On the Design and Implementation of Practical Measures to Support Instructional Improvement at Scale

Learn about two efforts to design and implement practical measures of science and mathematics teaching to inform school and district instructional improvement efforts.


Bryk, A. S., Gomez, L. M., Grunow, A., & LeMahieu, P. (2015). Learning to improve: How America's schools can get better at getting better.
       Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Yeager, D., Bryk, A. S., Muhich, J., Hausman, H., & Morales, L. (2013). Practical measurement. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of
       Teaching. Stanford, CA.

In contrast to evaluative research that uses accountability measures, improvement science research (Bryk, Gomez, Grunow, & LeMahieu, 2015), using practical measures is designed to provide practitioners with frequent, rapid feedback that enables them to assess and adjust instruction during the process of implementation. The resulting data is potentially of use to multiple stakeholders. For example, practical measures can orient teachers to attend to key aspects of the classroom that might be invisible to them. At the same time, the data can support school and district leaders to make decisions regarding where to target limited resources to support instructional improvement.

The goal of this session is to share tools and processes to support practitioners in engaging in systematic, disciplined inquiry to improve the implementation of ambitious teaching. In particular, the session will focus on the design and use of practical measures (Yeager, Bryk, Muhich, Hausman, & Morales, 2013) that support key aspects of science and mathematics instruction.

Two projects will share their work, highlighting successes as well as challenges faced. One will focus on the process researchers and practitioners developed to design a set of practical measures focused on improving the quality of discussion. The second project will focus on the implementation of practical measures within a Networked Improvement Community, especially the routines and tools used to engage practitioners and researchers in analyzing and acting on the resulting data. Participants will then join small groups (organized by focus of projects’ work) to engage in discussion regarding the focus and types of practical measures that might be most appropriate for their respective instructional improvement projects.

Session Types
Presenter Names for Agenda

Kara Jackson, Jessica Thompson