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IJER Vol 26-N3

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The mission of the International Journal of Educational Reform (IJER) is to keep readers up-to-date with worldwide developments in education reform by providing scholarly information and practical analysis from recognized international authorities. As the only peer-reviewed scholarly publication that combines authors’ voices without regard for the political affiliations perspectives, or research methodologies, IJER provides readers with a balanced view of all sides of the political and educational mainstream. To this end, IJER includes, but is not limited to, inquiry based and opinion pieces on developments in such areas as policy, administration, curriculum, instruction, law, and research.
IJER should thus be of interest to professional educators with decision-making roles and policymakers at all levels turn since it provides a broad-based conversation between and among policymakers, practitioners, and academicians about reform goals, objectives, and methods for success throughout the world.
Readers can call on IJER to learn from an international group of reform implementers by discovering what they can do that has actually worked. IJER can also help readers to understand the pitfalls of current reforms in order to avoid making similar mistakes. Finally, it is the mission of IJER to help readers to learn about key issues in school reform from movers and shakers who help to study and shape the power base directing educational reform in the U.S. and the world.

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The Use of Evaluation to Establish an Evidence Base, Lessons Learned, and Realistic Picture of Program and Policy Implementation and Sustainability: Ohio as an Exemplar for Education Transformation

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The Use of Evaluation to Establish an Evidence Base, Lessons Learned, and Realistic Picture of Program and Policy Implementation and Sustainability

Ohio as an Exemplar for Education Transformation

Jacinda K. Dariotis

Vicki L. Plano Clark

ABSTRACT: This editorial introduces a special issue containing five articles that report on an evaluation of the implementation of four education transformation models within the state of Ohio. The first article presents an overview of the cross-model results, followed by four individual articles that each present a case study analysis of one of the four transformation models. The editorial highlights how this evaluation effort as a whole demonstrates the importance of rigorous evaluation approaches for examining the strategies and challenges involved in state-wide transformation evaluation efforts.

KEYWORDS: evaluation, reform implementation, school improvement, education transformation

This special issue of the International Journal of Educational Reform presents the results of a three-year evaluation examining the implementation, outcomes, and sustainability of four models of education transformation funded in Ohio. The purpose of this editorial is to describe the strategies and challenges involved in state-wide transformation evaluation efforts and highlight how the evaluation presented in this special issue exemplifies the use of evaluation to establish evidence base and offers key lessons learned.

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Successes and Cautionary Notes from a Two-Year Study of the Ohio Network of Education Transformation

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Successes and Cautionary Notes from a Two-Year Study of the Ohio Network of Education Transformation

Sam Stringfield†

Jacinda K. Dariotis

Vicki L. Plano Clark

Amy N. Farley

Ann Allen

Kathleen Carr

Audra Morrison

Jessica A. West1

J. Kessa Roberts

Greg Sellers

ABSTRACT: The Ohio Network of Education Transformation (ONET) funded schools to implement different models of school reform including Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), the Asia Society’s International Studies Schools Network (ISSN), New Tech, and Early College. This article introduces these four reform models and considers their implementation and impacts for two sites each. Findings from a two-year evaluation focus on overarching themes and lessons learned across reform models. Four subsequent articles present findings from each model in greater detail. Taken together, this set of articles provides an in-depth understanding of educational reform implementation for often under-studied reform models.

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Implementation of the International Studies Schools Network (ISSN) Reform Model: A Case Study in Ohio

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Implementation of the International Studies Schools Network (ISSN) Reform Model

A Case Study in Ohio

Vicki L. Plano Clark

Jessica A. West1

Sam Stringfield†

Jacinda K. Dariotis

ABSTRACT: This case study examined the implementation of Asia Society’s International Studies Schools Network (ISSN) model in two schools funded for three years (2011–2014) through the Ohio Network of Education Transformation. Documents, interviews, and observations were gathered over two years (2013–2015) for two schools. One year post-funding, the high school’s implementation of the ISSN model was thriving and the middle school was struggling to maintain its implementation. Several dimensions emerged from the data analysis to help explain the differences between the schools’ ISSN implementation and to suggest lessons learned specific to the ISSN reform model.

