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"Outward and Inward Attributes of School Change: A Mixed-Method Study of Three School Districts"

Title: Outward and Inward Attributes of School Change: A Mixed-Method Study of Three School Districts
Authors: Priyanka Agarwal, Thurston Domina
Sociology of Education Association (SEA) 2017 Annual Conference
Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, California
February 24-26, 2017

Abstract

We examine the outward and inward attributes of school change in the context of California’s algebra-for-all reform to study how educational organizations manage conflicting institutional pressures. Our study exploits a unique set of student-level administrative data and interviews with district administrators from three neighboring school districts in California. We found that the districts varied in their outward-oriented proclamations when responding to the state’s requirement. However, these outward differences belied the underlying similarity in internal differentiation practices maintained by them. The findings suggest that alignment between internal and external actors is essential to accomplish fundamental changes to the grammar of schooling.