Giving Communities Power Over Their Schools

Updated: Feb 24


When you give communities the power to lead in our public schools, student progress follows.


Empowered teachers and principals, who have worked collaboratively with community members to develop a local vision for their school, are closing gaps more rapidly than schools that rely on the district to dictate their every move. When we trust and believe in school-level leadership, community, student, parent, and teacher vision, we are building the adaptive learning environments our students deserve.


Innovation plans, in their truest form, build a collective local vision for public schools that have the ability and freedom to adapt to the needs of their students and community. This is why we are proud to support the Innovation Plans at Lincoln and Manual High School that are being presented to the State Board of Education today.


Teachers believe in their ability to lead in the classroom and transform schools, which is shown by the overwhelming support of these plans by their own teachers. The teacher approval rate of the innovation plan at Manual High School is 95.8% and 83% at Lincoln. These innovation plans give vision and expectations around intervention, resources, and student outcomes to accelerate student progress.


And we’ve seen the transformative work of innovation plans drive student success before. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College’s innovation plan gave the principal the autonomy to build a new culturally-relevant curriculum with a focus on celebrating black excellence. At DCIS: Ford, they implemented an innovation plan that allowed the principal to make critical decisions on student literacy and launched a more intentional phonics curriculum. Not only does the data show that innovation plans are accelerating the growth of students at schools, the lived experiences of teachers, school leaders and families have shown when we are more responsive to our community and build local and adaptive support, our students achieve success.


With the approval of Manual High School and Lincoln High School's innovation plans, the schools now have the freedom to build the programming that is right for their students.