In this report, we follow a line of inquiry that we began in a 2002 Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) report titled Implementation of the America's Choice Literacy Workshops. Herein, we examine the implementation of the writers workshop component of America's Choice, which we consider the core instructional reform of the first year of implementation of the America's Choice comprehensive school reform design. By conducting structured observations in a random sample of elementary and middle school classrooms in America's Choice schools across the United States, and applying a rubric that assesses the fidelity of teachers' implementation of writers workshop, we have produced a measure of implementation of a central component of the design. While our measure of implementation has limitations, it does reveal the degree of teachers' implementation of the structures of the literacy component of America's Choice and provides insight into the depth of teachers' understanding of the larger concepts of the design.
In our study, we focus on three particular questions. First, what is the extent of implementation of writers workshop in elementary and middle schools at the end of their first year of America's Choice? Second, did 2002 teachers achieve higher levels of implementation in their first implementation year than 2001 teachers in their first year of implementation and, if so, could these differences be attributed to improvements in the America's Choice design? Finally, what is the relationship between the fidelity of literacy coaches' implementation of writers workshop and teachers' implementation of writers workshop within the same schools? Through these questions, we seek to document the progress of America's Choice and point out areas where further refinements might be warranted.