Cover: The Role of Districts in Fostering Instructional Improvement

The Role of Districts in Fostering Instructional Improvement

Lessons from Three Urban Districts Partnered with the Institute for Learning

Published Oct 18, 2005

by Julie A. Marsh, Kerri A. Kerr, Gina Schuyler Ikemoto, Hilary Darilek, Marika Booth, Ron Zimmer, Heather Barney


Download eBook for Free

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.6 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback220 pages $27.50

The current high-stakes accountability environment brought on by the federal No Child Left Behind Act places great pressure on school districts to demonstrate success by meeting yearly progress goals for student achievement and eventually demonstrating that all students achieve at high standards. Many urban school districts, in particular, face great challenges in meeting these goals. This study analyzes three urban districts’ efforts to face these challenges and assesses the contribution to those efforts made by an intermediary organization, the Institute for Learning. It describes the districts’ work in four areas: promoting principals’ instructional leadership; supporting teachers’ professional learning, in particular through school-based coaching models; specifying curriculum; and promoting data-based decisionmaking for planning and instructional improvement. For each area, it identifies constraints and enablers of district success, assesses the nature and effect of district-intermediary partnerships, and makes recommendations for districts undertaking similar instructional reforms.

The research described in this report was conducted within RAND Education and supported by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

This report is part of the RAND monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.