Adoption: Exploring the Initiation of Comprehensive School Reform Models
A paper prepared for the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada, April 11–15, 2005
The process through which a school adopts a comprehensive school reform (CSR) model has been suggested to be a key element in the lifecycle of school reform, contributing to stakeholder buy-in and subsequent implementation. In this paper, we study the model adoption process, both on a national scale with survey data and in closer depth with qualitative case study data. We conclude that the voting process can indeed contribute to school-level factors that are supportive of implementation. However, the quality of the adoption process still varies greatly between schools, and a favorable adoption process does not necessarily ensure model implementation. Indeed, other school-level factors, such as strong principal leadership or professional community, can counterbalance the positive or negative quality of the adoption process.