Dr. Douglas L. Ragland
Retired Superintendent of Schools
Continuous Improvement in Public Schools
My understanding of strategies, collaborative activities and new ideas for planning continuous school improvement centers around culture, curriculum, planning, collaboration and implementation. First and foremost a culture of beliefs, understanding and agreement amongst professionals and stakeholders must be established in developing goals and objectives for success for students and educators. This sets the foundation for curriculum, planning, collaboration and implementation. Secondly, curriculum in terms of meeting the needs of students and simultaneously getting the desired outcomes in terms of success, must be developed as a result of the assessment, analysis and needs of the students, as well as the professional development of the teachers and administrators in the areas of student achievement. Thirdly, planning is a key component in continuous improvement in terms of setting benchmarks for students individually and collectively in developing goals and objectives, and creating professional development for respective staff members in developing their competencies in the area of student achievement. Fourthly, collaboration with all stakeholders in terms of communication and everyone being on one accord in the process of creating strategies for success, is key. It is very important to get perspectives of classroom teachers, administrators in K-12 and postsecondary education, parents, business leaders, community leaders and all stakeholders supportive of education. These perspectives bring to light concerns, positives, needs, outcomes, and expectations which are key components in the planning process and success of students and educators. Lastly, implementation should occur via executing, monitoring, and assessing the aforementioned in order for success to occur for all students and professionals individually and collectively. This is in essence my understanding of strategies, collaborative activities, and new ideas for continuous improvement.