Systemic Reform: Policy and Evaluation

Team Leaders: William H. Clune and Norman L. Webb

Project goal: The NISE's Policy and Evaluation Team studies systemic reform of science, mathematics, engineering and technology education and examine related topics. The policy perspective focuses on details of the causal sequences in the system, while the evaluation perspective focuses on producing stable measurements of relevant system attributes over time. Work has led to a new theory of systemic reform which has been tested empirically and found to be useful for guiding both research and practice. Work has also led to an expanded and specific elaboration of the concept of alignment which has proven useful for both designers and evaluators of systemic reform.

The lines of work continue in a study of systemic reform in Milwaukee Public Schools. With funding from the Joyce Foundation and the Helen Bader Foundation, this research seeks to generate useful knowledge and recommendations for policy in the district, to allow impartial observers and system managers to understand the school system and its performance at a deeper level, and to impart data management tools and analytical capacity to the district so that it can assume these responsibilities, after some time.

Products: In addition to the 1999 NISE Forum on Evaluation of Systemic Reform in Mathematics and Science, the 1997 NISE Forum on the topic of policy and evaluation in systemic reform resulted in a set of papers identifying important issues and a synthesis paper of the think pieces that the participants submitted around the central issues. Two books are in progress: One book captures progress made in developing a theory of successful systemic reform; a second book,  Evaluating Systemic Reform in Mathematics and Science, describes the challenges in evaluating systemic reform and systemic initiatives and how these challenges can be addressed in doing evaluations.

Fellows: Jeanne Rose Century, Norma Davila, and Paul LeMahieu

NISE Publications of the Systemic Reform Team

NISE-Related Publications of the Systemic Reform Team

National Institute for Science Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Copyright (c) 1999. The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. All Rights Reserved.
Please send comments to:
Last Updated:  May 05, 2003