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ERIC Number: ED433990
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jun-7
Pages: 56
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Quick-and-Dirty Reform in Low-Income, Rural Schools: NSF's Appalachian Rural Systemic Initiative.
Bickel, Robert; Tomasek, Terry; Hardman, Teresa
Since 1991, the National Science Foundation has funded 59 state, urban, and rural systemic initiatives to promote achievement in math, science, and technology. The Appalachian Rural Systemic Initiative (ARSI) is a six-state consortium that focuses these efforts on low-income rural schools. A primary means of accomplishing this is a 1-day, one-school site visit, called a Program Improvement Review, done by an ARSI math or science expert. A first-hand account of the Program Improvement Review by a former ARSI expert leads to the following observations: ARSI experts construe the process of educational achievement as a thoroughly understood, relatively simple mechanism manifest in static indicators of school effectiveness. In consequence, ARSI has standardized and accelerated its Program Improvement Review process through excessively routinized observation based on short-cut procedures and unvalidated instruments. ARSI experts take their evaluation criteria for granted as embodying the one right way to teach math and science anywhere. Student responses and student-teacher interactions are irrelevant to ARSI evaluations. Departures from ARSI criteria, even in the presence of overwhelmingly favorable student performance, are negatively sanctioned. Premised on distortions and oversimplifications, the Reviews become caricatures of early 20th-century Taylorism, and are likely to undercut achievement rather than enhance it. (Contains 20 references.) (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky; West Virginia