Success for All

Prevention and Early Intervention in School-Wide Reform

Authored by: Robert E. Slavin , Nancy A. Madden

Handbook of Research on Schools, Schooling, and Human Development

Print publication date:  May  2010
Online publication date:  June  2010

Print ISBN: 9780805859485
eBook ISBN: 9780203874844
Adobe ISBN: 9781135283872

10.4324/9780203874844.ch27

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Abstract

Despite the constant public outcry about the crisis in American education, every community has one or more outstanding and often widely recognized public schools. Some of these appear to succeed because they serve children of wealthy, well-educated parents, or because they are magnet schools that can screen out unmotivated or low achieving students. However, there are also schools that serve disadvantaged and minority children in inner city or rural locations and, year after year, produce outstanding achievement outcomes. Such schools play a crucial role in reminding us that the problems of our school system have little to do with the capabilities of children; they provide our best evidence that all children can learn. Yet the success of these lighthouse schools does not spread very far. Excellence can be demonstrated in many individual schools but rarely in whole districts or communities. An outstanding elementary school benefits about 500 children, on average. Yet there are millions of children who are placed at risk by ineffective responses to such factors as economic disadvantage, limited English proficiency, or learning difficulties. How can we make excellence the norm rather than the exception, especially in schools serving many at-risk children? How can effective practices based on research and on the experiences of outstanding schools be effectively implemented every day by hundreds of thousands of teachers?

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