Resources & Links

Resources on CSR: Last updated August 2006

Resources for Implementing Comprehensive School Reform

The following resources and tools can help schools and districts with each step of the comprehensive school reform (CSR) implementation process, beginning with an initial needs assessment and working toward a continual evaluation of a CSR reform.

 

Choosing an Education Contractor: A Guide to Assessing Financial and Organizational Capacity (Released August 2006)

Choosing an Education Contractor: A Guide to Assessing Financial and Organizational Capacity [PDF, 512 KB] is a “how-to” guide to provide state or local education agency staff – including state departments of education, school districts, charter school authorizers, or individual schools – with information about the importance of a provider’s financial viability and organizational capacity and with guidance on how to assess these dimensions of contractor quality.  The Guide was developed by the Comprehensive School Reform Quality (CRSQ) Center, in partnership with The Finance Project. The guide offers tips and tools to help readers gather information and use it to evaluate potential education contractors’ financial and organizational health.  The end goal is to help school system leaders make solid investment decisions.

The CSRQ Center also worked with The Finance Project to develop a detailed series of rubrics and an accompanying training module for use in conducting a more in-depth review and rating of school reform models’ financial viability and organizational capacity.   If you are interested in learning more about accessing these rubrics and the accompanying training from AIR and TFP, please feel free to contact us at csrq@csrq.org.

Note: To download this Guide, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader version 7.0 or higher. Click here to download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat reader for free.

 

Questions That Educators Can Ask About the Participation of Students With Disabilities in School Reform and Improvement Models (Released June 2006)

Questions That Educators Can Ask About the Participation of Students With Disabilities in School Reform and Improvement Models [PDF, 215 KB] is a considerations checklist that can be used by educators to assess the capacity of school reform and improvement models to address the needs of students with disabilities. This checklist supplements the CSRQ Center’s Enhancing Participation guide that offers strategies to enhance the engagement of students with disabilities in school reform models.  Educators are also encouraged to use this checklist in conjunction with CSRQ Center Reports that provide guidance on the effectiveness and quality of widely implemented elementary, middle, and high school CSR models and Education Service Providers (ESPs).

 

Enhancing the Participation of Students with Disabilities in CSR Models (Released May 2006)

Enhancing the Participation of Students with Disabilities in CSR Models [PDF, 508 KB] builds off of the CSRQ Center Reports by providing information about specific model features that address the needs of students with disabilities. Enhancing Participation provides educators with suggestions regarding strategies to enhance the engagement and progress of students with disabilities in school reform models. This guide integrates the work of the CSRQ Center with knowledge and resources gleaned through the work of the American Institutes for Research (AIR) on other national technical assistance centers, such as the Access Center,  funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

If you are interested in technical assistance services that AIR staff provide around these materials, please feel free to contact us at csrq@csrq.org.

 

Moving Forward: A Guide to Selecting and Implementing Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement Strategies

(Released November 2005)

Moving Forward: A Guide to Selecting and Implementing Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement Strategies [PDF,  497 KB] is a component of CSRQ Center's technical assistance services. This train-the-trainer workshop helps educators select, implement, and evaluate comprehensive school reform and improvement models and programs. Moving Forward can be delivered through an interactive workshop that guides participants through a systematic change process. Accompanying the Guide is Training Support Materials [PDF, 278 KB], a packet of tools that educators can use to move through the process of selecting and implementing comprehensive school reform and improvement strategies.

For a flyer about this workshop, click here.

If you are interested in technical assistance services that CSRQ Center staff provide around these materials, please feel free to contact us at csrq@csrq.org. We welcome your feedback and suggestions regarding the Moving Forward Guide.

