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ERIC Number: ED481804
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Aug
Pages: 53
Abstractor: N/A
Bringing the District Back in: The Role of the Central Office in Improving Instruction and Student Achievement.
Mac Iver, Martha Abele; Farley, Elizabeth
This literature review examines the functional tasks of the school district central office and the internal dynamics of relations between the central office and district schools (with their principals, teachers, and students). It builds on previous reviews of the role of school boards and superintendents. The review begins by analyzing studies of the central office more or less chronologically (since the late 1970s). Next, it examines the more recent studies by type of study, and then it proceeds to a more functional analysis of the roles of the central office with respect to improving instruction and student achievement, focusing on: decision-making about curriculum and instruction; supporting good instructional practice (high reliability recruitment of principals and teachers, professional development for principals, professional development for teachers, physical capital/material resources, and linkages between professional development and achievement); and linking evaluation research to district policymaking. The review concludes by outlining the kinds of research that still need to occur to further understanding of how the district, and in particular, central office activity, influences student achievement. (Contains 178 references.) (SM)
Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk, Johns Hopkins University, 3003 North Charles Street, Suite 200, Baltimore, MD 21218. Tel: 410-516-8800; Fax: 410-516-8890; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk, Baltimore, MD.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A