CRESPAR Report #65: Bringing the District Back In: The Role of the Central Office in Improving Instruction and Student Achievement
Mac Iver, Martha Abele
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Criticizing school district bureaucracies has become a growth industry over the past couple of decades. In the face of all this anti-district and anti–central office rhetoric, it is important to recognize the growing number of scholars who are emphasizing the importance of the district in school reform efforts and the research base that examines the role of the central office. Building on previous reviews of school district leadership, this review adds a new focus on the role of school district central offices in improving instruction and raising student achievement. We examine the functional tasks of the central office and the internal dynamics of relations between the central office and district schools (with their principals, teachers, and students). The review concludes with a heuristic model of how the central office influences classroom instruction and student achievement in district schools.