CPRE : Consortium for Policy Research in Education

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Case Study

Evans Elementary School

Evans Elementary School has been part of the Children Achieving evaluation for four years, beginning in the 1996- 1997 school year. In 1997, Evans was perceived as one of the lowest performing schools in the Philadelphia School District. However, over the past four years there has been a steady and notable improvement in the school in several key areas: community and parent involvement, leadership and professional community, instruction, and in the availability of resources to support teachers. These improvements are reflected in the significant increase in student achievementincreases that, in most cases, exceed the average gains made by elementary schools in the District. By the 1999-2000 school year, cluster staff who had been working in the school described Evans as a very strong school that has made significant progress.

While the leadership provided by the current principal and her immediate predecessor have been important in the school’s improvement, the leadership and commitment of the teachers, as well as the involvement of parents, are also important dimensions of the story of improvement at this school. In the 1996-1997 school year, the school had two acting principals, yet teachers were still actively engaged in instructional improvement and in building professional community in the school. Teachers identify their decision to adopt a whole-school reform model offered by the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES) as an important factor in their ability to change and improve instruction, along with the support provided by the District and the cluster in promoting and supporting instructional reform. The determination and commitment of parents to promote and support instructional improvement has also contributed to the climate of change.

Publication Date

January 2011