comprehensive school reform

Comprehensive school reform, or CSR, is among the waves of improvement efforts that radiated from the 1983 report A Nation at Risk, a landmark indictment of U.S. public schools. CSR focuses on improvements schoolwide, encompassing everything from curriculum to school management.

The basic principle of CSR is that instead of a fragmented approach to addressing achievement issues, schools must overhaul their systems from top to bottom. Therefore, from a CSR perspective, a rigorous curriculum program is not the only element critical to raising student-achievement levels. Rather, efficient school management, ongoing staff development, frequent student assessment, and parent involvement are also vitally important. Because the strategies of this reform movement are wide-ranging and encompass all parts of a school’s operations, CSR is also referred to as "schoolwide" or "whole school" reform.

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