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Leadership’s Vital Role in Sustaining Improvement Plans


In every school organization, there is a need to have continuous improvement plans that are aimed at improving the quality of the education system and student performance. As noted by Doss et al. (2020)) school improvement programs, including the CIP change, have been at the Centre of American school reform for over two decades. The changes are because every institution aims to improve its education delivery levels while in line with the changing era of technology. This essay aims to review the continuous improvement plans in schools, their effectiveness, leadership responsibilities that can enhance their effectiveness, how to ensure they are effective and sustainable, and the resources needed, if any.

Effectiveness and sustainability of Action Plans

According to Doss et al. (2020), the continuous improvement plans in schools have been found to have doubters that include the teachers and the school administrators. For instance, Doss et al. (2020) highlighted that in a RAND survey, some teachers and principals had doubts, and others believed that the plans led to changes in education methods and teaching practices. The data collected indicated that 44% of teachers and 67% of the principals involved in the study believed in the changes. In comparison, 62% of the teachers and 81% of the principals believed that the continuous improvement plans would effectively enhance teaching and learning practice within five years. In addition, the teachers with more knowledge about the continuous plan believed more in its effectiveness. Therefore, it can be noted that significant factors to enhance effectiveness of the continuous improvement plans are to increase the knowledge of the plan of the teachers and encourage them to have a positive belief in the plan’s success (Doss et al., 2020). For instance, the knowledge of the continuous improvement plan should be delivered to teachers effectively by involving the teachers in the planning stage. The belief is dependent on their other colleagues’ and leaders’ knowledge and motivation that the plan will be successful.

In discussing the data to show the improvement or effectiveness of the continuous improvement plan implementation, the essay discusses the results from the Park et al. (2013) study. According to the study by Park et al. (2013), the results indicated that in the School District of Menomonee Falls (SDMF), there was a 100% graduation rate in 2011 associated with the continuous improvement plans implementation in the classrooms. This was an improvement from the past years, as data from 2007-2010 indicated that there was also a reduction in the number of students registering minimal basic scores (Park et al., 2013). For instance, in the fifth grade of SMDF, there was a decrease in the mathematics grade students attaining minimum basic scores from 16% to 8% and with continued implementation of the continuous improvement plans. The significant improvement plan used by the SDMF is the continuous improvement initiative in the classrooms where the schools were required to enhance classroom use to ensure that effective teaching and learning are achieved. For instance, the first approach was training, supporting, and helping teachers understand the continuous improvement plan. Doss et al. (2020) highlight that the teachers’ knowledge is essential in achieving success by implementing a continuous improvement plan. This involved ensuring the teachers understand the continuous improvement tool or plan and how to incorporate it into the curriculum and teaching programs, especially in planning lessons and practical classroom teaching. In reporting the results to the relevant stakeholders, the relevant stakeholders were the school principals and then the district education officials. For instance, in the Park et al. (2013) research, the staff members wrote a report on implementing the continuous improvement plan. They presented it to the school administrators, who forwarded it to the district educational officials. Therefore, as a continuous improvement plan is being implemented in many schools, ensuring positive staff morale and maintaining the knowledge of the plan to the teachers, the plan’s effectiveness is imminent.

Leadership, Faculty, and Staff Role Promoting Change and Sustaining the Results

Leadership is fundamental in ensuring an effective change and sustaining the positive results of the continuous improvement plan. Lunenburg (2010) highlighted the importance of the principal in ensuring the implementation and effectiveness of school improvement plans. He stated that the principals play a role in promoting all students’ learning and academic success. For instance, Lunenburg (2010) further described that focusing on learning and encouraging collaboration among teachers ensured effectiveness in learning. The collaboration can extend to the involvement of teachers in the decision-making of the continuous improvement plan. Also, in bringing improvement inside the classrooms, the teachers should collaborate with the students to ensure effective implementation (Doss et al., 2020). Change is an essential aspect of implementing the continuous improvement plan. According to Park et al. (2013), the changes in various fields, such as the curriculum, instructions, assessment, and technology, required overseeing leadership. For instance, the district-level heads would ensure the successful implementation and offer all the resources required to implement the continuous improvement plan effectively.

Moreover, to ensure the sustainability of the results, Park et al. (2013) proposed that there is a need to maintain high-quality systems and metric culture. This is effective by ensuring that the leaders, faculty, and staff members instructionally and systematically maintain the continuous improvement plan’s standards, culture, and principles. Additional resources for ensuring sustainability will be ensuring that they use data in formulating the continuous improvement plans as they will be performance-based (Lunenburg, 2010). Furthermore, Srivastava et al. (2020) claimed that authentic leadership helps maintain a sustainable higher education. Similarly, the leadership should ensure that they communicate effectively with the students since they are the main stakeholders and are affected directly. Changes are not always easy to adopt, and not every student will be open to the change in the CIP for many reasons .majorly according to Doss et al. (2020), students or young teenagers tend to disapprove of change at first, even without any probable cause. This defiance can be because change is not always comfortable, and improvement, especially in a learning environment, tends to be followed by more strict rules and accountability on everyone’s end, in addition to the leadership promoting the changes. Resources are needed as well to fuel the campaign and support the implementation. Moreover, for the change to be effective, time is needed mainly for the students and teachers to familiarize with it. At this time, the leadership is advised to involve the teachers in gathering more input from the students, and an open-ended as well as a closed-ended questionnaire will be used, which requires resources.


Continuous improvement plans are essential in learning and maintaining higher academic performance for students. The leaders, faculty, and staff play a significant role in ensuring the sustainability of the implemented positive changes. Similarly, since changes are paramount in any organization, as in the education system and faculties such as the campus, the leadership needs to ensure that the changes implemented are effective. For a CIP to be effective, it has to be sustainable and easily absorbed by all the stakeholders, including the parents, teachers, other faculty employees, and mostly the students, not only the leadership. The leadership should also have a well-defined plan to ensure a smooth or less dramatic transition and additional resources at the most convenient.


Doss, C. J., Akinniranye, G., & Tosh, K. (2020). School Improvement Plans: Is There Room for Improvement?

Lunenburg, F. C. (2010, September). The principal is the instructional leader. In National Forum of Educational and Supervision Journal (Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 1-7).,%20Fred%20C.%20The%20Principal%20as%20Instructional%20Leader%20NFEASJ%20V27%20N4%202010.pdf

Park, S., Hironaka, S., Carver, P., & Nordstrom, L. (2013). Continuous Improvement in Education. Advancing Teaching–Improving Learning. White Paper. Carnegie Foundation for the advancement of teaching.

Srivastava, A. P., Mani, V., Yadav, M., & Joshi, Y. (2020). Authentic leadership towards sustainability in higher education–an integrated green model. International Journal of Manpower41(7), 901-923.


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