ERIC Number: ED500852
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Apr
Reference Count: 17
Integrating Districts in Comprehensive School Reform in the Middle-Grades: Lessons from Middle Start CSR
Academy for Educational Development
This report compares district leaders' perspectives on changes in school capacity, student outcomes and district policy over three years of implementation of Middle Start (MS), a comprehensive school reform program to demonstrate the potential for improving the effectiveness and sustainability of CSR at the school level through integrating districts more effectively into the school-CSR program partnership. Middle Start CSR is a school improvement program focused on improving teaching and learning in the middle-grades and seeks to foster academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, and social equity in schools through the implementation of four core principles: (1) reflective review and self-study; (2) effective small learning communities; (3) rigorous curriculum, instruction, and assessment; and (4) distributed leadership and sustainable partnerships. The report is based on a study sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as part of a larger three-year qualitative study of 19 rural and urban high-poverty schools in 13 Michigan districts from 1999 to 2002. The author worked with a team of researchers to document coaching strategies, school-based planning and implementation, changes in school structures and leadership, instructional approaches, social supports for students, and social and academic outcomes in all 19 schools, and conducted intensive case studies of four of these schools over the three years. The findings of this study show that the majority (9 out of 13) of district leaders became highly supportive of Middle Start CSR's work in their middle-grades schools over the three years of implementation despite very little contact with CSR program staff such as Middle Start school improvement coaches.
Descriptors: School Restructuring, Grades (Scholastic), Improvement Programs, School Districts, Leadership, Attitudes, Educational Change, Teaching Methods, Academic Achievement, Poverty Areas, Qualitative Research, Longitudinal Studies, Change Strategies
Academy for Educational Development. 1825 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009-5721. Tel: 202-884-8000; Fax: 202-884-8400; Web site: http://www.aed.org/ToolsandPublications
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Middle Schools
Sponsor: Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.
Authoring Institution: Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Michigan