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From Ghost Systems to Host Systems via Transformation Zones

Fixsen, Dean and Blase, Karen and Van Dyke, Melissa (2012) From Ghost Systems to Host Systems via Transformation Zones. [Report]

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Abstract

Over the past two centuries social reformers and educators have worked hard to include children from disadvantaged families, girls, racial and ethnic minorities, children with special needs, and young adults into an education system open to all. This was a struggle, and now a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) is available for all children from birth through high school graduation and beyond. As a result of these struggles to include all children, current education systems are legacy systems. They are the fragmented remains of different times and a wide variety of approaches to reforming education. There is no ill will implied in this statement. Systems often have their beginnings in this piecemeal manner. The goals were inclusion and equality, and the effectiveness of the overall system was anticipated but was not the main focus of the reform efforts. In the new millennium, the focus is shifting. Given the lack of improvement in education outcomes in the United States over the past decades, the emphasis now is on a free, appropriate, and effective public education system. The purpose of this Brief is to outline the convergence of advances in implementation, organization change, and system reinvention science and practice. The confluence of these fields is lighting the way for effective and efficient changes in large education and human service systems.