ERIC Number: ED427991
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Reconstitution in Theory and Practice: The Experience of San Francisco.
Goldstein, Jennifer; Kelemen, Matt; Koski, William S.
This paper asserts that in the United States, states and large school districts are turning to a relatively new policy strategy, know as "reconstitution," for addressing the conditions of low-performing schools. The strategy centers around the notion of vacating the adults from a school building and starting over. The underlying question is whether reconstituted schools show long-lasting gains in student achievement. This paper explores the history and underlying theory of reconstitution as designed and implemented in the San Francisco (California) unified school district throughout the last 15 years, with a particular focus on how school communities have experienced the policy. The study points out that, having reconstituted 16 schools in 15 years, San Francisco is the seasoned veteran when it comes to reconstitution. It undertakes three tasks: (1) determines what the San Francisco Unified School District expects to achieve by employing the policy of reconstitution--that is, identifying and understanding its underlying "theories of action"; (2) offers a general theory of effective accountability, drawing on recent literature related to performance-based accountability; and (3) examines a series of recent political and policy changes related to reconstitution. The paper suggests that the experiences of San Francisco schools can illuminate a number of issues critical to the effectiveness of accountability initiatives. Contains a table, notes, references, taped interviews, and attachments that deal with philosophical tenets; indicators to identify low-performing schools; consent decree implementation; process of reconstitution in San Francisco; San Francisco's goals; and criteria used to identify schools for reconstitution. (BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California (San Francisco)