CRESPAR Report #59: Comprehensive School Reform and Student Achievement: A Meta-Analysis

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In this meta-analysis, we review the research on the achievement effects of the nationally disseminated and externally developed school improvement programs known as “whole-school” or “comprehensive” reforms. In addition to reviewing the overall achievement effects of comprehensive school reform (CSR), we study the specific effects of 29 of the most widely implemented models. We also assess how various CSR components, contextual factors, and methodological factors associated with the studies mediate the effects of CSR. We conclude that CSR is still an evolving field and that there are limitations on the overall quantity and quality of the research base. The overall effects of CSR, though, appear promising and the combined quantity, quality, and statistical significance of evidence from three of the models, in particular, set them apart from the rest.
The Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk (CRESPAR) was established in 1994 and continued until 2004. It was a collaboration between Johns Hopkins University and Howard University. CRESPAR’s mission was to conduct research, development, evaluation, and dissemination of replicable strategies designed to transform schooling for students who were placed at risk due to inadequate institutional responses to such factors as poverty, ethnic minority status, and non-English-speaking home background.
CRESPAR, Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk, School Reform, Student Achievement