Comprehensive School Reform Program

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Guidance on the Comprehensive School Reform Program
Updated August 2002
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I. Accountability Provisions

I-1. What evaluation requirements apply to SEAs with CSR programs?

CSR legislation requires SEAs to describe how they will annually evaluate the implementation of comprehensive reforms and measure the extent to which the reforms have resulted in increased student academic achievement.

I-2. What elements of their CSR programs must an LEA evaluate?

LEAs must measure the results achieved in improving student academic achievement, and they must evaluate the implementation of comprehensive school reform programs.

I-3. What should an SEA and LEA consider in designing the evaluation of their CSR programs?

The CSR evaluation requirement is intended primarily to inform SEAs and LEAs about how effective their schools have been in improving student achievement using comprehensive reform strategies. They should use the results of these evaluations to improve programs in schools with poor performance and should share the successes of schools with high performance.

SEAs and LEAs must evaluate both the implementation of comprehensive school reform programs and the student achievement results:

  • Student achievement data: A comprehensive school reform program must include measurable goals for student academic achievement. Using valid and reliable measures, SEAs and LEAs should track student achievement in CSR schools using the same assessment data that are being used under Title I, Part A to measure the progress of all students in achieving challenging State standards (section 1116).

    Evaluation measures can compare student achievement in CSR schools with achievement at the same schools before the reforms began to be implemented; student achievement at CSR schools with achievement at other district schools with similar characteristics; and CSR-school achievement with State achievement standards.

    In order to assess the impact of reform on targeted groups, evaluators should disaggregate achievement data using the same disaggregation categories the State will use to determine adequate yearly progress (AYP) under section 1111(b)(2) of the reauthorized ESEA.

    SEAs and LEAs may also wish to monitor the extent to which comprehensive school reform programs have affected other indicators of school performance such as attendance, grade promotion, graduation, suspension and expulsion rates, course-taking patterns, and parental involvement.

  • Program implementation data: Although implementation data cannot substitute for achievement data, research has consistently shown that fidelity of implementation is a powerful factor in the success of school reform programs. Comprehensive reforms can succeed if they are implemented well, with particular attention focused on initial activities and long-term sustainability. Quality-of-implementation indicators include measures of stakeholder support, parent participation, ongoing professional development, and student academic performance. SEAs and LEAs should also consider gathering information on the nature and extent of external technical assistance provided to schools in implementing their program, the source of that technical assistance, and the school staff's perception of its usefulness. Monitoring these indicators can provide helpful data in designing ongoing strategies to sustain reform.

    SEAs can use this evaluation data to make determinations about their CSR schools. They can identify schools in need of additional support and make decisions about whether or not CSR schools should receive continuation funding.

I-4. What requirements for reporting apply to SEAs with CSR programs?

SEAs must report to the Department the names of the LEAs and schools that received CSR grants; the amount of funding they received; and a description of the comprehensive school reforms used by those schools. In addition, SEAs must submit a copy of their annual evaluation of the implementation of comprehensive school reforms and the student achievement results to the Department.


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Last Modified: 12/03/2004