Cover image for Implementation and performance in New American Schools : three years into scale-up
Implementation and performance in New American Schools : three years into scale-up
Berends, Mark, 1962-
Publication Information:
Santa Monica, CA : Rand, 2001.
Physical Description:
xxiv, 257 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
"Prepared for New American Schools."

"Rand Education."

Added Author:
Format :


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Material Type
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LB2822.82 .I44 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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As a private nonprofit corporation, New American Schools (NAS) began in 1991 to fund the development of designs aimed at transforming entire schools at the elementary and secondary levels. This report describes trends in implementation, school performance, and related factors for a sample of NAS schools. It is based on a three-year longitudinal study of these schools.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Berends offers a refreshingly frank evaluation of an ambitious effort--the system-wide application of whole school reform models. The New American Schools (NAS) Corporation funded the effort, and RAND assessed the success of each model in raising school achievement after three years of project implementation. The factors explored include teacher perceptions, school characteristics (including leadership strength), assistance from model design teams, and district support. Teachers who had the most faith in the ability of schools to affect achievement were more likely to implement the models faithfully. Small schools and elementary schools were best at implementing the models, especially when combined with district and school-based leadership support. Finally, model support teams played a large role in ensuring that teachers optimized the materials and mission of the reform effort. Although the project sought to demonstrate that whole school reform would lead to dramatic improvement in achievement even for the most educationally challenged students, the evaluators realized that the goals were too optimistic. This RAND report would be a good resource for policy discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of whole school reform and is timely for current political discussions. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above. R. F. Subotnik American Psychological Association

Table of Contents

Prefacep. iii
Figuresp. xi
Tablesp. xv
Summaryp. xvii
Acknowledgmentsp. xxiii
Chapter 1 A Brief History of New American Schools and Rand's Role in Monitoring the Effortp. 1
History of NAS and RAND's Rolep. 3
Research Questions Underlying RAND'S Overall Evaluationp. 7
Significant Features of RAND Researchp. 8
Purpose of Current Reportp. 9
Organization of the Reportp. 10
Chapter 2 Analyzing Implementation and Performance in Nas Schools: A Conceptual Frameworkp. 11
Core Elements of Designsp. 11
Factors Affecting Implementationp. 15
External Assistance by Design Teamsp. 16
Teacher Backgroundp. 18
School Characteristicsp. 19
District Factorsp. 20
Other Factorsp. 22
Implementation and Performancep. 23
Chapter 3 Rand's Sample of New American Schoolsp. 25
A Sample of New American Schoolsp. 25
Historical Context of Samplep. 26
Toward the Final Analysis Samplep. 27
Teacher Samplep. 32
Overview of NAS Schools in Analysis Samplep. 33
Chapter 4 Status of Implementationp. 37
Research Questionsp. 37
Measuring Implementation Within and Across Designsp. 38
Implementation Indicesp. 41
Core Implementation Indexp. 42
Change in Implementation over Time and by Number of Years of Implementationp. 45
Design Team-Specific Implementation Indexp. 49
Changes in Implementation Between 1997 and 1998p. 52
Summaryp. 54
Differences Across Jurisdictionsp. 54
Differences Across Design Teamsp. 55
Differences by Years Implementingp. 58
Chapter 5 Factors Affecting Implementationp. 59
Operationalizing the Variables Affecting Implementationp. 60
Teacher Background Characteristicsp. 60
School Characteristicsp. 61
Designs and Design Team Assistancep. 62
District Supportp. 64
Variation in Implementation: MultiLevel Analysisp. 64
The Analysis Samplep. 66
Variance Components of the Dependent Variablep. 69
Multivariate Resultsp. 70
Teacher-Level Effectsp. 71
School-Level Effectsp. 74
Goodness of Fitp. 76
Summaryp. 77
Chapter 6 Performance Trends in Nas Schoolsp. 79
Monitoring Academic Progress with School-Level Test Scoresp. 80
Comparing NAS Schools to District Averages: Setting Expectationsp. 83
Sample of NAS Schools for Performance Trend Analysesp. 83
Performance Trends in Cincinnatip. 83
Grades 3-5 Combinedp. 85
Grade 7p. 87
Summary for Cincinnatip. 88
Performance Trends in Dadep. 90
Grade 5p. 91
Grade 8p. 92
Grade 9p. 92
Summary for Dadep. 95
Performance Trends in Kentuckyp. 96
Grades 4-5p. 97
Grades 7-8p. 100
Grade 11p. 101
Summary for Kentuckyp. 103
Performance Trends in Memphisp. 104
Grades 3-5p. 105
Grades 7-8p. 106
Summary for Memphisp. 109
Performance Trends in Philadelphiap. 110
Grade 4p. 110
Grade 8p. 111
Grade 11p. 111
Summary for Philadelphiap. 113
Performance Trends in San Antoniop. 113
Grades 4-5p. 115
Grade 8p. 117
Grade 10p. 117
Summary for San Antoniop. 120
Performance Trends in Washingtonp. 120
Grade 4p. 121
Grade 8p. 123
Grade 11p. 125
Summary for Washingtonp. 125
The Link Between Implementation and Performancep. 127
Summaryp. 129
Differences in School Performance by Jurisdictionp. 129
Differences in School Performance by Design Teamp. 131
Chapter 7 Qualitative Outcome Indicatorsp. 133
Teacher-Reported Effects on Professional Development, Teaching, and Student Achievementp. 134
Modeling Teacher-Reported Effects of Designs on Student Achievementp. 138
Teacher Level Effectsp. 138
Design-Related Variablesp. 140
School-Level Variablesp. 140
Goodness of Fitp. 140
Summaryp. 141
Chapter 8 Conclusions and Policy Implicationsp. 143
Implementation of NAS Designs Varies for Several Reasonsp. 143
Teachers' Perceptions Matterp. 144
School Characteristics: Importance of Size, Level, and Leadershipp. 144
Design Teams: Importance of Clear Communication and Teacher Supportp. 145
District Support Is Criticalp. 146
Appropriate Allocation of Critical Resourcesp. 148
"Schoolwide" Reform?p. 149
Early Performance Trendsp. 150
Setting Expectations for Comprehensive School Reformp. 151
A. Key Studies in Rand's Evaluation of Nas School Reformp. 155
B. Description of Additional Implementation Indicators of the Designs, By Jurisdiction and Design Team, 1997 and 1998p. 161
C. Models of Performance Expectations, Instructional Strategies, and Professional Development and Implementation Indicesp. 185
D. Description of Standardized Tests Used By Various Jurisdictionsp. 189
E. Graphs for Reading Scores for Nas Schools in Everett, Northshore, and Shoreline Districts in Washingtonp. 197
F. Rand Principal and Teacher Questionnairesp. 203
Referencesp. 245