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ERIC Number: ED560756
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 47
How School Districts Can Support Deeper Learning: The Need for Performance Alignment. Deeper Learning Research Series
Honig, Meredith I.; Rainey, Lydia R.
Jobs For the Future
School district leaders nationwide aspire to help their schools become vibrant places for learning--where students have meaningful academic opportunities and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Historically, though, school district central offices have been ill-equipped to support such ambitious goals. A new wave of research suggests that central offices have a key role to play in creating the conditions that make deeper learning possible, and they can do so by making deliberate efforts to align the work of each and every part of the school system to a set of common priorities. This paper addresses the following questions: (1) Why should district central office leaders make performance alignment a key part of their efforts to help all students learn deeply?; and (2) What, more specifically, does performance alignment entail, and how might district leaders move in that direction? This paper: (1) identifies several challenges that district central offices often face when they try to support the improvement of teaching and learning districtwide; (2) describes how pioneering districts are pursing performance alignment; and (3) recommends specific strategies that can help school districts to realize deeper learning at scale. Findings and observations point to the need for a fundamental redesign of most central office functions, as well as some major departures from business-as-usual for most, if not all, central office staff, especially those in human resources, curriculum and instruction, and principal supervision. Such reforms can be challenging, but they are likely to be necessary for school systems to realize deeper learning in all schools and for all students. A table of Data Sources is appended. [For the Executive Summary, see ED560757.]
Jobs for the Future. 88 Broad Street 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Tel: 617-728-4446; Fax: 617-728-4857; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Authoring Institution: Jobs for the Future