Implementing School Reform Models: Why Is It So Hard for Some Schools and Easy for OthersReport as inadecuate

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The thesis of this paper is that when a reform is initiated in the public schools, it is vitally important to understand the interplay between the culture of the specific reform model used and the school and classroom cultures. The paper reviews the literature covering many facets of school and classroom culture--including literature on school reform-and includes the author's experience of implementing one prominent school-reform initiative: the Accelerated Schools Project. The paper concludes that where a match between the cultures exists, or is desired by the majority, the reform is more likely to be successfully implemented. On the other hand, where the culture of the initiative and that of the school or that of many classrooms differ greatly, it is unlikely to succeed. This perspective points to the importance of developing tools to help school communities understand cultural compatibility, and it explains why one model may be appropriate for some schools while another model meets the needs of other schools. (Contains 58 references.) (DFR)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Classroom Environment, Cultural Differences, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnic Groups, Financial Support, Racial Differences, Research Projects, Research Tools, School Culture, Student Improvement

Author: Finnan, Christine


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