Anatomy of School System Improvement: Performance-Driven Practices in Urban School Districts

Lisa Petrides and Thad Nodine, Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management of Education
May 2005

This 84-pager was prepared on behalf of the NewSchools Venture Fund. It seeks to discover how urban school systems can do a better job of adopting "performance-driven practices that are explicitly directed toward increasing student achievement." (Two more papers on this topic will follow.) An example of such practices: frequent diagnostic assessments used for benchmarking. The authors come to six conclusions, none of which will surprise you, including their final observation that "Districts face significant hurdles in adopting performance-driven practices." Still, there's food for thought here amongst urban superintendents, school board members, and state officials contemplating intervening in "districts in need of improvement." You can see for yourself here.

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