ERIC Number: ED467506
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
The Story of the Appalachian Rural Systemic Initiative.
St. John, Mark; Carroll, Becky; Tambe, Pamela; Broun, Samantha
In 1995, the Appalachian Rural Systemic Initiative (ARSI) was awarded a 5-year grant to improve performance in mathematics and science in a 66-county area in central Appalachia through high-quality, standards-based teaching supported by aligned, coherent local and regional systems. The ARSI model has three levels. The first level entails local reform and leadership development, involving local schools, districts, and communities. The second level consists of ARSI services and supports, which involve learning support services provided to districts by resource collaboratives located at five universities in Appalachia. The third level is the ARSI administration and planning level. ARSI contributions have been mainly in two areas. The first has been in building local district capacity for ongoing improvements by developing local leaders and a shared vision, aligning resources, creating a reform infrastructure, examining district policies, and developing resource collaboratives. The second area involves the quality of classroom instruction. Since ARSI has been aimed primarily at the professional development of lead teachers and district leadership, it seems reasonable that its influence would trickle down slowly into many classrooms. However, visible examples of good teaching are emerging. Of 54 classroom lessons observed, 40 percent were rated at the beginning stages of effective instruction and 11 percent displayed exemplary instruction. Yearly themes in the chronology of the project's 5 years are: laying the groundwork, establishing key resources in the region and districts, the changing vision of the role of technology, emergence of program improvement reviews as key strategy, and development of district-wide leadership teams. Challenges and suggestions for the future include sustaining the progress already made, developing community understanding and support, working within state contexts, and strengthening curriculum. (TD)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Community Involvement, Curriculum Development, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Faculty Development, Leadership Training, Mathematics Education, Partnerships in Education, Rural Education, Science Education
For full text: http://www.inverness-research.org/reports/arsi_story/storyarsi.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.; Appalachian Rural Systemic Initiative, Lexington, KY.
Authoring Institution: Inverness Research Associates, CA.