Since the time of the now fabled one room schoolhouse, American schools have undergone tremendous change socially, structurally, and instructionally. Our public schools are under the microscope like never before. Charter schools and tuition vouchers circle above public education like vultures. New special education regulations loom menacingly on the horizon. Prophets of doom are on every street comer and in every Internet chat room. The Virginia General Assembly has mandated higher standards and tougher discipline. Innumerable publications document both technology's explosion and the American family's implosion. Against this seemingly foreboding backdrop, a school district in Southeastern Virginia researched, designed, and implemented the Norfolk Quality Schools Initiative (NQSI). Ever since the days of the old one room school house with its slate chalkboards and pot-bellied stove there have been scores and scores of movements to improve American education. Some have stressed the product while others have emphasized the process. The NQSI is not just another attempt at educational reform; it is a focused, inclusive and comprehensive plan for school revitalization and renewal. NQSI is unique in the fact that it employs a very specific process designed to develop a very specific product. Simply put, it is a systematic, outcome-based process.

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