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Research Evidence in Struggling Schools
Director/PI: Kara Finnigan (Joint PI with Alan Daly, University of California, San Diego)

Finnigan and Daly are exploring the organizational learning processes of schools designated as needing improvement under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The study focuses on the acquisition and use of different types of research evidence as part of that learning process, as well as the extent to which social networks support or constrain these school improvement efforts. Finnigan and Daly’s goal is to affect change in practice and policy that will have a direct impact on traditionally under-served youth who are disproportionately represented in low-performing schools.

Collaborators: Rochester City School District and San Diego Unified School District

Funding: $342,246, William T. Grant Foundation

Related Projects: Understanding Organizational Network Structure to Understand School Improvement under NCLB funded by the Spencer Foundation

Research will explore how urban systems and high schools in need of improvement under accountability policy sanctions diagnose problems; identify strategies; and define, acquire, use, and diffuse research evidence. This study will be the first in-depth longitudinal examination of schools in corrective action in two regions of the U.S. representing two distinct types of urban districts. The study has implications for urban districts across the nation as the number of schools in need of improvement continues to multiply.

Tags: Kara Finnigan, No Child Left Behind, Rochester City School Disctrict