Implementing Site-Managed Educational Changes: Examining Levels of Implementation and Effect
AbstractAlthough states have attempted to influence educational outcomes through decentralizing decision-making authority over the past decade, the evidence that such reforms encourage schools to implement programs that improve outcomes has been slow to accumulate. This study examines the effect of a statewide policy intended to raise student achievement in schools serving high numbers of at-risk students through emphasizing teacher participation in school-based decision making about school needs. The results indicated that the policy was successful in encouraging teacher participation in decisions about student needs and the selection of improvement activities. Subsequently, features of the participating schools' environments and teachers' beliefs about the value of chosen improvement activities combined to produce successful site implementation. Some evidence also suggested the policy led to improved student reading achievement in the early elementary grades among schools that had participated in the program over several years.