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This document is an external evaluation report on the America's Choice School Design. The design is a K-12 comprehensive school-reform model focusing on raising academic achievement by providing a rigorous standards-based curriculum and safety net for all students. Its essential principles and tools include high expectations for student performance, an initial focus on literacy, a common-core curriculum, standards-based assessments, a distributed school leadership structure, safety nets, and a commitment to teacher professionalism. Data for this report came from interviews with nine principals who implemented the design at their schools. Developing a community of instructional practice is discussed, including the need for creating a safe environment for teachers, for emphasizing collaboration and communication, and for creating a framework of accountability. Suggestions are also given for principals in observing instruction, developing content knowledge, facilitating teachers' content knowledge, and becoming a supporter and service provider to teachers. By developing an organizational emphasis on instructional improvement, principals can demonstrate how schools can attain the instructional emphasis that leads to notable improvement in student performance. (RT)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Standards, Elementary Secondary Education, Instructional Leadership, Principals

Autor: Supovitz, Jonathan A.; Poglinco, Susan M.


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