Cascading Scorecards to Achieve Continuous Improvement: The Oxford School District’s Journey
At our annual education leadership conference, What’s Right in Education, Superintendent Bradley Roberson shared the transformative continuous improvement journey of the Oxford School District. Confronting challenges in an inflexible system, Roberson works to shift from ambitious goals to practical strategies. The process involves cascading the strategic plan through scorecards and action plans, ensuring engagement and validation across all levels. This innovative approach challenges traditional educational norms and yields substantial positive outcomes, including enhanced student performance and a highly engaged educational community.
Bradley Roberson, superintendent of the Oxford School District in Mississippi, shares a compelling story of educational transformation in his district. Faced with the challenge of improving the district’s performance, Roberson emphasized the importance of moving beyond lofty goals to focus on the systemic changes required for success. He stressed the principle that “you do not rise to the level of your goals; you fall to the level of your systems,” underscoring the need to build effective structures and processes.
Roberson described the implementation of cascading a scorecard and action plan process, inspired by working with Studer Education and the Nine Principles® Framework. This involved translating the district’s strategic plan into actionable goals at various levels, from the district down to individual teachers. The iterative process of testing actions in short cycles, scaling successful ones, and refining strategies contributed to a culture of continuous improvement.
Bradley highlights the importance of a positive mindset, emphasizing the value of embracing the journey and celebrating small wins along the way. “Vulnerability is required… it’s messy work,” says Roberson. He urges educators to embrace vulnerability, face hard truths, and most importantly, to “go slow to go far.” The district’s commitment to an improvement mindset, evident in improved engagement scores and academic progress, serves as an inspiring example for educational leaders seeking transformative change.
A systematic, continuous improvement approach, from district-level scorecards to individual teacher action plans, has the potential to revolutionize organizations. The takeaway is clear – it isn’t always just about reaching the goal; it’s about falling in love with the process of improvement and celebrating the journey every step of the way.
By fostering a mindset that values strategic assessment and regular reflection, educational leaders can pave the way for innovative thinking and transformative decision-making.
Being intentional in planning aligns teams, focuses efforts, and ensures transparency, allowing for a dynamic and responsive district strategy.
Embrace proactive measures, like monthly meetings and scorecards, to drive progress. By consistently evaluating performance, addressing challenges collaboratively, and maintaining transparent communication, schools and districts can cultivate an environment of continuous improvement.