Academic Strategy in Action: Instructional Focus and Coherence in Chicago Public Schools
Pick, Brian J
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CitationPick, Brian J. 2021. Academic Strategy in Action: Instructional Focus and Coherence in Chicago Public Schools. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
AbstractSchool systems can be terribly fragmented and incoherent organizations. A lack of clear and focused priorities often results in poor execution of initiatives as well as duplicative, conflicting, non-coordinated, or non-complementary efforts. Moreover, a lack of shared priorities can be felt by school leaders and teachers as an inconsistent and overwhelming number of directives.
During my 10-month residency at Chicago Public Schools, I led the strategic planning and continuous improvement process for the district’s Office of Teaching and Learning. I supported central office collaboration to define, socialize, measure, and monitor an equity-focused, district-wide instructional vision and an associated set of academic priorities. Most notably, I helped the office shift from previous years’ practice of drafting and executing over a dozen separate department plans to creating and collaborating around a singular, collective, officewide academic strategic plan.
This capstone describes and analyzes my efforts to help craft a set of academic priorities, to lead for coherence, and to foster a collaborative culture of inquiry within a district’s academic office. The implications I draw from this work may be helpful to educational leaders, particularly district academic leads, who seek to organize and guide central office staff to develop academic programming, offer professional learning opportunities, and improve student outcomes.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37370274