Launching a Networked Improvement Community for Transforming our most Challenged Secondary Schools in the ESSA Era



 If you are one of the superintendents dealing with an underperforming school which has been listed among the lowest 5 percent, E.S.S.A. requires that you develop a plan for school improvement.

The good news is that each state has 7 percent set aside in E.S.S.A. funds and through a partnership between AASA and Talent Development Secondary (TDS), we are creating a Networked Improvement Community (NIC) to help you receive the funds and to develop and implement a 4-year school improvement plan.

By joining this select group, AASA/TDS will establish a strong and deeply connected cohort of districts and schools that benefit from common systems of support, convening, training & technical assistance, staffing, structures and measures of success. Just as important, the TDS approach is completely aligned in content and timing with the ESSA requirements for evidence and school improvement.

If you want to learn more about the webinar series as well as the AASA Preconference on February 13 in Los Angeles, you can read more about them here:


Webinar 1:


The Partnership and the Opportunity – this webinar will review the following key issues:

  • Why are we doing this?
  • What will we be doing together?
  • Why districts need a stronger “ecology” for evidence based practices to take root and flourish – both in-district and across districts and states.
  • We will explain not only a process to choose an evidence-based approach but the network supports to implement effectively over a four year period

Webinar 2:


The Current Challenge – this webinar will review the following key issues:

  • Low graduation rate high schools and their feeders
  • How many, where are they and what is their profile
  • Why are they so hard to change?
  • How this project mitigates against those challenges.
  • Why ESSA represents an unprecedented opportunity
  • The money available for school improvement and how to access it.

Webinar 3:

The RFP and the Community of Support – this webinar will review the following key issues:

  •  Review history of education and why we have a subset of schools where the greatest challenges are concentrated
  • Why TDS and AASA came together on this
  • Our goal of creating a shared community of practice around improving our most challenged secondary schools in the ESSA era.
  • The Four Levers of Change in traditionally low performing schools
  • What the evidence says about how best to pull them
  • Description of the AASA Precon on February 13
  • Elements of the RFP to be issued at that Precon

Webinar Presenters are:


Sr. Research Scientist and Co-Director of Center for Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Director Everyone Graduates Center at JHU School of Education

Executive Director, Talent Development Secondary