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ERIC Number: ED565803
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Pages: 50
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 51
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Reshaping Rural Schools in the Northwest Region: Lessons from Federal School Improvement Grant Implementation. REL 2016-107
Scott, Caitlin; Ostler, Nora
Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest
The five states in the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northwest Region have many rural schools that have been designated as in need of improvement. And all five states had rural schools in the first cohort of federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) recipients. To address school improvement, the majority of those schools implemented the transformation model, which requires strategies related to improving instruction, ensuring high-quality staff, and engaging families and communities. REL Northwest Region state and district leaders asked REL Northwest to conduct a study examining the extent to which rural schools across the nation implemented the transformation model, the challenges they experienced, and the technical assistance they received. This report provides information about rural schools using the transformation model. REL Northwest Region leaders may be able to use this study to inform future assistance for their rural schools in need of improvement. A survey was conducted in spring 2014, after most cohort 1 grant activities were complete. The survey respondents included 135 principals (67 percent of the 201 schools surveyed) in rural schools implementing the transformation model. The most salient findings include: (1) Few rural schools fully implemented the SIG transformation model. Only 5 percent of the principals surveyed said their school had fully implemented the 12 transformation strategies that the survey examined. On average, principals said their school had fully implemented 6 of the 12 strategies; (2) More schools implemented strategies related to improving instruction than strategies related to ensuring high-quality staff or engaging families and communities. For example, 77 percent of principals reported that their school had fully implemented the use of student achievement data to inform instructional decisions, whereas 52 percent reported that their school had fully implemented staff evaluation systems that tied evaluation to student achievement, and 40 percent reported that their school had engaged families; (3) More schools reported facing implementation challenges related to ensuring high-quality staff and engaging families and communities than challenges related to improving instruction. For example, almost half (47 percent) of principals reported challenges to rewarding staff financially--a strategy related to ensuring high-quality staff --and about a third (34 percent) reported challenges to engaging families and communities. In contrast, fewer principals (26 percent) reported challenges to expanding learning time to improve instruction; (4) Almost all schools received technical assistance from at least one provider, with districts the most frequently identified provider. Most principals (93 percent) reported that their school had received technical assistance from at least one provider for at least one of the transformation strategies examined in the survey. More principals reported that their school had received this assistance from their district (91 percent) than from the state (70 percent), a university (19 percent), or another type of organization (42 percent); and (5) The more strategies for which principals reported facing challenges, the fewer strategies they reported their school had fully implemented. When principals reported challenges with three or more strategies, they also reported that their school had fully implemented an average of only 5.2 strategies. In contrast, when principals reported challenges with fewer than three strategies, they reported that their school had fully implemented an average of 7.5 strategies. The more strategies for which principals reported receiving technical assistance, the more strategies they reported that their school had fully implemented. When principals reported receiving technical assistance for more than 7 strategies, they also reported that their school had fully implemented an average of 7.2 strategies. In contrast, when principals reported receiving technical assistance for 7 or fewer strategies, they reported that their school had fully implemented an average of only 5.7 strategies. The following are appended: (1) Previous studies offer mixed findings; (2) Survey creation and administration; (3) Survey instrument; and (4) Analysis methods and additional results for the School Improvement Grant rural schools.
Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest. Available from: Institute of Education Sciences. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20208. Tel: 800-872-5327; Web site: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest (ED); National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (ED); Education Northwest
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: EDIES12C0003