You Don’t Have to Go It Alone
It was August 2004. I had been the turnaround principal of a small rural school for less than two weeks. I sat at my desk and made a list of all the challenges I had discovered so far. The list was daunting: Significant reading and math achievement gaps, outdated curriculum, lack of a data system to track student learning, teachers who needed intensive coaching, a disengaged community, and the perception that we were the only failing school in the district. I wondered: How can I, as one person, solve all these complex problems? How do I start to address the challenges?
I knew I couldn’t solve these problems alone. I needed a network for support. I needed a place where I could tap into subject matter experts and engage in discussions with folks who were walking in my shoes. I needed research articles on school turnaround and tools to address the needs of turnaround schools.
Networks are designed to connect people with similar interests and challenges to support knowledge sharing and collective problem solving. Networks host Communities of Practice, forums for deep engagement on a particular topic led by subject matter experts, and connect States so they can learn from each other in Peer to Peer Exchanges. Also, networks provide a place to search for resources from others doing similar work, and offer a platform for interacting with peers to understand how others are addressing school improvement challenges.
We know it will be challenging for States and districts to navigate the transition to the new Every Student Succeeds Act. The State Support Network is your community of support. We are a technical assistance initiative designed to support State and district school improvement efforts, and we are looking forward to partnering with you. Know this: You don’t have to go it alone. The State Support Network is here!
How Does This Work?
The State Support Network will collaborate with States, districts, and technical assistance partners to elevate student outcomes, scale systemic solutions, share learning, leverage evidence-based practices, and build sustainable partnerships. Working closely with other technical assistance providers, we will offer varying levels of technical assistance that include:
- Universal support, through broadly shared school improvement resources (case studies, guidelines, tools, and products) organized in this website.
- Collective support for States and districts to collaborate with peers and engage in Communities of Practice to solve common challenges.
- Individual support focused on direct technical assistance from providers to address specific State and district needs.
I encourage you to check our website and blog often for news, a calendar of events, and public resources. You can request technical assistance. You can also register to be a Community of Practice member and participate in a Peer to Peer Exchange to engage with others about specific topics.
We look forward to working with you to improve education for all students.