Deeper Look at Implementation: School-Level Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Comprehensive School Reform


This qualitative, comparative case study examines how school stakeholders understood comprehensive school reform (CSR) implementation, and how contextual factors influenced the process of CSR model implementation. We rated school stakeholders’ perceptions of the comprehensiveness and schoolwide nature of their CSR model. Comprehensiveness reflected stakeholders’ perceptions of the multicomponent nature of the CSR model, and schoolwide understanding reflected the degree to which stakeholders perceived that the reform was implemented across grades and classrooms. We found that, across the model schools, stakeholders understood CSR model implementation as a schoolwide phenomenon. However, across the model schools, stakeholders varied in their understandings of CSR model components. We found five contextual factors to explain the variation among model schools: the challenge of getting buy-in by teachers new to the model, principals’ leadership activities supporting the implementation process, the alignment of the model with ongoing programs, the quality of developer support, and policies that influence stakeholders’ decisions to implement model components.