 

1. Conduct a School Needs Assessment

At Your Fingertips
MPR Associates developed this manual to help schools use readily available data, such as graduation and attendance rates, to develop strategic plans for CSR programs. (Updated 2004)
http://www.mprinc.com/ps/ayf/index.html

Data Analysis for Comprehensive School Reform
Author Victoria Bernhardt provides tools and guidance to help schools collect and analyze data to effectively plan for reform. (2004)
http://eff.csuchico.edu/books/data_analysis.php

Implementing Schoolwide Projects: An Idea Book on Planning
This U.S. Department of Education resource offers tips and guidelines for planning a successful Title I –funded program in high-poverty schools. (October 1998)
http://mirror.eschina.bnu.edu.cn/Mirror/ed.gov/www.ed.gov/
pubs/Idea_Planning/index-2.html

The School Improvement KnowledgeBase
The Region VII Comprehensive Center, based at the University of Oklahoma, developed this step-by-step guide to help schools take specific steps towards school improvement as required under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The site offers guidance on conducting needs assessments, communicating with key stakeholders, as well as developing and implementing an improvement plan.
http://www.helpforschools.com/sikb/index.shtm

SchoolMatters
SchoolMatters is a public source for information and analysis about our Nation's public school. SchoolMatters, a service of Standard and Poor's, provides innovative comparsion tools and information to help education stakeholders better understand or uncover the stories behind the numbers.
http://www.schoolmatters.com

 

2. Build Support for Change

Building Support for Comprehensive School Improvement Programs
New American Schools compiled this list of resources, which can help schools accomplish a variety of goals, such as creating incentives for a design-based school and involving key stakeholders in providing long-term support for CSR. (1999)
http://www.newamericanschools.org/contentViewer.html?
highlightID=8&catID;=166

Design-Based Assistance as a Cornerstone of a School Improvement Strategy
Thomas Glennan, a former researcher at the RAND Corporation, discusses the importance of design-based initiatives to improve low-performing schools.
http://www.naschools.org/uploadedfiles/Design-Based%20Assistance%20as%20a%20Cornerstone%20of%
20a%20School%20Improvement%20Strategy.pdf

National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs
The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) developed these standards to aid educators in building relationships within the community through communication and collaborative decision making among various stakeholders. (1997)
http://www.pta.org/parentinvolvement/standards/index.html

Working Together for Reliable School Reform
This study, prepared by researchers at the Center for Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University, addresses the importance of involving various stakeholders at different stages of CSR implementation. (2002)
http://65.110.81.56/topics/school-improvement/downloads/working.pdf

3. Collect and Review Research and Information on Available Models

An Educators Guide to School-wide Reform
This guide, issued by the American Institutes for Research, provides independently evaluated, comparative information on the effectiveness, quality, and cost of 24 comprehensive school reform programs. (1999)
http://www.aasa.org/issues_and_insights/district_organization/Reform/index.htm

Better by Design? A Consumer's Guide to School-wide Reform
The Thomas Fordham Foundation published this review of 10 comprehensive school reform models, evaluating achievement, effectiveness, and cost. (December 1999)
http://www.edexcellence.net/doc/bbd.pdf

Catalog of School Reform Models
The Northwest Regional Labs offers this catalog, which includes a search engine, to examine 26 external reform models. The catalog analyzes various aspects of each program, including general approaches, results with students, implementation assistance, and costs. (Updated January 2004)
http://www.nwrel.org/scpd/catalog/index.shtml

Focus on the Wonder Years: Challenges Facing the American Middle School
This RAND Corporation report profiles challenges facing middle school educators and reviews evidence of effectiveness for some CSR approaches used in middle schools.
http://www.rand.org/publications/MG/MG139/MG139.pdf

Comprehensive School Reform: A Meta-Analysis
Geoffrey Borman of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the University of North Carolina reviews research on the achievement effects of 29 widely implemented CSR programs. The analysis also looked at how CSR components, contextual and methodological factors mediate the effects of CSR. (2002)
http://www.csos.jhu.edu/CRESPAR/techReports/Report59.pdf

Improving Low-Performing High Schools
This resource, developed by the American Federation of Teachers, addresses issues specific to high schools including how to perform an appropriate self-study, reduce incidents of violence, and gain cooperation from students. (July 1999)
http://www.aft.org/pubs-reports/downloads/teachers/lphs.pdf

