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Study Outlines Lessons Learned About School District Reform

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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 conducted 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 on 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, and explicit district plans about student learning goals and the strategies used to achieve those goals.

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