District Effectiveness: A Study of Investment Strategies in New York City Public Schools and Districts
Educational Policy, Vol. 18, No. 3, 491-512

Iatarola, P. & Fruchter, N.

Educational reform over the past two decades has focused primarily on schools as the critical units of change, often ignoring the role of districts and their effect on schools' performance. Although national reform efforts such as the recently reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (the No Child Left Behind Act), are directed primarily at schools, local school districts are responsible for a number of functions critical to schooling effectiveness (e.g., hiring, collective bargaining, curriculum development, assessment, fiscal operations, and ancillary functions). Refocusing attention on districts and their effect on schools, this study found differences between high-and low performing community school districts, or administrative subunits, within the NewYork City school system in terms of educational goals, instructional focus, leadership development, teacher recruitment and retention, and professional development.