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What Is School Improvement Actually About? An Exploration of Problems, Decisions, and Opportunities for Research Use

Fri, April 13, 12:00 to 1:30pm, Park Central Hotel New York, Floor: Ballroom Level, Ballroom


We explore school based practitioners’ reports of problems and decisions as part of improvement efforts in order to problematize assumptions about the availability of research under current accountability policies. We describe historical challenges to strengthening ties between research and practice, with particular attention to the relevance of research to the challenges schools face. We then draw on data from a large pilot study of schools’ use of research to examine the types of organizational problems and decisions schools report addressing in the past year. Findings provide insight into the needs of schools, highlight the need for improved practice-to-research communication structures, and suggest opportunities for strengthening ties between research and practice in the context of school improvement and accountability.


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