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ERIC Number: EJ835543
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 58
ISSN: ISSN-1558-2159
Learning to Succeed at Scale
Higgins, Monica; Hess, Frederick M.
Journal of School Choice, v3 n1 p8-24 Jan 2009
Dynamic new ventures like the Knowledge is Power Program, Teach For America, and New Leaders for New Schools, are increasingly being asked to step in to assist struggling school districts. While promising, these ventures have thus far typically been characterized by "one-off" examples of success that are extraordinarily reliant on talent and passion, philanthropic funding, and exhausting work schedules. For many funders, practitioners, and policymakers, scaling up the most successful ventures has become the sine non qua of successful reform. The appeal of growth by "best practice" imitation is undeniable, but narrowly following such a course is unlikely to deliver large-scale educational reform. Markets are local, clienteles differ dramatically from one place to the next, and the challenges and availability of facilities, staff, and other resources vary enormously. A primary reason these organizations initially "work" is the uniformity of their approach to organizational systems and culture or their "organizational career imprint"--the set of capabilities, connections, confidence, and cognitions that individuals share as a result of working for a given organization at a particular point in time. But the factors that strengthen imprinting and early success in new ventures, such as creating stretch assignments and hiring in cohorts, can become flaws if left unchecked. Drawing on lessons from the biotechnology industry, this article examines how successful new ventures in the education sector might revisit and reorganize original (internal and external) arrangements to facilitate more sure-footed growth. (Contains 1 table and 1 note.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A