SchoolWorks is a community dedicated to building the capacity of educators to improve student achievement and well-being. Making sustainable change possible is a cycle of effort. The SchoolWorks team’s journey has led it full circle through that cycle of assess, plan and achieve.
In 1998, Schoolworks was founded by Ledyard McFadden, who led the company until 2019. SchoolWorks began its work with an emphasis on assessment services. Working for charter school authorizers and departments of education, SchoolWorks conducted charter renewal site visits and district school reviews for accountability purposes. From these beginnings, SchoolWorks assessments have broadened and deepened to include formative school reviews, such as our work with KIPP, program evaluations and case study development.
With assessment services at the core of our work, SchoolWorks has a culture committed to using criteria based on effective practices, making statements based on evidence and reporting what we learn in a way that values and respects the efforts of educators. Having assessed and documented the work of thousands of schools, we never forget that the challenge of evaluating the work pales in comparison to the challenge of doing the work.
By 2005, SchoolWorks conducted a broad range of assessments on a national basis. The company’s success begged the question of next steps toward our commitment to make an impact. A natural extension of the assessment work was support for improvement planning. Today, SchoolWorks plays an partnership role in helping schools, districts and charter networks develop meaningful improvement plans. Many of our school quality reviews now progress directly into supported improvement planning. Our work with turnaround districts in Massachusetts ensures that district progress is rooted in a clear and achievable plan.
As our journey has continued, the SchoolWorks Team has expanded from assessment and planning to achievement services. Our leadership coaches work hand-in-hand with districts and schools to do the hard work of improving student achievement and wellbeing. Across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, SchoolWorks provides Support Facilitators to District and Regional Assistance Centers. Our journey continues with exciting new projects, ranging from charter application review in Louisiana to developing video case studies of Common Core implementation in New York. We continue to grow and learn with our clients. We continue to ask how we can build the capacity of educators to advance all aspects of student learning and well-being.