ERIC Number: ED476940
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Limits and Contradictions of Systemic Reform: The Philadelphia Story.
Corcoran, Tom; Christman, Jolley Bruce
This report examines Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's Annenberg Challenge, Children Achieving, a districtwide systemic reform initiative designed and led by a small core group of district officials and external partners. It was organized around eight core strategies (fair funding, standards, accountability, decentralization, leadership and support for teachers and principals, better coordination of resources, civic and parent engagement, and the all at once philosophy). A combination of factors contributed to Children Achieving's failure to produce sustained improvements and deep changes in practice and included flaws in the theory of action itself, flaws in implementation, lack of capacity, and behavior inconsistent with underlying beliefs and values. Reformers encouraged stakeholders to believe that standards, accountability, and decentralization would result in improved student performance, but this did not occur. Lessons learned include: content standards and accountability measures offer a foundation for instructional change, but produce results only if teachers are given the time and support needed to develop high-quality curricula and alter their classroom methods; curriculum-based, sustained professional development is essential to instructional change; and too much reform can overload schools and teachers. Two appendices present additional reading on Children Achieving and research methodology. (Contains 28 endnotes(SM)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Accountability, Community Involvement, Decentralization, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Instructional Leadership, Parent Participation, Public Schools, Resource Allocation, Urban Schools
Consortium for Policy Research in Education, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market Street, Suite 560, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3325. Tel: 215-573-0700; Fax: 215-573-7914; Web site: http://www.cpre.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia, PA.; Annenberg Foundation, St. Davids, PA.
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Policy Research in Education, Philadelphia, PA.; Research for Action, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.