ERIC Number: EJ1050831
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
Engaging Practitioners in State School Improvement Initiatives
Massell, Diane; Goertz, Margaret E.; Barnes, Carol A.
Peabody Journal of Education, v90 n1 p113-127 2015
For most of U.S. history, local communities were the primary arbiters of school quality. Beginning in the mid-twentieth century, states began assuming more and more control over school standards and outcomes. The question we seek to answer is whether and the extent to which a particular kind of local voice--the voice of education practitioners--is represented in states' current, significant initiatives to improve low-performing schools. In the article, we focus on the role that practitioner knowledge played in the development of school improvement policies across three state education agencies. We draw on interviews, surveys, and document analyses collected for a larger exploratory study of knowledge utilization. Contrary to earlier research showing weak or uneven connections between state agencies and practitioners, we found that practitioner advice networks were generally stronger than states' research advice networks. We found ample illustration of staff using this advice to make sense of research for their own contexts, and for their own approaches to school improvement. Agencies formed ties to practitioners in districts and schools, in professional membership associations, within their own agencies, or in other agencies wrestling with similar problems. Who they turned to differed depending on earlier improvement policies and institutional histories.
Descriptors: State Programs, Improvement Programs, Educational Policy, State Policy, Interviews, Program Design, Program Implementation, Policy Formation, Transcripts (Written Records), Social Networks, Network Analysis, State Departments of Education, State Officials, Information Sources, Information Utilization, Professional Associations, Operations Research, Stakeholders
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A