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School Design

Leveraging Talent, Time, and Money

The growing urgency to design schools that work, coupled with crippling state and local budget reductions, means it is more important than ever to make investments where it really matters. Our work has led to the discovery that the opposite is occurring: We see multiple examples of district operations and practices that perpetuate traditional school structures, creating barriers to the vision of excellent and innovative schools designed to meet the unique needs of their particular students. These misalignments are anything but intentional, but they require a deliberate, focused effort to identify the size of the problem and to correct it.

This guide offers practical guidance for school districts to remedy specific resource misalignments that prevent the effective implementation of strategic school designs.

  • Use the Self-Assessment to determine whether your district is achieving the goals of strategic school design and portfolio management.
  • Learn more about the effective allocation of talent, time, and money and the causes of misalignment between resource allocation and strategic goals.
  • Apply the methodology detailed in the worksheets in this guide to figure out the extent of the misalignments in your district.
  • Identify action steps you can take.
  • Determine your priorities for reallocating resources and leveraging federal dollars.

Download School Design (PDF)

Also, consider checking out the other Practical Tools for District Transformation we have available:

  • Seven Strategies for District Transformation
  • Resource Check
  • School Funding Systems: Equity, Transparency, Flexibility
  • Turnaround Schools: District Strategies for Success and Sustainability
  • The Teaching Job: Structuring for Quality


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