Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Goertz, M. E., Floden, R. E., & O'Day, J. (1995). Studies of educational reform: Systemic reform. New Brunswick, NJ: Consortium for Policy Research in Education.

This systemic reform study was undertaken to expand the knowledge of state approaches to systemic educational reform; to examine district, school, and teacher response to state reform policies; and to study how states build capacity to support reform. Intensive case studies of schools and districts in three states undertaking systemic reformÑCalifornia, Michigan, and VermontÑare reported in this three-volume document. Systemic reform stresses coherence among policies with the hope that coordinated policies will lead to classroom practices that are in line with the vision of the reform. State policy, however, is only one influence on teaching practice; teachers in the study reported that their own beliefs and knowledge about the subject and their students were a greater influence. This study focused on capacity building. Capacity is defined as the ability of the educational system to help all students meet more challenging standards. Systemic reform can be a tool to build capacity, but challenges must be addressed. The study resulted in a set of lessons for states considering a standards-based, systemic approach to instructional improvement. This study is also the topic of two CPRE Policy Briefs, The Bumpy Road to Reform, (June, 1996), and Building Capacity for Educational Reform (December, 1995), by the same authors.

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