ERIC Number: ED427057
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Lessons in School Reform: An Evaluation of a University-operated Charter Middle School.
Dannis, Jacqueline; Colombo, Marie; Sawilowsky, Shlomo
The Wayne State University Public School (UPS), Detroit (Michigan), a university-operated charter middle school, is strongly influenced by the educational reform movement. The evolution of UPS is documented as a case study of educational reform in the 1990s, focusing on the 1994-95 school year. The school is in an urban area marked by poverty and crime. It has implemented an extended-day format and provides educational and enrichment activities from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. The school also provides counseling and medical services through grant-funded projects. The 340 students in the 1994-95 school year, nearly all of whom were African American, came from all over Detroit. The school had an "adhocratic" organizational structure, with an organizational structure that empowered teachers. Teachers developed their own classroom curricula, and the lack of development of an innovative, interdisciplinary, school-wide curriculum was sometimes apparent. Student achievement at UPS varied significantly, with improvements linked to teachers' experience with middle school students and the teachers' ability to keep students engaged. Parents appeared to be satisfied with UPS, and students particularly appreciated the feeling of safety in the school. In line with current educational reform, the UPS has developed an innovative organizational structure that allows for flexibility and responsiveness to student needs, empowered teachers for decision making, and worked in collaboration with a university. Implications for additional improvements are discussed. Three appendixes discuss the evaluation instrumentation and methodology, the parent, staff, and student survey responses, and Wayne State University and UPS collaborative programs. (Contains 7 figures, 5 tables, and 30 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wayne State Univ., Detroit, MI. Coll. of Urban, Labor, and Metropolitan Affairs.