Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning
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Connell, J. (1997). First things first: A framework for successful school-site reform. Kansas City, MO: E. M. Kauffman Foundation.
Connell presents a framework for successful school-site reform, clarifying what early, intermediate, and long-term outcomes must be present for success to be achieved. He feels that successful reform begins at the school level, for, if restructuring does not begin at this juncture, then its effect at the classroom level will be minimal. He presents seven critical features of school-site reform. Four features apply to studentsÑlower student adult ratios; continuity of care (teaching the same students in successive years); high, clear, and fair academic and conduct standards; and enriched and diverse opportunities. Three features apply to adultsÑcollective responsibilities; instructional autonomy and supports; and flexible allocation of resources. To implement these critical features, a large collaborative of parents, community members, social service providers, and educators must undertake the process. The establishment of successful collaboratives, however, is not sufficient to insure continued success; schools must also establish a means of communicating and authenticating the implementation of these features. Connell suggests that successful evaluation will involve a time line for implementation, data collection, analysis of assessment results, and accommodation to fit new information.
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