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Few issues of national importance have received as much attention in recent years as education. Yet, for all the concern and rhetoric about the declining quality of our schools in a competitive world, there are surprisingly few hard facts about what makes good schools work and how to improve bad ones. The University of California Press is therefore pleased to announce the publication of the first significant research on the effect of primary schools in decades. Based on one of the largest surveys of primary school effectiveness ever undertaken—the researchers monitored the progress of nearly 2000 students in 50 British inner-city primary schools for four years—School Matters not only shows exactly what goes on in primary schools—it shows how they vary in their success and explains why.

Among the many important and hopeful results: Schooling IS more important for pupils' progress than background. High expectations DO have an effect on pupil achievement. Schools CAN change. The report identifies 12 key factors—all within the control of the school—that lead to effective education. Effective schools increase the progress of ALL pupils.

School Matters, the most important survey of what makes schools work since Rutter's Fifteen Thousand Hours, will be of immense interest not only to education specialists, but to policy-makers and the concerned public.

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From the Inside Flap:

"School Matters may well be the most important piece of school effectiveness research since the Coleman report."—James W. Guthrie, Director of Policy Analysis for California Education, University of California at Berkeley

"School Matters will provide important input for the major policy reforms that will be emerging in elementary education in the U.S."—Henry M. Levin, Director, Center for Educational Research at Stanford University

About the Author:

Dr. Peter Mortimore is Director of the Department of Educational Research at the University of Lancaster; Dr. Pamela Sammons is a Senior Research Officer at the Inner London Education Authority; Louise Stoll is a Research Officer and Effective Schools Consultant, Halton Board of Education, Burlington, Ontario, Canada; David Lewis is a Lecturer in Primary Education at Goldsmith's College; Russel Ecob is a social statistician at Glasgow University.

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