School Improvement

Editor’s Note

Articles on this page examine some of the myriad challenges and difficult choices associated with the work of organizational change in schools. The topic includes discussion of promising strategies and practices associated with supporting and sustaining reform.

Addressing the High Costs of Student Mobility

Military-connected schools show how to ease the burden of frequent moves

Research has shown that frequent school transitions hurt students’ academic performance, but work with some of the most mobile students is revealing some simple strategies that may help.Continue

Inverting the Pyramid of School Reform

Practice should drive research and policy, not the reverse

When I was eight years old, I was sure that I knew how Santa Claus worked. I knew that the story my parents were telling me could not be true, because mathematically it just did not make sense. There were more than 5 billion people in the world, of which at least a billion were kids. There were only 86,400 seconds in a day. There was no way Santa could get to all of those chimneys. So how did my presents arrive at 402 Winston Avenue in North Baltimore?

“Clicks” Get Bricks

Once completely virtual, some K–12 online schools are settling into buildings

From its humble beginnings with 400 students in 2001, Connections Academy offered a complete, full-time education online for kindergarten through 12th grade students who wanted or needed to learn in more of a home-school setting. Continue

Lessons from the Data Wise Project

Three habits of mind for building a collaborative culture

Policy initiatives around the Common Core State Standards and teacher evaluation present schools with opportunity and risk. The opportunity is to make more effective use of evidence to inform the education of all of our children; the risk is to think that evidence alone will do the job.

Sultans of Sustainability

Districts hire new managers to cut energy and save money

Despite tight budgets, school districts from Cambridge, Mass., to Castle Rock, Colo., are creating new jobs to lead efforts in reducing energy consumption and promoting healthy environments for students and their staff. Continue

Successful School Reform Efforts Share Common Features

Schools big and small show that standards-based reform doesn't have to mean standardization. But it does require building "a culture of excellence."

“We Don't Allow That Here”

In an effort to stem student violence, schools experiment with ways to improve school safety

Solving Problems with ‘Action Research’

A conversation with Pedro Noguera

Using Charters to Improve Urban Schools

Two university-run programs are taking advantage of flexible charter school laws in an effort to raise minority achievement

The Limits of “Change”

Supporting real instructional improvement requires more than fiddling with organizational structures

Do AP and IB Courses Have Merit?

A new study by the National Research Council says yes, but recommends changes in how courses are taught

Fuel for Reform

The Importance of Trust in Changing Schools

Buying Quality

With budget cuts and layoffs from coast to coast, schools turn to private donations to make up the shortfall

School-Based Coaching

A revolution in professional development—or just the latest fad?

Rethinking High School and Beyond

A European-style proposal for strengthening the transition to work or higher education

Related Books

School Reform from the Inside Out
Bringing School Reform to Scale
Improving Struggling Schools
Inside School Turnarounds
I Used to Think . . . And Now I Think . . .
How It's Being Done
School Turnarounds