What is central office transformation and why is it important?

The resources on this page highlight that central office transformation involves the fundamental redesign of all central office practices and systems to ensure they work together in support of excellent, equitable teaching and learning.

What is Central Office Transformation?

Central Office Transformation: Leading for Performance

Quick Links


How Districts Can Support Deeper Learning (2015)

This report reflects our most recent research on central office transformation.

Beyond the Policy Memo: Designing to Strengthen the Practice of District Central Office Leadership for Instructional Improvement at Scale (2013)

This chapter argues for the importance of design-based leadership research (DBLR) for advancing the research and practice of educational leadership, with a focus on school district central offices.

From Tinkering To Transformation: Strengthening School District Central Office Performance (2013)

Our research in the form of an Education Outlook published by the American Enterprise Institute in 2013.

Central Office Transformation for District-wide Teaching and Learning Improvement (2010)

This report documents our first and foundational research on central office transformation.


Central Office Transformation Readiness Assessment--Version 1.0.

One piece of the Central Office Transformation Toolkit–a self-assessment for central office leaders to help them gauge their current work in relation to the three main areas of Central Office Transformation.

Full Central Office Transformation Toolkit

The full version of the 2013 toolkit we produced in conjunction with the Center for Educational Leadership, including three tools for districts as they work towards Central Office Transformation.


A lost generation of school kids because of COVID-19? Not so fast, education experts say (2020)

An article from The News Tribune considering learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what short-term and long-term implications there will be for students.

Phi Delta Kappan: What a difference a district can make (2018)

An interview with Meredith Honig about how district central office staff can play critical roles in improving schools and ensuring student success.

EdWeek Commentary: Connecting Principals to School Districts' Top Academic Priorities (2015)

EdWeek interviewed the Chief Academic Officers in a number of districts using our work.

Reculturing the Central Office (2014)

An article in School Administrator co-authored by the superintendent of one of our partner districts.