Scientifically Based Research
The North Central Regional Educational Laboratory offers a guide to understanding the six steps mandated by Title IX to accomplish the scientifically based research component of No Child Left Behind legislation. (2001)
http://www.ncrel.org/csri/tools/qkey7/science.htm

What Works Clearinghouse
Established in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences to provide educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education. The Clearinghouse is administered by the Department through a contract to a joint venture of the American Institutes for Research and the Campbell Collaboration.
www.whatworks.ed.gov

4. Select a Model to Meet Your School's Specific Needs

Choosing Success
Johns Hopkins University researcher Sam Stringfield provides guidance to help schools considering a CSR program analyze the program's specific objectives and research base. (1998)
http://www.aft.org/pubs-reports/american_educator/fall98/ChoosingSuccess.pdf

Guidelines for Ensuring the Quality of National Design-Based Assistance Providers
Created by a blue-ribbon panel of school board leaders and prominent education policymakers, this manual provides guidelines, a toolkit, and a checklist to ensure the quality of a chosen school reform model and its implementation. (2000)
http://www.naschools.org/contentViewer.html?highlightID=48&catID;=86

Making Good Choices—A Guide for Schools and Districts
The North Central Regional Education Lab created this guide to aid in choosing the appropriate CSR program. (Updated 2004)
http://www.ncrel.org/csri/choices/makegood/title.htm

Seeing Improvement: A Guide to Visiting Schools that Use Effective Whole School Improvement Models and Promising Practices
This manual provides advice on how to conduct a school visit to initiate a "seeing is believing" test to help schools or districts choose a reform model. (Updated 2006)
Seeing Improvement: A Guide to Visiting Schools that Use Effective Whole School Improvement Models and Promising Practices [PDF, 529 KB]

5. Adopt the Model

A Guide to Working With Model Providers
The U.S. Department of Education developed this manual to help schools and districts work with CSR program providers. (2000)
http://www.ed.gov/programs/compreform/model.pdf

How to Rethink Budgets to Support School Transformation
Researcher Allan Odden offers a cost-benefit analysis for a variety of CSR programs and provides tips for maximizing efficiency and minimizing expenditure on reform projects.
http://www.naschools.org/uploadedfiles/How%20to%20Rethink
%20School%20Budgets%20to%20Support%20School%20
Transformation.pdf

Implementing Schoolwide Projects: An Idea Book on Planning
This U.S. Department of Education resource offers tips and guidelines for planning a successful Title I –funded program in high-poverty schools. (October 1998)
http://mirror.eschina.bnu.edu.cn/Mirror/ed.gov/www.ed.gov/pubs
/Idea_Planning/index-2.html

Resource Reallocations
New American Schools compiled this list of links to resources and guidance on allocating resources to support comprehensive school reform.
http://www.newamericanschools.org/contentViewer.html?
highlightID=8&catID;=171

 

6. Implement the Model

Comprehensive School Reform: Five Lessons From the Field
This manual, created by the Education Commission of the States, reviews five lessons learned about CSR, including the importance of teachers and the state department of education in creating a successful program. (December 1999)
http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/16/40/1640.pdf

A Guidebook on School-wide Improvement
Offered by the Northern California Comprehensive Assistance Center, this online manual gives advice on implementation strategies for different reform models, as well as research-based methods on getting long-term results. ( 2000)
http://www.wested.org/csrd/guidebook/toc.htm

Guides and Tools for Specific Implementation Strategies
The STAR center offers general advice on CSR strategies as well as articles on implementation for specific minority groups and bilingual students. (1997-2004)
http://www.starcenter.org/products/guidesandtools.html

Making Comprehensive School Reform Work—ERIC Clearinghouse for Urban Education
In this study, Laura Desimone examines CSR reform efforts and offers lessons learned on implementation, design choice, principal leadership, politics, support from design teams, resources, and context. Desimone also makes recommendations for future CSR research. (2000)
http://iume.tc.columbia.edu/eric_archive/mono/UDS112.pdf

