ERIC Number: EJ1150747
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Why Reform Sometimes Succeeds: Understanding the Conditions That Produce Reforms That Last
Cohen, David K.; Mehta, Jal D.
American Educational Research Journal, v54 n4 p644-690 Aug 2017
Counter to narratives of persistently failed school reform, we argue that reforms sometimes succeed and seek to understand why. Drawing on examples from the founding of public schools to the present, we find that successful system-wide reforms addressed problems that teachers thought they had by being consistent with prevailing norms and values, mobilizing a significant public constituency, and building the needed educational infrastructure. We distinguish between system-wide and niche reforms, suggesting that some--particularly those seeking ambitious instruction--failed system-wide but succeeded by creating protected educational niches. We conclude with a discussion of the implications for the Common Core.
Descriptors: Public Schools, Educational Change, Policy Analysis, School Effectiveness, Program Effectiveness, Politics of Education, Educational History, Success, Failure, Standardized Tests, Extracurricular Activities, Grading, Age Grade Placement, Progressive Education, Curriculum Development, Academic Standards, Montessori Method, Teaching Methods, Advanced Placement Programs, Systems Approach, Charter Schools, Academic Achievement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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