The findings call into question whether the comprehensive school reform model approach that has been adopted by more than 8,000 schools nationally can become a key strategy to help improve student performance.
A survey of 250 schools from Florida and Texas that embraced comprehensive school reform models found that none had adopted all of the changes the models called for to boost student achievement, according to the study by RAND Education.
The reason most often cited for failing to adopt all aspects of the reform packages was a shortage of support for needed improvements and investments such as teacher training.
"At the current level of implementation, comprehensive school reform models are likely to have only modest or no effect on student achievement," said lead author of the report Georges Vernez, who is a senior social scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "Without substantially more support, it is not likely most schools will be able to faithfully adopt these models of school improvement."
Comprehensive school reform is based on the idea that a school should have a coherent educational strategy that addresses every aspect of its operation. More than $2 billion in federal funds have been used to implement the approach at schools nationally.
Studies assessing the success of comprehensive school reform models have been mixed, with some showing a modest improvement in student achievement and others finding no impact. Most of those studies assumed schools had adopted all aspects of the reforms.
RAND researchers surveyed principals and teachers at the schools in the study, and visited a number of campuses in order to more closely assess adoption of the chosen comprehensive school reform model.
Researchers found some types of changes were embraced more often than others. Schools were most likely to adopt the curriculum prescribed by the model developer, but were less likely to adopt the recommended instructional practices. Practices designed to increase parental involvement were the aspect least likely to be adopted.
Most of the schools in the study did not have the level of support recommended by developers of the models. Teachers reported receiving about half of the recommended initial training and only one-quarter of the recommended ongoing professional development, according to RAND researchers.
In general, teachers reported a lukewarm commitment to adopting their school's reform model and most felt the training they received was not adequate. However, in schools where the level of support increased, so did adoption of the developer-recommended practices, according to researchers.
RAND researchers also surveyed a number of similar schools in Florida and Texas that had not embraced a formal reform program and found those schools had adopted many of the same changes in curriculum, instruction and governance as those schools following comprehensive school reform.
"Every school is trying something to improve student achievement, even if they have not embraced one of the many formal reform models," Vernez said.
However, schools that embraced comprehensive school reform models were more likely to follow certain practices, such as having students work collaboratively in groups, having teachers follow word-for-word scripts, grouping students by performance, assigning daily homework and obtaining parent signoff on that homework.
Vernez said the RAND findings show that studies designed to measure the impact of school reform models also must examine the extent to which schools have embraced the details of the model.
"Research examining the success of educational reform efforts cannot be valid unless you first examine the extent to which the reform model has been adopted," Vernez said.
The RAND study focused on schools in Florida and Texas because those states have a large number of schools that have adopted comprehensive school reform models.
Researchers focused on four models that have been used widely across the nation, but differ from each other significantly. The models were Accelerated Schools, Core Knowledge, Direct Instruction and Success for All.
Although each program is based on a different philosophy and set of practices, each generally emphasizes six core areas of schooling: curriculum, methods of instruction, appropriate student grouping, student assessments, parent involvement, and governance (such as establishing a school steering committee and working groups).
Lisa Sodders | EurekAlert!
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses