Volume 24, Issue 4 (1995)
Project ACHIEVE: Analyzing a School Reform Process for At-Risk and Underachieving Students
Howard M. Knoff, George M. Batsche
Abstract: As the school reform process initiated by the 1983 report, A Nation At Risk, continues, we cannot ignore that many of today’s children are significantly at risk for both educational and social failure. This article describes Project ACHIEVE, a comprehensive school reform process focused on helping schools to deal more effectively with at-risk and underachieving students. The foundation of Project ACHIEVE is a building-wide in-service training and implementation process providing all regular education, special education, and support staff with needed common knowledge, skill, experience, and confidence in (a) student-focused, intervention-based problem solving, (b) assessment and intervention techniques for students’ academic and behavioral problems, (c) classroom-based social skills training, and (d) data-based evaluation of student outcomes. Implemented through seven interdependent components over a 3-year period of time, the training encourages collaboration, consistency, and multidisciplinary sensitivity and understanding. This article describes the seven components of Project ACHIEVE, the 3-year implementation process, the systems-level data and outcomes that are continuously tracked, and the Project’s impact in one particular elementary school as contrasted with a demographically matched comparison school. The results of this study are described from multiple system, teacher, student, and reform perspectives, and future directions and research limitations are addressed.
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