CPRE : Consortium for Policy Research in Education


The Implementation Gap: Understanding Reform in High Schools

The Implementation Gap
(2008) is available from Teachers College Press.

Based on an in-depth investigation by the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), this volume looks at what actually happens when externally designed reforms enter into school environments. How and in what ways do reforms change schools even as schools alter the intent of reforms? What motivates school faculty responses and program designer reactions? This book sheds new light on these important questions by focusing on high schools, the sites of the greatest challenges in current school improvement efforts. From a variety of perspectives, the contributors present:

  • A compelling story about high schools that are using a variety of school improvement programs: High Schools That Work, First Things First, Ramp-Up to Literacy, the Penn Literacy Network, and SchoolNet.
  • Data from a diverse sample of schools, ranging from urban to rural, high performing to low performing, racially homogeneous to ethnically diverse.
  • Specific chapters on the impact of program design, the influence of teacher communication patterns, the imprint of both formal and informal leadership, and the role of the central office.
  • A new look at the ways in which reform efforts are repeatedly adjusted as they work their way through high schools.

To read a review of the book by the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, please click here.

Publication Date

March 2008