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ERIC Number: ED477869
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Aug
Pages: 53
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Contradictions and Control in Systemic Reform: The Ascendancy of the Central Office in Philadelphia Schools.
Foley, Ellen
In 1995 the School Board of Philadelphia adopted Children Achieving, a systemic reform initiative. This report is an evaluation of that reform. The report examines the role of the central office and describes its evolution over the course of the program. The first section recounts how conflicts arose over theories of systemic reform, underlying beliefs and values of reformers, and the new role of the central office in the reform plan. The second section examines the capacity of the school district to effectively support the reform and discusses the contextual issues that affected implementation. The evaluation used data on student test scores, promotion and graduation rates, and student and teacher attendance; school indicators describing teacher and student characteristics; and surveys and interviews of teachers, students, administrators, central-office staff, parents, and community members. The report concludes that Children Achieving was neither an unbridled success nor an irredeemable failure. Test scores improved, standards and curriculum frameworks were created for every grade, and accountability measures were designed. At the same time, flaws in the implementation, lack of capacity building, and inconsistency by stakeholders over the values underlying the reform led to the reform's demise. (Contains 92 footnotes.) (WFA)
Consortium for Policy Research in Education, 3440 Market Street, Suite 560, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3325. Tel: 215-573-0700; Fax: 215-573-7914; e-mail:; Web site: For full text:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia, PA.; National Inst. on Educational Governance, Finance, Policymaking, and Management (ED/OERI), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Policy Research in Education, Philadelphia, PA.