Building District Capacity for System-Wide Instructional Improvement in Stamford Public Schools. Working Paper. GE Foundation Developing Futures™ in Education Evaluation SeriesReportar como inadecuado

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Consortium for Policy Research in Education

This report summarizes findings from one component of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education's (CPRE) evaluation of the General Electric Foundation's (GEF) "Developing Futures"™ in Education program in Stamford Public Schools (SPS). The purpose was to closely analyze district capacity to support system-wide instructional improvement. Specifically, this phase focused on a single, overarching question: to what extent has the district central office adopted and institutionalized the core principles of "Developing Futures"™? To answer this question, this evaluation assesses the Stamford Public School District's progress in scaling up and institutionalizing seven core elements of "Developing Futures"™: (1) Internal constituency engagement: The district engages stakeholders at all levels of the system, and establishes common vision and buy-in for improvement efforts; (2) External constituency engagement: The district engages partner organizations and institutions, parents and the community; and effectively communicates about reform efforts; (3) Curriculum and instruction: The district communicates and supports a system­-wide vision for instructional improvement; (4) Professional development for instruction: The district delivers high-­quality professional development on curriculum, instruction, standards, and assessment; (5) Professional development for leadership: The district delivers high-quality professional development on leadership or management; (6) Management capacity: The district collects and uses data, attracts and develops talent, and evaluates staff performance; and (7) Evaluation: The district monitors and evaluates reform efforts. These seven reform elements were identified through a review of GEF program materials and documentation, and through a close analyses of each districts' reform trajectory over the life of the grant. Based on a thorough review of the research and evaluation literature, a set of indicators was constructed to allow the research team to determine the extent to which there was evidence of effective practice in each of these seven areas. Each area was decomposed into a set of more specific, observable characteristics. Research instruments were designed to elicit evidence of these characteristics in descriptions of central office processes, functions, or overall capacity. Ratings were then assigned to each characteristic based on the prevalence of available evidence using a three-point scale. This report provides ratings for SPS for each indicator and its component characteristics, along with qualitative and survey evidence illustrating and supporting the ratings. Overall, SPS implemented strategies to address each of the indicators discussed in this report: Internal Constituency Engagement, External Constituency Engagement, Curriculum & Instruction, Professional Development-Instructional, Professional Development-Leadership, Management Capacity, and Evaluation. Progress in each of these indicators varied, with the district meeting with greater success in some areas than in others.

Descriptors: School Districts, Public Schools, Instructional Improvement, Capacity Building, Program Evaluation, Program Effectiveness, Stakeholders, Partnerships in Education, Educational Change, Professional Development, Educational Indicators, Leadership, Interviews, Surveys, Qualitative Research

Consortium for Policy Research in Education. University of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market Street Suite 560, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Tel: 215-593-0700; Fax: 215-573-7914; e-mail: cpre[at]; Web site:

Autor: Fink, Ryan; Riggan, Matt


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