ERIC Number: ED480452
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Closing the Achievement Gap: Urban Schools. CSR Connection.
Porter, Kathleen; Soper, Stephanie
This report reviews efforts to reform urban schools, focusing on initiatives in Tennessee and California as examples from which distric leaders may draw useful lessons. The report suggests that comprehensive school reform (CSR) offers promise to struggling urban schools by focusing on transforming the academic climate, school culture, and curriculum to meet the particular needs of students and teachers. Schools most likely to engage in CSR are those that need radical reform (i.e., high poverty schools facing incoherent organization, poor leadership, ill-qualified teachers, racial tension, conflicting reform efforts, and limited resources). The report examines the attempts and failures of piecemeal reform (e.g., class size reduction), then goes on to discuss CSR as an integrated approach to urban school reform. Four aspects of urban school reform that can either foster success of CSR or derail it are: the school's vision and reform plan, the school's community capacity, support from the school community, and aligned policies and priorities. The paper concludes that schools and districts should be encouraged to complete a thorough needs assessment to determine their own strengths and weaknesses and to find the strategy that best fits their needs, culture, and climate. CSR offers the chance to make positive curricular, academic, discipline, and policy changes with the most potential to improve students' chances of success. (Contains 18 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Change Strategies, Educational Change, Educational Environment, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Parent Participation, Poverty, Public Schools, School Community Relationship, School Culture, School Districts, Urban Schools
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform, Washington, DC.