The term continuous improvement has been part of the lexicon of school improvement for decades. From state accountability systems and district and school improvement plans to teacher and classroom protocols, continuous improvement practices have been replicated at various levels of scale throughout our educational system. Yet all evidence suggests this universally recognized practice has failed to fulfill its promise. That is particularly true in high-poverty schools, where the ZIP code remains as strong a predictor of student success as it was a half century ago, before school improvement gained prominence.
By Mark A. Elgart, Ed.D.