Despite their best efforts, we have seen many struggling school districts stuck in the status quo. Our work with districts across the country has revealed urgent needs for coherent, rigorous, and well-managed strategies to improve achievement. It has also uncovered a consistent pattern: struggling districts often lack the capacity to execute real and sustainable innovations to pull out of their decline. We have developed a solution to help states and districts as they seek to turn around chronically failing school systems.
Complex problems require comprehensive solutions, and in transformational reform, context matters. Cross & Joftus works in partnership with districts and their stakeholders to analyze and develop plans for reconfiguring core systems – instructional, human capital, finance and operations, data, and others – so that they work together to support the district’s overarching goals. Engaging with stakeholders early helps to ensure that plans are viable and have broad-based support. Focusing on coherence, integration, and best practice ensures that they are effective.
If district staff do not have the right mix of skills and expertise, even the best-laid plan will not translate to improvement. We go beyond a written strategy to focus where many planning initiatives drop off—execution. We provide near-term support and build the long-term capacity of district staff to ensure that plans become realities.