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ERIC Number: ED547664
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Pages: 25
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Building District Capacity for System-Wide Instructional Improvement in Cincinnati Public Schools. Working Paper. GE Foundation "Developing Futures"™ in Education Evaluation Series
Sam, Cecile; Riggan, Matt
Consortium for Policy Research in Education
This report summarizes findings from one component of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education's (CPRE) evaluation of the General Electric Foundation's (GEF) "Developing Futures"™ in Education program in Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS). The purpose was to closely analyze district capacity to support system-wide instructional improvement. Specifically, this phase focused on a single, overarching question: to what extent has the district central office adopted and institutionalized the core principles of "Developing Futures"™? To answer this question, this evaluation assesses the Cincinnati Public School District's progress in scaling up and institutionalizing seven core elements of "Developing Futures"™: (1) Internal constituency engagement; (2) External constituency engagement; (3) Curriculum and instruction; (4) Professional development for instruction; (5) Professional development for leadership; (6) Management capacity; and (7) Evaluation. These seven reform elements were identified through a review of GEF program materials and documentation, and through a close analyses of each districts' reform trajectory over the life of the grant. Based on a thorough review of the research and evaluation literature, a set of indicators was constructed to allow the research team to determine the extent to which there was evidence of effective practice in each of these seven areas. Each area was decomposed into a set of more specific, observable characteristics. Research instruments were designed to elicit evidence of these characteristics in descriptions of central office processes, functions, or overall capacity. Ratings were then assigned to each characteristic based on the prevalence of available evidence using a three-point scale: (1) Strong implementation; (2) Moderate implementation; and (3) Weak implementation. This report provides ratings for CPS for each indicator and its component characteristics, along with qualitative and survey evidence illustrating and supporting the ratings. Overall, CPS has made significant progress in building system-­wide capacity for instructional improvement by facilitating collaboration, involving all stakeholders in planning and decision-­making, clarifying instructional expectations, and building a robust professional development system. The evidence suggests that instructional practice remains inconsistent in some cases, and that shifting standards and summative assessments pose a challenge for alignment and coherence.
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 - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Policy Research in Education; GE Foundation
Identifiers - Location: Ohio