From 2000 to 2002, the state of California attempted to expand access to Advanced Placement subjects for students attending public schools. This study shows this intervention succeeded in expanding the AP curricula and enrollments at disadvantaged schools; however, schools serving affluent communities broadened their AP offerings at the same (if not faster) rate, resulting in effectively maintained inequalities in AP access.
The last few decades have seen many attempts to “reform” education across the world. Those reforms have been spurred on by the perceived low standards, by the number of young people who are seen to be educational failures, and by the need for a “skilled workforce” if our respective countries are to compete successfully in an ever more global and competitive economy.
This article examines how the effects of institutions on teaching practices can be mediated by social networks within schools. The study focuses on teachers’ responses to policies developed from the National Reading Panel’s recommendations for teaching reading.
This article examines a reform effort initiated by a coalition of educational leaders and community-based organizations in Los Angeles as a means of providing high-quality public school options for students in an underserved community. Based on interviews with school district, community, union, and other educational leaders, this study explores how various political actors collaborated to bring about unprecedented education reform in the nation’s second largest school district, highlighting both the promise and challenge of community organizing for school reform.
This qualitative study, based on youth participatory action research, discusses counternarratives articulated by students in response to the closure of their low-performing urban high school.
This article takes a closer look at choice and charter school reforms as a means to addressed unresolved issues of racial segregation in urban school districts. Using the lens of critical race theory, the authors examine the outcomes of market theory reforms as solutions to inequitable schooling practices.
This chapter explains and expands on the co-construction perspective using examples from studies the authors have conducted on educational reform. They begin by contrasting the technical-rational and co-construction perspectives on school reform. They then describe how their formulation of co-construction takes into account issues of power and authority. The authors then elaborate on the perspective by presenting different cases of co-construction of reforms by actors at different levels of the educational system.
By examining 13 programs aimed at increasing student voice in school reform, this article examines conditions that enable and constrain the sustainability of this challenging form of educational change. The data indicate that the persistence of an effort after the initial influx of funds and support disappears and usually requires ongoing support from an intermediary organization—an organization located outside the auspices of school walls.
In this article, we argue that schooling and school reform in the 21st century continues to be approached as if it were a flatworm capable of replicating itself. These reform efforts in today’s No Child Left Behind environment reify static ideas about schooling, resulting in organizational entropy. Instead, we present the process of Indigenous Invention as one that holds promise in moving our schools from entropy to renewal. Indigenous Invention grows from new conceptions of learning, cognition, and development, and our work in schools and communities during the past 16 years. We end with a discussion of the crucial values, dispositions, and conditions that have been identified for promoting Indigenous Invention. Indigenous Invention provides educators opportunities to imagine and invent new practices and schools called for in this “flat world.”
The authors describe a 5-year research project on Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) efforts in Arizona K–8 schools. Relevant literature, the context of the project, and a description of related special issue articles are discussed.
This article describes how principals in K–8 schools reported, in their own words, the progress that they, teachers, and students were making in their Comprehensive School Reform plan.
This paper is a preface to the special issue.
The authors focus on the classroom practices in Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) schools in Grades 3–5 and how they differ across subject matter, grade level, and time of year.
The authors explore how teacher behaviors that support student autonomy are expressed in Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) classrooms.
This article describes the results of a participant observation study conducted in one school engaged in Comprehensive School Reform. The study was instrumental to the development of instruments that capture students’ perspectives and motivational dynamics about school, approach to learning, and sense of self. This article focuses on the student-beliefs-about-school instrument and describes the analysis rubric for student stories.
The authors explore how students who attend Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) schools think about classroom learning by examining students’ responses to pictures of student-teacher interaction.
As part of a larger research program examining the experiences of students in schools that received Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) funds, this study examined student perceptions of group experiences and social processes in third- through fifth-grade classrooms.
This article builds on previous articles in this issue that reported on students in Grades 3–5 in Comprehensive School Reform classrooms. It explores individual differences in these students’ understanding of, and disposition toward, school.
Burross examines the relationships among funding, poverty, and norm- and criterion-referenced standardized exam scores with focus on the performances of fourth-grade students.
This article provides information about recent school reform research and conditions of schooling. The article then reviews our research findings (drawing on all the preceding articles in the special issue) and considers implications for policy makers, principals, teachers, teacher educators, and researchers.
This study uses two frameworks to evaluate the importance of school reform effects. The first framework evaluates school reform effects by comparing them to the achievement gap between important student groups, and the second framework evaluates school reform effects by comparing them to the achievement gap between schools. Results from analyses using NAEP data show that the most appropriate framework for judging school reform effects is the national distribution of school effects that can be used to define differences in achievement between schools.
In this paper, the authors analyze the convergence of two apparently opposite theories of action regarding urban educational reform. The first theory, emphasizing small schools of choice, promotes close relationships between students and adults in distinctive school programs. The second, a district-guided instructional improvement reform, seeks to standardize instruction through demanding curriculum, standard-bearing work, and investment in professional learning. The study adds to existing research on the role of the school district in shaping and bringing to scale instructional improvement in urban schools.
David Berliner's 2005 Presidential Invited Speech to the American Educational Research Association meeting in Montreal, Canada, May, 2005.
Teacher effects on student achievement have been well established in the literature. The extent to which schools can differentially affect student performance, however, has been actively debated for over forty years. We briefly review the school effects literature that has guided Title I Funding for School Reform and most recently, the development of the modern comprehensive school reform programs (CSR).
The article examines three schools and explores their governance, organization, finance, ownership, and admissions, characteristics the research literature indicates distinguish public from private schools. The authors demonstrate that there are emerging forms of school organization that are neither clearly public nor private, but of a third hybred type, or quasi-public organization.
Educators must find ways to legitimize critique and controversy within organizational life. This article examines constructive conflict within the context of a comprehensive Midwestern high school engaged in significant reform efforts. Here conflict is employed as a means to promote individual and organizational learning and growth.
A plan is presented that replaces the age/grade x school subjects structure of schooling with a structure of sequenced courses leading to incremental capability certification.
Standards-based reform was proposed as a means to bring coherence to the education system and trigger reforms and investments targeted at greater learning. These benefits have materialized in some states but not others, depending on their strategies for change. This article proposes mid-course corrections needed to ensure that standards-based reforms support student success, rather than punishing those who are already underserved.
The paper examines research literature on various factors affecting change in schools, including social and political factors, school culture, leadership, and professional development. The effects of best practices research on teacher motivations are also analyzed.