The Modern Red SchoolHouse reform design: elementary school teachers' perceptions of implementation

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

The Obey-Porter bill was passed in 1997 to supply funds to low-performing schools to implement scientifically research-based reform models. The Modern Red SchoolHouse design was one of the highly adopted designs by schools and districts across the nation to help improve schools and is the focus of this study. Now that extensive funding such as the Obey-Porter bill has ended, there is limited research on the sustainability of these adopted designs. This study analyzes the implementation, capacity-building, and sustainability of this widely implemented comprehensive school design, the Modern Red SchoolHouse (MRSH) design. This study puts emphasis on the importance of studying sustainability from the perceptions of the teachers while examining principal, implementation process, and school characteristics that impact sustainability. The Modern Red School House Teacher Survey (MTS) was used to evaluate the teachers' perceptions of the sense of presence of the six-core capacity-building components of the design. The 173 teachers in this study were from 11 former MRSH sites established between 1998-2005 from the South Region: 3. The 11 principals who participated in the study completed the Principal's Questionnaire and provided additional information about their schools. The study concluded that these schools were perceived by teachers as having a presence of capacity-building components. Major findings include the following: (a) principal leadership is vital to successful whole school implementation and sustainability, (b) the critical challenge of principals in comprehensive school reform is creating a network of strong relationships within and across faculty and staff through communication and professional development, (c) parents, teachers and other stakes holders must be involved in the decision-making process, (d) whole school reform must be balanced with and modified to accountability efforts if it is to be sustained. This research adds to the knowledge base of sustainability of comprehensive school reform by exploring the perceptions and actions of elementary teachers who have worked with the Modern Red SchoolHouse design. Implications for practice include allowing teachers and parents to take part in decision-making related to reform initiatives and developing learning communities that sustain both teacher and principal motivation toward adopted reform initiatives.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Education, Administration, Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Education, Teacher Training