We have decided not to flood this area with a million resources on systemic reform, but rather to provide you with a few excellent articles that have been recommended by our panelists and discussants.

Answering Tough Questions About Sustainability
Larry Cuban
Keynote from the First Virtual Conference on Local Systemic Change
Private and public agencies have invested large sums of money to reform districts over the past decade. By the end of the first or second year, funders will ask, rarely gently, what the plans are for the continuation of the innovation after the grant ends, and... project leaders scramble for advice on how to continue the entire project or its key features: "What do we need to do in our district not only to sustain our hard-fought efforts but also to spread the reform's positive effects to the rest of the system?" Funders and innovators who depend upon their monies are deeply interested in the "how-to" of institutionalizing their work. I am also. But I believe other, seldom-asked questions must be addressed along with the "how-to" question. I begin with the popular how-to question and then move to the equally, if not more important question of why a project should be sustained.

Large Scale Sustainable Reform
Michael Fullan
Keynote from the Second Virtual Conference on Local Systemic Change
In this paper. Michael Fullan built on a body of multi-year attempts at large scale reform to raise provocative questions for the LSC community about how to think about sustainability of reform. He stresses the importance of understanding change, of building professional learning communities in the school and district, and of leadership for a culture of change. "I believe, the next 5 years will be critical in terms of whether we transform the teaching profession by transforming the system."

Airplane Thoughts About Sustainability
Mark St. John
This very engaging, informal, reflection by Mark St. John addresses how sustainability might look different from the funder's or the district's point of view. It discusses the relationship between soft and hard money and the need for districts to develop an improvement infrastructure. Finally, Mark touches on the negative consequences of focusing on student achievement as the marker of an LSCs success.

The Turing Test: A New Approach to Evaluating Investments in Educational Capacity and Infrastructure--Assessing the Impact of the Exploratorium's Institute for Inquiry (pdf download)
Mark St. John
In this paper, referred to in his Panel presentation, Mark St. John describes a new approach taken by Inverness Research Associates to program evaluation. This approach, based on the thinking of the British mathematician, Alan Turing and the acclaimed "Turing Test" which he devised to determine how well computers model human intelligence, poses the following research question: To what extent are the participants in a program distinguishable from otherwise similar people who do not participate in a program? Their results suggest that this new approach can be a very fruitful way to get at a perennially challenging question.

Sustaining Your Reform: Five Lessons From Research (pdf download)
Jeanne Rose Century and Abigail Jurist Levy
"If there is one question ever-present on the minds of teachers and administrators working to improve education for their students it is: How do we ensure that the programs we are implementing will last?" In this article, Century and Levy describe 5 key lessons from their study of the fate of long-lived hands-on science programs in 9 districts across the country. How do our models of sustainability allow for necessary evolution in our reforms? How far can variation go, before it changes the nature of the reform? What factors affect sustainability over the long term?

Sustaining Change: A Study of Nine School Districts with Enduring Programs (pdf download)
Jeanne Rose Century and Abigail Jurist Levy
presented at AERA
This paper reports in some depth on Century and Levy's approach to their study of the sustainability of hands-on science programs in 9 districts across the country. What is sustainability? How can it be recognized? In what ways can long-lived innovations change and develop, while their essence is maintained? This paper is a fascinating companion to those of St. John, Fullan, and Cuban!

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