About Us

We are an institute changing the way schools think about improvement.

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WE BELIEVE THAT IMPROVEMENT SCIENCE IS A SIMPLE YET POWERFUL TOOL FOR ACCELERATING IMPROVEMENT IN SCHOOLS.

 

OUR VISION

There is a gap that exists between our aspirations for schools and their current performance, especially in schools serving high numbers of economically disadvantaged students. And yet, significant reform efforts have rarely delivered on promised outcomes. We’re here to change that. Rather than going fast and learning slow as in the typical reform effort, we are advocating for a fundamental shift in how we think and do improvement work in schools. We’re learning fast to implement well while creating the know-how necessary to improve the actual day-to-day work in classrooms and schools.

 
 
 

OUR STORY

School Performance Institute (SPI) launched as the learning and improvement arm of the nonprofit United Schools Network on July 1, 2017 with start-up grant funding support from the W. G. and Patricia M. Jurgensen Fund of The Columbus Foundation, The Columbus Foundation and the AEP Foundation. From the start, our core purpose has been to seek out, study, and spread school design and improvement best practices to high poverty schools. We are combining what we’ve learned on more than 120 school visits across the country with our experience running four high-performing, high-poverty public charter schools in Columbus, Ohio to improve outcomes for the nation’s most underserved students.

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OUR VALUES

Our core values are essential to accomplishing our mission. They define what, how, and why we do what we do. Living these values is essential to our school improvement work.

GET PROXIMATE.
DO THE RIGHT THING.
THINK SMALL, START SMALL.
FIND THE BRIGHT SPOTS.
BE HUMBLE, SHARE GENEROUSLY.

 
 
 
 
 

UNITED SCHOOLS NETWORK

The network started as a single school in 2008. Since then, it has grown into a small, urban school district with two elementary schools, two middle schools, and an alumni services program serving students and families in the Franklinton and Near East Side neighborhoods of Columbus, Ohio. United Schools Network (USN) was launched in 2014 as the the nonprofit hub for the four schools with the ambitious mission of transforming lives and communities through the power of education. Through a combination of intensive teacher training, high expectations, and continuous improvement mindset, USN provides low-income families with an excellent education option.

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WHAT WE DO

 
 
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WE ADVISE ON AND HELP MANAGE COMPLEX IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS

Leaders face a daunting task when they’re confronted with complex improvement needs. Utilizing our experience leading high-poverty, high-performing schools, we partner with schools to provide both advisory and project management services to help them through improvement projects.

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WE PROVIDE ACCESS TO A POWERFUL SCHOOL VISIT EXPERIENCE

Seeing a high-performing, high-poverty school in action is a transformative experience. Through our Study the Network workshop, school leadership teams spend the day studying and discussing the improvement essentials in a school with a strong culture, ambitious instruction, and efficient operations.

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WE HELP SCHOOLS PUT THE IMPROVEMENT ESSENTIALS IN PLACE

The improvement essentials form the foundation for school improvement. We help schools purposefully improve in five essential areas: human capital, curriculum planning, lesson delivery, school & classroom procedures, and school culture. Without this foundation, improvement is far less likely to happen.

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