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ERIC Number: ED384991
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
Improving Schools from the Bottom Up: From Effective Schools to Restructuring. Final Report.
Shields, Patrick M.; And Others
This document presents findings of a national study of effective schools programs and other school-based reforms conducted during school year 1991-92. The reforms were broadly defined to encompass school-site improvement efforts designed to develop schoolwide capacity for problem solving, to improve teaching, and to increase student learning. Data were obtained from a survey of a nationally representative sample of local school districts (n=1,555), surveys of administrators in all state education agencies, and intensive case studies of 5 states, 16 districts, and 32 schools. Data from the district survey show that school-based reform was relatively widespread, occurring at all school levels. The case-study data suggest that change efforts varied widely across districts and schools. The study examined the degree to which the reform effort involved meaningful collaboration among school staff, staff ownership of the change process, a focus on teaching and curriculum, building professional capacity among staff, and a focus on student outcomes and equity. The case-study data suggest that the more promising examples of school-based reform often shared a set of characteristics--a clear focus on creating more challenging learning experiences for all students, a school culture in which teachers worked collaboratively and had a voice in decision making, and opportunities for faculty development. The following recommendations are made for supporting promising reform efforts: (1) find a balance between top-down and bottom-up structures; (2) adapt leadership and vision at every level of the system; (3) build local capacity-building systems; (4) devolve some authority to school staff; and (5) clearly tie government mandates and requirements to learning goals. A total of 32 tables and 1 figure are included. Appendices contain notes on methodology and copies of the survey instruments. (LMI)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Educational Improvement, Effective Schools Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Aid, School Based Management, School Culture, School Districts, School Effectiveness, School Restructuring, School Support, State Aid, State Surveys
U.S. Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop: SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-9328.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC. Office of the Under Secretary.
Authoring Institution: SRI International, Menlo Park, CA.