How do school leaders build a collaborative, cohesive culture to ensure high quality learning for all students? This book provides a practical, succinct guide for educators on “how” the core elements of the accreditation process can unite a school in its transformative, continuous improvement journey. The authors explain “what is accreditation” and elaborate on using the core elements for schoolwide involvement and collaboration in determining the effectiveness of a school’s program and systems and the impact on student learning through a perpetual cycle of assessing, planning, implementing, monitoring and reassessing.
The authors clarify the “why” of accreditation and provide case studies of schools that have used accreditation as a coherent framework to build the capacity for change. The lessons learned from many educators embracing accreditation also provide further insights. Readers will deepen their understanding of how the accreditation process honors educators’ desire to be self-directed in their passion for learning and well-being for all students. They will understand how accreditation builds and strengthens the trust, engagement, ownership and dialogue among all, viewing the school as a professional learning community. Educational leaders will value the book for its realistic approach to connecting the dots of leadership, coherence, continuous improvement through accreditation.
Barry R. Groves is the President of the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). He received his doctorate from the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University and has published and talked extensively on the topic of school accreditation.
Marilyn S. George, Executive Vice President of the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), has actively been involved in all aspects of accreditation that support school change for almost 40 years. Her doctorate (Ed.D.) from UCLA addressed the areas of school improvement, professional development, curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
Chapter 1. Introduction to Connecting the Dots
Chapter 2. What Is Accreditation?
Chapter 3. Setting the Stage: A Brief Historical Perspective
Chapter 4. Why School Accreditation?
Chapter 5. Accreditation Process: Guiding Principles and Core Elements
Chapter 7. Leadership: Using Accreditation as a Tool for Building Capacity
Chapter 8. Five Examples of Successful Accreditation Implementation
Chapter 9. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in School Accreditation
Chapter 10. Lessons Learned: Accreditation as a Continuous Improvement Process
Chapter 11. Accreditation Questions and the Future
Through Connecting the Dots George and Groves make an important contribution to the literature on K-12 school accreditation. What is it? How did we get here? How is being used effectively to improve outcomes for students? These are important questions that, unfortunately, too many policy makers and school leaders couldn’t answer – until now! Especially encouraging is the light that they shine on the role that accrediting agencies and accreditation processes can play in helping member schools improve the school experiences and outcomes for students of color. Connecting the Dots is an excellent reference for anyone interested in peer supported continuous improvement efforts. Bravo!
Connecting the dots” is a phrase that captures the essence of an institution’s challenge to engage in ongoing improvement and quality assurance. Marilyn George and Barry Groves describe in a straightforward manner the 132-year history of accreditation, its mission, purpose, and impact ensuring that institutions around the world can effectively and efficiently evolve with changes in society, the way we work, live and play. As modern society continues to desire that every institution improve student learning, accreditation remains a vital, stable, and sustainable experience that helps every institution pursue its stated goals and meet the needs of an ever-changing student population. This book is a valuable resource for policy makers and practitioners in their quest to improve educational experiences for all children.
Connecting the Dots shows how an accreditation process, rather than being a bureaucratic hassle, can simultaneously serve both accountability and school improvement goals. Veteran educators Barry Groves and Marilyn George focus on the ‘why’ of accreditation to demonstrate the ways in which the process can bring vital coherence to school practices, promote student learning and foster school-level professional development. This book offers concrete evidence about how an accreditation process can accomplish these objectives as well as grounded advice on collaborating with a visiting committee to further continuous improvement. It’s an essential resource for school leaders.
When done well, accreditation serves as a catalyst for school improvement and transformation. In their book, Connecting the Dots, Groves and George offer a clear and compelling argument for the role of accreditation in accountability and school growth. By continually placing student learning at the center, this book offers a celebration of how the accreditation process inspires affirmation, assessment, and change. This book is a must read for educational professionals as it covers relevant topics such as wellbeing, child protection, DEI, capacity building, data, and managing change. The authors haven't just connected the dots, they have uncovered and aligned the dots in this insightful handbook that will serve students, school communities, school leaders, board members, and the general public in enacting transformative change.