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ERIC Number: ED471239
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Feb
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
The Need for District Support for School Reform: What the Researchers Say. Research Brief.
Appelbaum, Deborah
This article focuses on the school district's role in implementing Comprehensive School Reform (CSR). Research shows that effective district support for CSR varies from district to district. This is due, in part, to the fact that many prior models bypassed the district, operating under the belief that reform would be more effective if it targeted individual schools. Reformers now know that district support is an important component of CSR. Such support becomes essential when CSR models try to assume some of the traditional roles of districts, such as professional development and curriculum support. A district's role in reform can take many different forms, ranging from an ideological commitment to policy components. Most important, districts can institutionalize change and empower schools to make decisions. Such decision-making can be particularly important since mandated reforms often disappear when new leadership in a school takes over. However, when reforms are generated by the schools, then staff members are more willing to make the program succeed. Such cooperation is also important when addressing the continual training of district professionals. Meshing a CSR model's professional-development plan with an extant district plan can be challenging, and a district's cooperation is essential to ensure that gaps in the development plans do not emerge. (RJM)
National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform, 2121 K Street N.W., Suite 250, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 877-766-4277 (Toll Free); Fax: 877-308-4995 (Toll Free); e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform, Washington, DC.
Note: This brief is the product of conversations over a two day period with the Network of Researchers, the principal investigators of CSR studies (Washington, DC, October 25-26, 2001).