In this working paper, Joanne Weiss shows how schools can seek continuous improvement. She shows that schools need a combination of strong performance pressure, flexible control over the money available for instruction, and close attention to evidence about student growth. She emphasizes the importance of rich information about school context, resource use, and student performance and of technology that enables educators and administrators to observe and analyze the sources of performance variations. With rich information and a determination to use it to drive resource allocation decisions, the knowledge base in education will grow astronomically.
School and district leaders can know what different programs or teacher investments cost and whether or not they are working. They will also have access to comparable evidence from other schools and from research and can therefore find promising methods to replace unproductive ones.