The Path to Instructional Excellence and Equitable Outcomes explores District of Columbia Public Schools’ innovative approach to supporting teaching instruction, called Learning Together to Advance our Practice, or LEAP.
LEAP is based on research that has found the most effective professional learning is school-based and content-specific, grounded in the instructional materials and strategies that teachers will use with their students.
Takeaways from the report include the following:
- Teacher effectiveness increases through professional learning cycles focused on student content and instructional materials.
- Implementing high-quality instructional materials is complex and requires intensive support for educators.
- Alignment of an instructional vision throughout a system is bolstered through collaboration with an external assistance provider.
- Key enabling conditions for success include a plan for intentional scaling and intentional development of leaders throughout a system.
- Educators who implemented LEAP with high fidelity saw marked improvements in student results.
LEAP was created through a partnership with Leading Educators, a professional learning nonprofit technical assistance organization. After two years of district capacity building and gradual release of design and implementation, the district has expanded the LEAP program to include teachers in all 116 DCPS schools.