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Quality Improvement Process


Promoting Momentum and Motivation when Implementation is Hard, and Harder

Student outcomes are more likely to be achieved when evidence-based practices are implemented with fidelity (McIntosh, Horner, & Sugai, 2009).  Seeing the positive impact of the evidence-based practices on student outcomes can promote momentum and motivation among all implementers (Andreou, McIntosh, Ross, & Kahn, 2015).  However, we know there are often barriers to implementation, particularly when implementing school-wide frameworks such as PBIS. 

Interpreting Research Volume 3: Effect sizes

This is the third entry in the interpreting research series.  The first entry focused on the anatomy of a research article and the second on research design. [WARNING! There is some discussion in this entry about statistics!]

“Wicked Problems of Implementation”: An Insight into the Challenges of Implementing Evidence-Based Practices in Schools

Implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) is critical to achieving academic, social-emotional, and lifelong success of students with disabilities (Odom et al., 2005).  EBPs found effective for students with disabilities have been identified and disseminated yet, similar to other human services fields, suffer “wicked problems of implementation” (Cook & Odom, 2013).  Hudson and colleagues (2016) sought to gain a more contextual and ecological lens on understanding teacher interpretation and implementation of EBPs by interviewing 27 special education teachers and directors of special education across four large Seattle-area school districts. Here's what they learned.


Quality Improvement Process Toolkit

  • Golden Circle Tools: The Why, How and What of the Quality Improvement Process: The concept of the Golden Circle, developed by Simon Sinek and articulated in this TED Talk ( is used by QIP Teams to ensure that their work is driven by a meaningful Why, or student outcome, and identifies Hows and Whats for the school to implement that are directly aligned to that student outcome. These tools help teams use that concept to focus in on the purpose of their improvement plan and ensure that the activities they have planned are likely to achieve that purpose.
  • RSE-TASC Explicit Instruction Walk-Through Tool: The RSE-TASC Explicit Instruction Walk-Through Tool is both a teaching tool and a data collection tool. It identifies research-based practices that have been proven to be effective for all students, but particularly effective for students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and student of poverty.
  • Simplified Explicit Instruction Walk-Through Tool: This is a simplified version of the tool above, divided into What Staff are Doing and What Students are Doing. It also includes links to video clips that illustrates what some of the Look Fors on the tool might look like.

This page is maintained by John McCabe and John Boniello, Lower Hudson RSE-TASC Special Education School Improvement Specialists. Click here to send them a question or comment.


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