NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED532057
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Lessons Learned in Systemic District Reform: A Cross-District Analysis from the Comprehensive Aligned Instructional System (CAIS) Benchmarking Study
Waters, Louise Bay; Vargo, Merrill
Springboard Schools
Urban district reform has been hampered by the challenge of understanding and supporting the tremendous complexity of district change. Improving this understanding through actionable, practice-based research is the purpose of this study. The authors began the study with the hypothesis that achieving districts both align their instructional systems (standards, curriculum, instructional strategies, professional development, and assessment and data) and their systems to support instruction (accountability and planning, human resources, specialized student supports, use of funds, technology and governance) around a powerful equity goal and a clear vision of teaching and learning. This basic framework is laid out in Defining a Comprehensive Aligned Instructional System (CAIS) by Louise Bay Waters (2007). The purpose of the CAIS Benchmarking Study was to delve deeply into exactly how districts accomplish this alignment. Over the two years of the study, we have found that, indeed, the CAIS Study districts did focus on structural alignment, but that they also placed considerable emphasis on the development of organizational cultures that enabled them to address issues of equity and instructional quality in ways that many districts can't. These cultures were critical in sustaining the change process long enough for reforms to move from the cabinet to the classroom or to scale from a pilot to the district as a whole. [This report was made in partnership with the Stupski Foundation.]
Springboard Schools. Available from: Pivot Learning Partners. 731 Market Street Suite 400, San Francisco, CA 94103. Tel: 415-644-3400; Fax: 415-644-0213; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Springboard Schools
Identifiers - Location: California; Illinois; Maryland; Washington