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ERIC Number: ED506731
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 143
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
A Formative Study of the Implementation of the Inquiry Team Process in New York City Public Schools: 2007-08 Findings
Robinson, Marian A.; Kannapel, Patricia; Gujarati, Joan; Williams, Hakim; Oettinger, Andrea
Consortium for Policy Research in Education
During the 2007-08 school year, the New York City Department of Education launched the second phase of its ambitious and innovative initiative known as "Children First." Ultimately, this initiative aims to intensify the focus by all educators on student performance and in doing so to stimulate the development of evidence-based cultures at all levels of the system. This report provides formative feedback on the implementation of an important new component of Children First called the "Inquiry Team process." The Inquiry Team initiative was rolled out in all 1,450 city schools in the summer of 2007 after being piloted in Empowerment Schools in 2006-07. Under this initiative, schools are expected to establish small "Inquiry Teams" of teachers and administrators charged with examining the performance problems of small, select target populations of students with the goal of identifying instructional "change strategies" that will improve their performance. Through this process, these small teams are expected to make use of performance data and other information to diagnose and monitor student learning and to make recommendations for changes in any aspect of their school to help close the achievement gap for these target populations of low-performing students. Commissioned in April, 2008, the goals of this qualitative study were to provide quick formative feedback to the Department to help strengthen the Inquiry Team process and the quality of supports available to schools. The study focused on two key aspects of the process: (1) how schools, specifically team members and principals, have implemented the Inquiry Team process and (2) how the new external support organizations and personnel have approached supporting school-based teams. Data supporting this report come from interviews with principals and Inquiry Team members and team observations in 41 schools as well as interviews with affiliated SSO (school support organizations) Network Leadership and Department Senior Achievement Facilitators (SAFs) charged with providing support to the Inquiry Teams. Information from interviews and observations reveals that the vast majority of schools in this study made substantial progress implementing the Inquiry Team process in 2007-08. By the time of the study, late in the school year, the great majority of team members understood the purpose and steps of the Inquiry Team process in ways that closely matched the Department's vision. The majority of schools had worked through the steps of the process with fidelity, and had seen the positive results of their work. A large majority of team members found the process to be of value, and had begun making plans for continuing or expanding the work in 2008-09. Eight recommendations were formulated based from the findings of the study. Six appendixes are included: (1) Data Collection Protocols: School Level; (2) Data Collection Protocols: External Support Structure; (3) School Profile Data Summary Template; (4) Inquiry Team Composition; (5) Team Progress Towards Their June 2008 Learning Goals; and (6) Department Plans to Strengthen the Inquiry Team Process for 2008-09. (Contains 9 tables and 4 figures.) [Funding for this study was provided by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and the Robertson Foundation.]
Consortium for Policy Research in Education. University of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market Street Suite 560, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Tel: 215-593-0700; Fax: 215-573-7914; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Policy Research in Education
Identifiers - Location: New York