Expanding the Reach of Education Reforms: What Have We Learned About Scaling Up Educational Interventions?
Jan 1, 2004
Perspectives from Leaders in the Scale-Up of Educational Interventions
Published Sep 13, 2004
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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.