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ERIC Number: ED526783
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 197
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 44
Achieving Dramatic School Improvement: An Exploratory Study. A Cross-Site Analysis from the Evaluation of Comprehensive School Reform Program Implementation and Outcomes Study
Aladjem, Daniel K.; Birman, Beatrice F.; Orland, Martin; Harr-Robins, Jenifer; Heredia, Alberto; Parrish, Thomas B.; Ruffini, Stephen J.
Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, US Department of Education
This exploratory study describes approaches to improving schools through retrospective, in-depth qualitative case studies. To select schools to be examined, the authors sought to identify Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) schools demonstrating two distinctive patterns of improved student achievement between 2000 and 2005, rapid-improvement (i.e., schools that made quick and dramatic improvements in student achievement over a one or two year time period) as well as slow-and-steady (i.e., schools that made noteworthy student achievement improvements but over a four or five year timeframe). This process led the authors to study 11 schools. This report provides examples of how some schools appear to be achieving noteworthy gains in student outcomes; while achieving these gains appears to be relatively rare, there also appears to be multiple ways to do so. This study points to the dynamic settings in which many low-performing schools operate and the need for ongoing investigation of how schools can achieve impressive results and sustain them in constantly changing environments. Researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in recent years have paid much attention to the scientific search for "what works" to improve schools and turn them around. This study's findings draw attention to the fact that turning schools around is not just about adopting a set of effective or promising practices. It is about recognizing that "one best system" does not exist--that no single approach can guarantee improvement in a particular school. It is also about implementing practices well, while at the same time navigating and adapting to a constantly changing landscape. Appended are: (1) Detailed Methodology; (2) Data Collection Instruments; and (3) Site Abstracts. (Contains 56 exhibits and 32 footnotes.)
Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, US Department of Education. Available from: ED Pubs. Education Publications Center, US Department of Education, NTIS, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Tel: 877-433-7827; Fax: 703-605-6794; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development (ED), Policy and Program Studies Service
IES Cited: ED565615