Organized around the four key areas outlined in the U. S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top program, Strategic Priorities for School Improvement presents a collection of seminal articles on standards and assessment; using data to improve learning; recruiting and retaining great teachers and leaders; and turning around failing schools
Contributors include Karin Chenoweth, Stacey Childress, Elizabeth A. City, Rachel E. Curtis, Richard F. Elmore, Susan Moore Johnson, Ellen Moir, Richard J. Murnane, W. James Popham, Robert Rothman, Alexander Russo, D. Brent Stephens, and Nancy Walser.
[These] four major issues . . . reflect an accurate understanding of the next level of work states and districts must undertake if the initial promise of standards-based reform is to be realized.
After twenty years of experience there is very little pushback to the core ideas of the standards movement . . . There is widespread recognition, however, that it is one thing to enunciate these principles and quite another to be able to implement them in ways that will genuinely enable all students to leave high school college- and/or career-ready.
While there are no magic bullets for educational improvement, the Obama administration is betting that the states that adopt more rigorous standards and richer assessments, develop more powerful data systems, invest in the development of great teachers and leaders, and aggressively focus on turning around their lowest-performing schools will show the most progress in improving student performance in the next decade.
The thoughtful essays in this volume can provide useful guidance to policymakers and practitioners as they move to address these four areas for improvement. — Robert B. Schwartz, Academic Dean and William Henry Bloomberg Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education