Giving test results to an incoherent, badly run school doesn't automatically make it a better school. The work of turning a school around entails improving the knowledge and skills of teachers-changing their knowledge of content and how to teach it-and helping them to understand where their students are in their academic development. Low-performing schools, and the people who work in them, don't know what to do. If they did, they would be doing it already. So writes Richard Elmore in ""Unwarranted Intrusion,"" an essay critiquing the accountability mandates and high-stakes testing policies of the No Child Left Behind Act. In School Reform from the Inside Out, one of the country's leading experts on the successes and failures of American education policy tackles issues ranging from teacher development to testing to ""failing"" schools. As Elmore aptly notes, successful school reform begins ""from the inside out"" with teachers, administrators, and school staff, not with external mandates or standards. This collection of some of Elmore's most probing and influential essays is essential reading for any school leader, education reformer, policymaker, or citizen interested in the forces that promote real school change.
Richard F. Elmore is the Gregory Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a senior research fellow at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), a group of universities engaged in research on state and local educational policy, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. He has previously held positions with the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and the U.S. Office of Education.