Toward a Theory of Systemic Reform: The Case of Nine NSF
Statewide Systemic Initiatives
This paper has two main purposes: (1) testing the central thesis of systemic reform and (2) deriving lessons about strengths and weaknesses of actual reform strategies that are used in policy and practice. Both purposes will be pursued through secondary analysis of a convenient source of data, case studies (SRI, 1998) of nine Statewide Systemic Initiatives (SSIs) funded by the National Science Foundation (see references; summary of case studies in Appendix A). The case studies collect similar kinds of data in useful categories for all nine systemic reform efforts operating during the same time period (199296), thus permitting a methodologically controlled "snapshot" of parallel reforms. The case studies of SSIs also allow the sponsor of this paper, the National Institute for Science Education (also NSF funded), to learn from the experience of the SSIs in its study of systemic reform.
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