ERIC Number: ED449927
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Elementary Change: Moving toward Systemic School Reform in Rural Kentucky.
Kannapel, Patricia J.; Aagaard, Lola; Coe, Pamelia; Reeves, Cynthia A.
From 1990 to 2000, a qualitative study of the implementation of the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) was conducted in four small rural school districts in Kentucky. KERA reflects key components of what would later be termed "systemic reform": a unifying set of goals that all students must attain, a coherent system of instructional guidance, and a restructured governance system. In addition, KERA has other components, such as the ungraded primary program. This book presents findings from the second phase of the 10-year study, focusing on the effects of KERA on curriculum, instruction, and student learning in six elementary schools in the four districts. In all six schools, student achievement improved, but in five schools, teachers focused more on improving whole-school performance on achievement measures than on improving the learning of each student, and had difficulty raising their expectations for low-income and minority children. KERA reforms increased classroom writing, the variety of instructional strategies, integration of subject matter, classroom computer use, and open-ended response and portfolio items for classroom assessment. However, teachers had difficulty moving beyond a teacher-directed approach, and only a few integrated technology effectively into the curriculum. Testing for accountability became the focus of the assessment system, and the KERA goal of continuous performance-based student evaluation was neglected. School-based decision-making councils did not make most key decisions as intended by KERA. The findings also note the importance of school leadership accountability goals and the need for more time for teachers in meeting school professional development. Ten appendices present KERA goals; dissemination efforts; data collection and research questions for both phases of the study; interview protocols; and characteristics of parents, students, and community members interviewed. (Contains 151 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: Community Involvement, Educational Change, Educational Needs, Educational Objectives, Educational Policy, Elementary Education, Elementary Schools, Leadership Training, Professional Development, Program Evaluation, Qualitative Research, Rural Schools, School Based Management, School Districts, State Legislation, State Standards
AEL Distribution Center, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325-1348; Tel: 800-624-9120 ($20.00).
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: AEL, Inc., Charleston, WV.
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Kentucky Education Reform Act 1990