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Sebring P. & Montgomery, N. (2014). The Five Essential Supports for School Improvement: Mobilizing the Findings. Pensamiento Educativo. Revista de Investigación Educacional Latinoamericana, 51(1), 63-85.
In 2010, the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (UChicago CCSR) released a book that established the importance of five organizational domains in improving student outcomes in public elementary schools. These “five essential supports” highlighted the combined importance of school leadership, professional capacity, parent-community ties, a student-centered learning environment, and instructional guidance. Schools strong on clusters of these supports were 10 times more likely to improve learning of reading and mathematics, compared to schools weak in these supports. Building on the original research, designers and researchers created a set of survey-based diagnostic tools that allow educators to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their own school in the five essential supports. Based on these results, principals, teachers, and parents can craft an evidence-based narrative and diagnosis about their school and develop action plans to strengthen these organizational practices. This paper details the underlying research, the creation of the diagnostic tools, and the use of the diagnostics to support school improvement.