A Theory of Action for High School Reform
Posted by on February 19, 2007
[posted from Public Education Network newsblast]
BLUEPRINT FOR STUDENT SUCCESS: A THEORY OF ACTON FOR HIGH SCHOOL REFORM
Alan Bersin left the San Diego city Schools in June 2005 — after seven tumultuous years as superintendent of the 141,000-student system. Formerly a U.S. Attorney, Bersin and his chief academic officer, Anthony Alvarado, in 2000 launched an ambitious reform effort aimed at strengthening instruction throughout the district. The effort, known as the Blueprint for Student Success, produced gains in student achievement, particularly in the elementary grades, but also attracted strong opposition from the local teachers? union and its allies on the school board. In 2001, San Diego became one of seven cities to participate in the Schools for a New Society Initiative. Sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York, the initiative aims to redesign high schools using a working theory of action that involves forming community partnerships — particularly with local education funds (LEFs) — and enlisting the community?s help to expand learning opportunities for youth and demand educational excellence. In this publication, Bersin shares with Collaborative Communications Group his reflections on the purpose of high school reform, how he would change San Diego?s theory of action for high schools — and the political and governance contexts in which the reforms occurred.
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