November 10, 2021

School District Collaboration: Lessons From Districts Participating in California Education Partners’ California Language & Learning Initiative (CALLI)

In spring 2017, WestEd was engaged to conduct a formative evaluation of the California Language & Learning Initiative – a cross-district collaboration developed and supported by California Education Partners (Ed Partners). Over the next four years, WestEd staff conducted a series of interviews to advise Ed Partners on participants’ perceptions of the initiative and their recommendations for improvement. During that period, WestEd conducted focus groups with district improvement team members (35 participants in five focus groups) and with team leads (49 participants in seven focus groups) as well as individual interviews with 25 improvement team members, 12 team leads, and 14 superintendents from CALLI districts.

This brief draws on the results of those interviews to present key learning about the initiative and what districts need to do to make the most of such collaborative opportunities. Note that WestEd’s evaluation was not a summative assessment of the effectiveness of Ed Partners’ approach to continuous improvement.