Cover image for New American Schools after six years
New American Schools after six years
Glennan, Thomas Keith, 1935-
Publication Information:
Santa Monica, Calif. : RAND, 1998.
Physical Description:
xv, 90 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
"Supported by New American Schools, RAND Education."

"MR-945-NAS"--P. [4] of cover.
Format :


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LB2822.82 .G56 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In July 1991, New American Schools (NAS) was established to develop designs for what were termed break-the-mold schools. Its initial goal was to create designs to help schools enable students to reach high educational standards. This simple goal has evolved into something considerably more complex. The notion of a whole-school design remains at the core of the New American Schools mission. Experience made clear, however, that designs by themselves were unlikely to effect change in schools. NAS and its design teams began work to develop design team capabilities to assist schools to implement the designs, terming this design-based assistance. Experience also made clear that the character of the school district influenced a school's success in implementing the designs. Thus, in the last two years, NAS has devoted increasing attention to helping jurisdictions develop what it terms a supportive operating environment. This evolution in the NAS program reflects an awareness that NAS initiative is only one of many factors affecting school performance in participating jurisdictions. For example, building and district leadership, teacher quality, union support, and community support also play major roles in shaping those outcomes. RAND, in its role as evaluator of the NAS initiative, will continue to carry out a variety of studies of the NAS initiative in an effort to understand the effects of many of these factors on student outcomes.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. iii
Figures and Tablesp. ix
Summaryp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Chapter 1 Introductionp. 1
The Initiation of New American Schoolsp. 2
Overview of Reportp. 8
Chapter 2 The Potential Contribution of School Designs and Design-Based Assistance to Education Reformp. 11
The Nature of New American Schools Designsp. 11
The Character of the Design-Based Assistance New American Schools Design Teams Providep. 21
Vision Inherent in Designp. 25
Strategies for Implementationp. 25
Assessment of Progress and Adjustment of Implementation Activitiesp. 27
Resources and Time to Enable School Transformationlp. 28
Continued Professional Support for School Staffp. 28
Design-Based Assistance as a Focus for Jurisdictional Reformp. 29
Potential Benefits of Using Design-Based Assistance as a Cornerstone of a Reform Strategyp. 31
Chapter 3 Jurisdictional Operating Environments: Lessons Learned During Implementationp. 35
Marching Teams with Schoolsp. 37
New American Schools and Jurisdiction Responses to Problems with Matching Schools and Design Teamsp. 42
Aggregating Investment Resourcesp. 45
School-Level Authorityp. 47
Lack of Alignment of Designs with Jurisdiction Accountability Systemsp. 48
Professional Developmentp. 50
Chapter 4 Challenges for Design Teams Seeking Self-Sufficiencyp. 55
Evolution of New American Schools Strategy for Supporting Design Teamsp. 56
Challenges the Design Teams Faced in Phase 3p. 61
Marketing and Salesp. 61
Setting Prices for Services and Materialsp. 63
Building a Staff to Provide Assistancep. 65
Further Development of Products and Servicesp. 66
New American Schools' Assistance to Teams for Business Planningp. 67
Chapter 5 Looking to the Futurep. 71
Whole School Designsp. 71
Design-Based Assistancep. 73
Assistance Strategiesp. 74
RAND's Evaluationp. 75
The Operating Environment Provided by School Jurisdictionsp. 76
A Concluding Notep. 79
A. Overview of RAND Evaluation for New American Schoolsp. 81
B. Design Team Descriptionsp. 83
Referencesp. 87