A Good Public Education: An American Dream
A good public education has been the foundation for building a bright and successful future for the children in our country. Our challenge now is to provide a high quality education for all of our children. To help meet this challenge and improve student achievement, the Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration program, or CSRD, was established under the U.S. Department of Education.
CSRD provides financial incentives to encourage public schools across our country to implement comprehensive reform programs. These programs are designed to be coherent school-wide improvements that cover virtually all aspects of a school's operations. Based on proven research and tested practices, the reforms emphasize basic academics and parental involvement and they are intended to help all students learn.
|THE NINE COMPONENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL REFORM|
|1. Effective, Research-based Methods and Strategies|
|A comprehensive school reform program employs innovative strategies and proven methods for teaching, student learning, and school management that are based on reliable research and effective practices, and have been replicated successfully in schools with diverse characteristics.|
|2. Comprehensive Reform Design with Aligned Components|
|The program has a comprehensive design for effective school functioning, including instruction, assessment, classroom management, professional development, parental involvement, and school management. This design aligns the school curriculum, technology, and professional development into a schoolwide reform plan designed to enable all students—including children from low-income families, English language learners, and children with disabilities—to meet the state's content and performance standards, and addresses needs identified through needs assessment.|
|3. Professional Development|
|The program provides high-quality and continuous teacher and staff professional development|
|4. Measurable Goals and Benchmarks|
|A comprehensive school reform program has measurable goals for student performance tied to the state's content and performance standards and includes benchmarks for achieving those goals.|
|5. Support Within the School|
|The program is supported by school faculty, administrators, and staff.|
|6. Parent and Community Involvement|
|The program provides for meaningful involvement of parents and the local community in planning and implementing school improvement activities.|
|7. External Technical Support and Assistance|
|A comprehensive reform program utilizes high-quality external support and assistance from a comprehensive school reform entity with experience or expertise in schoolwide reform or improvement.|
|8. Evaluation Strategies|
|The program includes a plan for the evaluation of the implementation of school reform and the student results achieved.|
|9. Coordination of Resources|
|The program identifies how other resources (federal, state, local, and private) available to the school will be utilized and coordinate services to support and sustain school reform.|
To become part of the CSRD program, a school studies all features of its operations, analyzes its needs, develops a proposal and implementation plan that incorporates the nine components of comprehensive reform, and applies for funding. Schools in the CSRD program have chosen a research-based comprehensive reform model as the basis for their school reform and improvement program. Once a school is selected to receive CSRD funding, implementing the planned reform program begins.
Implementation of the reform program may seem overwhelming in the beginning. Working with noted education professionals and experts, the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) has created this two-part audio guide to help you and your school successfully complete the implementation of your chosen reform program—no matter which comprehensive reform model was selected to be a part of your school's reform and improvement program.
Both recordings in this series revolve around six key strategies for successful implementation of school reform. Recording one provides brief descriptions of each of the six strategies. On the recording, we hear from Dr. Shirley Hord, a program manager at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory in Austin, Texas. She oversees SEDL's work related to Strategies for Increasing School Success, of which the CSRD program is a part. Dr. Hord has developed many real-world insights into making school reform work. She identified the six strategies based on research she and colleagues conducted on leadership and school change. Along with Dr. Hord, we also hear from four other education practitioners including:
|Dennis Sparks, the Executive Director of the National Staff Development Council;|
|Wendell Brown, a middle-school principal in Lubbock, TX whose school is implementing the AVID school reform model;|
|Sharron Havens, the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction in Lonoke, AR where schools are implementing the reform program, "Onward to Excellence"; and|
|Dr. Margarita Calderon, a researcher who works with many schools across the country implementing the "Success for All" reform program.|
Together, these five individuals offer practical advice and down-to-earth solutions for every step of the implementation process a school should go through as it seeks to achieve comprehensive reform and school improvement.
In recording two, the four practitioners mentioned above offer ideas and guidance about putting the six strategies of reform to work in your school. Real-life examples and actual working practices are discussed in detail.
Both recordings are designed to provide far more than just an overview of CSRD. They can be used as interactive tools that can help your school solve problems, approach new challenges, and answer questions as you move toward your own comprehensive school reform.
Next Page: How You Can Use the Recordings