In recent years, school leaders have debated what, if anything, schools can glean from the way businesses are run. Should schools be managed like business organizations? And to what extent?

Now, three educator-researchers are sharing their findings on the topic as they wonder if classroom teachers can use successful, proven business strategies to run their classrooms better and increase both student happiness and engagement.

Kelly Kosuga at Alpha Public Schools, Rebecca Weissman and Linda Rogers at Redwood Heights Elementary School, and the advisory team at Khan Lab School, identified highly-regarded business organizations and identified strategies that successful managers in those organizations use to create positive cultures and productivity.

Three common strategies emerged: empowering teams and avoiding micromanagement, being great coaches, and emphasizing accountability.

The educators set out during the spring 2016 semester to figure out how those three strategies translate to the classroom. Each educator used different approaches in their research.

(Next page: Putting principles into practice)