 

7. Evaluate Results and Plan for Continual Improvement

Evaluating for Success
The Mid-Continental Regional Educational Lab designed this detailed manual to guide educators through a thorough evaluation process, including planning, designing, and conducting the evaluation. (1999)
http://www.mcrel.org/PDF/AssessmentAccountabilityDataUse/
5993TG_EvaluatingforSuccess.pdf

Evaluating Whole-School Reform Models
This guide from the Northwest Regional Education Laboratories provides some guidelines that district and school staff can consider in choosing an approach to evaluating their school reform efforts.
http://www.nwrac.org/whole-school/

How to Evaluate Comprehensive School Reform Models
Schools or districts that have implemented a CSR program can use this guide, created by New American Schools, to design and complete an evaluation of their CSR program implementation and impact.
http://www.naschools.org/uploadedfiles/How%20to%20
Evaluate%20Comprehensive%20School%20Reform%20Models.pdf

Using Data to Improve Schools
Created by the American Association of School Administrators, this manual explores the importance of research as well as post analysis public engagement in understanding and maintaining long-term success. (2002)
http://www.aasa.org/cas/UsingDataToImproveSchools.pdf

U.S. Dept of Education Resources


Comprehensive School Reform Program
The U.S. Department of Education offers official Department guidance and awards status for the CSR grant program, as well as a set of FAQs, resources, and contact information.
http://www.ed.gov/programs/compreform/resources.html

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
This office of the U.S. Department of Education is responsible for a number of programs, including the Comprehensive School Reform Program.
http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/index.html?src=mr

Comprehensive Centers Network
This network, established by the US Department of Education, comprises 15 centers around the country that provide technical assistance services focused on the implementation of reform programs.
http://www.ccnetwork.org/home.html

Comprehensive School Reform Quality Initiatives
This page provides links and information about technical assistance efforts, U.S. Department of Education, for implementing CSR programs.
http://www.ed.gov/programs/qualinits/index.html

State CSR Contacts
This page provides contact information for state CSR coordinators who can provide the details of and deadline information for their state's CSR subgrant competition.
http://www.ed.gov/programs/compreform/contacts.html

The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement

The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement, funded by the Office of  Elementary and Secondary Education, provides policy makers, teachers, school administrators, and other education stake-holders, with a variety of tools, guides, and links related to Comprehensive School Reform. http://www.csrclearinghouse.org/

 

Comprehensive School Reform in the News

Education Week
This site presents a nonpartisan weekly newspaper and monthly magazine dedicated to innovations in education practice and policy. It contains background information and resources related to comprehensive school reform. (Updated daily)
http://www.edweek.org/context/topics/issuespage.cfm?id=102

Education News
Education News offers general information and links to articles about the education reform across the country. (Updated daily)
www.educationnews.org

 

Regional Education Labs


The network of 10 Regional Educational Laboratories, serving geographic regions across the nation, works to ensure that those involved in educational improvement at the local, state, and regional levels have access to quality information about research and practice. To find your local Lab, scan the links below or go to
http://www.relnetwork.org/

Appalachia Educational Laboratory (AEL)
Serving Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
http://www.ael.org

LAB
Serving Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Virgin Islands, and Vermont.
http://www.lab.brown.edu/topics/reform.shtml

Laboratory for Student Success (LSS)
Serving the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania
http://www.temple.edu/lss/

Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)
Serving Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming
http://www.mcrel.org/programs/csrd/

North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL)
Serving Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin
http://www.ncrel.org/csri/

Northwestern Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL)
Serving Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington
http://www.nwrel.org/csrdp/

Pacific Regional Educational Laboratory (PREL)
Serving American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Micronesia, Guam, Hawaii, Marshall Islands, and Palau
http://www.prel.org/products/Products/CSRDP.pdf

SERVE
Serving Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina
http://www.serve.org/schoolreform

Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL)
Serving Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas
http://www.sedl.org/pubs/change46/welcome.html

WestEd
Serving Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah
http://www.wested.org/cs/we/view/area/7