The introduction identifies the central theme of the book: that of complexity as manifest in interdependencies among underperforming schools, programs of reform, the organizations that advance those programs, and the environments in which all operate. In contrast to Herbert Simon’s “empty world hypothesis”, this complexity is framed in terms of a “full world hypothesis”. The introduction also identifies the purpose of the book: the goal of supporting education reformers in seeing, understanding, and confronting that complexity. In doing so, the introduction reviews interdependent problems that routinely undermine student achievement. It charts the rise of “systemic reform” as a logic addressing those problems, as well as “comprehensive school reform” and “standards-based reform” as policy movements embracing that logic. And it identifies the Success for All Foundation as a leading reformer with twenty years experience pursuing systemic, comprehensive, school-wide reform.
Keywords: Success for All, Success for All Foundation, complexity, interdependence, education policy, systemic reform, comprehensive school reform, standards-based reform, empty world hypothesis, full world hypothesis
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