Collaboration for Innovation: Advancing Equity and Excellence

CoSN and the Panasonic Foundation Offer Collaboration for Innovation, a Hybrid Professional Learning Opportunity to K-12 Educational Leadership Teams
Washington, DC
Friday, January 17, 2014

Washington, DC (January 17, 2014) –The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and the Panasonic Foundation invite K-12 district teams to participate in Collaboration for Innovation: Advancing Equity and Excellence. The hybrid professional learning opportunity will support collaboration of district/school efforts to improve student achievement that results in “each” student graduating from high school ready for college and prepared for a career. Participating leaders will join in a community with educational colleagues from across the United States to engage in facilitated cross-district learning, problem solving, and tool sharing.


“We know there are leaders in schools and school systems across the U.S. with hard-earned insights into what works best for advancing an agenda of equity and excellence in public education. The question that this initiative aims to answer is how can those reservoirs of innovation and understanding be most meaningfully linked, thus generating new synergies and avenues for the improvement of educational outcomes?” noted Larry Leverett, Executive Director, Panasonic Foundation.

The Collaboration for Innovation network will include district leadership teams, e.g., superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, curriculum, assessment and technology leaders, in a three-day face-to-face meeting and an online private professional learning community of practice (CoP). 

With a focus on advancing equity and excellence, Collaboration for Innovation will concentrate on:

  • Scaling implementation of Common Core Standards/Assessments with effective professional learning communities and online communities of practice (CoP);
  • Strengthening central office focus in service of school and student success;
  • Increasing student engagement through digital transformation in the 21st century learning environment; and
  • Fostering parental and other stakeholder engagement using digital resources.

“Collaboration for Innovation is a powerful opportunity for school system leaders to collaborate with like-minded peers around innovative strategies to foster equity and excellence. CoSN, as the premier professional association for district technology leaders, is proud to partner with the Panasonic Foundation on this important leadership initiative,” noted Keith Krueger, CoSN CEO.

A district superintendent who participated in an earlier phase of this same initiative noted, “The experience in St. Louis when we were physically together with those districts from across the country was a powerful experience. We left on a high note. That was an opportunity for me where I took some of my staff who I see as moving up and giving them that opportunity to swim in deeper waters, and that was helpful for them.”

The collaboration will begin with a three-day face-to-face meeting (March 5-7, 2014) in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), NC, to follow with the establishment of an online professional learning community of practice using Google Communities. The site visit will focus on CMS strategic work in using Common Core State Standards as a lever for advancing equity and excellence and supporting a personalized 21st century learning environment for every child. The site visit will include opportunities to take a direct look at the systemic work in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and to collaborate with educational leaders from across the country in designing a community of practice that is tailored to each participating district’s needs and priorities. Agenda activities will include visits to CMS schools, CMS presentations, team-oriented sessions, panel discussions, and multiple opportunities to network with district leaders participating in the Collaboration for Innovation network. The online CoP will continue the collaboration in the four focus areas with activities that include, but are not limited to, online discussions, related Google Hangouts between participating district teams and thought leaders, periodic touch-point conference calls, and related book studies.

"Our focus has been on the incredible shift that has to happen for classroom teachers first and foremost in terms of how they think about defining a college- and career-ready student. For us, the focus is not just on our graduation cohort. It's what those kids are prepared to do as they get a diploma and walk off the stage into their future,” said Ann B. Clark, Deputy Superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

The Panasonic Foundation continues to partner with public school districts and their communities to break the links between race, poverty, and educational outcomes by improving the academic and social success of ALL STUDENTS: ALL MEANS ALL. For over two decades, CoSN has provided technology leaders with the management, community building, and advocacy tools in support of student and school success.

The Panasonic Foundation and CoSN invite K-12 district teams to apply to participate through an online application between January 13 and February 21, 2014, using this link:

The Panasonic Foundation is able to cover the cost not to exceed 4 leadership team members for lodging (two nights), travel, and food for the scheduled Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools event. Additional team members can be included at district expense.

Collaboration for Innovation: Advancing Excellence and Equity is informed by CoSN’s Empowering the 21st Century Superintendent Leadership Initiative, the work CoSN has done around online communities of practice, and Panasonic Foundation’s experience in creating and leading the New Jersey Network of Superintendents, a community of practice.

To learn more about the network, please visit

To learn more about the Panasonic Foundation, please visit

About the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)

CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visit or call 866-267-8747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areas, annual conference and events, advocacy and policy, membership and the CETL certification exam.

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