Organizational Practices

School Improvement, Interventions and Technical Assistance

by Heather Barney, Abby Robyn

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The majority of the attention paid to the No Child Left Behind Act (P.L. 107-110) over the past several years has focused on the accountability aspects, including assessments, adequate yearly progress (AYP) determinations, school choice, and supplemental educational services. Significantly less attention has been paid to provisions dealing with school improvement and technical assistance, which some experts charge have been “overshadowed” and “underemphasized” (Reid, 2004; also Fuhrman, 2003). Despite their low-profile, however, understanding the improvement and technical assistance aspects of the law is vitally important because the success of any education reform will eventually be measured by its ability to bring about positive change in schools and districts. This paper draws on RAND’s Implementing Standards-Based Accountability (ISBA) project to present preliminary findings regarding how improvement and technical assistance are playing out in schools in three states.

This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation and conducted within RAND Education.

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