Beyond the Networked Improvement Community: Designing PLCs to Spread Learning from the Better Math Teaching Network
Inspired by the networked improvement community (NIC) concept (Bryk, Gomez, Grunow, & LeMahieu, 2015), researchers at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) launched the Better Math Teaching Network (BMTN) to address the problem of high rates of high school students disengaged from mathematics learning. Teachers in the BMTN employed
improvement science methods such as the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle to test student-centered routines that could result in deep engagement in algebra. In the fall of 2016, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation (NMEF) funded Partners for Network Improvement (PNI) to launch a developmental evaluation. The goal of the evaluation was to provide timely and actionable information to network leaders— the BMTN hub—and members, which would allow them to accelerate their capacity to meet the network’s aim.