ERIC Number: ED370220
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
The Power of Coalition: A Comparative Study of Two School Reform Projects.
Stapleford, Thomas A.
This paper chronicles the organizational life of two high schools in the northeastern United States as they responded to the national impetus for change. The study used a methodology employing ethnographic field study methods including field notes, interviews, and artifact collection and analysis. Riverside High pursued a locally initiated change strategy through a new administrative team hired by the school board. Centreville High's participation in Re:Learning, a nationally based reform movement, was catalyzed by a group of veteran teachers who sought to overcome a reluctant building administrator. Both schools created teaching teams and opportunities for active student learning and took decision-making actions through committee structures that involved faculty, parents, and community members. However, within the context of the Criteria for School Restructuring, Centreville accomplished more than did Riverside. Committee work at Centreville was based on Coalition of Essential Schools principles, and Riverside was forced to rely on the limited resources and vision of the school's administrative staff. Participation in the national Re:Learning effort enabled Centreville to more closely achieve the real school change envisioned in the Criteria, whereas the lack of a coherent schoolwide reform blueprint relegated Riverside to fundamentally artificial, structural changes. (Contains 111 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).