out its work with schools and school systems, Perry and Associates adheres to a set of
guiding principles. Some are inherent in its theory of change while others
reflect lessons learned from both scientific research and years of experience
in facilitating educational improvement:
• Promoting equity is at the heart of true
educational reform. It is not enough for
student achievement to improve overall. We measure our success by the
extent to which those students who are traditionally at risk of educational
failure meet high standards.
• For change to be implemented and sustained, it must
be systemic. Change requires a common vision, systemic
initiatives and communication that is top-down and bottom-up – i.e., from
boardroom to classroom and from classroom to boardroom. Vertical alignment ensures
that everyone in the system understands what is expected and is working towards
a common goal.
• Since no two districts or schools are the same,
customization is important. We do not use a “one-size-fits
all” approach. We tailor our assistance to local needs and priorities, and one
of the first steps in almost all engagements is an in-depth needs assessment to
identify the nature of the problem and establish clear direction.
• Building organizational capacity is the key to
ensuring sustainability. Through
long term, three-to-five year engagements,we work to build learning organizations that support continuous school
improvement and sustain the ability of schools and school systems to grow and
develop over time.
• Since educators value the advice and support of
peers, it is critical that technical assistance providers have first-hand
experience as well as scientific knowledge of what works. Our
staff and consultants have proven leadership at the district or building level.
and Associates draws from a team of consultants and full time staff based throughout
the United States who have practical experience and success in improving
teaching and learning. We begin conversations with lead associates
by visiting potential partner districts and schools for on-site
assessment and dialogue. After forming a partnership, we configure
teams with associates who can meet the specific needs of schools
and districts. George Perry leads the teams.