School districts don’t have to be “intractable bureaucracies” that resist reform, because there are many examples of districts that are playing key roles in improving schools, concludes a study of California school districts by Springboard Schools, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that focuses on raising student achievement.
The study included a survey of 115 principals as well as three case studies of individual districts. The results show that successful districts use testing as part of a process of continuous improvement, and those districts place a high priority on professional development. The study also found a balance between centralized and decentralized strategies.
A version of this article appeared in the June 07, 2006 edition of Education Week