The Center is producing monthly electronic newsletters to keep you up to date on school reform and improvement topics.
The Center's Newsletters:
- District Support of School Improvement: Highlights from Three Districts
(Also available in PDF format)
The September 2009 newsletter addresses various supports that districts are utilizing to help keep students in school and on the path to graduation.
- Voices From The Field:
How School Boards Can Support Districtwide School Improvement Efforts (Also available in PDF format)
The August 2009 newsletter explores the role of the highest level of school governance, the community school board, and the impact of its leadership on school improvement.
- Reallocating Resources to Support School Improvement (Also available in PDF format)
The July 2009 newsletter authored by Sharon G. Deich offers strategies that have been used in successful reform efforts to facilitate the implementation, expansion, or sustainment of a wide range of school improvements.
- Designing Effective School Improvement Strategies (Also available in PDF format)
This June 2009 newsletter describes six quality indicators of high-achieving schools and discusses related strategies that may be incorporated into a comprehensive school improvement plan for schoolwide improvement initiatives.
- Conducting a Comprehensive Needs Assessment (Also available in
This June 2009 newsletter outlines a process of conducting a comprehensive needs assessment that uses data to drive school improvement and provide a focus for the school improvement team.
- Middle-to-High-School Transition: Practical Strategies to Consider (Also available in PDF format)
The May 2009 newsletter draws from several recent reports to discuss the issue of middle-to-high school transition and provide examples of successful transition practices.
- Developing a Positive School Climate (Also available in PDF format)
The April 2009 newsletter examines the research base behind school climate and what school administrators can do to create a positive school climate that enhances the learning environment and improves perceptions among students, staff, parents, and community members.
- Qualitatively Different: Mathematics Education for Teachers (Also available in PDF format)
The March 2009 newsletter focuses on recommendations from Foundations for Success: The Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel concerning mathematics instruction for teachers.
- A Look at Differentiating Instruction: Tips for Teachers (Also available in PDF format)
The February 2009 newsletter offers tips for teachers on differentiating instruction.
- Response to Intervention: Possibilities for Service Delivery (Also available in PDF format)
The June 2008 newsletter takes a look at the challenges and possibilities of implementing an RtI model at the secondary level.
- Stuck in the Middle: Strategies to Engage Middle-Level Learners (Also available in PDF format)
The May 2008 newsletter examines strategies to keep middle school students focused and engaged in the classroom.
- It Pays to Compare! Using Comparison to Help Build Students' Flexibility in Mathematics (Also available in PDF format)
The April 2008 newsletter examines the use of comparison as a means of introducing multiple strategies for problem-solving in mathematics, and encouraging the development of flexible knowledge in algebra.
- Getting to "Got It!" Helping Mathematics Students Reach Deep Understanding (Also available in PDF format)
The March 2008 newsletter discusses a recent practice guide titled Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning
that aims to supplement and inform teachers' instincts and experiences by identifying research-based instructional strategies that teachers of all content areas can use to improve student learning.
- Serving Recent Immigrant Students
Through School-Community Partnerships
(Also available in PDF format)
- The February 2008 newsletter examines how district and school
partnerships with community-based organizations can help schools better
meet the needs of recent immigrant students.
- Improving Teacher Retention With
Supportive Workplace Conditions
(Also available in PDF format)
- The June 2007 newsletter highlights the importance of supportive
working conditions. Factors such as time, leadership, professional
development, access to resources, and teacher empowerment all exert a
significant influence on the degree of satisfaction teachers feel in
- Attracting and Developing High-Quality Teachers
(Also available in PDF format)
- The May 2007 newsletter highlights several strategies that may be useful in attracting and developing high-quality teachers.
- Using Positive Student Engagement to Increase Student Achievement (Also available in PDF format)
- The April 2007 newsletter describes how student engagement impacts
learning and outlines ways in which teachers and school administrators
can foster student engagement.
- Maximizing the Impact of Teacher Collaboration
(Also available in PDF format)
- The March 2007 newsletter addresses teacher collaboration issues
by posing five questions that teachers can use to keep their
collaboration on track so that it contributes to the growth of a
professional learning community in their school.
- Using the Classroom Walk-Through as an Instructional Leadership Strategy (Also available in PDF format)
- The February 2007 newsletter examines the walk-through strategy as a tool for providing instructional leadership.
- A Teacher’s Guide to Differentiating Instruction (Also available in PDF format)
- The January 2007 newsletter examines the characteristics of differentiation
and offers suggestions for how teachers can use it to improve student
- Using Classroom Assessment to Improve Teaching (Also available in PDF format)
- The December 2006 newsletter explains why ongoing, high-quality classroom
assessments are so important and provides some suggestions for how they
can be developed and used.
- Seven Actions That Improve School District Performance (Also available in PDF format)
- The November 2006 newsletter highlights seven actions school
districts can take to improve their own effectiveness and better
support the efforts
of their schools to improve student achievement.
