Teacher-Reported Effects of the New American School Designs: Exploring Relationships to Teacher Background and School Context

by Mark Berends

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Getting teachers to support, substantively engage in, and sustain the implementation of whole-school designs is critical to the success of design-based assistance providers such as New American Schools (NAS). The purposes and approaches of NAS and its design teams are the same as those of "schoolwide" Title I programs and the Comprehensive School Reform Development program: improving student and school performance by adopting a unified, coherent approach rather than adding fragmented programs or investing in personnel dedicated to a small group of students in pull-out programs. It is uncertain whether the designs have positive effects on teachers' professional lives and the educational experiences of students. This is especially true for schools in the first few years of implementing whole-school reforms. This paper analyzes survey data from teachers and principals in 130 implementing NAS sites in eight jurisdictions. Its findings reveal that teacher views of resource adequacy and design communication are related to teacher support for both design and implementation.

Originally published in: Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, v. 22, no. 1, Spring 2000, pp. 65-82.

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