I wonder about the disjuncture you describe between popular theory and programs that have been empirically proven to be effective. If such a disjuncture exists, how can university faculty and school systems be sure that even with proper preparation, teachers will implement programs according to the intentions of those who designed them? Because teachers mediate and interpret curriculum according to contexts, is it possible to assume a linear relationship between design and implementation? To assume that if teachers are given convincing data of effectiveness, they will rationally choose to follow program designs rather than their understandings of students and contexts? -S.T.

Laura Responds:
Your concern seems to be that teachers implement programs as they deem appropriate for their individual students in the context in which they are interacting with these students. I have no problem with this if their implementations were guided by the needs of their students. My concern is not with exactly how teachers implement programs, but with their knowing what programs are available and the evidence we have to date about how effective these different programs are for different students. I would be disappointed if teachers who had convincing data of effective programs implemented the program exactly as designed if such implementation was not as effective for their students as an adapted implementation would be. Probably the best way to decide how to implement any program is to know as much as possible about the program. Currently, I don't believe teachers are learning about the most effective programs and practices and this is what I am calling for here.