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ERIC Number: ED501370
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 103
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
School Improvement Planning: What's Missing? A Center Policy Report
Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA
Few would argue against the idea of planning and implementing improvements to the nation's schools. This report contends, school improvement planning processes have frequently not been conceived in ways likely to produce desired learning outcomes for many students. The analyses presented in this report focus on a lack of attention to how schools do and do not address barriers to learning and teaching. Planning guides reviewed for this report stress meeting the demand for standard-based and result-oriented school improvement primarily by elaborating on prevalent thinking about school practices, rather than considering fundamental systemic change. With a view to broadening the focus of planning, the report includes a set of guidelines for a comprehensive component to address barriers to learning and teaching. These guidelines provide a template for assessing what tends to be missing in school improvement planning guides. The report also outlines major problems with the ways schools currently address learning, behavior, and emotional problems. Six major recommendations are discussed: (1) Every school improvement planning guide should have a focus on development of a comprehensive, multifaceted, and cohesive learning supports system which is fully integrated with plans for improving instruction at the school; (2) Guidelines for school improvement planning should delineate the content of an enabling or learning supports component; (3) Guidelines for school improvement planning should incorporate standards and accountability indicators for each area of learning supports content; (4) Guidelines for school improvement planning should specify ways to weave school and community resources into a cohesive and integrated continuum of interventions over time; (5) Guidelines for school improvement planning should include an emphasis on redefining and reframing roles and functions and redesigning infrastructure to ensure learning supports are attended to as a primary and essentialcomponent of school improvement and to promote economies of scale; and (6) Current initiatives for program evaluation and research projects should be redesigned to include a focus on amassing and expanding the research-base for building and valuating such an enabling or learning supports component, with a long-range emphasis on demonstrating the component's long-term impact on academic achievement. Reforms in Hawaii and Iowa are described to illustrate movement in the recommended direction. Five appendixes include: (1) Summary of Analysis of New York City's School Improvement Planning Guide (Performance Assessment in Schools System wide -- PASS); (2) Summary of Analysis of the Boston Public School's School Improvement Planning Guide (Essentials of Whole-School Improvement); (3) Guidelines and Quality Indicators for the Draft of Standards for an Enabling or Learning Supports Component; (4) Hawaii's Quality Student Support Criteria and Rubrics; and (5) Fulfilling a Promise, Investing in Iowa's Future: Enhancing Iowa's Systems of Supports for Learning and Development. (Contains 4 figures.)
Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA. Department of Psychology, Franz Hall, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Box 951563, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1563. Tel: 310-825-3634; Fax: 310-206-8716; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Office of Adolescent Health (DHHS/PHS); Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (DHHS/PHS), Rockville, MD. Center for Mental Health Services.
Authoring Institution: University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Mental Health in Schools
Identifiers - Location: Hawaii; Iowa; Massachusetts; New York