Research summary

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WHO CONDUCTED IT: Cross City Campaign for Urban School Reform, in collaboration with Patricia Burch, assistant professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison and James Spillane, associate professor, Northwestern University.

WHO THEY STUDIED: 82 cabinet- and mid-level district staff and 185 school personnel in Chicago, Milwaukee and Seattle.

WHAT THEY FOUND: Most mid-level district staff believe they can help improve teaching without much input from principals and teachers. But school staff was more likely to seek help from central office workers who listened to them and respected their expertise.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Redefine the roles of mid-level central office staff so that they spend more time collaborating with school staff and less on monitoring them for compliance.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Go to the Cross City Campaign web site at http://www.crosscity.org. To order the full report, call (312) 322-4880. The report costs $15 plus shipping.