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Design and Implementation of High School Reform: Perspectives from Research and Practice


by Thomas M. Smith, Marisa Cannata, Lora Cohen-Vogel & Stacey A. Rutledge — 2016

There has been a proliferation of high school reform models and interventions over the past few decades aimed at improving the nation’s high schools, including increasing graduation requirements, introducing technology to classrooms, grouping ninth-grade students into their own “academies,” reorienting the curriculum toward particular career themes, and implementing radical turnaround school models. But there have been few systematic efforts to map the high school reform landscape. The goal of this issue is to do just that—map the reform landscape in high schools. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the entire issue. After describing the challenges facing recent high school reform, we outline the four sections of this issue: Section 1: Context for understanding high school reform; Section 2: Understanding programs and interventions in high school improvement efforts; Section 3: The processes and conditions that support or inhibit effective implementation in high schools; and Section 4: What do we know about organizations that drive new initiatives in high school improvement?


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 118 Number 13, 2016, p. 1-18
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 20553, Date Accessed: 12/13/2017 8:11:47 AM

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About the Author
  • Thomas Smith
    University of California, Riverside
    E-mail Author
    THOMAS SMITH is Dean and Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside and Executive Director of the National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools. His research interests include understanding how policy can support instructional improvement at scale, teacher commitment and turnover, and improvement research applied to education. Recent publications include “Reconciling Data from Different Sources: Practical Realities of Using Mixed Methods to Identify Effective High School Practices” and “Understanding Differences in Instructional Quality between High and Low Value Added Schools in a Large Urban District,” both published in Teachers College Record.
  • Marisa Cannata
    Vanderbilt University
    E-mail Author
    MARISA CANNATA is Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University and Director of the National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools. Her research interests include continuous improvement research, high school reform, charter schools, and teacher hiring and career decisions. Cannata is co-editor of School Choice and School Improvement (Harvard Education Press).
  • Lora Cohen-Vogel
    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    E-mail Author
    LORA COHEN-VOGEL is Robena and Walter E. Hussman, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Policy and Education Reform in the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Co-Principal Investigator of the National Center on Scaling up Effective Schools. Cohen-Vogel’s research focuses on teacher quality and the politics of education. She also works on continuous improvement research and other approaches for developing and bringing to scale processes for school system improvement.
  • Stacey Rutledge
    Florida State University
    STACEY A. RUTLEDGE is Associate Professor in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Florida State University. Her research explores policies aimed at improving teaching and learning and how these shape the work of district and school administrators and teachers, and, ultimately, students’ learning opportunities. For the past five years, she has been a project investigator in the National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools. She is co-editor of The Infrastructure of Accountability: Data-use and the Transformation of American Education (Harvard Education Press).
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