Measuring and Explaining the Fidelity of CSR Implementation
A Paper Prepared for the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada, April 11–15, 2005
Comprehensive school reform (CSR) is only as effective as its implementation. By using data collected for the National Longitudinal Evaluation of Comprehensive School Reform, this study explores how CSR model implementation varies as well as what factors predict CSR model implementation. We found little difference in the level of implementation between CSR model schools and their matched comparison schools, but vast differences were found in the level of implementation between (a) different components of CSR models and (b) different CSR model-implementation keys (the normative guidelines received from CSR model developers on which we based our implementation measures). The level of implementation is predicted by multiple factors, including the CSR model-implementation keys, the principal’s instructional leadership, the measure of teachers’ professional community, and the usefulness of the CSR developers’ assistance. The change in implementation is associated with positive change in principal’s instructional leadership.