In The Zone|
As you may be aware, Mass Insight Education believes in 3 Cs that
must be present to inform successful change in persistently
low-achieving schools: capacity, conditions, and clustering. Many of
our posts focus on changing conditions or strengthening capacity.
Today, schools in the San Francisco Unified School District serve as an
example of clustering on the right track.
In 2010, SFUSD received SIG funding for 10 schools (with 9 schools funding for the following two years). The district used a cluster analysis
to sort schools based on similar features, such as number of minority
students, teacher characteristics, and school culture. This analysis
resulted in two clusters called the “Superintendent’s Zone”; one with
one high school and its feeder schools, the other with two high schools
and their feeder schools.
According to the California Department of Education, every school in this zone made “large improvements”
on state testing this year. In fact, one of the Zone high schools saw
the biggest point increase out of the entire district on API scores. As
the Zone is still in early stages, we look forward to watching future
To round it out with another C (capacity), SFUSD is also building capacity as a district as a whole through a partnership
with the Stanford University School of Education, where partners work
to build bridges between theory and practice at district schools. The
partnership focuses on access and equity, achievement, and accountability.