KEYWORDS: International Studies Schools Network (ISSN), reform implementation, case study

A key decision within any school reform effort is the selection of the guiding reform model. The evaluation of the Ohio Network of Education Transformation (ONET) component of Ohio’s implementation of the Race to the Top (RttT) initiative provided a unique opportunity in which to examine and compare the implementation of different educational reform models (Stringfield et al., 2017). Five districts in Ohio originally received funding ($600,000 over three years) to implement the International Studies Schools Network (ISSN) model. This case study describes the experiences of two funded schools.

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Challenges with Implementing the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Reform Model: A Case Study in Ohio

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Challenges with Implementing the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Reform Model

A Case Study in Ohio

Vicki L. Plano Clark

Sam Stringfield†

Jacinda K. Dariotis

Rachael S. Clark1

ABSTRACT: This case study examined the implementation of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) model in two schools funded for three years (2011–2014) through the Ohio Network of Education Transformation. Interviews, observations, and artifacts were gathered for two high schools over two years (2013–2014 and 2014–2015). At one year post-funding, one school’s implementation of the AVID model was persevering and the other had completely halted. Several challenges with implementing the AVID model emerged to help explain the schools’ experiences and to suggest lessons learned.

KEYWORDS: Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), reform implementation, case study

A variety of models are available to guide K-12 schools’ reform efforts, each with different goals and challenges. The evaluation of the Ohio Network of Education Transformation (ONET) initiative provided the opportunity to examine the implementation of different educational reform models (Stringfield et al., 2017). Through the ONET funding mechanism, sites received a total of $61,000 for 2011–2014 to implement the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) model. This case study describes the AVID implementation challenges experienced by two funded schools.

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Evaluating the Implementation of the New Tech Model in Two Ohio High Schools

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Evaluating the Implementation of the New Tech Model in Two Ohio High Schools

Kathleen Carr

ABSTRACT: This case study is derived from a two-year period (2013–2014 and 2014–2015) of observations and interviews conducted at two high schools in Ohio that were implementing the New Tech Network Model as funded through the Ohio Network of Education Transformation. The schools implemented the model with different levels of fidelity and experienced a range of issues associated with the implementation. Several factors emerged to help explain the variation in implementation, and lessons learned are offered for those considering the New Tech model.

KEYWORDS: New Tech, reform implementation, case study

A variety of models are available to guide reform efforts at K-12 schools. The evaluation of the Ohio Network of Education Transformation (ONET) component of Ohio’s implementation of the Race to the Top initiative presented the opportunity to examine the implementation of different educational reform models (Stringfield et al., 2017). Five agencies (representing 13 sites) each received $750,000 of ONET funding for 2011–2014 to implement the New Tech model. This case study is derived from a two-year period (2013–2015) of observations and interviews conducted at two highs schools that received funding.

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Evaluating Implementation of the Early College Model Through a Theory of Change

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Evaluating Implementation of the Early College Model Through a Theory of Change

Ann Allen

J. Kessa Roberts

ABSTRACT: Early College is an initiative aimed at helping first-generation, minority, and low-income students access college courses while they are still in high school. Early College was one of the Race to the Top (RttT) initiatives funded in Ohio. Examining Early College through a change theory lens, we present findings from a two-year case study of Ohio’s Early College initiative as to the opportunities and challenges of implementing Early College as an innovation for low-performing schools. Findings from the two sites highlight both similarities and differences according to the context, mission, and vision of the leaders implementing the reform.

KEYWORDS: early college, reform implementation, theory of change, case study

A Early College (EC) is an initiative aimed at helping first-generation, minority and low-income students access college courses while they are still in high school. EC was one of the RttT initiatives funded as part of the Ohio Network of Education Transformation (ONET). This ONET evaluation (Stringfield et al., 2017) examined the implementation of EC in two Ohio school districts. Considering a theory of change, we present findings from a two-year case study of Ohio’s EC initiative pertaining to EC implementation opportunities and challenges for low-performing schools.

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