Policy: Federal

Race to the Top Round Two Finalists Project Improved Graduation Rates

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced the 19 Race to the Top (RTTT) Round Two finalists.  In their applications, states were required to project improvement in achievement and graduation rates and to demonstrate how they plan to meet those projections should they be awarded RTTT funds.

Practical, Actionable Recommendations for High School Policy and Practice

Policymakers and educators at the state, district, and building levels are looking to research and evaluation studies to guide policy and practice decisions. Increasingly, applications for federal and state funding require use of “evidence based” or “research supported” strategies, programs, and reform activities.

College- and Career-Readiness Are the Core of the Common Core

The Common Core State Standards for students (Common Core) present a range of college- and career-ready standards that emphasize reading, writing, listening and speaking. The standards also present rigorous mathematics standards that, if mastered, will ensure a student is ready to engage in college-level or work-specific mathematical calculations. Since the release on June 2 of this year, the Common Core has been adopted by 23 states.

Seeing High Schools in a Broader Context

Decades of research have shown that what happens in the home and community impacts students at school, and what occurs at school impacts students’ home and community experiences. Thus, it stands to reason that students who attend chronically low-performing high schools will benefit from comprehensive, responsive systems that cut across multiple policy and social service domains, including education and health and human services.[1]

High School Matters Editorial Team

Joseph R. Harris, Ph.D., is the Director of the National High School Center and a Managing Research Analyst for the American Institutes for Research. In addition to his extensive role in providing school improvement technical assistance at the federal, state, district and school levels, Dr. Harris has a strong background in STEM education reform as both a practitioner and researcher/evaluator, and more than two decades of experience as an administrator and high school teacher in an urban public school environment.


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