In the book, Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement (2001), Robert Marzano, with Debra J. Pickering and Jane E. Pollock, have identified, through educational research compiled over a 35-year period, the steps that schools can take to become more efficacious in their work with students.  Marzano organizes the steps into three categories, school-level factors, teacher-level factors, and student-level factors.   Below is a chart delineating the components in each of the levels. According to Marzano, the research is telling us that the student-level factors have the greatest impact on student achievement, which includes the home environment, but he states that the three teacher-level factors can have a great deal of impact in reversing the negative trends of poverty, lack of resources and poor motivation.  More impact, in fact, than all five of the school-level factors combined.  Please see the chart below.

SCHOOL-LEVEL  FACTORS TEACHER-LEVEL  FACTORS STUDENT-LEVEL  FACTORS
1. Guaranteed & viable curriculum
2. Challenging goals & effective feedback
3. Parent & community involvement
4. Safe & orderly environment
5. Collegiality and professionalism
1. Instructional strategies 2. Classroom management 3. Classroom curriculum design 1. Home environment 2. Learned intelligence & background knowledge 3. Motivation
LEADERSHIP FOR CHANGE
1. Most effective with a small, strong and cohesive group of educators with a director/principal
2. Leadership team provides strong guidance while still modeling respect for those not on the team
3. Characterized by specific behaviors that enhance interpersonal relationships

Marzano adds that the impact of leadership brings the greatest possibility for change.  He recommends a small group, working together in a single-minded purpose, stating that this organizational model can accomplish real change.