Planned change in urban school districts

by John A. Pincus, Richard C. Williams

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Rand studied five urban school districts' patterns of educational innovation. Although all five districts were recommended as innovative, only three qualified, by study criteria. Five factors seemed to be important in establishing autonomous innovation: (1) establishing protective tolerance for change; (2) developing leadership components; (3) creating a planning and delivery system; (4) deriving the benefits; and (5) maintaining the benefits. We found that innovative school districts tend to lose innovative qualities over time--there are cycles of innovation and decline in all innovative districts.

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