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Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 5 months ago

A Variable-Based Descriptive Framework for Schools


In recent years, educational researchers interested in comparing schools have conducted studies aimed at establishing whether certain types of schools are beneficial in terms of students’ behavioral, motivational or academic outcomes. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these studies base their comparisons upon school governance (e.g., "charter vs. district", or "public vs. private"). This approach does not take into account differences in schools' structure and operational processes, and, as a result, it is difficult to draw lessons from this research that would enlighten public policy or guide school reform efforts.


When evaluating schools, we must go beyond the surface of simple jurisdictional labels to consider how, at a deeper level, schools differ from one another. Even a brief review of the various types of schools around the country would reveal significant differences in learning models, administration, facilities and resources, especially when examining secondary schools. Rather than being a basis for comparing schools, chartering or private schooling are only mechanisms that enable educational innovation to arise. It is the innovations, not the mode of governance, that should be the target of our research efforts. To do this, a more detailed descriptive framework for schools is required.


Go to the ProjectDefinition


This project is made possible by the generous support of the Spencer Foundation. The project is being executed by Education|Evolving, a Minnesota-based organization that is committed to helping K–12 education evolve and meet the challenges, demands, and opportunities of the 21st Century.


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