- Are High Schools Failing Their Students? Strengthening Academic Rigor in High School Curriculum (Also available in PDF format)
- The October 2006 newsletter explores the issue of academic rigor
and highlights current efforts to challenge and support high school
- What Schools Want Parents to Know (Also available in PDF format and in Spanish)
- To encourage parent participation, the September 2006 newsletter
summarizes five important points about involvement that every parent
- Defining the Role of School Boards: Architect, Communicator, Leader (Also available in PDF format)
- The August 2006 newsletter explains the
difference in purpose and function between a district’s school board
and its administration, summarizes different approaches to school board
organization, and illustrates the significant role school boards can
play in supporting increased student achievement.
- Program Evaluation for the Practitioner: Using Evaluation as a School Improvement Strategy (Also available in PDF format)
- The June 2006 newsletter explains how schools
can use program evaluation strategies to gather and analyze data and
make informed decisions that contribute to continuous improvement.
- Six Don’ts of School Improvement…and Their Solutions (Also available in PDF format)
- Hugh Burkett, director of The Center for Comprehensive School Reform
and Improvement, recently was asked to give the keynote speech at On
the Right Track 4, an annual school improvement symposium for
California school practitioners. In the May 2006 newsletter, Dr.
Burkett shares highlights from his remarks.
- School Restructuring Options Under No Child Left Behind: Exploring What Works When (Also available in PDF format)
- The April 2006 newsletter provides a snapshot of each paper in the What Works When series. The
full text of each paper is available online.
- When the Plan Becomes Part of the Problem (Also available in PDF format)
- The March 2006 newsletter explores four mistakes common to the
school planning process and improvement plans and offers solutions to
- Redefining Professional Development: Schools Can Become True Learning Communities for Teachers (Also available in PDF format)
- The February 2006 newsletter examines the characteristics of high-quality
professional development and offers some suggestions for improving its
impact and effectiveness.
- Subgroup Performance and School Reform: The Importance of a Comprehensive Approach (Also available in PDF format)
- The January 2006 newsletter highlights recent research that
suggests a different approach. It looks at three studies in which
schools that succeed – and all of them serve high percentages of at
risk students – take a more comprehensive approach to improvement.
- Teacher Leaders: The Backbone of Sustained Improvement (Also available in PDF format)
- The December 2005 newsletter defines teacher leadership and offers
concrete ways teachers can step forward, sometimes out of their comfort
into leadership roles.
- How to Improve the Design and Delivery of High-Quality Technical Assistance (Also available in PDF format)
- The November 2005 newsletter focuses on the critical role
collaboration plays when school districts and technical assistance
providers formulate, implement, and evaluate a technical assistance
This newsletter issue includes Figure 1. Components of a Technical Assistance Plan which is available here as a PDF file.
- Using Scientifically Based Research in Schools (Also available in PDF format)
- The October 2005 newsletter
provides practical suggestions for reading and understanding
scientifically based research and for applying the principles of
scientific inquiry to both teaching and student learning.
- The Role of Principal Leadership in Improving Student Achievement (Also available in PDF format)
- The September 2005 newsletter summarizes
what a recently published literature review titled "How Leadership
Influences Student Learning" reveals about the basics of successful
education leadership and offers practical suggestions for their
- Meeting the Challenge: Getting Parents Involved in Schools (Also available in PDF format)
- In the August 2005 newsletter, we offer
research-based advice and resources designed to help schools and
districts foster successful parent involvement.
- Nine Hard Things to Do in Order to Sustain School Reform (Also available in PDF format)
- For the June 2005 Newsletter, The Center
invited Ann Chafin to share her thoughts and ideas about sustaining
school reform. Chafin, chief of Program Improvement
and Family Support Branch of the Maryland State Department of
Education, was a speaker at the annual Institute for CSR State
Coordinators held May 9-10 in Washington, D.C.
- Things to Remember During the Teacher Hiring Season (Also available in PDF format)
- The May 2005 newsletter offers research-based advice and resources
designed to help schools and districts find, employ, and place
effective and qualified teachers.
- New Research on High-Performing, High-Poverty Schools
- The April 2005 newsletter summarizes a study by the Kentucky-based
Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence called Inside the Black Box
of High-Performing High-Poverty Schools.
- Getting and Keeping Teacher Quality Where it Counts
- In the March 2005 newsletter, we summarize the
findings of the National Partnership's inaugural report, Qualified
Teachers for At-Risk Schools: A National Imperative, which highlights
both pressing concerns and some promising solutions related to teacher
- Findings from the Longitudinal Assessment of Comprehensive School Reform
The February 2005 newsletter summarizes the first report of the planned
five-year, longitudinal study of the Comprehensive School Reform
- Issues in High School Reform
- In the January 2005 newsletter, we examine various
topics in high school reform including how to help struggling students
achieve academic proficiency, how to structure schools to support
achievement, and how to ensure that all students are offered a rigorous
and challenging academic program.
- Introduction to The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement
The December 2004 newsletter explains who we are and what we plan to do.