Early Implementation of School Reform: How Observation of Literacy Practices Reveals the Impact of Accountability Systems on the Reform Process

Devon Brenner, D. Kay Brocato, Terri Kurz

Abstract


This article examines a rural elementary school’s first year of implementation of a comprehensive school reform model, Accelerated Schools Plus. Teachers at this school were found to engage in literacy teaching practices consistent with moderately (but not high) performing schools, with strengths such as high levels of student engagement and relatively frequent coaching of students, and weaknesses such as infrequent teaching of comprehension and an almost exclusive use of passive instruction such as recitation. The reform model purports to help teachers to recognize such strengths and weaknesses, however, a focus on standardized test scores and accountability hampered teachers’ implementation of the reform model.

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