National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools

For Practitioners

Welcome! This section of the website is dedicated to providing you—principals, school coordinators, and teachers—with information on the activities of the National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools (NCSU).

NCSU is examining the combination of essential components of successful high schools and the programs, practices, processes and policies that make some high schools in large urban districts particularly effective with low income students, minority students, and English language learners. We then work with district and school design teams to develop processes to scale up these practices to high schools in the district. NCSU is currently in its seventh year of working with our partner districts—Fort Worth Independent School District and Broward County Public Schools. While the timelines in each district are a bit different, the process has been the same. View Our Model for a detailed description of the Center’s work.

The work began by conducting intensive case studies of four high schools in each district. The schools were selected based on school-level value-added data. Those data were analyzed to identify the practices that differentiated higher performing high schools. Read about the main findings from the work in Broward and Fort Worth.

In the second phase of the project, a District Innovation Design Team (DIDT) was created to take the findings from the first phase and develop an innovation to scale up the practices that differentiated higher performing high schools. The DIDT is comprised of teachers and/or administrators from three initial high schools who are the first to implement the innovation, administrators or teachers from other high schools in the district, district central office personnel, researchers, and intervention development specialists. After an initial outline of an innovation was designed by the DIDT, School Innovation Design Teams (SIDTs) were created in the three initial high schools to further develop the innovation. During this process, the SIDTs engaged in a continuous improvement process to develop, pilot, and refine the innovation. Read more about the design process and how we use continuous improvement processes.

In 2014-2015, each district begins full implementation of the innovation in three high schools. Implementation is led by the SIDT in each school, and progress is reviewed quarterly at a joint meeting of the SIDTs. In 2015-16, each district began scaling up the innovation to more schools.

Click here to learn about teacher and administrator experiences with NCSU

You can also view a video about teacher and administrator experiences with our design process.

Click here to learn about current research activities and what we need from your school