ERIC Number: ED475875
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Mar
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)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Change Strategies, Disadvantaged Youth, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Excellence in Education, Faculty Development, Instructional Leadership, Limited English Speaking, Minority Group Children, Poverty, Teacher Improvement, Urban Schools
Learning First Alliance, 1001 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Suite 335, Washington, DC 20036 ($10). Tel: 202-296-5220; Fax: 202-296-3246; Web site: http://www.learningfirst.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Learning First Alliance, Washington, DC.
IES Cited: ED506645