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ERIC Number: ED475875
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Mar
Pages: 104
Abstractor: N/A
Beyond Islands of Excellence: What Districts Can Do To Improve Instruction and Achievement in All Schools. A Project of the Learning First Alliance [and] A Leadership Brief.
Togneri, Wendy; Anderson, Stephen E.
This study, based on an examination of five improving high-poverty school districts, identified key factors to improving instruction across entire school systems. All of the participating districts had seen a rise in poverty over a decade, had experienced significant changes in ethnic and racial makeup, and had seen increases in the percentage of English as a Second Language students. All of the districts had also demonstrated improvement in academic achievement as measured by test scores across grades, subjects, and racial/ethnic makeup. Researchers visited each district twice during the academic year 2001-2002, collecting data via interviews and focus groups with education stakeholders, observations of professional development efforts, examination of documents, and field notes. Seven factors emerged as essential to improvement: acknowledging poor performance and seeking solutions; using a systemwide approach to improving instruction; instilling visions that focused on student learning and guided instructional improvement; making decisions based on data, not instinct; adopting new approaches to professional development that involved a coherent, district-organized set of strategies to improve instruction; redefining leadership roles; and committing to sustaining reform over the long haul. Two appendices contain research methodology and district achievement data. Included is a leadership brief that summarizes findings and recommendations. (SM)
Learning First Alliance, 1001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Suite 335, Washington, DC 20036 ($10). Tel: 202-296-5220; Fax: 202-296-3246; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Learning First Alliance, Washington, DC.
IES Cited: ED506645