.