Framework for Building Capacity

LOCI works with schools and districts to build sustainable capacity for literacy improvement, using a research-based Framework of Capacity Assets. These assets are based on attributes of high performing systems identified by our ongoing quantitative and qualitative research. Through nationally representative administrations of our LOCI inventory (2012, 2013, 2015, 2017) we identified organizational characteristics of systems making improvements in literacy teaching and learning and developed national benchmarks for these factors. Through a series of case studies (2015-2016) of four high performing systems across the country we deepened our understanding of how districts and schools build the capacity for literacy change. The linked table provides an overview of the 11 capacity assets where we focus our work with schools and districts.

Capacity Assets Overview
  Builds Capacity Does Not Build Capacity
 1) Coherent vision
  • Stick with structures and processes, learning and adapting within a clear framework
  • No clear vision of effective instruction
  • Vision too abstract, not clearly connected to classroom practice
  • Initiative overload
  • Short timeline for success
 2) Balance of coherence and ownership
  • Teachers are involved in developing and shaping goals
  • Innovating towards a common goal
  • Site-level and classroom autonomy untethered from a shared goal
  • Vision mandated from top down, monitored for fidelity of implementation
  • Vision based on packaged approach or purchased curriculum
 3) In-house PD
  • Cycle of learning
  • Led by internal experts
  • Focus on application in context
  • Grounded in consistent vision of effective pedagogy
  • Includes time to collaborate with peers
  • Models targeted pedagogy
  • One shot
  • Reliance on external trainers
  • Focus on transmission of knowledge
  • Focus on learning to use specific strategies or products
  • Lecture-style pedagogy
 4) Time for collaboration
  • Everyone participates, on the clock
  • Time is respected
  • Agendas and routines to use time well
  • Participation is optional
  • Time is pre-empted
  • Time is unstructured
 5) Collaborative tasks
  • Tightly connected to daily instructional practice
  • Co-creation of lessons and assessments is frequent
  • Reflection grounded in examination of student work
  • Looks forward and back- how can we teach this? How did they learn it?
  • Limited to planning at the outline level
  • No continuity of learning from week to week
 6) Data work
  • Frequent and formative
  • Gets to problem solving and instructional implications
  • Teams generate/own data
  • Focused on summative assessments
  • Limited to problem identification
 7) Capacity-driven building leadership
  • Leaders learn with teacher teams
  • Leaders protect time for collaboration
  • Leaders demonstrate commitment to collaboration through consistent participation
  • Leaders pre-empt collaboration time with other work
  • Leader dictates team agendas
 8) Implementation support through coaching
  • Focused on shared vision
  • Support for effective implementation of PD
  • Fragmented, on-demand
  • Deficit model
 9) Strong collaborative culture
  • Balance of trust and challenge
  • Transparency
  • Private practice
  • Safety trumps other norms
 10) Teacher leadership
  • Formal and informal roles
  • Investment in developing leadership skills
  • Focused on leadership among colleagues
  • Limited to “input”
  • Focused on external networks
 11) Accountability
  • Defined by professionalism
  • Functions through shared responsibility
  • Defined by compliance
  • Functions through monitoring, rewards, and sanctions

Our Services

  • Benchmarking and Strategic Planning
  • Consulting
  • Professional Development
  • Summer Learning Lab
  • Instructional Leadership
  • Grant Support

About Us

We build capacity for literacy teaching and learning.

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