Expanding the Reach of Education Reforms

Perspectives from Leaders in the Scale-Up of Educational Interventions

by Thomas K. Glennan, Jr., Susan J. Bodilly, Jolene Galegher, Kerri A. Kerr


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Over the last few decades, demands that schools serve all students better and be accountable for student performance have inspired many education reforms. Meanwhile, the focus has shifted from assisting individual teachers and schools to applying proven reforms more widely-scale-up. The authors of the essays in this volume have helped extend various reforms beyond the environments in which they first proved successful. The authors recount the challenges they faced and the lessons they learned. One major challenge has been building the capacity in schools, districts, and states both to implement and to sustain the reforms. Some elements of successful scale-ups are adjusting programs for differing cultural and policy environments, implementing quality-control mechanisms, ensuring that all supports are in place (including financing), and fostering a sense of ownership. Success with any design requires participants at all levels-developers, teachers, schools, districts, and states-to cooperate in an iterative and complex and process that, among other things, aligns the program with local accountability requirements and provides the policies and infrastructure that will sustain the practices for the long term.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction: Framing the Problem

  • Chapter Two

    Cognitively Guided Instruction: Challenging the Core of Educational Practice

  • Chapter Three

    The National Writing Project: Scaling Up and Scaling Down

  • Chapter Four

    Impediments to Scaling Up Effective Comprehensive School Reform Models

  • Chapter Five

    Scaling Up Success For All: Lessons for Policy and Practice

  • Chapter Six

    Taking Education Programs to Scale: Lessons from the Field

  • Chapter Seven

    Reaching for Coherence in School Reform: The Case of America’s Choice

  • Chapter Eight

    A Different Way of Growing

  • Chapter Nine

    Co-nect at the Crossroads: Four Considerations on Getting to Scale

  • Chapter Ten

    Scaling Up Turning Points Through Autonomous Regional Centers

  • Chapter Eleven

    Scaling Up Talent Development High Schools: Lessons Learned from Comprehensive High School Reform

  • Chapter Twelve

    Taking High Schools That Work to Scale: The Evolution of a High School Reform Program

  • Chapter Thirteen

    The First Few Years of Edison Schools: Ten Lessons in Getting to Scale

  • Chapter Fourteen

    School Districts as Learning Organizations: A Strategy for Scaling Education Reform

  • Chapter Fifteen

    Choices and Consequences in the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative: Building the Capacity to Scale Up Whole-School Improvement

  • Chapter Sixteen

    Leveraging the Market to Scale Up School Improvement Programs: A Fee-for-Service Primer for Foundations and Nonprofits

  • Chapter Seventeen

    Summary: Toward a More Systematic Approach to Expanding the Reach of Educational Interventions

  • Appendix A


  • Appendix B

    Program Descriptions and Contact Information

The research described in this report was conducted by RAND Education for the Ford Foundation.

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