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Theory of Action

​​Fresno Unified School District

Theory of Action Committee

June 13, 2007




This Theory of Action is based on the Core Beliefs and Commitments of the Board of Education, including Student Learning, High Quality Instruction, Leadership, Safety, and Culture.    With high energy, potential, and expectations, everyone is committed to do whatever it takes to guarantee that every student is visible and successful.   From the “Boardroom to Classroom”, this policy describes a purposeful approach that guides our daily actions.


The Board of Education believes that this wealth of expectations along with comprehensive support will challenge and accelerate the learning for ALL students, parents, families, teachers, and leaders and result in  career ready graduates.


Theory of Action


Profound and dramatic improvements are required at all levels of the Fresno Unified School District.  This Theory of Action outlines a significant increase in expectations for all, including:


  • Aligned Instructional System.  An Aligned Instructional System is a comprehensive theory of action that is at the heart of our belief that FUSD must be redesigned to support its core business of teaching and learning in the most efficient and effective way possible.   At the core of the FUSD Aligned Instructional System is a focus on the classroom.  Foundational to this system is the alignment of student content standards and the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP), purposeful assessments, intense and specific planning, and effective targeted instruction. 

o   Standards based- this includes but is not limited to the California state content standards for students, CSTP, and the Fresno Unified standards for leaders

o   Purposeful Assessments – any challenging district curriculum must be supported by classroom based assessments of and for learning. 

·         Students are key assessment users

·         Clear and appropriate targets are essential

·         Accurate assessment is a must

·         Sound assessments must be accompanied by effective communication

o   Intense and Specific Planning – based on assessment for learning, great attention must be paid to every student’s unique learning needs.    

o   Effective Targeted Instruction –based on assessment and planning, powerful instructional approaches should be used, maximizing teacher expertise and creativity.


  • All students will be supported in reaching their individual educational goals.    Each and every student will learn to the same standards, but when necessary, reach them using differentiated time, resources, and approaches. 


  • Leadership and accountability at all levels are essential.  Leadership is not attached to specific roles or official titles.  Actions that demonstrate leadership are expected from everyone.  We support risk-taking and learning from setbacks in our support of success.  Accountability is defined as being responsible to peers and colleagues in the pursuit of learning. 


  • All learners take responsibility for their learning.  This includes students, teachers, staff, administrators, parents, families, community, Superintendent and Board.   There are content and performance standards for all learners. 


This Theory of Action outlines a significant increase in supports for all, through: 


  • Building capacity for all learners. 
    • Professional development
    • System capacity
    • Infrastructure
  • Engaging to collaborate
  • Directing resources where required 
  • Piloting new ideas
  • Empowering schools will follow demonstrated performance



The Board recognizes the need for dramatic changes and improvements throughout the entire system.   It is necessary to increase the expectations of all learners to accomplish this.  This work is about significantly improving the opportunities for all of our learners. 


Change will be deliberate and intentional.  Establishing and operating an effective, Aligned Instructional System is not simply making the current system work better.  The roles and responsibilities of every FUSD employee and community member and all processes related to our core business of teaching and learning will need to be reviewed.  Accordingly, effective change management leadership by all, supported by a comprehensive internal and external communication system, will be required.


It is the intention and commitment of the Board that this Theory of Action provides a stable, long-term framework for improving student achievement in the Fresno Unified School District.  We pledge our best efforts to continually educate the workforce, public and new Board members so that subsequent Boards will hold constant to this vision.


Constant and aggressive improvements will be pursued while recognizing it will take time for full and effective implementation.  This policy will be reviewed annually.


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