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“Just Start”: Improvement Doesn’t Have to Wait, writes Kyle Moyer
Continuous Improvement

“Just Start”: Improvement Doesn’t Have to Wait, writes Kyle Moyer

Launched in January 2020, the Charter Students with Disabilities Pilot Community Initiative supports a networked improvement community (NIC) of 10 charter management organizations (CMOs) aiming to improve outcomes for their students with disabilities. Race and class have a compounding effect on students in special education that creates an experience gap between these students and their peers. This is why the initiative prioritizes CMOs serving a high proportion of students who are Black, Latinx, or experiencing poverty.

In honor of the final week of Learning Disabilities Awareness Month, this series spotlights early improvement stories from the field, in partnership with technical assistance provider Marshall Street Initiatives. The pilot community’s goal is to systematically improve the way we serve students with disabilities and bring these solutions back to school systems everywhere.

I fell in love with teaching partly because it was more difficult than anything I had ever done before. Early on, I realized the only way to become the teacher I wanted to be was to pay close attention to what was working, for whom, under what conditions, and then commit to a process of ongoing reflection and iteration of my practice. Years before I discovered the formal tools and principles of improvement science, I had already internalized one of its core tenets: the belief in acting, reflecting, and then acting again. I had begun my “improvement journey” without even knowing it.

Because the process of continual iteration was in service of my driving goal—to become a better teacher more capable of reliably serving the full range of my students’ needs—continuous improvement wasn’t ‘extra’; it was a non-negotiable. Once I articulated this goal for my professional development as an educator, my improvement in the classroom was no longer dependent on permission-seeking or other external factors. As educators in charge of our own classrooms (or schools), we often erect barriers to change because we do not recognize all the resources within our direct locus of control…

Read the piece here.