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September 1, 2001
Vol. 59
No. 1


Leadership and Flexibility

Stanley Pogrow's criticism of comprehensive school reform models ("Avoiding Comprehensive Schoolwide Reform Models," May 2001) states incorrectly that the providers of these reform models, specifically New American Schools, favor one-size-fits-all programs and oppose developing strong school leadership, quality teachers, and flexible and individualized reform.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, New American Schools believes that the key to student improvement is to identify quality teachers and strong principals and to support them with top-notch professional development. Principals and teachers cannot be replaced by a one-size-fits-all program because such a program does not exist. New American Schools works with 10 reform approaches, not just one, and urges schools to select the reform approach that meets their individual needs.
Pogrow should spend his time helping educators build on what is working instead of censuring efforts that have a proven track record of raising students' test scores. Studies have shown that comprehensive school reform approaches, when properly implemented, do work. Crucial to proper implementation are the leadership and management skills of principals and teachers as well as the flexibility of the reform approach.
—Mary Anne Schmitt, President, New American Schools, Arlington, Virginia

This article was published anonymously, or the author name was removed in the process of digital storage.

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