In the fall of 1998, the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) contracted with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) to conduct the evaluation of the America's Choice School Design. This is a summary of CPRE's first report of a three-year evaluation of the design. The evaluation of America's Choice seeks to answer four basic questions: Are schools successfully implementing the America's Choice program design? What environmental characteristics are facilitating or impeding implementation? How effective is America Choice's implementation strategy? And what are the impacts of the program on teachers and students? As America's Choice is still in the early stages of implementation, most evaluation efforts are directed toward the questions about the implementation of the program and the conditions surrounding its implementation. In subsequent years, CPRE increasingly will emphasize its evaluation of the impacts of the program on students.
This report describes the first year of the implementation of America's Choice. Following this introduction, section two provides a description of America's Choice and the theory behind the America's Choice school design. Section two concludes with a set of reasonable expectations for the progress of America's Choice in its first year. Section three describes CPRE's findings concerning the implementation of America's Choice, including many of the specific design components. Section four analyzes the role of the school district in the implementation of America's Choice. The report concludes with a summary of the findings of the first year's evaluation.