October 2020

Closing the Achievement Gap

By Adam Hayden

Evidence-Based 8-Step School Improvement Methodology to Meet the Needs of All Students 

Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to widen the achievement gapBriljent is providing training and technical assistance on the 8-Step School Improvement Process, a research and evidence-based K-12 school improvement system funded by Title I grants with demonstrated success across the nation. For over 22 years, Briljent has developed and delivered custom learning solutions for large organizations and government agencies—including the Department of Education, corporate, and non-profit clients. Serving others is at the core of our business, and we are eager to come alongside teachers and administrators to meet the needs of all learners. 

 Highlights: 

  • The novel coronavirus has disrupted life around the world, including disruption to K-12 education 
  • The achievement gap threatens to widen as schools prepare to reopen during the current pandemic 
  • Briljent has developed solutions for several education projects, including ISTEP, IREAD, ILEARN, ISTAR, ISRPOUT, On My Way Pre-K, Indiana Early Childhood Education, Indiana Teacher Licensing, and the Illinois SAT 
  • Our senior learning consultants each have more than 20 years’ experience designing, developing, and implementing learning solutions 
  • Briljent follows an evidence-based 8-step School Improvement methodology that addresses both equity and excellence for teaching and learning through quality tools and strategies 
  • Our solution is delivered by a team of former principals and administrators, each with over 35 years of public education experience, and each of whom successfully implemented the 8-Step Process in their own schools 

Introduction 

The novel coronavirus, or SARS-Cov2, and the disease it leads to, COVID-19, has disrupted life around the world and close to home: shuttered businesses, unprecedented economic fallout, rapid transition to remote work for many companies, and disparate risk to “essential” workers, many whose jobs do not afford the flexibility of remote work, are among the most obvious impacts to our daily lives, and these are only the tip of the iceberg. 

 The public health crisis has stratified risk groups, placing folks in aging populations, lower socioeconomic categories, folks experiencing housing insecurity, people with preexisting conditions, and lower-wage workers at greater risk for contracting the virus that spreads easily in communities that live and work in close quarters. Further, for myriad reasons, Americans of color are witnessing their communities suffer disproportionate illness and loss of life. The breadth of societal issues is vast, and the solutions are complex. 

 The impact to K-12 education 

While our country moves to re-open businesses safely to jumpstart economic recovery, there are few considerations closer to home for parents and guardians than to protect the health of their children, including navigating a return to schoolSchools provide education but the contribution to the health of our communities stretches far beyond simple instruction. Facilitating healthy social development, addressing food insecurity, and providing safe spaces for kids to be themselves are a few of the resources our schools provide. 

The mitigation strategies to suppress the community transmission of the novel virus included ceasing in-person instruction and transitioning to virtual content delivery, or e-learning. Yet for working parents and guardians, especially those who cannot work from home, or for those without reliable access to the internet, often kids in the same communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, virtual learning is a sub-optimal solution. Parents and guardians must prioritize work and earnings to ensure the health and safety of their families, and so these parents and guardians are not available to guide their children through virtual learning. The outcome threatens to widen the academic achievement gap. 

This leaves us asking, how can we meet all students’ needs and close the achievement gap caused by COVID-19? Many educators are asking this same question. We understand the challenges facing schools as they reopen, and we’re here to help. 

The 8-Step School Improvement Process 

Briljent is providing training and technical assistance on the 8-Step School Improvement Process, a research and evidence-based K-12 school improvement system funded by Title I grants with demonstrated success across the nation. The 8-Step Process is designed to close achievement gaps and meet the needs of all K-12 students in all schools, including at-risk kids from areas of high poverty and low achievement.  The 8-Step Continuous School Improvement Process is based on Effective Schools Movement research, Total Quality Management principles, and the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Continuous Improvement Cycle. The 8-Step Process addresses both equity and excellence for teaching and learning through quality tools and strategies. It is designed to improve the performance of all schools, including K-12, diverse, at-risk, and all areas of high poverty and low achievement, including Title I Schools. 

Brilliant qualifications

For over 22 years, Briljent has developed and delivered custom learning solutions for large organizations and government agencies—including the Department of Education, corporate, and non-profit clients—in all 50 U.S. States and 6 territories. Briljent has delivered over 2.5 million hours of training to tens of thousands of learners, and we are committed to making a difference for schools, teachers, and students across the nation. 

Briljent project managers understand that throughout the course of a project, the needs and goals may change, and the approach may require adjustments. We are a nimble organization, and we deliberately design our learning solutions to easily adapt to changing needs and requirements. 

Briljent’s professional services staff brings over 300 years of collective experience in learning projects. Our team is composed of lifelong learning professionals, including experts in instructional design, K-12 education, higher education, adult and workplace learning, e-learning and media development, technical writing, training facilitation, performance support, and learning technologies. All of these represent core competencies of our business. Our senior learning consultants each have more than 20 years’ experience designing, developing, and implementing learning solutions. The Briljent team holds multiple industry certifications in instructional design and training facilitation. 

At Briljent, serving others is at the core of what we’re all about, and we are eager to come alongside teachers and administrators to put a plan in place to meet students’ needs. Download our 8-Step School Improvement Overview document to learn more about our services. 

Adam Gulla
Business Development Manager
agulla@briljent.com

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