Our Approach

Vision / mission

We envision a world in which student achievement and related life outcomes no longer correlate with race, gender, ethnicity, social class, or zip code because all students have equitable opportunities, supports, and access to quality education.

We partner with states, districts, schools, and communities to implement customized strategies and build capacity to advance equity and opportunity in K-12 education, so that all students, and particularly those who have been systemically marginalized, are prepared to achieve their academic and personal potential.

Our Belief Statements on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity: We believe that Mi will build stronger relationships, communicate more effectively, better understand existing systems and their impact, and generate better ideas if we have team and board members who share the race, genders, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds representative of the communities where we work.

Equity: We believe that Mi and its work should reflect the equity of opportunity and outcome we expect to see in the world. We use data to identify and eliminate inequities in our organizational policies and systems including team recruiting, hiring, compensation, evaluation, and retention. In our work with partners, we advance policies, structures, systems, and resources that foster equitable, high-quality education for all students.

Inclusion: We believe that Mi will be most effective if all team and board members feel that they can bring their full selves to their work. Mi makes intentional efforts to maintain a culture in which the strengths, knowledge, and skills of all are recognized, appreciated, and utilized. By empowering and engaging everyone in our organization, we can maximize our impact in schools and communities.

Theory of Action©

We seek to dramatically improve student achievement at scale by fundamentally transforming state and local education systems, structures, and policies. Our work with schools and districts is grounded in our Theory of Action, a set of deeply held, organization-wide values and commitments about school improvement based on our more than 20-year history of working with school leaders and educators. We believe that schools can substantially improve the outcomes and success of their students, particularly those who have been systemically marginalized, by eliminating barriers to student learning through a focus on:

Roll over our Theory of Action for more information

Conditions: Schools have sufficient control over people, time, money, and program to address the root causes of disparate outcomes.

Partnerships: The school develops partnerships with families and community organizations to meet the needs of teachers and students.

Leadership: The principal manages and communicates complexity while maintaining focus on the school’s vision, key priorities, and the success of all students.

Planning: Evidence-based, actionable improvement plans prioritize meeting the needs of all students and are informed by a review of existing conditions and input from school, district, and community stakeholders.

Performance Management: Consistent processes are utilized to monitor and measure plan implementation and outcomes, determine what’s working, and inform efforts to improve.

Collective Responsibility: The school faculty and staff demonstrate collective responsibility for both the quality of instruction and the learning and success of all students.

Instruction: Processes and supports continuously help teachers work together to improve and refine standards-based instruction so that all students can access and engage in rigorous learning.

Design-based Consulting

Design-based Consulting

We work with you, not at you.
Our approach builds from our Theory of Action and includes district and school supports. We don’t approach school improvement with just a single model in mind. Rather, we work with school leaders, educators, community members, families, and students to develop an approach to school improvement that is responsive to local needs and strengths. Our field-tested approach starts with asking questions to understand context and conditions before building coherence, capacity, and network learning opportunities for our partners. We help our partners establish clear goals and metrics, build internal capacity, and ensure the sustainability of improvement efforts.
Network Learning

Network Learning

Network learning is about developing and maintaining connections and communicating to support one another’s learning. We facilitate networks to advance new thinking and best practices about school improvement at the district and state level and practice improvement science: an applied science that emphasizes innovation, rapid-cycle testing, and scaling successful practices through disciplined, rigorous inquiry to generate learning about what changes, in what contexts, produce improvements.


Changing lives and changing schools is hard work. We partner with classroom educators, school and district leaders, and state policy makers across the country to provide leadership in closing the opportunity gaps that are holding too many students back. By leveraging our partners’ strengths, we help educators change lives and change schools. This strength on strength approach helps build confidence and long-term success.