Evaluating the Implementation of Comprehensive School Reform and Its Impact on Growth in Student Achievement


This study examines the relationship between the implementation of comprehensive school reform (CSR) and growth in student achievement. Survey data about CSR implementation and school-level achievement were collected in multiple years from a sample of CSR schools and compared with a sample of matchedpair schools. The sampled CSR schools adopted several promising CSR models. Findings indicate that implementation level of some components is a growth function of implementation length, with a large variation. On average, growth in mathematics and reading achievement among students at CSR schools is not consistently greater than the growth among similar students at comparison schools. However, after controlling for implementation level and limiting the implementation length to 3–5 years, overall CSR schools made larger growth in mathematics and reading achievement relative to the matched comparison schools when CSR schools had a high level of implementation or made progress in implementation level in some components over time. The relationship between CSR implementation level and growth in reading varies by CSR model.