High Performing School Districts: Challenge, Support, Alignment and Choice
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
June 2005


This report theorizes that reform requires both a high support and a high challenge environment. Districts that have improved, they argue, have a “theory of action” that is a “portfolio strategy,” that is, a collection of improvement strategies including theories of education, organization, and change. The report contains detailed ways in which these theories can be structured to maximize both support and challenge, at the state, district, and school levels.

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