This chapter examines SFAF’s work designing its comprehensive school reform program, in interaction with increasing policy support for its work. The chapters details the founding of the organization in 1987/1988, its approach to the work of designing, and its comprehensive school reform program. The chapter also examines a paradox that followed. On the one hand, SFAF’s comprehensive school reform program increased the potential for academic success by supporting professional practice and learning among teachers and school leaders. On the other hand, complex interactions among the program, targeted schools, their environments, and SFAF as an organization increased the challenge of effective implementation. Rather than a professional resource, a primary challenge was the risk of the program being interpreted as a bureaucratic or technocratic intervention. Finally, the chapter explicates both enthusiasm and criticism that arose in response to Success for All’s early efforts: in this case, in the policy and academic communities.
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