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Selected Readings on Effective Schools

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Following is a selected bibliography of books, articles, and reports on effective schools. The readings, listed chronologically, are not intended to be comprehensive, but to provide a starting point for additional information.

Books and Monographs

Creating Effective Schools: An Inservice Program for Enhancing School Learning Climate and Achievement, by Wilbur Brookover, Laurence Beamer, Helen Efthim, Douglas Hathaway, Lawrence Lezotte, Stephen Miller, Joseph Passalacque, and Louis Tornatzky, 1982 (Learning Publications Inc., Box 1326--Dept. CE, Holmes Beach, Fla. 33509).

A team of teachers, principals, and researchers wrote this book based on their efforts to help schools in Pontiac, Mich., become more effective in promoting student achievement. Designed as a self-help program, the book provides 11 in-service curricula on such topics as creating expectations for learning, student grouping practices, effective instruction, school discipline and management, reinforcing achievement, and the use of assessment data for school improvement.

The authors emphasize joint decisionmaking, mutual support, and strong instructional leadership from the principal. Each segment includes findings and references from the research, discussion, and suggested activities and resources for school staff.

A Citizen's Notebook for Effective Schools, compiled by Ross Zerchykov, foreword by Don Davies, 1984 (Institute for Responsive Education, 605 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, Mass. 02215).

A loose-leaf collection of materials intended to help citizens, teachers, and administrators become more active in work-ing to make schools effective for all children. The publication contains research evidence on what works, examples of school-improvement efforts that have succeeded, and a list of resource materials and people who can be contacted for more information about individual programs.

It also includes topical and geographical indexes, and special sections on measuring school effectiveness and the effective high school.

Improving Student Achievement: School District Leadership, compiled by Theodore S. Sergi and Joan Shoemaker, 1985 (Connecticut State Department of Education, P.O. Box 2219, Hartford, Conn. 06145).

This collection of articles focuses on the role of district- and state-level staff in raising student achievement. In addition to discussions of effective schools, it includes articles on several other models for school improvement, including that developed by James Comer of Yale University.

Reaching for Excellence: An Effective Schools Sourcebook, edited by Regina M. J. Kyle, 1985 (Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402).

This is the most recent and comprehensive collection of articles on effective-schools and effective-teaching research. It was prepared for the National Institute of Education.

The 245-page reference guide includes articles on the implications of the research for practice, effective elementary schools and high schools, assessing school effectiveness, and district- and state-level policies and practices.

It also includes a directory of 39 school-effectiveness programs compiled by Matthew B. Miles and Tanya Kaufman, with the Center for Policy Research in New York City, as well as an extensive bibliography.

All Our Kids Can Learn To Read, written by Designs for Change, November 1985 (Designs for Change, 220 South State Street, Suite 1616, Chicago, Ill. 60604).

Designs for Change is a citizens' group concerned with the quality of Chicago's public schools. This work is a handbook for parents and citizens that outlines both the research on effective schools and on reading instruction. Based on the group's "schoolwatch" campaign for effective schools, it has special sections on how parents can work with the bureaucracy as well as descriptions of specific steps they can take to improve the productivity of local schools.


(The following magazine issues included a series of articles on effective schools.)

Educational Leadership, October 1979, December 1982, March 1985 (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 225 N. Washington St., Alexandria, Va. 22314).

Phi Delta Kappan, June 1983, June 1984 (Phi Delta Kappa Inc., Eighth & Union, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, Ind. 47402).

Social Policy, Fall 1984 (Social Policy Corporation, 33 West 42nd St., New York, N.Y. 10036).

The Journal of Negro Education, Summer 1985 (Howard University Press, Howard University, Washington, D.C. 20059).

Evaluations and Guidebooks

(Recent evaluations and descriptions of sample effective-schools programs.)

"The Effective-Schools Program, Project Perform Schools: Evaluation Report," pre-pared by Margaret Fleming, July 1985 (Cleveland Public Schools, 1380 East Sixth St., Cleveland, Ohio 44114).

"An Evaluation of School Effectiveness Programs in Connecticut: Technical Report," prepared by Raymond Pecheone and Joan Shoemaker, 1984; "Handbook for Use of the Connecticut School Effectiveness Interview and Questionnaire," prepared by C. Patrick Proctor and Robert M. Villanova (Connecticut Department of Education, P.O. Box 2219, Hartford, Conn. 06145).

"Project Rise Evaluation: Including School-by-School Release of Test Results," prepared by the division of planning and long-range development, January 1985; "Rising to Individual Scholastic Excellence: A Guide to School Effectiveness," August 1982 (Milwaukee Public Schools, P.O. Drawer 10K, Milwaukee, Wis. 53201).

"School Improvement Project: 1983-84, Fifth Annual Process Assessment," prepared by the Metropolitan Educational Development and Research Project Documentation Unit, 1984 (Office of Educational Assessment, New York City Board of Education, 110 Livingston St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201).


The National Council for Effective Schools is dedicated to helping public schools work more effectively with children from low-income families. As part of its mission, the council is planning to validate and recognize schools which demonstrate high achievement in reading and math, with no disparity in achievement based on the social class of their students. For additional information, write: Maureen McCormack-Larkin, The Center for Law and Education, 2823 West McKinley Blvd., Milwaukee, Wis. 53208 (414-342-8009).

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