Comprehensive School Reform and Achievement: A Meta-Analyis
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This manuscript reviews research on achievement effects of “whole-school” or “comprehensive” reforms. In addition to reviewing the overall achievement effects of comprehensive school reform (CSR), the article analyzes effects of 29 of the most widely implemented models and how various CSR components, contextual factors, and methodological factors associated with the studies are related to effects of CSR. Based on a combination of the three criteria; quality of evidence, quantity of evidence, and statistically significant and positive results, 3 of the 29 reform models, namely Direct Instruction, School Development Program, and Success for All were categorized as having the Strongest Evidence of Effectiveness. These 3 models are effective in improving achievement across a number of contexts. Differences in CSR effects can be understood and explained in part by considering whether evaluations are carried out by the developer or by third-party evaluators and whether these evaluators use one group pre-post designs or control groups. Schools implementing CSR models for at least five years showed particularly strong effects, while schools benefited equally from the models regardless of whether they were of higher- and lower-poverty levels. Although CSR is still an evolving field, the overall effects of CSR are statistically significant and apparently stronger than the effects of other intervention programs with similar goals and aimed at similar student and school populations.
Summary by: Michael Muzheve
Submitted on 2008-07-17