ERIC Number: ED480210
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
When Theory Hits Reality: Standards-Based Reform in Urban Districts. Final Narrative Report.
David, Jane L.; Shields, Patrick M.
In 1996, the Pew Charitable Trusts gave 4-year grants to seven urban school districts to help implement standards-based systemic reform. Several times each year, researchers conducted interviews to track progress in their reform efforts. This report synthesizes findings across all 4 years of the Pew Network. Overall, Network sites worked hard to put standards and assessments in place and attempted to create sustainable accountability systems. They all encountered difficulties, including considerable turnover of top leadership and changes in the direction of state policies. A central finding was that the core components of standards-based reform (standards, assessments, and accountability) did not do a very good job of communicating high expectations of students, providing information to guide instructional improvement, or motivating widespread instructional change beyond test preparation. Where there were districtwide changes in instruction, district leaders had communicated a clear set of expectations for instruction through curriculum adoptions or other frameworks, and they had backed up their expectations with intensive professional development. Districts that significantly expanded and revamped their professional development had to make major shifts in priorities, budgets, and staffing. Districts and states dedicated disproportionately more resources and attention to identifying failures than prevention or assistance. (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Accountability, Change Strategies, Curriculum Development, Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, Student Evaluation, Teaching Methods, Urban Schools
For full text: http://www.sri.com/policy/cep/edreform/pew.html#reports.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia, PA.
Authoring Institution: SRI International, Arlington, VA.