The Improvement Science Collaborative will focus on K-12 school improvement issues through a range of initiatives
The University of Maryland College of Education and Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) announced a new institutional partnership that focuses on K-12 school improvement issues through a range of initiatives. The PGCPS/UMD Improvement Science Collaborative will work to prepare excellent school teachers and leaders, support efforts for school improvement, advance teacher preparation programs and take a new approach to connecting research to practice.
While UMD and PGCPS have a long-standing relationship of collaborating on individual projects, this new three-year agreement represents a shared long-term institutional commitment to working together on school improvement.
Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Dr. Monica E. Goldson and UMD College of Education Dean Jennifer King Rice signed the agreement. UMD President Wallace Loh and Dr. Segun Eubanks, director of the College’s Center for Educational Innovation and Improvement (CEii), and other distinguished guests gathered today at the PGCPS Sasscer Administration Building to support and celebrate the signing of this significant partnership.
“We are committed to the success of Prince George’s public school students and teachers, and this new partnership will extend our relationship and help achieve these goals,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “We will become partners in classroom innovation and professional leadership training. It will also help increase the pipeline of Prince George’s students to the university.”
“As the state’s flagship public university, the University of Maryland is uniquely positioned to support Prince George’s County Public Schools in our efforts to improve teaching and learning,” said Dr. Monica E. Goldson, CEO, Prince George’s County Public Schools. “We are grateful for the university’s continued partnership as we work to enhance academic excellence and opportunities for higher learning across the school system.”
CEii will serve as the planning hub for the PGCPS/UMD Improvement Science Collaborative, which is based on improvement science principles that bring together researchers and experts in co-equal partnership with practitioners and school leaders to create evidence-based approaches to solving pressing school issues.
“Through this partnership, we are working to solve tough problems in schools, from addressing achievement gaps in math to high rates of absenteeism,” Dr. Eubanks said. “We are committed to research that is directly relevant to local schools’ needs, as they identify them.”
One innovative part of the partnership is a dual appointment model, where university faculty hold joint appointments in the school district, and district leaders serve on the university faculty as visiting professors or fellows. This model exists in very few locations in the country, Dr. Eubanks said, and further reflects the commitment to transform K-12 education.
The Collaborative will also focus on the preparation of high quality teachers and leaders, in line with the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission, which examined Maryland K-12 education practices, policies and funding to improve students’ college and career readiness.
“The Kirwan Commission has underscored the importance of addressing school improvement in Maryland,” Dean Rice said. “At the University of Maryland College of Education, we are excited to be on the leading edge of this work through the design of innovative teacher and leader preparation programs that are responsive to the needs of our local school systems. Through this partnership, we will create a pipeline of highly effective and diverse educators who are prepared to address issues and challenges germane to PGCPS.”
The Collaborative’s projects—some new, some pre-existing—include:
- Doctorate of Education in School System Leadership Program – in this innovative, practice-based Ed.D. model, PGCPS school system leadership work collaboratively to address a problem in their school system.
- School Improvement Leadership Certificate Program – the second class of PGCPS teachers will complete the certificate program in June 2020.
- Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Project – participation in the Improvement Leadership Education and Development (iLEAD) project.
- Professional Learning Opportunities for UMD and PGCPS Faculty/Staff.
- A Postdoctoral Network – the Network will bring together Ed.D. program graduates, along with UMD faculty and other PGCPS school leaders, to continue to address school issues and improve student outcomes in Networked Improvement Communities.
- Data Sharing and Joint Publication.
- High Quality Teacher and Leadership Preparation Programs – furthering the work of the Kirwan Commission, which focused on improving Maryland K-12 education, UMD will work to improve teacher preparation programs to meet PGCPS’ workforce needs.
- Dual Appointments between PGCPS and UMD.