Borrowing from the past 100 years of quality control science, The Albany Promise commits itself to using continuous improvement—using local data to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of processes and actions. This process can take many forms, most of which follow the plan-do-check-act diagram below.
Continuous improvement is critical to the work since many outcomes are the result of multiple indicators working together or against one another. Without constant attention to each part of the puzzle, we will never see population-level change. Continuous improvement also helps to uncover the most impactful practices, so that we can expand what works to more students.
The cycle of continuous improvement gives us a reliable process to define problems, test interventions, and analyze the results—all very quickly. The work may never seem “done,” but we’re able to see results instantly, and make adaptations and course corrections when necessary. After all, with a long way to go until all our children are succeeding, it’s nice to know we’ve got a sound process for getting there.
Simply put, we need continuous improvement to become the best at getting better.