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Changing for Good

Changing for Good
Sustaining School Improvement

Edited by:

November 2009 | 216 pages | Corwin

"This important work identifies the critical elements of sustainability—the necessary goal of systemic reform—which requires a long-term commitment to change for the benefit of students."
—Lois Adams-Rogers, Deputy Executive Director
Council of Chief State School Officers

Implement a comprehensive, whole-school reform program that lasts!

The recent emphasis on educational reform has led to many books on initiating school improvement, but relatively few on how to sustain reform efforts so that improvements have a lasting impact.

Changing for Good offers a detailed examination of current schoolwide reform efforts and identifies strategies for introducing, managing, and sustaining successful school renewal programs. Based on a four-year study of 74 schools, the book provides a model for generating the necessary district support, schoolwide leadership, teacher commitment, and performance outcomes to cultivate improvement that lasts. Applicable at the state, district, and school level, this model helps readers:

  • Align reform efforts with educational standards and accountability guidelines
  • Create a research-based improvement plan
  • Support change by developing a shared vision
  • Promote distributed leadership
  • Celebrate gains to encourage cooperation

The most beneficial school improvements are the ones that endure. With this exceptional resource, educational administrators and leaders can create a school environment that embraces meaningful change, sustains positive reform, and ensures successful learning outcomes.

List of Tables and Figures
About the Author
Comprehensive School Reform

Purpose and Focus of the Book

Researching Reform Sustainability in Schools

Organization of the Book

1. Sustaining Change in Schools
Two Decades of Reform Policies

Sustaining Reform

Organizational Capacity and Sustaining Change in Schools

Toward a Model of Sustainability

2. Setting the Stage for School Reform
School Reform and State Infrastructure

Opportunity for Improvement Through Comprehensive School Reform

Discussion of the State Context for School Reform

3. Supporting Change in Schools
Waterton County

Burkett County

District Support for Sustaining Change in Other Schools

Discussion of District Support for Sustaining Reform

4. Promoting Distributed Leadership
Leadership for Change

Distributed Leadership in Tipton Middle School

Developing Distributed Leadership in Greely Elementary School

Principal Leadership for Reform

Reform Facilitation

Negotiation of Tasks and Responsibilities

Preparing to Sustain School Reform

Leadership and the Challenge of Change in Other Schools

Discussion of Distributed Leadership and Sustaining Reform

5. Gaining Teacher Commitment
Control of Teachers Versus Workplace Autonomy

Forestview Middle School

Littleton Middle School

Teacher Commitment to Reform

Teacher Commitment in Other Schools

Lack of Teacher Commitment to Reform in Other Schools

Discussion of Teacher Commitment and Sustaining Reform

6. Celebrating Gains
Comprehensive School Reform and School Performance

Tangible Resources and Supplies

Contributions to School Culture

Spillover Effects From the Grant Experience

Discussion of the Effects of Reform and Sustainability

7. Changing for Good
Sustaining Comprehensive School Reform

Sustainability With Funding

Commitment to Sustainability Without Funding

Sustained Momentum for Improvement and Innovation

No Sustainability

Discussion of Patterns of Reform Sustainability

8. Reforming Reform
Patterns of Sustainability

A Model for Sustaining Change

What Happened to CSR?

Recommendations for Educators

Resource: Methodology
Design of the Study

Research Questions

Selection of Schools

Data Collection Methods

Reliability and Verification

Data Analysis

Ethical Considerations


“This important work identifies the critical elements of sustainability—the necessary goal of systemic reform—which requires a long-term commitment to change for the benefit of students.”

Lois Adams-Rogers, Deputy Executive Director
Council of Chief State School Officers
Key features
  • Informed by a six-year study that includes both quantitative and qualitative assessments of comprehensive school reform successes at 18 schools
  • Organized around a model that articulates the conditions and strategies necessary to sustain effective reform efforts in schools: district support, leadership, professional development and teacher commitment, and school performance outcomes
  • Offers strategies for selecting, introducing, and implementing comprehensive school reform models that are most effective in leading schools to successful outcomes
  • Outlines patterns of sustainability of comprehensive school reform in schools after termination of CSR funding
  • Furthers an understanding of school reform under continued efforts of standardization and accountability, specifically in the context of No Child Left Behind

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ISBN: 9781452273327

ISBN: 9781412968690