CRESPAR Report #71: Toward a Policy Framework for Analyzing Educational System Effects
School reform efforts over the last two decades have become increasingly more complex and systemic. Yet, studies that have as their primary purpose identifying and understanding the function of linkages in school reform processes are virtually nonexistent in the school effects and school improvement literature. This report proposes a model that emphasizes the study of linkages between levels in the policy system. It also focuses on where individual, collective, and material capacity across the educational policy system can be developed to support linkages and the flow of resources and communication across them. The report includes an extensive review of the American reform literature since A Nation at Risk was published, using a conceptual framework to identify linkages, and areas where capacity can be developed to support sustained reform at the school level. The report closes with implications and directions for future research.