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Challenges of Change: Insights From a California Project

Summary: The Riverside County, California Office of Education, encouraged by the success of its six-year school improvement model in raising overall student achievement, set out to see if the program would perform as effectively for students receiving special education services. Eight low-performing schools were selected, seven of which were outside Riverside's regular service area. When conventional structures were converted to professional learning communities focused on student achievement issues, teachers were able to break down barriers between general education and special education programs. Results were dramatically reflected in greatly improved student math and English arts scores. Five insights emerging from the Riverside project demonstrate the critical role that teachers play in managing change in an educational environment. While the change has been dramatic, the complexity of tailoring instruction to meet the learning needs of individuals and groups of students is proving more difficult than anticipated. The Riverside project stands out as an example of how school change can be managed to improve outcomes for students, as well as for the adults who serve them.

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  • Topics: Change Management, Leadership, Teams
  • Keywords: Case study,Change management,Education,Leadership,Teamwork,Change
  • Author: Leddick, Susan
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation