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ERIC Number: ED461945
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Oct
Pages: 53
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Evolution of the New American Schools: From Revolution to Mainstream.
Mirel, Jeffrey
This document describes the history of the New American Schools (NAS) organization from establishment in 1991 as the New American Schools Development Corporation (NASDC) to its present form. The organization requested proposals, received hundreds of applications, and ultimately selected 11. The successful proposals shared many ideas and assumptions rooted in the progressive education movement of the early 20th century, including whole-school reform. Unfortunately, design teams varied in the progress they made in participating schools because of the variety of programs, divisions in school communities, and resistance to change. Scale-up did occur along with a change in scope of operation. NAS ceased to operate as an agency committed to operating outside the constraints of Washington and became an institution with deep roots inside the Beltway. Evaluations of reform designs found mixed results with no dramatic achievement gains. In June 2001, the Memphis superintendent abandoned the district's involvement with whole-school reform after a survey showed no gains in student achievement and, in some cases, declines. It is presently difficult to assess the impact of the NAS initiative considering the variety of programs, a pervasive push to maintain the status quo of education, and cases of poor implementation and problematic evaluation. (RT)
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, 1627 K Street, NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 888-823-7474 (Toll Free); Fax: 202-223-9226; e-mail: For full text:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Washington, DC.