Case study
Practice brief

Exploring Improvement Science in Education

Promoting College Access in Fresno Unified School District
Jorge A. Aguilar
Sacramento City Unified School District
Michelle Nayfack
California Education Partners
Susan Bush-Mecenas
Northwestern University


California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) requires districts to report multiple measures of student performance that reflect success in the goal of preparing students for college, career, and citizenship. As they engage in the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) process, they are expected to use state and local indicator data from California’s School Dashboard to monitor student progress. When Dashboard indicators identify student subgroups as low performing or low growth, districts are encouraged to engage in a process of continuous improvement to develop strategies and then monitor their effectiveness. At this early stage of implementation, education leaders have an opportunity to learn from early adopters who are already using continuous improvement principles. In this case study, we share how Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) developed and utilized its data dashboard and the principles of Improvement Science to increase college access for their students, in partnership with the University of California, Merced.

Suggested citationAguilar, J. A., Nayfack, M., & Bush-Mecenas, S. (2017, June). Exploring improvement science in education: Promoting college access in Fresno Unified School District [Practice brief]. Policy Analysis for California Education. promoting-college-access-fresno-unified-school